Make your business idea a reality (Part 3)

So far, you have played the name game and thought about the big idea.  You should have also done a little research to create a mission statement for your business and made some decisions about its legal structure.  This week we are going to continue working on taking your business idea from paper to reality.

5.  What do you have?  What is the product or service that you plan to offer to the world?  What is this great thing that will help you to become successful?  Not only must you consider what is but also why would people want to get it from you rather than someone who already offers the same product/service?  How much will you charge?  On what terms will you provide it and who will be in charge of satisfying your customers?  These are serious questions to consider because often small businesses start out by thinking about what they have and what they want to give to their customer but they sometimes leave the customer’s feelings out of the equation.  A good product/service may get you one customer but great customer service will keep them coming back.  Take a hard look at your business idea and start to consider how it will translate in reality for your customers.  Every decision that you make about your business should have “how will this effect my customers” at the forefront of your thought process, not just how much money can I make.

6.  Don’t forget about Uncle Sam!  When you start to prepare for the reality of business ownership, you have to prepare to pay business taxes.  It is imperative that you seek professional guidance to make sure you are fulfilling your financial obligations to the government.  Contact your State Department of Revenue for guidance on calculating, collecting and paying sales tax as well as the Internal Revenue Service about payroll taxes and other business taxes.

One very serious tip:  Don’t try to make it look like your business is not making money to avoid paying taxes.  This will come back and bite you in the rear if you ever decide to apply for any time of financing for your business.  If it looks like your business is consistently losing money or not making a profit, why would someone want to invest in your sinking ship.  It is best to do the right thing, report your revenues honestly and pay the taxes.  You will reap the rewards in the long run.

These are two very important steps toward becoming a successful business owner.  You have to understand your product/service and what your customers expect from you and you MUST have a good system in place to manage your business taxes.

As always, feel free to share your experiences with making your business idea a reality and come back next week to keep the process going.  You will be an established business before you know it.

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Sunday Christians

This blog is going to begin with a confession: I have never read the Bible – cover to cover.  Tried on many occasions and have read some books but never the whole thing.  However, I have been to many, many, many church services in my short life and I have NEVER heard a minister preach from a text that says going to church every Sunday is going to get you into heaven.  If it were in the Bible, I know the ministers would wear it out!

So, why are there so many “Christians” that go to church on Sundays just to start raising hell Monday through Saturday ready to condemn the souls of those who don’t attend Sunday worship?  Don’t get me wrong, I think attending a worship service is an essential part of practicing Christianity however it is a part and not the whole.  It seems that these Sunday Christians feel content that as long as they spend a few hours in the house of the Lord he will forget what they are doing in their own house.  Somehow, I don’t think that’s the case.

It really bothers me because there are a group of little old ladies in our denomination that attend every service, meeting and event that they can find yet as soon as they walk out the door they are criticizing, scandalizing and demonizing anyone they can think of.  I just wonder how Christianity works in their minds.  Do they really believe that attendance counts more than attitude? 

A few years ago, hot pants were all the rage.  As soon as I found out they would be in style the upcoming season I started working out so my body would be tight to sport these short shorts.  Well, the day arrived and I was wearing my hot pants with this cute tee-shirt and the perfect shoes.  As I was walking through the mall, I passed my minister.  I was mortified!  I could not believe he saw me in these itty-bitty shorts, even though I was looking hot.  I called my friend to express the depth of my embarrassment and she calmly said, “What’s the big deal?  God has already seen you in them.”

There are a lot of people who think going to church regularly makes them a Christian but we have to remember God sees everything, inside the church and out.  Don’t get caught being a Sunday Christian.

Needless to say, I retired the hot pants.