When I was first starting up my business, I searched for a good article on startup, and couldn't find any, so I decided to write this short guide.
Yeah, sure it's easy, and of course, that title is a little tongue in cheek. It takes a lot of hard work to get a business off the ground. But, it's worth every hour I've spent getting to where I am now.
When I decided to start my communication and image consulting business, I tried hard to find a good startup guide. I couldn't find any that had all the steps. So, I decided to write one. So far, it's mostly just the bare-bones outline (which is long enough as it is) you see in this article.
I'll be adding to it every week or two, and writing more detailed articles on all the steps, so try to stop by and check it out from time to time. Let me know how I'm doing. Shoot off an email to me if I've forgotten something or you have questions.
Before you spend so much as a dollar, talk to a few experts. Go to the library or get on the internet and research, research, research. Take a little time to make sure entrepreneurship is right for you.
Make a pro and con list of business ownership, and evaluate yourself honestly. How many characteristics do you have in common with successful entrepreneurs? Is your financial position strong enough? Do you have the necessary technical and management skills?
Youíre not going to be the perfect entrepreneur. Nobody is. But in order to make yourself the best entrepreneur you can be, consider ways to compensate for any weaknesses you might have.
Iím from Canada, so the government agencies Iíve mentioned in this guide are Canadian, but really, it can be used by anyone. All you have to do, if youíre from somewhere other than Canada, is find out where you need to find some of the things Iíll talk about. Some of the steps might be slightly different, and you may not have to worry about things like GST for example, but Iím sure youíll find this discussion helpful all the same.
These steps to starting a business are in reasonably good order, but you might find yourself varying from it under your particular circumstances. That really isnít a big deal, as long as you get most of it done. There are some steps youíll be able to skip as well, but please donít skip any of the ìbig onesî, which Iím sure youíll pretty much figure out from taking a look at the list.
So, assuming youíve done your evaluation and you still want to start a business, take a deep breath, and let's get started.
1. Conduct a feasibility study of your business. Describe your typical customer, your product and your competitors. Who will your suppliers be? What will you charge for your product? How will you market your product? These are just a few of the questions you need to answer.
2. Write a complete business plan for your company, using the information you gathered from your feasibility study. This vitally important, often overlooked step needs to include a description of your company, its goals, competitors, market, financial information, and of course, how you intend to meet your goals.
3. Get your financing in place. There are many ways to finance your business, from your own savings to personal credit cards to bank loans. If you need credit, know your business plan from front to back and maybe even sideways.
4. Decide what kind of structure your company will have. From a legal standpoint, there are three basic choices, sole proprietorship, partnership and incorporation, each with advantages and disadvantages.
5. Choose a name for your company and check on name availability. Naming your company is highly individual, but itís the first thing associated with your business, so choose your name carefully. Youíll need to do a NUANS (Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search) report, which checks your name choices for uniqueness against a database of other business names. A reserved name is valid for 90 days.
6. Decide whether you want to register federally or provincially and register your company. If you register federally, youíll also have to register provincially, which almost doubles the cost. You donít have to have a lawyer process them for you, but it might be a good idea to at least consult with one. You can get the forms from your local government office, have them faxed to you or download them. You can fax or email printed copies, or complete the forms online
7. Contact Canada Revenue Agency Business Window for your business number, and to register for GST/HST, payroll, corporate income tax and import/export (if applicable). You can also contact the CRA if you need general information about business expenses. Chances are youíll have to collect GST, but you may want to register for a GST number even if you donít have to collect it because of input tax credits.
8. Decide whether you need to collect PST. If you do, you need to submit ìRegistration as a Vendorî documents with your province.
9. Determine whether there are special permits or licenses in your municipality. Itís highly unlikely that your municipality does not have special permits or licenses.
10. Develop the marketing materials you decided on in your business plan. They should include at least a company identity package, press kit and website. Your identity package is your logo, business card and letterhead. A press kit can include letters of introduction, biography sheets, press releases, articles and a brochure. In todayís electronic age, printed materials arenít enough. You need a website that looks professional, matches your printed material and has great copy. Youíll also want to make sure itís optimized for search engines.
11. Set up your business bank account and record-keeping system. Your banker will need to see your incorporation documents, and you should probably set up more than one account so you can keep track of your finances better. Record-keeping is required, and can be done manually or with a computer program.
12. Purchase insurance. There are many different types of insurance, but most probably your company will need at least one. For example, if youíre going to have employees, you need to contact the Workerís Compensation Board. Depending on your type of business, you might want to contact them even if you donít have employees to insure yourself.
13. Contact potential creditors and set up credit terms. You should have researched suppliers when you were doing your feasibility study. Now is the time to contact them.
14. Decide where your business will be located. Lease your businessí space. Alternatively, you could choose to start your business from home if itís feasible. There are advantages and disadvantages to starting your business from home. You have tax write-offs for example, but sometimes your image suffers.
15. Purchase supplies and office equipment. Youíll need too many things to list here, and of course, each business has different needs. You might need a fax machine and printer. Youíll probably need a computer. Youíll definitely need paper, pens, pencils and a calculator.
Congratulations! Go out, buy yourself a bottle of champagne and celebrate. You're about to embark on a most exciting journey. And may I be the first to wish you good luck and prosperous times in your business venture.
As promised, hereís my email address so you can ask questions, make comments or add steps to my list. Or, if you want, you could just drop me a line to let me know how your small business is doing. Iíd really like to know.
By Eve Jackson
CC: Hi Fanta, you are the world renowned crystal jewelry designer, fine artist, celebrity stylist, jazz vocalist, and natural hair model, is it difficult to combine all activities?
FC: No, when you are given a gift, it becomes a part of who you are. They all seem to fall into place.
CC: What is your favorite project right now?
FC: I would have to say, designing my crystal jewelry line. Having the ability to hand craft exquisite pieces that touch people so deeply, is truly humbling. There is a high demand for healing crystal jewelry, as more people are taking their health into their own hands; physically, mentally and emotionally.
CC: How do you split your time to cope up with everything?
FC: My music career is on hold at the moment. I had worked and studied with the legendary jazz musician, Phil Cohran, for eight years, before his passing in 2017. But i like forward to creating some soulful world music in the future. I connect with my celebrity clients periodically. I have been designing jewelry for Les Nubians for over 10 years, along with Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X's daughter, and Goapele, to name a few. It's not just about styling for one event. They incorporate my crystal brand into their daily lives. Natural hair modeling is effortlessly a part of my daily life, along with the occasional booking of photos shoots and appearances.
Read the full interview in the fresh issue of “Cosmo Chic” magazine: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1581290
With angelic face, she dreams to become Victoria Secret Angel, participates in Ukrainian Top Fashion events and takes serious steps towards international career. Yet-so-young, she tells her naive story about the childhood dreams and reaching goals. Meet sweet beauty, Kristina Pytsyak, a cover girl of this “Top Fashion” issue.
TF: Hi Khristina, how are you?
KP: I am very excited! Thank you for interviewing me, it’s a great pleasure!
TF: Intorduce yourself to our readers, I am sure they are very excited to meet you, dear!
KP: My name is Kristina Pytsyak, I am 16 now I work as a full time model in the agency. I participate in the runway shows and photoshoots.
TF: How did you realise you’d like to be a model?
KP: I remember that in childhood it was my dream. I began to take the first steps to meet my dream: I took part in contests and castings. And today my dream came true!
Read the full interview in the fresh issue of “Top Fashion” magazine: www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1581305
Our girl of the month Anastasia Aleksevych shares the story of her success, tells her feelings on becoming “The Queen of de Fleur”, her life and future plans.
"I really like the beauty industry. Therefore, while studying in the specialty "Finance and credit", I simultaneously completed manicure courses at the Bagira beauty school, and went through the author's course of Maryana Oleinik "Brow-master". My boyfriend opened the White Bar cosmetic teeth whitening studio in the AV Beauty Crew salon and at the moment I am making snow-white smiles to people. In a year I will get a master's degree, but will I be a financier? I hesitate. Unexpectedly Karina from @kn_project2018 offered me to take part in The Queen of D.fleur and I immediately agreed."- says Anastasia.
Read the full story in the fresh issue of “Top Fashion” magazine: www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1581305
Nikki Bolaire of Cosmo Chic interviews musician and local celebrity, Guinevere Q, in her home in San Francisco. The walls of Q’s apartment are covered in colorful flyers from past shows, almost all of them themed shows and social justice causes. Her living room consists of a large wooden table with sheet music and sharpie markers, a full-size drum kit, several instruments, amplifiers, and speakers.
A passerby with an umbrella yells through the street-level window from outside into the room. “Hey - Guinevere Q!” Q throws her arms in the air and shouts back, “No Big Fucking Deal!” He laughs and continues walking.
Inside, Q speaks rapidly, in an almost manic manner, while getting dressed. She dizzies around what she calls “found collages” and “field recordings” from her cellphone on a rainy afternoon in the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco.
“All of the art has already been created,” says Q, pulling up black fishnets in a frenzy, “anything you can think of - it’s already been done. The only thing left to do is to remix it. That’s the Situationist International way.”
And is that your approach, as an artist?
No. I’m not an artist anymore. Nobody’s an artist. Art - and I mean all of the art, really - it’s already been made. It’s over.
Then what would you call what you’re doing here?
Directing. I’m a director. I’m directing chaos. That’s what it’s all about - all of my projects, I mean. The world is chaotic. I use my projects as lightning rods to direct the chaos.
Yeah, and an apprentice in local 510 sign and display union.
How do you have time for all of that?
I don’t. Time isn’t real. It’s just a measurement of entropy and a sequence of a events. We made it up! That’s what we have to remember. We, as a society, created and agreed on these artificially created things, like time and money, and we can dismantle them, too!
Where can I get some of what you’re smoking?
I’m actually sober. When I first sobered up, I was worried that I’d be missing out, but I’ve since learned that the real high comes from art, stories, music, and sex. Especially sex. Sex appeal is an art. If you look at the psychology of sexual attractiveness, you’ll see that it relates a lot to music - groove, desire, confidence, swagger - it’s about creating surprises through tension and release while always syncing in with the rhythm.
Is that why you married your drummer?
Well, sort of - Young Sun wasn’t really my drummer at the time. We met though music, but I was a performance poet back then. We both come from a background of theater. I hadn’t yet learned to play bass. I was a tour guide, then, too. Those are my roots - open mics, open top double decker busses with mics, and, of course, the whole street corner poetry scene at 16th and Mission. Anarchist punks - those are my people. The stinky, freaky, fuck-the-world dreamers!
When did you first start playing bass?
Jason (Young Sun) was the one who bought me my first bass when The Wyatt Act needed a bass player. Before that, I would just run around the room performing poems and hyping up the crowd.
And when was that?
End of 2011, beginning of 2012. I had just graduated from USF with a degree in Psychology. I was working in the mental health field and it sorta shattered me - the suffering, the broken system - it just didn’t seem to make any sense. I was hugely inspired by the Occupy movement. I wanted to make street protest music. I fell in love with the bass guitar and began practicing obsessively every day. I’ve been studying jazz and experimenting with some new songwriting techniques, especially with The Wyatt Act. We’ve created our own musical language. It’s very new and very exciting!
Didn’t you say that there is no new art?
Yeah. There’s no new art. Sure, but there’s millions of different ways of expressing it, flirting with it, making it feel different, comparing it unexpectedly to something else and questioning everything. It’s really about repetition. You find a familiar symbol - something that connects with everyone but in an individual way that carries a unique meaning for each person. You break it apart - like practicing something when you learn a new skill. You dissect it into little chunks and then you repeat it over and over and over until it takes on a life of its own and transforms you and others and the space around it.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you’re looking forward to working on this year?
I’m going to record more. This time, I might even release it. There was a time in my life when I was worried that everything had to be perfect. I was afraid that I’d die without leaving a legacy. It paralyzed me and prevented me from releasing my recorded music. Then I just accepted the inevitable. We have no control over our own death, nor do we have control over what people say about us, if anything, after we die - so I let it all go and embraced the chaos and I feel so much better now!
Where do you see yourself in the future?
Ideally? I’d like to look back on my life and know that I tried.
To make social change. To fight for what’s fair. To stand up to our oppressive, fucked up society. And also I’d like to play a sold out show at The Warfield. That would be pretty cool.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers and performers?
You should probably find a career in something more stable and lucrative. This is not a field for you. It’s not for anyone, really. But, if you do find yourself magnetically pulled into the arts, despite your logic and your reasoning, find your story and tell it.
Photo Credits : Brittany Lee Mason, Kaitlyn McSweeney, and Andy Strong.
Nikki Bolaire is an entrepreneur and a freelance writer for many prestigious publications, including Gawker Media and The Cosmo Press Team. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication.
Roobens Steve “Rooby Man” Dieujuste is a Dancehall/Pop artist from the island of Haiti known for his energetic, innovative, expressive and rousing qualities. He has captivated the Chicago music scene, along with national newspaper, television and radio features throughout the Caribbean and beyond.
He has performed at the Annual Chicago Music Awards as well as winning that prestigious accolade in the 2012 edition of the award ceremony and was completing his 2011 European tour, captivating crowds at La Doumergue Stadium in Paris and then returning to Chicago to open shows for the likes of Bone Crusher, Shawnna, Bobby V, Trina, and Miguel, before embarking on another tour, this one taking him to sold out crowds in South America. Another milestone for Rooby Man was opening for the legendary Wyclef Jean at a sold out event in Metro Chicago in 2018. Today we are happy to welcome Rooby Man for the interview.
LC: Moving from Haiti to Chicago is quite a change what is your most and least favourite thing about this change?
RM: My most favourite thing coming here is the opportunity to go for my dreams. I had the privilege to do a lot of things that i couldn't do when i was living in Haiti. The opportunity here is infinite.
LC: You’ve been a Haitian star in “King of Kings”, then a lead singer in D-Lux with a huge following and love from fans. Yet, you decided to start a solo career. What brought you to this decision?
RM: Well, I felt at that time just be part of the band wouldn't get me where I want to be. Just different visions.
LC: What is your favourite thing about your work now?
RM: My favorite thing about my work now is I love being on stage. I love being in the studio creating. I enjoy the process. It just makes me happy (laughs).
To read the full interview check out "Lounge Club" March: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1579272
CONNECT WITH ROOBY MAN:
Imagine beauty, luxury, the hottest beats in EDM, with lyrics that express the celebration lifestyle of the party culture, in one party. This is not only the Cherry on
top, this is a Cherry Pie Tour, you've never imagined a party experience like this in a club for an entire night. It's a new party concept, made by people that know and love how to make the party you would consider the Cherry on Top.
Designed by the artist The Kraken Music, with half a million streams and views on youtube and Spotify, Universal Music Italy, Waner Brasil, and ST Entertainment USA, Cherry Pie had the first edition in 2015 " I've been creating parties before working with music and I also went to incredible parties in Brazil and all around the world. I knew what people wanted to dance and sing along and the place and concept that would highlight this experience. I thought - What could be the cherry on top? Music can't be just beats and hits, need to talk the celebration language, the stage is beauty, performance, energy, the place needs to have a concept, people are not there to watch, they need to be part of this world we created. So my closes friend in the Fashion Design School decided to join me in the first edition, we created a party so memorable that 5 years later still is the hottest party for the 550 people that came. After my USA tour last year and the opening of ST Entertainment in Florida, my friend contacted me about the buzz of bringing back the Cherry Pie project for Brazil, people were asking constantly about it. Clearly, the word spread and we decided to make it worldwide available too." The Kraken Music
This new edition is the combination of the previous concept with the international structure. In the Music line up The Kraken comes leading not only the headline but the main idea behind the sets in this party, all of them must highlight the music experience of the best nightclubs in the world, DJ Shara is the resident DJ, we have special guests and one local DJ. The Kraken see the music and the lyrics as an important central part of the experience " One of the reasons I decided to also produce party songs is that every time we wanted to create the set of the Cherry Pie performance, not every hit song helped to make people have the best night of their lives, because it didn't speak the words they wanted to say inthose amazing moments of celebration. So the music at this party is very unique, is designed to make you feel amazing, is the show you'll be part of," says The Kraken Music.
Cherry Pie Tour previously was an exclusive party in Brazil, now is available in North America, Europa and Asia as well, with one edition at the time. "We definitely want to take the CPT everywhere. I feel that everybody should have the opportunityto be part of this experience, people deserve the best when it comes to celebration, I don't play around when it comes to this, maybe I'm a perfectionist. But this is also one of the reasons we are still restricted to our international agenda, we have a development plan to follow to ensure our details and concept, and thought we receive very interesting proposals and requests, we won't commit to all the places we want just yet," The Kraken Music says.