Friday, March 1, 2013

yikes! yay!

i'm doing it, i'm starting a business! after doing graphics for 20 years, i've decided i need a change. i've been waking dogs for a company for a couple of months now and i absolutely love it! the dog walking part anyway, the company i'm working for, not so much. i've run into a lot of disorganization, misplaced keys, lack of information and the worst part, i'm hardly given any clients. am i really expected to live on $18 a week? so, as one of my favorite quotes says...
"if you don't like something, change it. if you can't change it, change your attitude." ~ maya angelou 
well, turns out i can change it! i can work for myself! i realize it's going to be tough to get clients at first, but i believe if i'm willing to put in the work, the clients will come. i'm going to give myself a year to become successful. if at that point i'm a failure, i can re-evaluate. but, we're going to think positively and say it will be awesome!

ever wondered what goes into starting a local, home based business in california? here are the steps i've been taking:

  1. check the database of fictitious business names (fbn) to see if what you want is available and if it is, file an fbn with the county. i went with OC Pet Services. once you file, you then have to publish it in a local newspaper for 4 consecutive weeks. it is then good for 5 years. - for my newspaper friends, i have my own legal! i went from proofreading them back in the day to actually publishing one... i've come full circle.
  2. get licensing through the city. this is a flat rate for your first year of business. i think after the first year, it is based on your business profits.
  3. get insurance and bonding. insurance is obvious, but bonding is basically a way to protect yourself if say a piece of jewelry comes up missing at a house you've entered. it makes it so that the client has to prove that you were the one that took it, not just that you happened to be in the house and it came up missing so you must have taken it. since my business requires me to be in homes without supervision, i opted for bonding. it looks professional on your stationery and website, too
  4. get a logo, website and hosting for your website. i'm lucky in that i am a (former) graphic designer and my husband is a web designer, so these were not difficult for me to get. i did decide to save my hubby some time, though and purchased a wordpress template that i can just update with my information. (website tk)
  5. purchase software to keep all of your financial records, purchases and profits in order.
  6. get business cards, postcards, flyers and get them in people's hands!
so, wish me luck! i'm off with checks in hand to finalize everything and get started. it's so exciting and downright terrifying at the same time. but, i think i'm just tough enough (or is it stubborn enough?) to do it! thank you in advance for all your prayers, crossed fingers, good mojo and whatever positive vibes you can throw my way :)


  1. Good Luck!

    It sounds like you have a great plan for starting out. If you haven't done so, consider writing up a formal business plan so you can map out growth and you'd handle overflow business (do you plan to hire, outsource, etc). Bob once told me of a free/non-profit that did business plan consultations.

    Also, consider creating an online/social networking presence and connecting online with all of your local mid-to-upscale pet grooming facilities.

    I'm really excited for you and hope this will be a fabulous opportunity for you. :D

  2. Yay Karen! Im so excited for you girl:)