Tax Nerdery

Guess who is now the proud member of a Florida LLC and has a new tax ID number from the IRS…

 

That’s right, MEEEE!

 

Future tea shop, here I come!

 

Who knew that tax info could be so exciting??

Tax!!

(I’m only sort of kidding.  To be fair, I didn’t stand a chance to not be a weirdo, since not one but BOTH my parents have/had careers as accountants.)

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Looking Forward

I kinda kept you hanging over the weekend.  I’m sure you were super jittery with anticipation for almost 3 days, wondering what in the heck my Plan D is.  Wait no more, my friends.

 

Drumroll, please.

 

Ok, just kidding.  Honestly, my Plan D is a modified Plan C with a more realistic time frame.  I am still planning on staying in South Florida.  I am still planning on opening my own tea shop locally.  However, due to the fact that no one is showering me with oodles of money because of my brilliant tea shop idea (weird, right?), I’ve adapted my goals.

Goal #1: Create a website selling delicious, high-quality, looseleaf teas cleverly packaged in cute gift containers in time for the holiday shopping season.

Goal #2: Start selling my tea locally as well, probably at farmers markets (or green markets, as they’re called in these parts).  Get my name out there.  This would also be a good idea for holiday shopping.

Goal #3: Start a brick-and-mortar tea shop in 2015, hopefully in time for the tourist season.  Approximately 1 year from now.

 

Ta dah!

 

I obviously have a TON of work to do, buuuuuut (and it’s a big but!*) I think it’s all doable.  I have already come up with a GENIUS name for my company (shhh… I can’t tell you yet.  Gotta register for a trademark!).  I’ve purchased the dot com and created a Facebook page, Twitter account, and email address.  I also have to officially organize a company.  I’ve decided an LLC is the way to go for moi.  I’ve gotta figure out the specifics of that, though, because I’m pretty sure I need a physical address for my LLC (no P.O. boxes allowed) to register with the state of Florida.  But I’m also pretty sure my residence is not actually zoned for conducting business.  So, can I apply for a variance?  I’m not sure.  Yay bureaucracy!  So confusing…

In terms of Goal #3: my future brick-and-mortar tea shop, I’ve got a neighborhood I’m keeping my eye on.**  I think it’s set to gentrify in the next few years.  If I can get in on the front end of that redevelopment, I imagine I’ll be sitting pretty in my awesome tea shop with hopefully reasonable rent.

I’ll keep you posted!

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Thank you to Mr. I.,  my 9th grade geometry teacher for that gem of a pun.

** There, I did it again!  Those darn prepositions at the end of sentences!  What was I thinking??

Looking Back

As you’ve probably noticed by now, it’s September.  September.  It used to be the 7th month of the year for the Romans (septem = seven in Latin) but for us, it’s the 9th month of the year.  Wow.  For those of you who are following along at home, that means I’ve been in Florida 8+ months, depending on where you start counting.  I’ve been working at a local tea shop for 7+ months.  Wow again.  2014 is flying by!  At least for me.

To recap for any new blog followers (or for those of you who are fuzzy on the deets since it’s been awhile since I posted), my original plan was to drive with my dog from my house in LA to visit my parents in Florida for Christmas.  And then drive us back to LA.  That plan got scrapped on a whim when I got an opportunity to work at a tea shop in South Florida and learn the biz firsthand.  That would give me a leg up when I started my own tea business back in LA.  Now we were onto Plan B: work and learn the tea biz in Florida for 6(ish) months.  So I flew to LA, packed up my house, put everything in storage, and jetted back to South Florida.

Over time, Plan B gradually evolved into Plan C: stay in Florida permanently and open up my own tea shop here.  Close enough to my family, but far enough to not compete with my current boss.  I would do my 6 months at her shop and manage the place while she and her family took a European vacation.  During those 6 months, I would come up with a plan, establish myself in South Florida, and start my own business shortly thereafter.

Well, guess what.  My boss came back from her European adventures over a month ago, and I’m still working at her shop.  The good news is I love my job.  I still love tea!  I love helping customers!  I’m looking forward to doing it in my own place!!  The bad news is I’m not earning enough to provide the capital for starting up my own tea shop.  Let alone to move out of my dad’s house and get an apartment.  I really thought I’d have it all figured out by now.  So much for Plan C.

Le sigh…

So.  I guess we’re caught up now.  The other good news is that I’ve got a Plan D I’m excited about.*  Stay tuned and I’ll share it with you next week.

In the meantime, have a great weekend!!

 

 

 

 

*Sorry I ended a sentence with a preposition.  Bad grammar nerd!

 

 

 

Start Me Up

For anyone else out there in Blogland who has made a similar New Year’s resolution to me and wants to get their own business started in 2014 (or even grow an existing small company), I have a wholehearted recommendation for you:

The Women’s Small Business Start-Up Kit: A Step-by-Step Legal Guide by Peri Pakroo, J.D.

 

Now, regular readers of Thought of the Day Blog will know that I haven’t actually started my own business yet, technically speaking.  So maybe this endorsement seems a little premature.  But speaking as someone who started off pretty clueless and never took any business classes in college (sorry, Dad, maybe I should have…), this book really makes legal/financial information accessible, and it’s given me a lot more confidence in the areas where I felt overwhelmed.  And about 95% of the information is applicable to guys, too.  Don’t let the title chase you away, gents.

 

It’s really well-organized, with chapters devoted to:

– writing a business plan

– calculating financial projections

– choosing the right legal structure

– finding cost-effective marketing

– keeping your books

– navigating tax basics

– and more

 

I thought it would be snooze-a-riffic, but somehow, it’s interesting.  Honestly.  My eyes have barely glazed over even with some of the technical mumbo jumbo.  Ms. Pakroo’s tone is casual but professional, and I appreciate how she breaks down concepts without talking down to her readers or making me feel dumb.

She provides a great overview of all the facets of starting/running a business, plus she provides excellent suggestions for further, in-depth research.  And on top of that, the publisher (nolo.com) has a website where you can download all sorts of legal forms and worksheets (here).

So is anyone else also starting a business?  I’d love to create a little online support system if there are any fellow future entrepreneurs out there.  So holler at me if you’re interested!!

 

 

(Disclaimer: This book review is entirely my own opinion.  I didn’t receive any compensation whatsoever.  However, if anyone WANTS to compensate me, I’d be ok with that.  <<Grin>>)