Green Business Building for Green Girls

Are you self-employed? just starting out?

 

Are you with a startup?

 

Thinking about freelancing?

 

Doing your green thing "on the side"?

 

Recently laid-off and need your green product or service up and running in the next thirty days?

You're in business, ladies. Let's figure out your next steps to running, growing, and thriving with your green business.

Typical questions I hear are "There is this Business Services Center I can go to for questions but I at least want to be a bit educated on the matter" or "I don't really know what to ask? Where do I start?" Google is my quick answer for you.

We are all very fortunate because of the wealth of information available to us through the web and in-person with many mentorship programs and success-oriented courses and seminars.

If you are exchanging a green product or service for money (or even for barter) you are running your own green business!

In this upcoming series, we'll focus on:

1) Your business infrastructure
2) Developing your customer base
3) Recordkeeping
4) Goalsetting
5) Expanding your reach

Read on for more details and bookmark this page to get ongoing tips, support, and advice.

 


Part 1A: Your Business Infrastructure

If you're currently in business (meaning, you have a job, a consulting gig, a set of products you're selling online, or you're doing affiliate marketing), one of the first things to consider is how you will incorporate.

Many people start out as a sole proprietor — while this is fine for small consulting jobs, you will want to definitely consider incorporating soon as a S-corp, C-corp or LLC to protect your personal assets and to shield yourself from potential litigation.  

When you're serious and focused, you can open up a business account at your bank in the name of your business, where you and/or your partners can co-sign on the account. In the meantime, consider opening another bank account or share account and using it to keep business-related income and expenses.

When income comes to you from your business, for example a check written out to you for services rendered, put it into your business banking account. This could be for PayPal payments, for Google Adsense checks, for any kind of cash from products you sell, for events you put on where you collect a fee, and the like. This is INCOME.

You'll also make any payments related to your business from that account. These are EXPENSES.

By keeping business-related income separate from your "personal" money -which is where you receive money like from a regular job/paycheck/salaried job, you maintain a good picture of your business cash flow, and when it's tax time you'll deduct your business-related expenses from your overall personal income.

Your sample register for your very first endeavor may look like:

    Bank account opens

 
 +425 INCOME- CONSULTING INCOME: first payment from client A
 -54.00
 
EXPENSE: TRANSPORTATION train ticket
 -35.50
 
EXPENSE: CELL PHONE SERVICE
 -32.72
 
EXPENSE: Business lunch — discuss details with potential client B

 
+275  INCOME- CONSULTING INCOME: first payment from client B
 -35.00
 
EXPENSE: Dues to X organization
 -10.00
 
EXPENSE: POSTAGE

etc. etc.

Continue to keep track of all the expenses that you are incurring through your business. We use QuickBooks, and there are other fine solutions like Quicken and Microsoft Money to track your expenses.

At the end of your fiscal year you'll have a record of your income, any of your expenses, as well as any draws you took (money you took from the business to pay for your personal needs such as groceries).

The main thing to remember is to keep your personal income and expenses separate from your self-employment/business income and expenses.

Did you know you that many items that you can deduct as business expenses are:

+ mileage (keep track of your beginning odometer and end odometer, the destination, and the reason)
+ travel (for plane, bus, auto rental, and train tickets to your business meeting)
+ dues and subscriptions (for industry groups or magazines in your core focus area)
+ meals/entertainment (for meetings with potential clients – keep track of who, what was discussed, and amounts)
+ cell phone/Internet (for business use)
+ even a portion of your rent or mortgage that is set-aside for your home office!


Because the United States runs on small business, there are many available opportunities if you're willing to learn a little more and become savvy about what will work for you.

My best recommendation for learning more is Jan Zobel's "Minding Her Own Business".

link to Google Books excerpt

 

List your green business for free in the national directory at http://www.greenbusinesswomen.com/.
 

Monica S. Flores  of 10kWebdesign is committed to educating, empowering, and connecting women in business — she believes in the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits. She is available for consulting on web development, green business practices, and women in business.

 

Want to help? Your purchase of these resources allows me to continue bringing you information, resources, and support for green business women.


Social Networking for Women in Business

Social Networking for Women in Business, 136 pages of tips on managing your social media.

 

Available as an e-download or as a trade paperback from Amazon.

 

Click to purchase the e-version for $7.99 (use code: greengirls1).

Thirty Steps to Starting up your Green Business

Thirty Steps to Starting up Your Green Business, an easy-to-follow guide with 110 pages of details to launching and growing your green business. 

Conscious choices for successful women.

Use the thirty tips in this book to guide you through your work of building a thriving, sustainable, eco-friendly, 21st-century company. The book focuses on getting organized, focusing on the basics, building your infrastructure, increasing your customer base, interacting online, reviewing your data, refining your process, and growing your business.

Available as an e-download or as a trade paperback.

 

Click to purchase the e-version for $8.99 and download instantly.

 

Thank you for your support.

  

Related posts:

Why We Need a Smarter Grid
Don’t Miss the 2012 Women In Green Forum
Yoga Pants: Eco-Friendly & Affordable Options to Buying Activewear

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