Launching a Business Considerations and First Steps | Larry Aiello | Skillshare

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Launching a Business Considerations and First Steps

teacher avatar Larry Aiello

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Launching a Business Introduction

    • 2. Deciding to Start a Business

    • 3. Negastive Aspects of owning a business

    • 4. Naming your Business

    • 5. Business Plans

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About This Class

Are you wanting to start a business and don't know where to start?

If you are planning on starting a business, or even thinking about it, or perhaps you want a side-hustle to supplement your income. Maybe you or your spouse are thinking of opening a business where you can work from home, my course will guide you through the initial steps you need to do to start thinking about making your dream a reality.

This course will look at:

  • Deciding to Start a Business
  • Negative Aspects of Entrepreneurship
  • Deciding on a Business Name
  • Business Plans

And with 30 years of accounting experience, I also have assisted clients, friends, family, etc. when they started up their businesses. I have tons of experience with working with different accounting systems, and software, doing various conversions for general ledger systems, payroll, accounts payable, receivables, billing, etc.

Click on the link and let's get started today!

Meet Your Teacher

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Larry Aiello


Hello, my name is Larry Aiello and I am an accounting professional with 30 years accounting experience and a graduate of the University of Florida.

My experience covers a wide variety of industries including real estate, healthcare, financial services and doing a lot of different tasks related to the business world. And I’m also a big geek in figuring out how the computer can improve our lives.

I really enjoy teaching and sharing my knowledge with others no matter what the subject matter.

I grew up speaking Italian at home and developed a love for the Italian language at a very young age as we would travel back-and-forth every year to visit my family and friends. Early on I realized that knowing another language is indeed a gift. It allows you to have relation... See full profile

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1. Launching a Business Introduction: Hi. Thanks for stopping by. This is Larry Aiello, an accountant with over 30 years experience. If you are planning on starting a business or even thinking about it, or perhaps you want a side hustle the supplement your income. Maybe you or your spouse are thinking of opening a business or purchasing one or one where you can work from home. My course will guide you through the initial steps you need to do to start thinking about making your dream a reality. We will look at your decision to start a business along with some of the negative aspects of entrepreneurship. There will be a lesson on deciding on a business name. And then there will also be a lesson on coming up with a business plan. I have seen the inner workings of many different businesses over the years. My industry experience ranges from real estate to healthcare to financial services and with 30 years of accounting experience. I also have assisted clients, friends, family, etcetera when they started up their businesses. I have tons of experience with working with different accounting systems and software, doing various conversions for general ledger systems, payroll accounts, payable receivables, billing etcetera. There are also other classes on this platform is part of the entrepreneur Siri's, such as building a team and hiring employees, insurance considerations, purchasing a business and search engine optimization for small business owners. As you can see, I also love to teach, which is why I would be a good person to help guide you through your business. Start up. So click on the link to get started and I'll see you inside the class. 2. Deciding to Start a Business: welcome. And thank you for taking my course. And for you to be listening. You probably have an idea. Plan or vision in your head of starting your own business. Everything, after all, starts with an idea. Hopefully, you already know what type of business you want to set up. If you already know what you want to do, that's great. Good for you. You are one step ahead of the game. If you don't know what you want to do. Or even if you do, you still need to assess your strengths. What are you good at? What is your unique selling proposition going to be? What is your elevator sales pitch? Can you tell me in 30 seconds? We all have strengths. Who is your customer going to be? Who will be? Who will you be serving? What will you be serving? Try to envision how you want your perfect date to be like some people even have a dream board or a vision board. And if you are still stuck, I would ask you what do you enjoy doing? What? Your passions? What do people ask you for? Help with your friends? Call you when your computer when their computer breaks and you are the one helping them out . Do your friends call you when they need a new recipe, perhaps to impress a new date, you get the idea. What are you good at? Make a list of those items and chances are you will find something that can be turned into a business, and that may change over time. It probably will change over time. My skills, interests and desires today are different than they were when I was in high school college even 10 years ago. It's all part of the journey that we are on. However, The good news is the steps for starting a business are mostly the same. No matter what type of business you decide. If you are still drawing a blank, then we are getting beyond the scope of this course. But there are resource is and probably other courses you can go to to help you figure out what business would be best suited for you. There is even some testing you can do that might help. Myers Briggs is one that comes to mind that might be beneficial, and there are others that are probably better and don't be discouraged if they say you are not suited to be a business owner. While Disney was told by his editor that he wasn't creative enough, the Beatles were rejected by Decca Records and the list goes on. You confined partners or labor to help you with what you are weak at, and you can also learn new skills. You should seek out a career advisor or someone you trust to give you feedback. If you have an I D and you're not sure talked to a competitors, perhaps in another town. Let's say you are in San Diego and are thinking about opening up a pizza shop, go to L. A and see if you could find a pizza owner in the late that might chat with you a bit. And honestly, San Diego is big enough. If you're on the south side, find someone on the north side you can talk to. Most people are willing to help even competitors, long as you are not prying for trade secrets or proprietary information, etcetera. They're even trade organization that may be able to help you out. For example, that would help someone that wanted to open up a pizza shop. We are living in great times. With the current gig economy, we now have more opportunities than ever. Not long ago, if you wanted to transport passengers via car, you had to get approved by a handful of companies. I e. The taxi companies. For the most part, they are monopolies in every single town. Until uber came along and leveled the playing field. The same thing was true with vacation rentals. Now Airbnb has leveled the playing field. For If you wanted to publish a book, you had to get approved by a publisher. Now you can self publish yourself on Amazon's KDP program. The power of the old gatekeepers are diminishing every day, and that makes it better for the average person like you and me. Nevertheless, the decision to start a business should not be taken lightly. It will be a huge commitment of time, effort and energy. The rewards can be limitless, and the breast and and the rest of the course, I'll show you the steps that you need to do and the things you need to be thinking about to get your business up and running the right way. Thanks for listening, and we will continue on in the next video. Thank you 3. Negastive Aspects of owning a business: good day and welcome back. This is Larry I yellow. Today we will look at some of the negative aspects of owning a business. Owning and running a business is not all glamour. In the beginning, as you are starting out, it will take a huge time commitment to get it to the point of profitability. And then, if you do reach that profitability point, then you could start looking at delegating some tasks to free up some of your time to do task that you enjoy doing. If you have employees and someone calls in sick on Sunday, you may have to go into the store. Even though your favorite football team is playing, it will take a lot more time than working your 9 to 5 day job, and you will probably feel guilty when you are not working on your business when you are supposed to be off the clock per se. But there are some entrepreneurs that would rather work 80 hours a week on their business on their own business than working 40 hours a week for someone else. The second negative is that you will have to worry about everything, and I mean every aspect of your business, you will have a lot more responsibilities. Let's say you have a day job doing marketing. All you have to worry about pretty much is doing marketing for your employer. And then when it's time to go home, you can, for the most part, get on with other aspects of your life. But as a business owner, you not only have to worry about marketing, you have to worry about legal accounting. Human resource is information technology, maybe even janitorial services. Building maintenance, etcetera. It's not necessarily good or bad. It's just that you will have a lot more responsibility on your plate. You need to be cognizant of that. Otherwise your fantasy bubble will burst very quickly, poof into thin air. As former President Harry S. Truman once said, the buck stops here. As a business owner, the buck will stop with you for all aspects of your business. So here is what I think is the third negative aspect is you need to acknowledge your weaknesses and learn how toe improve upon them. Determining our strength and what we like doing is easy. You also need to find out what you are not good at the stuff that you hate doing, and then you need to find others to do that task, hire them, subcontracted or improve on that weakness. Or you may have to learn some new skills that you are lacking. Remember, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Part of this is learning how to give up control, and I'm not going to say it's easy. I know. A small business owner, he sells fruits and vegetables and food to restaurants on a wholesale level and also sells those items retail. He gets up at 2 a.m. every morning to drive about an hour away to the port where the fruits and vegetables come in. Every day, he goes to the market himself to choose the items and bring them back to the warehouse to get them ready for sale. I asked him why he doesn't delegate this task. He claims no one can choose the fruits and vegetables like he can. This is an example of not wanting to give up control and the inability to delegate. Let's look at Richard Branson, famous entrepreneur. I guarantee you he is not good at everything he doesn't do the legal work or the accounting work for his company's. But he is good at hiring lawyers, accountants, operations, people, managers, etcetera. And he is good at guiding them toward the company vision. In fact, he is great at guiding others. That's one of the reasons why he is a billionaire. The point is, you need you may need to find a partner or partners with complementary skills. I once met a woman at an Amazon meet up, and she started a company importing tea from China. It was her with three other gentlemen that formed the company. They were spending about 100,000 month on Facebook advertising, but they were bringing in about a 1,000,000 a month in revenue, a $1,000,000 a month in revenue. She attributed their success to the different skill sets that the four partners brought to the table. She was great at Social Media. One partner was great at Web development. The other one was good at accounting and finance, and there was one guy that was good at dealing with the suppliers in China. So they combined forces and created a very successful business in a saturated market. Here's a question think about. Would each of them individually been able to have success in that business? I would say, probably not. It's ludicrous to think that each one would have a 250,000 month business working individually, but together they combined forces and created a very nice business. Of course, there could be problems with working with partners, and things could get ugly if things go awry. Just ask the Beatles, Ask sunny and share, etcetera. The list goes on. So here is another negative, as opposed to being employed is that there are no vacation times. If you have a job with an employer, you can have two weeks off a year to start here in the U. S. If you are in Europe or elsewhere in the world, vacation times are generally higher, even starting out at five weeks a year. And when you are employed as an employee, when you are on vacation, you still get a paycheck. If you are a business owner, if you want to take off time, you don't get paid. The money stops coming in. Obviously, this will differ for the type of business you have. If you're running a business where you have employees and they can run the ship while you're gone. That's fine. But if you're a mobile app developer and you stop developing APS, the money stops rolling in. Another negative about running a business is that you could have uncertain income, especially if you are in a seasonal type business. Many retailers have peak sales in the fourth quarter of the year as they prepare for the holiday season. Jewelers will have peak sales around the holidays and also for Valentine's Day. Your income can also fluctuate a lot. This is common for those that so real estate. You may have a good month with substantial commissions, but then you may have some month with zero coming in. You really need to be able to budget very well if your income will be uncertain or will fluctuate. So those are just some of the downsides of deciding to run your own business. These all have to be weighed against the positive aspects, along with your own personality and personal preferences. When you decide to launch a business so that will finish up this lesson on the negative aspects of running a business, we will continue on in the next lesson. Thank you 4. Naming your Business: Okay, Welcome back. This lesson will go over picking a name for your business. This is something that is part art and part science. Ideally, you want to pick something that is easy to remember, something simple, something that will not be difficult to pronounce or difficult to spell. Ideally, the name will tell you what the business does or has some type of meaning. For example, Susan's flower shop, Frank's Diner, etcetera. That could be boring, but it's a lot easier to build a brand around it. Or you can try something cute, something catchy, something that might be perceived as hip or modern. Like Amazon, for example, or Google. Zappos comes to mind Starbucks, for example. These names don't give you any indication of what they do, except for Zappos, if you happen to speak Spanish but obviously those air hugely successful companies, but they spend million's and million's in building their brands. But of course, the other aspects of those businesses had to be in place to achieve the success like they have, like having good products, good customer service, etcetera. Make sure the name you choose doesn't limit you in any way for the future. If you only want to sell bikes for your business. Billy's bike shop might be a good name, but what if you also want to sell kayaks or trampolines or other sporting goods down the road? Take a look and see if that name has already used. Do a Google search, along with checking to see if the name is already trademarked or already in use. You can do a search on the following website to search at the federal level, visit www dot u. S p t o dot gov. You should also do a search with your state corporate registration office and see what the results are in Florida. We have a site called www dot sunbiz dot org's that helps us search at the state level. Find the similar one for your particular state. Try to secure the domain name as well as the more popular social media profiles. If you can. There is a lesson that deals more in depth with domain names. Not doing the proper searches can cost you big time down the road. If you fail to uncover that, someone already has the right to use your name prior to yourself, for example, we had a great Mexican restaurant in town named after a Mexican fruit. It was not a chain, but it was a local place in a hip part of town, kind of trendy with the young hip crowd, upscale, hugely successful. But unfortunately, that name was used by another Mexican restaurant. They were more of a chain, more like a fast food Mexican place all over the state. But they registered the name first, and they got to keep it, even though they served different clientele and the markets really don't overlap at all. But there was clearly potential for some confusion. The trendy and hip Mexican restaurant had to change their name to a variation of that Mexican fruit, and I'm sure it cost them some time, some money and energy to get that done. Or simple name, say name, search, name. Search in the beginning could have avoided all that if there was no confusion than it could change the story. For example, look at Delta Airlines versus Delta Faucets. They're both able to operate those names without any issues because they are clear clearly two different businesses and finally make sure you are happy with the name it will be costly. If you decide you don't like it and want to change it, you may want to step away from the process and focus on other aspects of your business. Start up and then come back a week later with some clarity and see if you still like the name you have brewing in your mind. It's amazing how our thought process can change when you step away for a bit and come back to something. Okay, Those are my thoughts on choosing a name for your business. And we will pick this up further in the next lesson. Thank you. 5. Business Plans: hello and welcome back In this lesson, we will go over whether you should develop a business plan and the major components of a business plan if you plan on writing one. So let's start off first with the question. Do you actually even need a business plan? As a startup company? There are a couple of schools of thought on this. Very often you hear stories that a business plan is a waste of time. It really is tough to plan something out without having experience is almost as if you want a high school student to write about what it is going to be like to be a doctor and plan out his medical practice before even getting into college, let alone medical school and doing his residency. A business plan can also be very time consuming to prepare and will become very quickly outdated. As a startup company, all the time he spent creating the plan can be instead spent on acquiring customers. But on the other hand, having something in writing will benefit you, and you can at least go back and see what you were thinking When you later on review your plan a plan can act as a road map to where you want to take your business. So here are my thoughts. Based on two different scenarios. Number one, you have your funding in place. It is your own funds, and you are not seeking any loans or money from investors. You are bootstrapping this thing from the beginning and putting in all the sweat. Equity scenario Number two. You are seeking capital from investors or perhaps alone from a relative or a bank. If you fall into the first camp instead of writing a formal business plan, which will take a lot of time, go ahead and write out some things for yourself. Doesn't have to be very formal. You can even do it in a notebook, but come up with a strong reason why you want to start this business and have it go deeper than just wanting to make money. Think of this as your mission statement or a value statement. Don't get me wrong. Money is going to be the life blood of your business. But starting something without a strong passion or desire to provide value to the marketplace will quickly burn you out. You should also come up with how much you want this business to generate and break it down into the various financial components. There is an example later, in the course of doing a financial projection, then you should come up with your unique selling proposition or USP. In other words, why should your customers buy from you? What is your secret sauce? What is special about you? What sets you apart from your competitors? If you fall into the second scenario and you are going to be getting a loan from a bank or looking to attract investors, then you will need to come up with a business plan that is very formal, very detailed and could even be tailored to who you are presenting it to. And there are certain standards sections that they are accustomed to see. Your bank may even have its own standard form that they will want you to fill out if you are looking for alone, and at the end of the day, they just want to make sure that they can trust you with their money. The bank wants toe earn a return on their money, along with, of course, getting their principal back and the investor wants to earn a return on their money, and they will be looking to eventually exit the investment, probably in 3 to 5 years. Anything longer is usually an eternity for an investor. So if you do need to write a business plan or want to write a business plan, here are the seven main sections of a standard business plan, Number one executive summary. The purpose of this section is to gain the reader's attention and draw them into the rest of the document. This is like your headline. You should include a mission statement along with the general information about your business, such as name, location, product or service. You should also include the purpose, such as trying to get financing from angel investors, etcetera. The second section will be the company description. Describe the legal structure of your business. If it's incorporated etcetera. You can also give a little history about the business. If you are purchasing an existing business, the third section is market analysis. A banker or an investor wants to know that you understand the market and where there may be opportunities that you can exploit based on your skill. Set. The fourth section will be to describe your product or service that you are selling. If there are any patents, trademarks or any other intellectual property, this would be a good section for it. This would also be where you want to list out your unique selling proposition. The next section will be the marketing plan. The main objective of this second is to iron out how you will be acquiring customers will be online social media, shaking hands with prospects etcetera. Think of a marketing budget that you want to use for pron ads, radio ads, television ads or even ads in the local PennySaver or Church Flyer. In the sixth section, you should discuss your management team and key players in this section. They want to know who you are and your background. And if you have any experience in the industry or if you have been involved in other business ventures, they will also want to know about your partners and employees and their skill set. None of you have any direct experience than consider finding a mentor or someone else that will lend their expertise to your endeavor. Even an advisory council would be fine. That consists of your lawyer and or accountant. The last section will be the financial section. This is a very important section and understanding the cash flow of your business venture. They will want to see that the numbers make sense and that you understand the difference between your fixed costs and variable costs. You should trend at your cash flow on a monthly basis for at least a year, and they will want to see standard financial statements, probably for three years. There are two lessons later on in this course that deal with coming up with a financial plan. So that will wrap up the discussion on business plans. And we will continue on to the next lesson. Thank you.