3 Tips for Running a Micro Business in 2015

3 Tips for Running a Micro Business in 2015

In a previous blog post, I showed you 5 Reasons to Start a Micro Business in 2015. I hope it empowered you to put starting a micro business on the top of your New Year’s Resolution list.

Today however, I want to give you some tips and tricks to get your micro business up and running in 2015.

1) Start as a Sole-Proprietor

This is the fastest and easiest method to getting your micro business up and running.

It means that you, the owner, are the sole person starting, running, and managing the business. Typically the name of your business is your personal full name. However, you can file the Doing Business As paperwork in your state and call your business something other than your name.

Typically all you need to start a sole-proprietor micro business is a checking account and a Tax ID (either your social security number or a Employer Identification Number).

2) Use a EIN Instead of Your SSN

When running a sole-proprietor business, you typically use either your social security number or a sole-proprietor employee identification number when conducting business. Either your social or EIN is used when opening a checking account, working as a independent contractor, and for filing taxes.

In my book, Running a Micro Business, I share three reasons for using a Employer Identification Number instead of your social security number:

  1. Privacy. With the growing concern of identify theft, using a EIN in-place of your SSN protects you from getting your identity stolen.
  2. Opening a checking account. While it is possible to run a micro business using a personal checking account. I recommend keeping your finances separate and opening a business checking account for your micro business. Most banks however require a EIN to opening a business checking account.
  3. The IRS Requires It. If you want to hire employees, form a corporation, or an Limited Liability Company then you will need an EIN.

3) Make Bookkeeping Easier By Opening a Business Checking Account

It’s completely possible to use your personal bank account for your micro business. But the problem with this method is it makes bookkeeping a pain!

How do you separate personal expenses from business expenses? Say you like going to Starbucks, how you do separate your personal trips from the couple of times you met a client at Starbucks? Or how you do separate getting paid allowance from your parents and the check you received from a client?

Most business checking accounts are completely free or low cost to open at large banks. Why don’t you save yourself the hassle during tax season. Open a business checking account and when you have a business expense or you receive payment from a client, you can keep track of it separate from your personal life and ensure that everything adds up at the end of the year.

SRunning_small-259x300o there you have it. I hope this 3 tips can help you with running a great micro business in 2015. If you still need help with running one, maybe you should check out my book, Running a Micro Business, available on MicroBusinessForTeens or Amazon.

Carol Topp

5 Reasons to Start a Micro Business in 2015

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The year is coming to a close and now is typically the time when people make New Year’s Resolutions. Why don’t you make it a resolution to start a micro business? Below are 5 Reasons to Start a Micro Business in 2015. Hopefully you will start one after reading through them.

1) You Need Just Yourself To Start a Micro Business

You can start a micro business with just yourself! There’s no need to hire anyone meaning less headache and less paperwork. This makes starting a micro business fast.

2) Little Start-up Money Required

When starting a micro business, little money is needed. In fact, it’s highly inadvisable to take on debt when starting your micro business.

Typically when a teenager starts a micro business, they use the equipment and knowledge they already possess.

3) You Can Start One At Home

Most teenagers who start a micro business, run them inside of their home. With most business transactions happening online these days, a physical location isn’t required for selling products. If you are selling a service, most customers or clients are served virtually or by meeting them in a location that convenient to them.

An example of providing a service virtually is Virtual Assistance work. You can provide your services like web design, writing blog posts, updating a client’s FaceBook page, or providing graphical expertise all over the Internet. Even if the client wants to meet you face-to-face, you can still do this virtually using Skype or FaceTime. When it comes time to get paid, you can email or use a invoicing software and get paid via the client’s debt or credit card.

4) A Micro Business is Manageable and Flexible

Your micro business can run around your schedule. If you are still a teenager in school, you can work on your business in the evenings after school and when homework is finished. If you want to start a micro business teaching piano lessons, you can make your schedule only available on weekends. A micro business is very flexible around the timeline you want to run it.

5) More Rewards Than a Traditional Job

One of the fantastic perks of running a micro business is you can use regular business tax deductions. If you need a printer for printing out flyers or labels for your micro business, purchase the printer and keep the receipt! Most purchases that are used for your micro business are completely deductible.

Think about this, if you love video production and need a nice MacBook Pro to edit videos for a client, guess what? That computer can be deducted on your tax forms at the end of the year!

Starting a Micro Business for Teens BookNow that you’ve seen the benefits of starting a micro business, doesn’t it make you want to begin as quickly as possible? If you’re still questioning starting one, then maybe my book, Starting a Micro Business, can help! In my book, I discuss if starting a micro business is right for you. Check it out today and get 2015 off to a fantastic start!

 

Carol Topp

What Do You Give an Entrepreneur for Christmas?

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Carol Topp, host of the Dollars and Sense Show podcast has some unique gift ideas for the entrepreneur in your family.

Listen to the podcast here

Gifts for Entrepreneurs just starting:

White Board  and markers (for brainstorming). See Dollars and Sense Show #27 Brainstorming Micro Business Ideas

Books:

EIN (from IRS.gov) and DBA (Doing Business As name registration in your county or state)

Consultation with an accountant. Contact me, Carol Topp, CPA!

 

Marketing Gifts for Entrepreneurs:

Logo design. I use The Graphic Lady. (listen how I completely messed up her website name in the podcast!)

Business cards. VistaPrint.com is where I get mine printed.

Banners, brochures, posters, postcards, etc (Vistaprint again!)

Website hosting and domain name. I use MomWebs.com (but you don’t have to be a mom!)

WordPress Premium Theme or Plugins. I could spent a lot of money at Studio Press and  WPMUDev!

 

Gifts for Entrepreneurs who are up and running a micro business

Tax return with a local CPA

Virtual assistant to help with 100 things like blogging, social media, video production, audio editing, etc.

Technology: flash drives, PCs, iPads, cameras, etc.

Sales awards

 

Here are some lists from others on Christmas gifts for entrepreneurs

http://mashable.com/2014/06/14/entrepreneur-grad-gifts/

http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/top-20-gifts-for-entrepreneurs/

 

If you’d like to give me a Christmas gift, I’s like a review on iTunes. (click on View in iTunes to leave a review)

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Carol Topp, CPA

Video: What’s The Going Rate For eBooks?

Video: What's The Going Rate for eBooks?

Have you ever wondered if there was a set rate for selling eBooks?  Watch as I share my experience in the differences in royalty rates for self-publishing vs. traditional publishing.

If you have questions, watch my video on the publishing options available for print and digital. Should you decide to try your hand at traditional publication, you’ll also be interested in this video listing the pros and cons.

Good luck on your writing and I hope to see you on virtual or physical book shelves!

Carol Topp

Video: Two Types of Publishing for Teen Authors

Video Two Types of Publishing

Carol Topp shares with you a basic understanding of the two types of publishing offered for authors. The first being traditional publishing, where your book or books are picked up by a publisher like HarperCollins or Zondervan. The second is self-publishing, where you take your book and publish it yourself. Watch the video below to find out a little bit more about the world of publishing:

If you have questions, you should watch Carol’s video on the publishing options available for print and digital. Should you decide to try your hand at traditional publication, Carol also has a video listing the pros and cons.

Good luck on your writing and I hope to see you on virtual or physical book shelves!

5 Amazing Authors Who Were Published as Teenagers

6 Amazing Authors Who Were Published as Teenagers

From historic and iconic author, Mary Shelly, to modern young adult author, Rachel Coker. Many books have been published by young teenage authors. In the video below, Carol Topp showcases just a handful of authors who have made it big with their published works. The video should be an inspiration to young aspiring authors just like yourself and should empower you to never give up on your dream!

If you ever dreamed of becoming a published author, you should seriously consider either starting or finishing a book. Then when the time comes, you can either traditionally publish or self-publish.

If you have questions, you should watch this video on the publishing options available for print and digital. Should you decide to try your hand at traditional publication, Carol also has a video listing the pros and cons.

Good luck on your writing and I hope to see you on virtual or physical book shelves!

Tips from parents of entrepreneurs

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Are you hoping to raise an entrepreneur?

Maybe your child is full of ideas to make money.

You’ll enjoying meeting 3 parents of teen entrepreneurs in this episode of the Dollars and Sense podcast.

Listen to the podcast.

In this podcast, 3 parents, Bob, Suzanne and Jennifer, shared their experiences of how they encouraged their entrepreneurial teenagers. They discussed:

  • Their role as a parent
  • How to school work fit into their students’ lives?
  • What was most difficult for their child?
  • When should a parent step in?
  • How do you encourage entrepreneurship?

Some of their advice:

  • Don’t let school get in the way of your eduction (paraphrasing Mark Twain)
  • Arrange to get schoolwork done first. Balance schedule and manage time.
  • HALT-Never get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired
  • Encourage, knock down obstacles.
  • Work with school to make changes in start time.
  • Find resources, field ideas with your student
  • Encourage. Recognize milestones and achievements. Get advisers.

If you have a teenager who want to make money check out the Micro Business for Teens books and videos.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review on iTunes. (click on View in iTunes to leave a review)

How to leave a review on iTunes

Thank you!

Carol Topp

Your Sales Presentation: How and Why You Need to Write One

 Your Sales Presentation: How and Why You Need to Write One

Quick! A person on the street walks up to you and asks what your business is. Can you explain it to him in as little as 30 seconds?

A sales presentation is able to describe your product or service to the customer in a quick bite-sized package. It’s kind of like a TV commercial. While you can take up to two minutes to describe the product or service, it’s best to keep it as short as possible!

When writing down and memorizing a sales presentation, you should include these 8 components to make it fantastic:

  1. An introduction to yourself and your business name
  2. A description of what your main product or service is
  3. Two or three main benefits that your product or service provides
  4. A brief demonstration, sample, or picture, if possible (Tip! Keep a catalog of photos on your smart phone for easy reference)
  5. A sales statement or tagline
  6. Your price
  7. How a customer can reach you to buy
  8. A call to action

A sales presentation can be used for more than just the person on the street who walks up to you and asks about your business. You can use it as trade fairs, craft shows, or even in a video that you post on your website.

You should also scale your main message of the sale presentation into long and short versions. This is perfect when you’re in a situation where someone is interested in your product, but only has a short time frame to hear about it.

Just remember, there are many uses to a sales presentation. It’s highly recommended that you write one as soon as possible. That way you never get tongue-tied if someone asks you about your business.

Running_small-259x300Did you learn from this post? If so, you should check out the book that it was excerpted from, Running a Micro Business. In the book, you’ll learn how to advertise your micro business to your target customer, what you need to do to keep your micro business running legally, keep records for tax time, and much more! You can pick up a copy of the book on Amazon or through the Micro Business for Teens website.

Carol Topp

Video: Can a Self Published Author Be Picked up by a Traditional Publisher?

Video Can A Self Published Author Be Picked Up By a Traditional Publisher?

Can a self published author be picked up by a traditional publisher? This is a question that was asked while I was speaking on “How You or Your Teenager Can Become a Published Author” at the Cincinnati Homeschool convention. Watch below to see my response:

Starting a Micro Business shares with you the steps you need to take for setting yourself up to be your own publishing business. From the idea, to the business plan, to setting up a bank account, this book walks you through it all! Check it out on Amazon or on MicroBusinessForTeens.

Video: Is It a Good Idea to Blog Your Novel?

Video: Is It a Good Idea To Blog Your Novel?

Should you take your novel and post it for free on your blog to build a following? I was asked this  question while speaking on “How you or your teenager can become a published author”.

Watch the video below to see my response to the question:

Starting a Micro Business shares with you the steps you need to take for setting yourself up to be your own publishing business. From the idea, to the business plan, to setting up a bank account, it walks you through it all! Check it out on Amazon or on MicroBusinessForTeens.

 

Carol Topp