When you start a business, its important to keep detailed records. One of the biggest mistakes I see when a business opens is that daily transactions are not stored for later use. This makes life difficult once the end of the year comes around and doesn’t give you a clear picture of whats going on with your business at any given time. Here are a few pointers of how you can keep good records.
- Use a business debit/credit card for all of your purchases. When operating a business, its important that you keep all receipts for your transactions. By using a debit/credit card, you will create another database of all the money you spend besides adding up all of the receipts.
- Enter your Expenses & Incoming Funds daily. Being organized is important for your businesses long term success. A program such as Quickbooks will help keep your expenses and income in order. By spending a few minutes each day doing this, you will be able to achieve a snapshot of your business at anytime while making tax time a breeze with a simple click of your mouse.
- If you are using partners or subcontractors, be sure to collect all information before works starts. Filling out the appropriate paper work including all required information such as company name, individual name, tax ID number, and address will make life a breeze when payday comes. Use checks to pay partners & subcontracts so there is a record with your bank. If you have internet banking options, you can even mail these checks out for FREE!
Try these three simple steps to tighten up your accounting! It’s never too late to start. Even if its already in the middle of the year, start now and get on the right track!
So you are looking to start a business. You don’t have a lot of money to lease out a store front and you don’t want to use your personal residence for privacy purposes. What can you do?
The best affordable option is to obtain a suite box. A suite box is a LEGAL business address which you can use for your small business! You may have a local post office or UPS store in your neighborhood that you can rent a suite box from. Prices vary depending on your geographic area. You can expect to pay between $5 to $20 per month depending on your exact location! Many locations will have better prices if you commit to a longer term, (such as a year).
Its important that you get a suite box and not a PO box. While you may have never known there is a difference between the two, there actually is. A suite box has a person at the physical address during normal business hours. A PO box does not have a person at the physical address during normal business hours. This is the difference between a Legal and Illegal business address. If you are not 100% sure, you can ask at the location where you are planning on renting a box what the classification is.
Quick and easy way to obtain a LEGAL address for your business!
It sounds silly… “Do something you love.” But if you are gong to start a small business, YOU MUST MAKE IT SOMETHING YOU ENJOY! Successful entrepreneurs start and run businesses which they are passionate about. So lets focus on doing something you enjoy day in and day out!
If you are working a full-time and want to safely start a business minimizing your risk, here are a couple of ideas of how you can generate money early in the game and gain exposure through video mediums for FREE!
- Start a YouTube Channel – If you work and are starting a business in your spare time, documenting your journey on a YouTube channel is an excellent idea! You can use Youtube as a form of marketing showing your audience a personal side of your company while inspiring others to follow their dreams! Also, you can add Google ads within your videos to generate additional income! Once you have a certain amount of views on your channel, Google will actually PAY YOU to run sponsors on you ads.
- Periscope – This is fairly new technology. You can turn your Cell Phone into a live stream and document your journey into the entrepreneur world! This is becoming more popular as you do not have to waste time uploading videos as everything is instant! (Constant Contact) You can stream whenever you like and start a following online! Its amazing how this technology is taking off and exposing new opportunities for people and businesses alike.
Try these strategies, make some cash, & motivate!
Running a small business has its ups and down. Its important to keep yourself motivated and in a positive state of mind! Here are a few quotes that are sure to put some pep in your step and a smile on your face!
“If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business.”
“Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”
“The past does not equal the future.”
“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, & exploits it as an opportunity.”
“You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.”
So you want to start a business for minimal cost and generate cash with flexible hours? Why not open a hot dog cart business?
America and hot dogs go hand and hand. Many people don’t want to prepare and cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So instead, they will buy something already prepared. Here is a step by step guide on how to open your hot dog cart business.
- Find your cart – You can buy carts brand new or used. A brand new hot dog cart will start around $2,500 while I have seen quality used carts for as little as $500! (used cart pictured above) Depending on your personal preference, you can choose appropriately. One thing to keep in mind is to make sure that your cart will pass inspection! Each state has their own regulation as to whats required on your cart. For example, Florida Requires you to have hot water, a waste compartment for waste water, a fire extinguisher, and a 3 compartment sink.
- Purchase your cart and submit plans – Now that you have purchased your hot dog cart, you will need to submit plans to the state. In Fl, you need to submit some drawings of your hot dog cart to assure everything falls within the specifications of the state. Once you have approval, you are ready for the next step.
- Select a commissary – This is where you will do all of your preparation and throw out all of your waste. This usually will need to be classified as a commercial location where the business has a commercial kitchen. If you know someone who owns a restaurant, you can work a deal with them. If not, local churches usually only use the kitchen one time a week. You can offer a trade for use of the kitchen for FREE hot dogs for the Sunday School once a month. That is a win win situation.
- Next, you will need to find a business location. Somewhere with a lot of foot traffic is ideal. If you wish to run your cart off government you will need to get written permission from your local govt office. If you wish to operate off private property, you need to get permission from the owner. You can either offer a flat rate fee or a % commission off your sales.
- Finally, You will need to purchase your licenses, permit, & supplies. In most areas, all you will need is a simple peddlers license. You may also need to purchase an occupational license from your county tax collector. In some locations, you may need a permit to operate a cart. You will want to buy in bulk and buy quality hot dogs, drinks, chips, condiments, and toppings. A place like Costco will work to start
And there you have it! You are ready to rock and roll in the Hot Dog Cart Industry! If you need any help setting up your hot dog cart business, leave a message in the comments below. Thanks for reading.