Starting My Small Business Journey

In October 2010, I took an idea that had been tickling the back of my mind for months and finally brought it to the light of day. That idea: to start my own small social media services company.

The decision to start my own small business involved having my eyes wide open at some points, and squeezing them tightly shut at others. That’s because while I dove into the wealth of research and educated decision-making to be done, I had to forcefully refuse and reject the fears and doubts that came knocking. This has not been a “leap” of faith for me, but a walk, a determined decision to keep taking one step after another to see my ideas bloom and grow.

So what prompted me to take that very first step? Well, it reminds me of a Jeff Foxworthy joke – only this time applied to entrepreneurs.

You might want to start a small business if…

[image img=”” alt=”green light” title=”greenlight” width=”225″ height=”180″ rounded=”all” /]
  • You have a passion for something – be it photography, cake decorating, fixing cars, etc.
  • You want to share that passion with others, through services or sales.
  • Friends and family know you as the “expert” in something, and come to you as a resource.
  • You feel confident in your knowledge and experience.
  • You are willing to invest a lot of time and at least some money to see your idea come to life.

All of the above were true in my case, and each helped me take that first step in determining that I wanted to, could, and should start my own business. Once that decision was made, a whole path of further steps and decisions opened up in front of me.

What should I name my company?

I relied on my experience building and branding blogs (which are, oftentimes, businesses themselves) and followed these simple rules for choosing a name. Specifically, that it should:

  • Be descriptive or representative of what is provided
  • Have longevity and not be attached to a fixed place or moment in time
  • Lend itself to a clever tagline and/or associated graphics
  • Be cohesive with other work you are known for or wish to associate with it

How will I organize my company?

The differences between sole proprietorship, LLC and a corporation can be mind-boggling. After determining that I had very few assets that needing protecting, and realizing I would be less likely to get my business off the ground if I felt stymied by technicalities, I opted to organize as a sole proprietorship.

I made several phone calls to state and county agencies, then talked with other local small business owners, and discovered that all I needed was to file DBA (Doing Business As) paperwork with my county clerk to register my business, and I was on my way.

This process will obviously be different for each small business owner, but the key is to do that research, make those phone calls, and keep taking each step forward.

Now what?

A decision was made. A name was chosen. Paperwork was put on record. I am a small business owner. Now what? That’s the journey I will be sharing with you here on Small Business Bonfire, and I hope you’ll join me.

What about you? Have you started your journey? Tell me about it!

Image credit (map): pontuse
Image credit (green light): asifthebes

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Stacey Nerdin
Stacey Nerdin is the owner of Full Nest Communications, a social media services company offering consulting, profile management, and education to small businesses. Connect with Stacey on Google+ to learn more.


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  1. Congratulations on starting your walk! I have not started my own business, but have often thought of it. Nearly my entire family are small business owners, so I feel like it’s in my blood. I haven’t yet found that passion you talk about it – I must not be there yet. I’m looking forward to reading more about your journey!

    • Thank you so much, Megan! Like you, my family has several entrepreneurs, including my mom. She’s owned several small businesses over the years, and is such a great example to me. How lucky we are to have that kind of spirit in our genes, huh? :)

  2. Good for you. It’s an exhilarating and sometimes scary ride, isn’t it. I look forward to reading more about your journey and, of course, seeing it unfold via other social channels.

  3. Thanks for this great post! I, too, have just decided to start my own Virtual Office Assistant business in Jan. 2011! After having been in Real Estate for more than 10 years and pretty much self-employed, I decided to take it one step further and TRULY become my own boss! Best of luck to you!

  4. Congrats! Great content here on your blog, you have a nice writing style, and certainly wonderful that you’re striking out on your own. Best wishes…

  5. Good for you! I started my business the same way last year and haven’t looked back. Have you considered switching to LLC when things really start growing? I’ve heard that there are many advantages to this (tax benefits, liability, etc.)

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  11. I am so happy for you! I have been at this for a while now, but still love every minute of it . It’s always fun for me to watch the new ones coming up, you have so many exciting milestones ahead of you. I think the passion is sort of contagious as we are one another’s “rah rah” team! I am looking forward to hearing about all these exciting things happening for you!

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