Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I want your business questions!

Dear readers, I would like your input.

As you may or may not know, I write a monthly article for The Crafts Report Magazine. My specialty at this publication is “Beginning Business,” specifically home-based businesses. I’ve been writing for them for four years and enjoying it very much. But, well, I’m running a little dry about what kinds of information readers want to see.

Now fast-forward (or backward, as the case may be) to last May. Some time before my opportunity to join “The Women of Prepping” panel at the Self-Reliance Expo in Colorado Springs, the Expo producers sought questions from the public for the panel speakers which addressed our areas of specialty, in my case homeschooling and home businesses. Out of the questions submitted, six were selected for each speaker.

It occurred to me that I could ask you lovely folks to do something similar. What kinds of questions do you have about starting a home-based business? What topics would you like to see addressed in this magazine? Please let me know and I’ll compile them into a list for my editor, and he can decide which topics should be expanded into articles.

Thank you for any help!


  1. How to start a blog, write a book and make money....
    --K in OK<><

  2. How to tell the diference between "you just need to do more, try harder, never give up". etc. and " you are beating a dead horse"?? I am there with our "hay" business ,it is one way or it is the other no mistake about it, and two differing opinions.
    Where to look for rules and regulations BEFORE you' re in the business .
    How to keep a home business from causing family problems.
    Should there be Wriiten and Signed business agreements among family members?
    How much labor is to be expected from children in the family before it becomes harsh? Willing and unwilling family members.
    These things are not exactly "how to start a business" questions but these are certainly issues that came up right away and have the ability to sink a home business if not handled correctly. And even the potential for sinking families. Karen

  3. How do you determine ownership in a corporation for founders and the first round of pro-bono employees?

  4. I'm so glad to see this post, Patrice. I am a stay at home dad of a special-needs child and I have several ideas for at-home businesses. I guess my question is this: how do I protect myself (legally) from an overbearing government? Is it safe to assume that I HAVE to get a business license from the town where I live? I am somewhat afraid to start my business because I don't want some government type to come by and give me a $4000 tax bill for operating without a permit or something. I am really scared to start a business now, even out of my house, because the government (and not just the feds) seem completely out of control. Kids can't run lemonade stands out of their front yard, girl scouts can sell cookies from their own homes and people can't even have home bible studies in some of our neighborhoods anymore. Seriously, this has me terrified about starting a business. How did you and Don handle the legal/paperwork aspect of having a home-based business?

  5. For the sake of this conversation; I have found a way to make high quality hula hoops out of spaghetti. I can make them for a small amount, sell them for a bit more, and need to make about $200.00 a day in order to make a livable wage for me and my family. Is there any law that requries me to get, and presumably pay for, permission from any level of government to feed my family in this manner? In otherwords, is there any law that requries me to formally establish my business with any level of government? What would happen if I just conducted business without the "benefit" of governmental intervention at any level?

  6. How do you determine if there's a market for something if the product would be something that isn't already on the market? Preferably with minimal up-front costs.

    I have your home craft business e-book and found it to be an excellent resource.

  7. Let me preface my thoughts with a quick comment as the wife of a CPA. SOME PEOPLE HAVE NO BUSINESS BEING IN BUSINESS! People who can't read legaleze and refuse to seek professional advice need to be employees instead of business owners. Doing otherwise will only get you into trouble and could be devastating to your future and that of your family.

    What are the parameters (IRS) to determine whether you have a business or a hobby?

    How do you know if you qualify for "business in home" deduction? If you qualify and choose to do so, what happens when you sell your home?

    What records does one have to keep for mileage or expenses? How long do you keep those records?

    How do you determine inventory and cost of goods sold? What the heck do those terms mean? :)

    Are you disciplined enough to do books/expenses each month?

    We have some clients who have NO business being in business for themselves in the manner they desire. Some choose to file their own monthly or quarterly reports with the state and Feds, but haven't any idea what they're doing. (There are only so many ways to explain the process and some folks just don't get it.)

    Please don't misunderstand me; we have great clients - having known a huge percentage of them for 20+ years, but some people are not programmed to understand numbers. If you're in that category, please get assistance. (Thank goodness for the world that most are more creative than the majority of accountants!)

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

  8. Ooooh, all really good questions! Your e-book helped us determine familial boundaries. For that I was grateful. High inventory costs, logistics, and mitigating shipping costs...using social media and other free marketing techniques...these are areas that I'm forever trying to research and read the latest!

  9. How to start a business without allowing it to be a financial and emotional drain to the point of disaster!

  10. Our founding fathers were FREE Americans who weren't afraid to step out do things without worrying what the government thinks. Home based business is tailor made to have as little government involvement as possible.

  11. It made me a little sad to read that some people are actually afraid to start a business, even though they have good ideas. I think that would be a great topic for an article: Emotional roadblocks.

    Lots of great input here today.

    Just Me

  12. How about some intel about revitalizing small towns, something about what people want in a small homtown.

    Ghostowns are becoming rampant in South Dakota, to the point churches are closing doors and destroying structures to make sure they don't reconsider opening church services on that property. How would you revitalize a small town where people 'took care of themselves'? What do small town people need that they might not care to provide themselves?

    My first thought is fuel. Who wants to maintain a fuel tank on their property to gas their trucks and cars? But what else draws people to 'downtown cow town'?

  13. How to get a permit to buy whole sale a Doing Business As DBA. Should you get a State or Federal? if you are going to sell out of state via the web. How do you get out of state Tax forms? and how to find out what their sales tax is.....