30 Days to a Better Life
By: Holly Brantley
Have you always wanted to be your own boss? Or, maybe you’ve got a passion for something you think you can sell?
As part of 30 days to a better life, we’re showing you what it takes to start a business at any age…from 20 something’s to retirees.
In fact, many young and ambitious business owners say if you’ve got a dream you’re already on your way to what could be a better life for yourself.
But there are some things you need to know before you set up shop. I asked some young business owners in the Heartland how and why they launched their new careers.
We begin at “Magnolia Market” in Cape Girardeau. Inside, you’ll find fresh cut flowers, chocolate-dipped fruit, and a familiar face. Former Heartland Health reporter Wendy Ray went from television to tulips. “It’s a big financial responsibility to quit a job and open a business,” said Wendy. “It’s a giant leap of faith, but so far we’ve been blessed.”
Wendy hopes a new career will blossom inside magnolia market. She says owning a new business means new responsibilities. “When I close here at 6:00pm, it’s not over then. It’s at night and on weekends. For “Magnolia Market”, it’s all the time.
Meanwhile, Carrie Tracy hopes to give others a chance to “bloom” with her business on Broadway…named “Bloom”.
Carrie combined her initials and her talent as a graphic designer to create “C.A.T. Cards and Invitations” out of her home several years ago. When she saw her own business bloom, it was time to branch out. “I just outgrew my house,” said Carrie. Besides Carrie’s C.A.T. Cards, “Bloom” offers one of a kind gifts created by other artists. For them, Carrie offers more than a place to sell their work. She also offers her experience. “I also come up with a logo and a business plan and help them a long a little bit. It's been really neat to see some people grow,” said Carrie. “I have just loved it.”
Now that twins, Eric and Derrick Long are all grown up, they’re turning their life long passion for soccer into a profit with “Kicks Soccer Shop”. Being around soccer out whole life, it’s easier for us to gain that trust with the community.” Eric said. As players and coaches Eric and Derrick long know what it takes to win on the soccer field. They believe just like the game, owning a business takes practice. “We started off slow without a lot of merchandise,” said Derrick. ”We though it would be a lot easier to get vendors.” The brothers offer some advice: Do your homework when it comes to expenses and if you need loans, get ready for the paperwork.
“Small business loans,” Eric laughs, “You’re better to write a thesis than try to fill out one of those. It takes a lot of time and work.” For Eric and Derrick, being brothers and partners gives them a leg up. And, a love of what they’re selling makes it easy to give 100%. “We’re new at this,” said Derrick. “We might not know how to do everything, but just learning and trying this new adventure ahs worked out well.”
If you’re ready to start something new here’s a few tips.
- Experts say get organized and make a plan. Part of your plan should include making sure your business will offer something unique or in demand.
- Estimate your start-up cost and figure out where the money is going to come from. In other words: visit the bank.
- Find an attorney and get a business license.
- Find out about zoning ordinances or necessary permits.
- You also need to choose a legal form, and name your business.
These are just a few things you need to know to get started. The main reason many small businesses fail is simply due to lack of planning.
For more information on starting your own business venture visit these sites: