Greetings, sellers! Since we last spoke, I, your faithful editor, have made a huge step in my life - I got married! I hope you are all doing wonderful, exciting things with your days, too.
Now for our article. This month's article comes from a personal friend of mine who built her business on her own, from the ground up. Read below to hear what she learned by doing so.
FNO Newsletter Editor
10 Things I Learned My First Year as a Small Business Owner
by Trisha of MarySew
1. Get neat, tidy and organized! We all have to report to the IRS sooner or later. What's that saying about death and taxes? Well international laws may differ but where I live I have to report to my tax office once a year. And they want to know a lot! So you better have your receipts, bills and paperwork organized and neat. Nothing is worse than having a taxes deadline, and angry IRS guy breathing down your neck, and only a huge box with bits of paper to save you. You don't need to be OCD about it either, but you should know your organizational system. And remember, it is your freaking office so go and buy the pink paper or the Hello Kitty filing folder. Decorate your boring files with scrapbook paper, stickers, and sparkle-y lettering.
I think there is no need to tell you that you should get organized with storing your products, that should be a given. Maybe just one more tip regarding that matter: Don't smoke where you work or keep your supplies. So many times I opened a package from a seller and it reeked of smoke. Disgusting! I wouldn't buy from these sellers again.
2. Get legal! Don't hesitate to ask questions! Before you start your business, get to know your country's laws regarding that matter. It is super important to have a business that is legit and registered by the official authorities. Otherwise you might get in trouble with said authorities and you don't want that! Don't be afraid to ask people who already run a business. Some of them are more than willing to help you, you just need to ask. And don't be afraid of the authorities. I, for instance, was always super intimidated by the IRS people. At one point they asked me to send in my first bills to check if I'm doing everything right. I was super scared and thought "OMG I AM DOOMED!" But guess what, they just wanted to help me so I won't get into trouble later on. They called me the next day to tell me that I'm doing everything right and they were so very nice! Okay you can't say everyone will love you at the IRS and some people just aren't nice but hey, no one is out to get you!
3. Take some time to do your product pictures! And make a million at once, it is great when you can choose from many great pictures. I have made quick shots of my products and always regretted it afterwards. When I was feeling sick, stressed or had only little time to take photos I was always disappointed with the outcome and I often ended up with taking them again, re-listing everything. I also think little props and a nice background make a picture so much more interesting. Scrapbook paper make great backgrounds. Take a look around the marketplace and get inspired by what other sellers use as a background props. Then look around your house, your craft table, the garden, etc for things you can use.
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