ORGANIZATION DAY (& PAPERWORK)
9am - I’ve still got a shelf full of cookie decorating tools and supplies to move to the shared kitchen, but like the rest of the house, it’s a little bit messy. So that means it’s time to ORGANIZE – weeeeeee! It makes me feel so much better when everything is labeled and put away. I Lurve my Brother label printer – it is one of the best office and organizational tools ever!
I’m guessing on a lot of this & It’s likely wrong, but you gotta start somewhere! I’ve got the current batch of paperwork printed out, but most will need additional signatures from the kitchen manager, sooooo, that’s not going to happen today (rats!). She’s not in the kitchen until tomorrow, so I’ll do it first thing in the morning on Wednesday. I forgot to print out the docs on Monday (dork!), but it’s good I didn’t because I did not have the correct CDHD forms by a long shot. The kitchen manager was very helpful yesterday and walked me through the CDHD site and pointed out the forms I’d need.
Did I mention the kitchen has a wifi? SWEET! I was a little anxious about getting access to the interweb, so that’s a relief!
I’ve got the shared kitchen lease and policies printed and ready to sign.
I’ve also got the following documents from http://cdhd.idaho.gov/EH/food/forms.htm
And the horrifyingly long and complicated: Food Establishment Plan review and Approval Form – yeef! The kitchen manager said she would walk me through this one (yay!).
I’ve already taken and passed the Idaho Food Safety & Sanitation Certification, so I’m good there (whew!) It took 4 hours and cost $38.
In order to complete the CDHD documents I’ll also need to select the following category for “Ownership Information”: Sole Proprietor / Partnership / Corp. / LLC / Other.
LLC or Sole Proprietorship?
I’ve done some research in this area already and am pretty darn sure I need to set up an LLC.
This is stuff I know NOTHING about. “I know nuffINK, nuffinK!” I love Shultz :)
As per usual when I know nothing, I do a Google search to see if I can find something on the interweb to help.
Drilling down through the Google results for “boise small business startup help” there’s a link for online training at the local Boise Women’s Business Center (WBC). Yeah Baby! That’ll work!
It looks like A LOT of their resources are to the SBA, but they do offer local services. I’ve registered for their Business Launch Workshop (Tuesdays 4-6 $60). It looks like the next workshop is April 8, so I’ll sign up for that now (done!).
If I want to get a loan and/or be taken seriously, at a minimum, I’m going to need to work on the following steps:
From SBA’s 10 Steps to Starting a Business (My notes are in parenthesis)
Step 1: Write a Business Plan (I have business concepts and goals and some other notes, but it’s still mostly in my head – When I first started doing research in 2010 on starting an online business, I have a lot of notes and research from then, but it’ll need some reviewing and updating.)
Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training (signed up!)
Step 3: Choose a Business Location (done)
Step 4: Finance Your Business
Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business (need to file for LLC. I have the domain florasbakeshop.com and a local PO Box)
Step 6: Register a Business Name
Step 7: Get a Tax Identification Number (This was done in 2010, but the name’s a little different now – I wonder if it will still work. I doubt it – I bet it needs to match the LLC name exactly.)
Step 8: Register for State and Local Taxes
Step 9: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits (in process)
Step 10: Understand Employer Responsibilities
THE GREAT AND MIGHTY INTERWEB
I need to set up a Facebook page for the Bakery. I’ve got some photos of practice work here on Google+, since Flora’s Bake Shop already has a G-Mail account, it was pretty easy to add photos, but it does not seem robust enough for a blog/shop/etc. I’m testing out Square Space – they have a 14 day free account, so we’ll see… (3/23 – working on the “Montauk” template)
Lunch Break – As per usual (ugh!), I got distracted by the pile of stuff. This time it’s in the middle (really, almost EXACTLY in the middle of the room) of the living room – and it’s the pile of stuff I still need to move to the new space. Moving a home based business to a different location wasn’t something I planned for when I set up the kitchen. A lot of stuff is in containers, but a commercial kitchen has a whole different level of encasement standards!
From what everyone else is doing there, it looks like everything needs to be in plastic storage boxes with tight lids and either stored under the work tables or on wire shelves. I’m about ½ way to being organized – and the kitchen is looking mighty empty… It’ll be nice to have it back, but I’ll miss all the baking inspiration those shelves of shiny new baking pans and bags of sugar and little wooden crates of icing tools gives me… It’s going to be great but strange to do this creative / head banging against the wall in a more organized and well stocked location, but I’ll miss being home. And I know I’ll miss the puppy like crazy….
BACK TO THE PAPERWORK
The link from the WBC Online Training Page re: “How to Write A Business Plan” links to a registration page that you HAVE to fill out to proceed and then it loads A broken application page (timeout). HAhahahahhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaa – idiots! I am finding that a LOT of these .org and .gov sites have bad links.
Trying another tact: searching sba site directly for “online training”. Here’s the text based version:
Again, I’m filling out the registration page – sigh…
4pm - As much fun as reviewing how to write a business plan from scratch and putting together business documents IS (ha!), I made a commitment to bring some sample cookies over to the Idaho Youth Ranch offices on Thursday. I want them to be able to see (and taste) what I’ll be doing at the volunteer cookie decorating class next week.
Got out the butter and eggs (Why am I’m Such an IDIOT – I knew I had to bake today, but I was so busy getting organized…. Why OH WHY don’t I EVER do this stuff earlier in the day?) – and then took a look at the calendar and it just doesn’t make sense… Making decorated sugar cookies is a two day process – for the flat fill icing, it can take up to 24 hours for the icing to harden & the advice I’ve read – some cookie bakers don’t ice the cookies on the same day they are baked – something about the butter moving into the icing and making grease spots. Sounds gross, right?
Plus, for me these are two completely different processes – one is very technical and precise, the other more so, but also much more creative and freeing. Anyhoo – it doesn’t make sense to bake cookies here and then bring the box of Americolor food colors and all the little plastic squeeze bottles back to make the icing – which is what I’d have to do because I’m moving my STUFF so I’m not going to do that – oy!
The voice in my head says “No can do dummy”…. So I called and rescheduled to next Thursday – I can batch the work with the cookies for the class and I can do it all from the kitchen. Hooray! I’m not a complete idiot after all. :)
WRITING AS IT HAPPENS
It’s taking time to not only write about this process but to also to organize all of this information. Since a LOT of the work I’m doing is ongoing research, building / creating the documents, taking classes and completing the lists of lists of stuff to accomplish – instead of trying to keep copious and exhaustive notes here in the blog, until the process is finished (or can be used to illustrate something) I’ll be keeping notes separately.
It’s 6:30 now, amazing how quickly the day goes – but I feel really happy about getting everything printed out and ready for tomorrow. We’ll need to load the car – with the 2nd rack from my kitchen here, it’ll be at least 2 more trips. I wonder if Harry feels like a drive….