Starting a Business – Presented in American Sign Language (ASL)
August 16, 2019
Hello. In this video we will discuss how to set up a business in the state of Arkansas. Our goal is to help those of you who intend to start a business do so yourself. We’ll discuss this today. This is not an easy feat. Why? There are many challenges throughout the course of starting a business. How does one tackle this feat in a way that will lead to success? Today we’ll discuss this. If you have your folder… take out the Attendee Record Form When you finish filling out the form, please turn it in after this program has ended at noon. This sheet is in your folder. You can also… We will show several slides, and on the copy of the presentation you can write notes. This folder also contains several different handouts which you can read and ask questions about. There’s a lot of information about starting a successful business in that folder. But the presentation will expand on this information as I explain more throughout the presentation. if you need a bathroom break, the bathrooms are located in the back left corner. We will also have a one hour break for refreshments or to use the restroom. Now we’ll go ahead and start. There are three main points on this slide which we will discuss and expand on. This presentation is sponsored by UALR and the Arkansas Small Business Technology Development Center. They’re open Monday through Friday from 8 to 5, and their phone number is included in the information folder. You can contact ASBTDC through a video relay service or visit their website ASBTDC.org for more information. ASBTDC is partnered with SBA and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. This group encourages and helps the Deaf to start their own business. These three points are how ASBCTDC helps train you to start your own business. The training includes one-on-one counseling and training. This training is private and confidential. For example, ASBTDC can consult with you with ideas like developing a website and how to do so. Or maybe you’re struggling with using Quickbooks to manage your business’s income. ASBTDC provides free training for this. They can also discuss with you your goals, plans, and ideas. They can advise you on how to manage your finances, They can also evaluate the potential profit in establishing a business in your area, and whether or not to proceed with your business venture. There’s a long list of helpful services they provide, the best part being that all of them are absolutely free. They can evaluate the potential of your business plans and advise you whether or not to proceed. However, ASBTDC does not provide two things, one being accounting services. You are responsible for hiring a CPA. They also do not provide legal services or advising. They would encourage you to consult with a certified lawyer for advising on legal matters. Their website which I recently mentioned has lots of information which will help you as you plan to start a business. These six topics are what we will discuss today. I’m not going to explain absolutely every aspect of these topics in depth, but we will cover the main points which will help you get started on your own business independently. There’s no need to feel overwhelmed at the idea of starting your own business. The more time you put into planning this process, the better. For example, you must first consider if the market in your area is right for starting the type of business you aim to start, and if your business’ products or services will be met with demand from consumers in your area. This the first thing you should consider, as it is very important. A second issue you should consider is the extent to which you understand the legal aspects of staring a business. You would not want to already be in the process of starting a business only to get stuck behind legal boundaries A clear understanding of legal aspects is very important. Third, you also need to think about who will help you to start and maintain a successful business. Taking these three aspects into consideration will help you be successful. We’re going to discuss the 3 M’s of a feasible business idea: money, management, and market. Its very important to take all three aspects into consideration together. If you ignore even one of these aspects, you won’t succeed. You must consider all three. 97% of businesses in Arkansas were established in conjunction with the SBA. Their success shows that the SBA has can help you establish a stable business. You may have concerns about starting a business ranging from finances to location, but before you start to worry, collaborate with the SBA to help you understand how to tackle these issues. The first thing to do is plan. Thats where the three M’s come in. Taking in consideration on the market situations situations will help you succeed. For example, if I open a business, will there be consumer demand for my product or services? That’s something to think about and plan accordingly. That first point, understanding your market is very important. For example, if you managed your business well, or if you managed your money well, but the market conditions weren’t suitable, your business would not be successful. Or, if you were in the right market, and you managed your money well, but you had poor management skills, you would also not succeed. You must have good management skills. Or, if you were in the right market, and you had good management skills, but had no money, Would you be successful? No. That’s why all three M’s are very important when it comes to starting a business. Really, money is the most important, because it helps you start a business. The other two points will help your business be successful. Now we will focus on the first of three points, the market, and what can help you to develop ideas. Even if you have good management skills, it’s still important to consider whether your product will bring in sufficient profit or little to no profit. Considering this will help you to perform well in the market. Not everyone is going to want to buy your product. Some will be interested in your product or service, while others will not be. There will be varying levels of consumer interest There are different groups of consumers in the market. For example, some businesses focus on catering to the interests of young people, not adults, while other businesses focus on products and services for adults, not young people. It’s important to think about to which group it best to sell your product or service. You should also think about purchasing ability. If you establish your business in an area where people tend to be well-off, more people may buy your product or service than if your business were established in a poorer area. So it’s important to consider who you want to market to when choosing a location to establish your business. Another thing to think about is the type of area you set up your business. If you set up a business in a very small town, your business may be less likely to succeed. Taking into account the preferences and of consumers and the type of tourism in an area will help you decide whether or not to set up your business in that area. This means you have to do research on the types of businesses that do well in a certain area. Now I’m going to list some questions to think about. First, do your customers always buy the same product, or do they like variation? Second, what factors influence the demand for your product? Third, what if a competitor establishes a business in the area? Would this make it more profitable to establish your business somewhere else? For example, if you are selling guns but it is illegal to buy ammunition in the area, would your gun shop succeed? No, because guns and ammunition are complementary goods. Complementary goods are another factor that can determine whether or not your business will be successful. If you are starting a restaurant, it may seem easy, but you also have to consider how to attract customers to your restaurant, how to hire good wait staff and how to manage a restaurant efficiently. There’s many things about the market to consider if you want to attract consumers to your business. Also, what if there is a competing business selling a product similar to yours? Should you match their price or charge a higher price? It would depend on the situation and comparable value of the good. So this first point, the market, is crucial to the success of your business and depends on your evaluation of the market conditions. This second “M”, management, is not an easy task. Management involves skill and experience with finances and managing personnel. Management skills can determine whether you are wasteful or savvy with money, the latter being necessary to succeed. You should also consider assembling a team of people to help you with various aspects like finances. Instead of insisting you know it all just because you don’t want to spend extra money, why not work with professionals like CPAs who can advise you on how to save money? Try not to take on managing alone but try to work with a team that can help you. You may have to hire or pay these professionals. You could also work with a bookkeeper to help you manage the books and tell you when to spend or save. Your business also should be insured. Being insured is especially important because not having insurance could lead to the collapse of your business. You may have to work with a team of insurance agents to protect your business. It’s important to have insurance. Also, try to develop a good working relationship with a banker who can help you and give feedback. Working with a team of professionals will be helpful to your success. Skilled management is also important because bankers are going to evaluate your business and how well it has been managed when deciding whether or not to lend you money. Lenders are concerned with your management experience and will look at your resume which helps them determine if your business will be successful and decide whether or not to lend you money The third M is money. Most new business owners will need money to start their business. This may include monthly payments or investing a lump sum to start your business. However, we’ve seen many people make the mistake of using only their personal savings to start a business, but quickly running through that cash and being stuck without funds. To avoid this situation sometimes you have to plan ahead, developing cost estimates and projecting the total amount it will take to launch your business. Then you will know how much money you may need to borrow to start and keep your business up. This figure should include 3 to 6 months of operating costs, which can be a backup to keep your business afloat, if needed. After that point, you should be receiving profits that can keep your business running. The bank will need to know your financial projections for three years. This includes how much you expect to earn and spend in a year. This will help the bank determine how much they will lend you. Banks will also warn you if the loan you are asking for is not enough, and tell you if you need to loan more. However, lenders will probably not lend you 100% of the funds you need. They expect you to contribute your own money as well, about 35% or 25% This means you may have to save up. For example, if you need $100,000, you would have to save $35,000 and borrow $65,000 to start your business. The bank would not loan you the full $100,000. They would expect you to come up with $35,000. It depends on the type of business and how much it would cost. If you need assistance with this process, keep the ASBTDC in mind. They are happy to help you and answer questions. This can give you some ideas about how to come up with money to start your business and who can help you. Some may even be willing to buy stock in your business, which you will need to pay back. There are all different kinds of ways to get the money to start your business Moving on from the three M’s, we will now focus on determining if and how you should proceed with your business idea. Sometimes starting a business can be risky, and it may not succeed. Being successful depends on how you plan to start your business. Starting a business means giving up the security of a stable job and steady paycheck, and therefore requires thinking and planning. Lastly, you also have to think about the costs of location like rent, insurance, et cetera, as well as where you can purchase inventory and supplies or develop partnerships with. There are many things to think about and plan for. The most important aspect of preparing to starting a business is forming your team. Don’t try and go it alone; work with a team that can help you, who are experienced with businesses and can advise you on financial and legal matters. It’s a good idea to discuss your plans with these professionals. This will cost you money after what may be a free consultation, but their services are important in deciding how to proceed with your business plan. There are several helpful resources on the website about accounting, tax, and other start-up issues. You should consider the costs before starting your business. Don’t be overconfident and assume you can do everything yourself; try to work in conjunction with a team to start your business. These are some of the different types of business you can organize. There are five main types. For example, the first type, a sole proprietorship, is a little bit different from the others listed. To start a sole proprietorship, you should with a lawyer. Keep in mind that as a sole proprietorship, you pay expenses through your own personal taxes. A partnership is similar in that both partners also pay the income tax through their own personal taxes. Most partnerships are spouses, close friends, or siblings. A lawyer can advise you on setting up a partnership. The third type, an S-Corporation is more complicated, so it would be a good idea to work with a CPA to help with taxes in this situation. An S corporation is taxed as a pass-through entity. The best thing to do is consult with a lawyer about which type of business organization is best for you. Taking into account these 5 main types and how they are taxed will help you make this decision. If you want your business to expand, an S or C corporation, or an LLC may be a better choice. If you are an S or C corporation, you can sell stocks in your business, but this would not be an option in the other types. With an S or C corporation, you will have to consult with the Secretary of State and the IRS. Now once you have decided what type of business you will establish, you have to get acquire a permit or license and a tax number. Some business may need some, all, or none of these. For example, some businesses don’t have to be licensed and will still be allowed to operate, but it would depend on the state, city, and county of your business. To determine what kind of permit and licensing you need, you should consult a lawyer. For example, if you plan to open a liquor store, you have to have as special license and permit. But if you started a service-based business, you would only need a license, not a permit. When you have started your business and gotten licensed, you also need an FEIN number. This is a tax I.D. number. This is like your business’ social security number. This is assigned to you by the IRS and is easy and quick to obtain from If you are opening a restaurant, you have to contact the Arkansas Department of Health to obtain licensing. To be licensed to sell food, your business has to pass a health inspection. There are various types of licenses and permits for different businesses. Certain business, like a custodial business, need to be bonded. Because there are so many different types of regulations, it’s best to consult with a lawyer. Not many people like taxes, but they are required. There are some additional taxes, like liquor taxes, applied on top of sales taxes. It depends on the type of business. If you purchase business property like offices and equipment, that will be subject to taxation just like your home is subject to property taxes. There are several different costs involved in starting a business you have to think about. Also, if you don’t pay these taxes, the IRS can seize your business property, even furniture, and close your business, so its very important to pay the required taxes. Interestingly, you may buy a product from another state without paying sales taxes, but you will have to pay the use tax to use the product in Arkansas. Your business can be closed if you don’t pay the use tax. Therefore, it’s important as a business owner to be familiar with the types of taxes your business pays. A CPA can help you determine which taxes you have to pay. Its best to work with an experienced professional like a CPA or tax lawyer that can help you in this process. If you hire staff, you may also have to pay social security and medicare taxes There are many different kinds of taxes that depend on the type of business you own. These two resources have information that you can use to research. f you don’t understand, ASBDTC can help you, but it’s still important to seek professional advice when dealing with taxes. Once you decide on a name for your business, you will have to incorporate this name so that no one else can use your business name. You can use the website listed to search the availability of your business’ name. Be sure to think long and hard about your business name, how well it fits your business, and whether the name will attract customers. Sometimes, for example, you can certify your business as a DBA. and you don’t have to go through the Secretary of State. If you want more information, you can seek advice from a lawyer. Record keeping is a very important part of a business because it will help you keep up with any information in regards to your business, from purchases to gas and mileage. However, simple credit card receipt showing amounts and a total is not sufficient. An itemized receipt that also describes the items purchased is needed. These receipts are needed for tax purposes. They can help you determine which expenses can be written off and which can’t. Because there are so many varying types of expenses and deductions, it’s important to keep detailed records. You should keep these records for three years or more. Don’t throw them away after one year; keep them for 3 years, and make sure you store them properly, in a place safe from fire damage. Also, if you keep information stored both on a computer and on paper, don’t keep them in the same room. Keep them separate in case of a tornado or flood so both copies of records aren’t ruined. You also have to keep records of business assets, like a car, and serial numbers. There can be many records to keep. You can use programs like Quickbooks or Excel to itemize business purchases. Keeping your financial records organized will make your CPA’s job easier and save you time and money. If your records aren’t organized, it will take more time for the CPA to do their job and cost you more. So it’s a good idea to keep all your records organized. You may not be good at keeping records. It might be a good idea to hire someone. You can hire a bookkeeper permanently, or just for every so often. For example, if you hired a bookkeeper on a one day basis, they would charge a one time fee. Or, if you hired a day-to-day bookkeeper, you would have to pay them by the hour. So there are two different ways to handle bookkeeping if you can’t do it yourself. Some people have skills in other areas like management, so it depends on the individual. Also, keep the titles for your various business property filed away that you can produce these records if needed. Once in a while, you should visit the IRS website because regulations can change yearly. You may find out there are more types of records that you have to keep. If you have a business, you should to open a separate bank account for your business expenses. The bank likes to be able to clearly see your expenses, and it will be easier to get a loan. If you get a loan, it’s important to manage your money wisely. Don’t waste your money by spending frivolously. For example… Do not co-mingle your personal money with your business loan from the bank. You should keep them separate, and make purchases for business and personal reasons separately. If you do co-mingle these accounts, and the IRS finds out, your business and personal property could both be seized if you were caught for tax evasion or fraud. It’s important to keep them separate so that if the IRS has to seize your personal property, they won’t seize your business property too. So it’s really important to keep your business and personal accounts separate as the law requires. Also, the bank will notice if you’re having problems making payments or overdrawing. It’s important to communicate with your bank and let them know if you’re having problems making payments instead of missing payments without communicating with your bank. You don’t want the bank to be chasing you! Business insurance is also extremely important. If you establish a business on physical property, it’s a good idea to get property insurance in case a tornado destroys your property. Don’t rely on post-disaster government funding, as payment is often delayed. Having business insurance will get you your money back much more quickly. So it’s a good idea to buy insurance for your business. Liability insurance is also important. If someone is injured, or equipment is damaged, whether it be your business’ or someone else’s, liability insurance can cover these costs, and protect you if your business is sued. It’s important to get insurance. Or if someone steals your products or equipment, insurance can pay to replace them. If you have employees and one of your workers is injured on the job, like if a painter falls off a ladder, they will expect worker’s compensation. If you don’t provide it, you can be sued, so that’s important. Business interruption insurance can help if a natural disaster like a tornado, hurricane, or flood damages your property and can protect your business from losses. As a business owner, life insurance might even be a good idea to help keep the business running. There are many types of insurance. It’s best to work with your team and an insurance agent to determine what type of insurance you’ll need. If you aren’t going to be operating your business yourself, you need to think about who you will hire. This website explains employment laws such as minimum wage and age limits. You should research these laws and understand them clearly so you know who to hire. You also have to be cautious about hiring an immigrant who is not a naturalized citizen. You should also understand the differences between an employee and an independent contractor. For example, you don’t have to pay worker’s compensation to an independent concentrator; they are responsible for their own insurance. They are responsible for doing their own taxes. There are several differences between employees and independent contractors in regards to taxes, insurance, et cetera, when you’re running a business. One comparison in who pays the taxes and insurance. However, understand that independent contractors tend to charge more in wages than employees. When you start a business, it’s important to know proper practices for hiring, interviewing, and checking a potential employee’s resume and work history. You should also understand proper firing practice. The website listed will help you lean about proper hiring and firing practices. This means you have to do your homework and research before you decide to hire someone so you can do it the right way. Sometimes when you hire an employee, you can make an employee handbook. Many companies have handbooks that list things such as vacations, rules, et cetera. It’s up to you. You can create rules or a manual for your small business if you want, but remember that if an employee tries to dishonestly sue, having a manual can help protect your company. Maybe you want to hire an employee, but you have trouble finding one. you can contact a temp agency, that can send you a good experienced worker for a period of time like one week, two weeks, or a month. So these points are some good ideas on how you can grow your business and hire a staff instead of working alone. Some businesses can be run at home instead of an office in a room, garage, or basement. However, before you start your business, you need to check laws and regulations. These are called zoning laws. You have to ask your city if you can be approved to run your business at your address. This could also lead to some tax exemptions. If you’re running your business in a rented house, you can get a tax deduction on your rent payments. That can save you money. You can also save a percentage on your utilities. For example, if you’re using 1 room in a 10 room home as an office for your business, you can deduct one-tenth of your utility payments on your taxes. These tax deductions are a nice advantage. However, you will have to have a separate insurance policy. If you have house insurance, but are running your business in the garage, you will need to have a separate insurance policy If there is an accident and you try to take out a claim, but don’t have business insurance, you will be denied. It’s the same with a rental property if you have property that is damaged or stolen. You must have separate home and business insurance. It would be a good idea to have business mail delivered to a post office box, as this is more professional than having it delivered to your home. If your business receives large shipments, you can get a larger post office box for business purposes. You may also want to get a separate phone line for your home and business. This is more professional. As a deaf person, having two videophones for your business and your home is a good idea. Your personal caller ID can be your name, while you business caller ID can be your company name. This gives the appearance of being more professional. You can make sure you answer your business calls in professional clothing by having separate videophones. Hearing people can also get a separate telephone for their business. These are great ideas if you’re running a small business out of your home. This is the third of our six topics. We will discuss this topic more in depth in the afternoon, but for now we’ll do the condensed version. Developing a business plan is necessary. A business plan helps you remember some of the decisions you made once you’ve started your business. A business plan will help you set and maintain goals for your business. Now we’ll discuss a little bit about making a business plan. The 5 point star will help you remember the 5 main points to a business plan. If you think about each point, you will end up with a completed business plan. The first point you need to think about is products and services. The next is the market and area for your business. The third point you need to think about is industry. The fourth point is operating and managing your business, and the fifth point is budget and finances. Once you’ve thought of these 5 points, you can start your business plan. These five points will ensure the success of your business. We’ll discuss this more later. We will go on to discuss this more in depth in the afternoon. Now we’ll move on to the fourth of six topics. Financing. The SBA really wants to help you finance your business. However, try to work with your bank first, and then ask the SBA for help, and they will let you know what to do. If you meet all the requirements for the SBA, they will most likely be able to work with you successfully. Acquiring a loan outside of the SBA can be risky. It’s a good idea to consult the SBA on whether you should proceed or not, as they know best when it comes to starting a successful business. These are the “Dos” about the SBA. The SBA will help a small business obtain financing from a bank. However, this loan will include interest. It’s not free money. Also, the SBA will allow for long term financing for repaying a loan. There are different loan sizes, types of interest, and repayment time depending on what you need. However, they will charge you a fee after your loan is approved. The SBA will look at your credit history to see if it is good or bad. If you have poor credit, they probably will not loan to you, so it’s important to have good credit history. If your business eventually fails, the SBA will pay back 75 to 85% of the loan to the bank, but you have to discuss the specifics with the SBA. So these are some great ways the SBA can help you finance your business. Don’ts. The SBA will not just give you a direct loan outright. They will first ask questions about what time of business you want to start and et cetera. The SBA also does not give free grant money. The SBA does not offer loans at very low interest rates like 1 or 2 percent. The SBA will not adjust the monthly payments based on the repayment period of your loan. If an SBA partnered bank turns you down for a loan, the SBA can work with the bank to help you get a loan. If the bank is not partnered with the SBA, it’s the end of the road for that option. It’s best to try and work with a bank that is partnered with the SBA, or an SBA certified bank. If you were convicted of a crime in the past, you can get a loan from the SBA, but it can be difficult. Or if you filed for bankruptcy in the past, it may be hard to get a loan, but you can. It depends the individual’s current financial situation. Also the SBA will check your credit or maybe evaluate what you have for collateral if you default on a loan. There are several things the SBA can do. The website, sea.gov, has much more detailed information. Before lunch, we will watch a movie from the SBA about working with the deaf. It’s about 10 minutes long. We’ll see what it discusses. Remember the five point star? One of the 5 elements of a business plan involves finances. You will need to think about expected sales and profits of your business. Developing this financial request will make it easier to get a loan from the bank. You also need to include information about the market and demand in your financial request. There are different ways you can get financing. You may have to start saving or borrow money from your friends or family to start your business. Or, you can also rent equipment for your business instead of investing money up front. Renting makes it easier to replace old or broken equipment without a lot of up front investment. The costs of renting can also be a tax deduction. You can also get a loan with an SBA partnered bank like I just mentioned. Also, some businesses, like venture capitalists, want to invest in businesses with good outlooks. However they will expect a percentage return like 10 or 20 percent once the value of your stock rises. You may have to research how the loan size affects the length of the repayment period. You may want to ask for a repayment period longer than one year, like two or three years, and sign a contract. If you borrow money from friends or family, you should sign contracts that specify when you will repay the loan to protect your business from being sued. Like I just discussed, make sure you obtain a commitment before making binding agreements. If your agreements fall through, and you’ve already started your business, you may be stuck. So make sure you have commitments before you proceed. Don’t expect or assume you will definitely get a grant. You may not receive one. Don’t assume you can get a loan from the bank. You may not be able to get a loan from the bank, depending on your credit. Don’t assume you will get the loan. Don’t expect to get the full amount of money you need from the bank. For example, if you need $100,000, the bank will expect you to put up 20 to 30 percent of your own money. Just like when you buy a house or a car, you put down a deposit, because it helps protect the bank’s funds. So if you borrowed $100,000, you would have to put up about $20,000 to protect the bank. If the bank thinks it will be risky to loan to you, they won’t. Now onto the fifth point. Startup To-Do List. First, you have to choose the legal form of business, perhaps by working with a lawyer. Before starting your business you have to invest your time. You may expect to work up to 60 to 70 hours a week for the first two or three months, If you don’t invest your time, you can’t start a business. so you have to really want it. You have to get a clear understanding of tax requirements before you proceed. Third, you also have to understand employee requirements. And fourth, you have to obtain the proper licensing and permits you need before you proceed. So these four things involve a lot of time. If you decide to go to the bank and ask a SBA-partnered bank to borrow money, but you have no business plan, the bank won’t loan you money. If the bank sees proof that you are prepared, they will be willing to help you. This planning requires a lot of time. Setting goals will improve your likelihood of success. With no goals, you won’t succeed. This means you have to think about including goals in your business plan. This means you should research on the internet what type of business you will start and how you’ll succeed. Also, your goals should be realistic and achievable. Try to think about how and from whom will you acquire the adequate capital to start your business. Also, you have to learn how to manage properly if you don’t already know how. Then you can go ahead and start. The ASBTDC can be contacted by phone Monday through Friday, 8 to 5. They are happy to help you and support your business.