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Offline Business Venture Diary

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Posted 29th June 2009 at 12:36 PM by ASM Marketing

This June, I have finally graduated from University (go me!). The next step for me is to dive straight in to the thick of things. I am looking to become tax registered within a week or two after I settle on my company name.

The purpose of this thread is to look into the nitty gritty of the real business plan that I will need to progress. I'm not talking ways to get traffic, or how to make $10k in a day - that information I have an abundance of through ebooks and courses etc. Instead, I want to discuss the stuff we all hate:

  • Accounts/Bookkeeping
    How do you full-timers keep track of your income and expenses? Do you use Excel? A notepad? Specialist software such as Sage or others?

    So far I have been recording everything in an Excel spreadsheet. It's very simple - I have a date, credit and debit column and my gross, net profit or loss total. As long as this is in the black, I am good. I keep all receipts/invoices in a folder organised chronologically.

    Another burning question I have is how do you deal with all the various income streams? My plan is to offer web/seo solutions for small to midsize businesses obtaining business through networking (breakfast clubs, seminars etc). In my 'spare' time, I will be contuing my own personal projects (Adsense, CPA, Affiliate, Flipping etc). Do I keep these as seperate incomes or bunch them all up under one book?
  • Project Management
    Aside from a notepad, I will be learning MS Project over the coming few weeks/months to record the progress of my various projects. I'd love to hear how other full-timers keep track of domains, projects, clients etc.
  • Outsourcing & Marking Up
    I am planning on outsourcing certain tasks to free up more time to run my business. Due to the benefit of being in sterling (£) I can afford to do this whilst still marking up the price to my clients who will be paying. If I can outsource link building for $30, I could charge £50+ to my clients over here. A great example of this business model is the graphic design firm Universal Everything. Matt Pyke, who I saw in a seminar, runs his business from a large shed in his back garden. He is one half of the London 2012 campaign where the brading alone cost £400,000. UE have also done work for Audi and other large companies, so this is something that can work with large profit margins. Does anybody do this that could share with me the framework you use for managing your outsourced contacts and delegating work, ensuring that deadlines are met etc.
  • When Times Are Hard
    I have absolutely no doubt that I will hit a few obstacles along the way... Afterall I am a 22 year old maverick! I also have no doubt that if I get my head down, these can be overcome by recognising problems early. Again, I believe this comes down to astute project management and a clear head. How have others overcome the bad times?
Depending on the feedback from this thread, I am going to be recording the steps I take on this thread to help other IM'ers to deal with the real business side. I feel it's an area that many warriors need help with if they are serious about going full-time. It's all good having plans to make money but without strong foundations, even the strongest towers can fall.

Alex
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