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Old 06-04-2009, 08:31 AM   #21
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I am going to do a LLC.
Nolo Nolo: Law Books, Legal Forms and Legal Software has a good web site with helpful free info, also some good books and SW to do this yourself. You can find them cheaper on amazon as well. link
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:49 PM   #22
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Update....I have been very busy today!

-contacted a local doula who is interested in having a link to my website and send me clients for a % of the sale.
-met with the accountant who is willing to barter for services!
-contacted the insurance company and am having them forward all of the information to me to be an in network provider. I chose the option of a flat fee so I would not have to fill out the paperwork and would get paid at the time of services rendered.
-registered the name of my business with the state of NJ.
-found someone whose nephew can make me magnetic decals for my car as well as a sticker with my website.
-bought the domain for my website.

Wow....
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:16 PM   #23
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Just remembered this one:

Track your marketing costs along with the return you're getting from each of them.

For instance, we bought post cards, pool owner mailing lists, and stamps. Our first batch we had a success rate of 2-3% of the total mailings. We cancelled that strategy when we compared that to the 60-70% success rate we were getting from lead generating services at a much lower price point.
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Old 06-06-2009, 12:06 PM   #24
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Thanks Arif.....what do you mean by lead generating services?

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Old 06-09-2009, 05:01 PM   #25
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For the home repair/service related businesses there is servicemagic.com. Basically, I pay $10-12 per lead and it includes their name, number, email address, and what type of pool service they require. I started doing something similar at the local pool supply stores where I give the clerks and managers $15-25 for every person they refer me to but only if I get the job. This works better than service magic because I only pay for the jobs that I close on. You might be able to do something similar with your network of professionals.
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:56 AM   #26
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Thanks Arif....I have joined a business group and have started to network with other professionals as well. I will definitely keep that tip in mind!
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:29 AM   #27
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Protection against lawsuits from disgruntled patients. I would try a single member LLC. Taxation as an individual, but with the limited liability and asset protection you need.
Wouldn't Citrine be principally liable since she is the one doing the massages? And as such, any judgments against her as a natural person could be satisfied against any of her personal assets? How does the LLC shield her from individual liability for torts (ie a claim of negligence)?
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:19 AM   #28
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Wouldn't Citrine be principally liable since she is the one doing the massages? And as such, any judgments against her as a natural person could be satisfied against any of her personal assets? How does the LLC shield her from individual liability for torts (ie a claim of negligence)?
It doesn't. She needs additionally to have professional liability insurance, which I believe she said she already has.
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:37 PM   #29
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Wouldn't Citrine be principally liable since she is the one doing the massages? And as such, any judgments against her as a natural person could be satisfied against any of her personal assets? How does the LLC shield her from individual liability for torts (ie a claim of negligence)?
True about personal liability for professional negligence. However, there could be other claims not involving her personal negligence (contract claims -- e.g. "I paid you and you didn't do what I wanted", "You missed my appointment" etc.), for which an LLC would be helpful.
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:43 PM   #30
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citrine

I'm late to the advice party. but...

remember barter is taxable. So the amount that you barter needs to be paid in cold hard simolions. Could add up

servicemagic does not have a good rep in the construction biz. Lots of tire kickers that you get charged for. You can do your own website. I did mine with network solutions. plug & play. Not hard at all

I'm not a fan of magnetic signs. My impression is...what are you next week? A MLM promoter? Graphics on your car are relatively inexpensive. Fast signs is what I have used. Make it big enough so you are noticed.
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:42 AM   #31
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I would second the advice to keep your expenses as low as possible initially. I also second the Nolo press books. Their book on tax deductible business expenses was very helpful to me.
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:16 PM   #32
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Citrine,

I started my own consulting business last year - you've gotten good advice from the people here:

1) LLC is the way to go at first
2) Keep your expenses low - maximizes your profit
3) Do your own books - Nolo Press has an excellent series of books for entrepeneurs - I do my own books and taxes.
4) Marketing is important - being involved in professional groups helps get your referrals
5) I have my own website and business email - adds to the professionalism
6) Don't under-price yourself
7) If someone doesn't pay, be firm in insisting on payment and if possible set up a payment plan - be prepared to deal with this aspect of the job - it can be disheartening, but standing firm and professional helps you keep your self-dignity and lets them know you're not a doormat. And then don't do business with them again.
8) I never thought I'd say this as I'm juggling work for an employer as well as being self-employed - I enjoy the self-employment a lot more as I can set my pace and take the projects I want - the freedom is amazing. Enjoy it when you can.
9) Look into the bennies of being self-employed (ability to defer more money for retirement, deductability of certain expenses)

Best of luck!
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