Friday, August 28, 2009

1st Step: evaluating my abilities

Is Entrepreneurship For You? { For the most part..... (my answers in blue)

In business, there are no guarantees. There is simply no way to eliminate all the risks associated with starting a small business - but you can improve your chances of success with good planning, preparation, and insight. Start by evaluating your strengths and weaknesses as a potential owner and manager of a small business. Carefully consider each of the following questions:

Are you a self-starter? It will be entirely up to you to develop projects, organize your time, and follow through on details. I can be, have been, especially if I see it as necessary.

How well do you get along with different personalities? Business owners need to develop working relationships with a variety of people including customers, vendors, staff, bankers, and professionals such as lawyers, accountants, or consultants. Can you deal with a demanding client, an unreliable vendor, or a cranky receptionist if your business interests demand it? I am better at this than I used to be.....I would probably have a hard time with an unreliable vendor. I think I would need to learn more about motivating employees. With a family I have learned to better, but not perfectly, leave stress from things like finances out of the interactions with others.

How good are you at making decisions? Small business owners are required to make decisions constantly - often quickly, independently, and under pressure. Not good when it comes to shopping, other than that, I might be a bit slow. I am thinking at the start of a business a lot of any quick decisions would be involved with customers, and I would lean toward good customer service.

Do you have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business? Business ownership can be exciting, but it's also a lot of work. Can you face six or seven 12-­hour workdays every week? I am thinking not alone I don't. There is no way I could do the 12 hour workdays with a family at home. I've been thinking a lot about this. This is my main obstruction in my view at this point, maybe if I did this in 5 years when my youngest is in school and had a partner that would do a lot of evening shifts? At least until we could get a reliable employee or two? (remember, small business. I'm really not aiming for wealth)

How well do you plan and organize? Research indicates that poor planning is responsible for most business failures. Good organization ­ of financials, inventory, schedules, and production ­can help you avoid many pitfalls. I am a good organizer. Esp. of finances and inventory, and I don't think scheduling would be a problem (other than previously mentioned with kids and 12 hour days). What is meant by production? I am not sure that applies to this type of business.

Is your drive strong enough? Running a business can wear you down emotionally. Some business owners burn out quickly from having to carry all the responsibility for the success of their business on their own shoulders. Strong motivation will help you survive slowdowns and periods of burnout. That is why you train good employees.... Seriously though, I understand to some extent the stresses involved. Am I motivated enough? I honestly don't know, I think I would have to give it my best shot.

How will the business affect your family? The first few years of business start­up can be hard on family life. It's important for family members to know what to expect and for you to be able to trust that they will support you during this time. There also may be financial difficulties until the business becomes profitable, which could take months or years. You may have to adjust to a lower standard of living or put family assets at risk in the short-term. Yep. Think about this a lot. Financial difficulties are well known to us, familiar ground, so I'm not too worried about that at this point. I was hoping the older children would be interested in helping the family business, but I got a flat out no from Adria. She doesn't think she'd get paid,heh.

Why Small Businesses Fail

Success in business is never automatic. It isn't strictly based on luck - although a little never hurts. It depends primarily on the owner's foresight and organization. Even then, of course, there are no guarantees.

Starting a small business is always risky, and the chance of success is slim. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, roughly 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years.

In his book Small Business Management, Michael Ames gives the following reasons for small business failure:

  • Lack of experience damn. (Although stephen has management experience)
  • Insufficient capital (money) also, damn. (small business loan anyone?)
  • Poor location I'm hoping near our material-less Wal-mart or near the Dollar Tree would be a good location.
  • Poor inventory management I think I could be good at this. The biggest thing I can think of now, would be keeping things up to date esp. if we don't get a lot of traffic in the beginning.
  • Over-investment in fixed assets huh?
  • Poor credit arrangements help?
  • Personal use of business funds forewarned. I think the only temptation would be because of financial hardship mentioned above, not to live extravagantly or anything, but if the fridge were empty and someone needed new shoes....that would be hard.
  • Unexpected growth not expected. heh.

Gustav Berle adds two more reasons in The Do It Yourself Business Book:

  • Competition of course
  • Low sales always a possibility

More Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail

These figures aren't meant to scare you, but to prepare you for the rocky path ahead. Underestimating the difficulty of starting a business is one of the biggest obstacles entrepreneurs face. However, success can be yours if you are patient, willing to work hard, and take all the necessary steps.

On the Upside

It's true that there are many reasons not to start your own business. But for the right person, the advantages of business ownership far outweigh the risks.

  • You will be your own boss. woot!
  • Hard work and long hours directly benefit you, rather than increasing profits for someone else. nice.
  • Earning and growth potential are far greater. sweet.
  • A new venture is as exciting as it is risky. I'm not excited so much as just liking the idea of having this job to do. To dig in and:
  • Running a business provides endless challenge and opportunities for learning. yep.

Thanks for listening. Any opinions out there? Maybe I could take business classes for the next five years and hope no one else does it first. Darn. And what about the availability of store locations right now?! Crap.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Where do you start?

troO.k. everyone, I want to pick your brains.
Syracuse has a lot of empty business realty out here, and I was thinking, it would be awesome if there was a quilt shop right here, so why not be the one to open one?
It could be really cute and have high quality material, maybe yarn too. We could offer classes in piecing and knitting, I know a couple people nearby who machine quilt for people, we could refer people to them. There is a quilt guild in Syracuse, so there are people who would possibly support our business if we do it right.
My question is, where to start? How do you turn this dream into a reality?
Our closest competition would be Sew and Save, JoAnn's and Hancock. JoAnn's is not a comfortable store to shop at near here, they are too small for their mechandise and they are all somewhat far away (as are the other two), so we would have to be competetive and/or very unique, and convenient. Also, I'm thinking we'd have to be very cute.
I guess the first thing to do would be to check out small material and yarn businesses along the wasatch front? Join their 'circle" (for like shop and hops- where we could also offer the nearby tourist attraction of Antelope Island/The Great Salt Lake), and I would want to be online for sure.
I am totally serious! Anyone out there that can help me turn this dream into a reality, before someone else does it here?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


[I got this from Nikki, who got it from Tye.]

The first five people to respond to this post will get something handmade by me! My choice. For you. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2- What I create will be just for you.
3- It'll be done this year.
4- You have no clue what it's going to be. But I promise that I will take time to think of something that seems right for me to send you! :)
5- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must re post this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog. The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did will win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me! Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

That is one sour strawberry!

***picture courtesy of Tanner***

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

More from Monica's Cupboard

Back Bean Rice Chili

2 cans black beans, rinsed, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (if your canned tomatoes are sliced or whole, you can dice them)
1 can corn, undrained
1 can Green Enchilada sauce
2 cups water
1 chicken bullion cube
Cumin (1- 2 tsp maybe, I'm afraid I can't remember, you can do it to taste I am sure)
About 1 cup wild rice (or whatever is left in the bag, white rice will work too I bet)

Combine ingredients into a medium large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until rice is tender and children are whining about whether dinner is done yet because it smells so good!

A Tip
I found today that you can replace peanut butter for butter in brownies when you are out of butter and payday is tomorrow, but you have been wanting to make brownies for the last three days and decide it would be fun to experiment anyway. Just add about a Tbs. of milk for 1/2 cup peanut butter. Batter will still be thick. It makes filling, tasty brownies!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

While on the Subject of Food and Slim Pickin's

Today for lunch I opted for noodles (bread takes too long if you wait until you're hungry to start it). But, what to put on them? Well, we had a bit of Italian dressing left, which is pretty good with Parmesan, but we were out of cheese. Not as good. So I tried adding a can of tomatoes (well, 1/2 can since it is just Landon and I) with the dressing (heat until warm). Really Good!

Also another idea recently. Easy Peasy cinnamon rolls. My boys love them. Make a batch of dough for biscuits (whatever is your favorite recipe will work I bet), roll it out, spread with melted butter (whatever it takes, a couple of TBS's maybe) and cinnamon-sugar (2TBS sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon), roll up like cinnamon rolls, cut with a string, bake as directed for biscuits, and top with powdered sugar icing (I used some left from when Adria made cookies, but it would probably only need 1/2 the recipe, if that, although it was convenient to have in the refrigerator to use for a couple of days).

A lesson learned over and over....

Never sign a contract to buy things like books, Cd's, or videos. Even if they say you may cancel at any time. Although, that does help- a bit. I have had a problem canceling a CD by mail thing before, despite the 'cancel at any time' note. Right now we cannot afford the Book of Mormon videos that we are paying for every other month (for the past two years), and my children don't watch them, and I can't get out of it without paying 1/3 of what I still have left! I don't have 1/3 of anything right now. What was I thinking?

Monday, October 27, 2008


Well I've been living a little lean lately and came up with some recipes based off other recipes depending on what I had on hand. I thought I would share some.


1/2 recipe of Janice's Good Bread (makes 2 med. pizza's and 1 loaf, or 4 med pizza's I suppose)
1/2 jar spaghetti sauce

Make bread dough according to directions. Spread thinly onto pan or cookie sheet in desired pizza shape. Spread with sauce and cover with cheese. [This time I used Monterey Jack and sprinkled it with Parmesan. Because that is what I had.] Bake at 425 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes (maybe longer if you use a cookie sheet, my pizza pans have holes in the bottom).

White Turkey Chili
1 lb. ground turkey, browned (sprinkle with chicken seasoning if you prefer, I did) - this is a lot more affordable than other meat these days, and it is low fat!
1 can corn
2 16 oz cans of Navy Beans (I used Bush's)
2 cups of chicken broth (I used 2 bullion cubes and 2 cups of water)
6 TBS olive oil
1/2 TBS onion powder
6 TBS flour
4 tsp ground cumin
Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (optional)
Sour Cream (optional)
Salsa (optional)

Brown ground turkey. While it is cooking pour beans, chicken broth, and corn into a medium sauce pan, start heating to bring to a boil. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, flour, and seasonings. Add to sauce pan. Add turkey to the sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for ten minutes. Garnish with cheese, sour cream, and/or salsa. We just used cheese, really good.