Setting Up Shop 101

October 27, 2017

Consider this a 10-minute crash course in getting started with your business. We’re sharing the first steps you need to know to get started in your new business, what business steps you need to take, and what questions you should be asking as a new business owner—especially if you’re unsure about what you don’t know.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
"It's important to know what you're selling, what it costs, and what the steps of the process are."
- Kathleen Shannon

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In this episode, the 4 Goal-Setting Business Questions worksheet was mentioned. Download your copy here!


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Kathleen Shannon 0:02
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Emily Thompson 0:29
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Kathleen Shannon 1:12
Okay, so today I got an email from one of our being boss clubhouse members. And it was a question that I thought would make a great minisode. So let me read it here. Our boss Lisa says I could really use an LLC one on one. That is what are the business steps I need to take and the questions I need to be asking as a new business owner. For example, how do I create a business plan? Do I need insurance? This is also new to me that my biggest fear is I don't know what I don't know. I'm afraid I'll kill my business because there are things I'm supposed to know and do. But don't even know that these things exist.

Emily Thompson 1:51
Oh, right. Welcome to being an entrepreneur, Lisa.

Kathleen Shannon 1:58
So let's just go through really quick step by step the things that we do whenever we're setting up a new business. So first things first, what do you need to have first in your new business? I would say something to sell,

Emily Thompson 2:11
right? How are you going to make money? I think that's like question number one like that you have to ask yourself and even like around like business model or business plan, because I don't I don't usually like business plans. And especially regarding

Kathleen Shannon 2:26
either me either. So we have been talking a lot about sales funnels, we just did a full Secret Episode in our being boss clubhouse, all about sales funnels. And I think that a sales funnel is a great way to set up a business plan. And so to really outline your sales funnel for you all the top of your funnel is how people are kind of aware of you or know who you are. So these include things like social media posts, interactions in Facebook groups, blog posts, content like that the next part of your funnel might be that someone is subscribing to your newsletter list, or they're commenting on your blog posts, or they're liking your Instagram images, they're starting to kind of engage with you. And then the next step is really buying what you have to offer, whether that's a digital product, or your jewelry, or your one on one services, they go from kind of this awareness phase into a buying phase, and everything in between is where your funnel kind of narrows in. So I think that's a really a great way to set up a business model and to think about, okay, who is my dream customer at the top of this funnel? How do I get them really engaged with my brand and my business vision? And then how do I tell them how to hire me? So again, I think that starting we were talking about this in our secret episode, like which part of the funnel should you focus on first, the top or the bottom? Emily said the top.

Emily Thompson 3:50
I said the top because you need to position yourself as an expert, start creating that content and start capturing those emails. So that whenever you do have the bottom up that you're what it is that you're selling, you have someone to sell it to. and Kathleen said the bottom

Kathleen Shannon 4:02
Yeah. So I think that the bottom is super important. Because you know what you're offering, you know how much it costs, you can tell people what to expect. You're giving people a way to hire you. And sometimes I think that a business starts from that one client who hired you for something maybe before you ever even have an online presence. Right. So for Lisa, I would say it's really important to know what you're selling, to know how much it costs, to be able to let a dream client know what the steps of the process are. So I think that that's step number one.

Emily Thompson 4:37
Yeah, I think so too. And then you can start setting up the business things like I think that once you start making money, you should have a business checking account. I think that having somewhere separate for you to put that money so that you can begin those like business admin processes early and well is really important. And then you can start thinking about you know, talking to a lawyer about what kind of business entity you need and filing the right paperwork and all Those things. Again, this is not legal or accounting advice, just two bosses chatting it out.

Kathleen Shannon 5:06
Well, and I want to say that whenever you go into the bank to open up your account, they're going to say, Alright, awesome. Lisa, do you have your LLC set up? And do you have your EIN set up? And you're gonna be like, what are those things. So part of your business plan and setting things up is figuring it out as you go. So it's the bank, like people are out there to really help you figure it out. So the bank is going to tell you what you need next. This is literally what happened to me. I think I went into the bank to set up my bank account for my business. And they were like, well, you need an LLC. And so then I could say, How do I do that? And they directed me to a website, they told me where to go. So there are people out there who want to help you. I remember my bank, it was literally my my banker, set up my EIN number. And I'm, like, really know what that was, I still don't know what that is. So that's part of it, too, is like you don't have to really even know what everything is.

Emily Thompson 6:00
Well, and it goes to her biggest fear is I don't know what I don't know. And I think that you don't know, I don't know, Kathleen doesn't know, no one knows. I think you just go at it. And this fear that it's going to like kill your business is a little bit unfounded unless you go and do it and you do something really bad. And you know, if something is really bad, you're not going to kill your business, you may have a momentary setback, you may piss off one client, you may need to apologize for something that you accidentally did wrong. But you're not gonna kill anything by not knowing something around your online business unless it causes some serious trouble, which it's probably not unless you're like doing something really messed up.

Kathleen Shannon 6:41
I remember my sister's biggest fear whenever we started braid creative and consulting was getting audited. And since then, and knock on wood, like I do not want to get audited. But the process of even being audited isn't really it, that doesn't mean that you're in trouble. It means that they just want you to reconcile your books and have some proof.

Emily Thompson 7:00
And even that's why you set up that checking account early. And you get those admin process done correctly from the get go than even some of those really actually scary things like getting audited or whatever, whatever else you could be thinking of like, you'll have everything in place so that they're not actually a scary experience. And I think the thing that I want to really point out with like the biggest fear being I don't know, what I don't know, is trust your intuition with your business. There have been so many times that I've done things I didn't even realize that I was doing that was actually way more right than they ever could have been wrong. That that like that's where sort of the fun of being a business owner comes from sometimes all the good things comes from not knowing what you don't know, you just do magical things accidentally.

Kathleen Shannon 7:47
I want to point out that the only time I've ever had an official business plan, that business failed. So I'm not saying that having a business plan will make your business fail. But that sometimes the business plan is as simple as getting out a sheet of paper and saying what is it that I want? How much money do I want to make? How do I need to price my offerings? So how many clients would I need to get there? It's really kind of business plans are really about simple math.

Emily Thompson 8:14
Yeah, so I did a I did a blog post about this on the being boss beta on the being boss blog recently, we'll make sure we include show notes are included link to in the show notes. And it also came with a worksheet with for just sort of business questions that I think take the place of any business plan at any given time. Now if you want to go do a big business plan, he wants you to Super legit like, I'm not gonna be mad at you about it. But I don't think that it's okay for most creative entrepreneurs to waste time worrying about all the things that are involved in a business plan instead of just taking action to get things rolling. I don't know that's my thoughts about business plans, I think you need to know what you are selling how much you want to make what you want to feel like while you do it and just do it and not worry about all the competition because that's part of the business plan screw your competition you do what you do, and just see where it goes and trust your gut from there.

Kathleen Shannon 9:04
Lisa also says I also wish I had a business mentor but don't know how to find one. So if you know on anything, if you know of anything on that count... So we talk a lot about having a business bestie or joining something like a clubhouse or a Facebook group where you can openly ask these questions and have hundreds of people piping in saying or you know giving their opinion or their advice on the matter. And again, most people in the world really want to help you succeed. We've all got your back. You've got this Lisa.

Kathleen Shannon 9:37
This minisode was brought to you by Twenty20. Check them out at that's t w e n t y 20 as in the slash being boss.

Emily Thompson 9:51
Did you like this minisode Be sure to check us out on our website at There you can find more from being boss including are full episodes minisodes and blog posts. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for our mailing list so that you can get access to behind the scenes and exclusive content from Kathleen and myself to help you be more boss in your work and life. Do the work. Be boss