Season 1 Ep 46: 5 Things I Wish I Had Known (Before Starting My Greeting Card Business)

This week on the xoxo, jess Podcast I am reflecting on my entrepreneurial journey over the three years, and sharing with you five things I wish I had known before I started my business. Join in as we talk about thinking like a CEO from the start, tracking your sales, being empowered to make your own choices, and more! Listen to the episode above, on iTunes HERE, or read the transcription below.

Episode Transcription:

Jessica Walker

Welcome back to xoxo jest where we dive deep into the world of greeting cards, the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and the mindset tools to start creating the business of your dreams today. I'm your host, Jessica Walker, and this week, we are going to be doing something a little different. I was thinking back, I'm about to hit my third year in business since I started my first shop, which is better in company. And I was looking back to kind of see, like, if I were to do it again, what would I wish I had known? What would I have done differently. And I think I might do this as a little series leading up to that three year anniversary. But I wanted to share the first couple of things that came to mind with five things that I wish I had known before starting my greeting card business as today's episode.

So when I started my business, I didn't think of it as a business, I was trying to have a creative outlet. I knew I wanted to create products for the cancer community. But it wasn't really something that I thought could be a business, I didn't know if it could support me, I didn't know anything about really anything. So when I started my shop, I did a couple things that I wish, in hindsight I had done differently. But the thing was, is that the mindset I was coming in at was this is just something I want to do. Not necessarily This is a business. But if you're someone who has this goal of having a business, and starting your shop, starting an Etsy shop, or starting a website is the first step for you in that journey, then I would listen to this number one.

So my first thing that I wish I had known before starting my greeting card business, is that if you want it to be a business, set it up like one from the start. So because I didn't know exactly what it was going to be, and I wasn't sure I had a different career at the time, I kind of just saw it as like a hobby that occasionally made money, which was what it was to me at that point. But I wish that I had earlier checked in with the permits needed made incorporated my business which I made into an LLC, I wish I had split my finances better and had a business account and had a business credit card. I wish that I had just seen it as a business from the start, because it would have informed a lot of the decisions that I made that I then had to go and undo or fix or pay a fine or these are small fines, but like it was like I didn't have I wasn't remitting my sales tax because I didn't know that was something I needed to do. Because I was just I wasn't thinking like a business owner. And if I had been thinking like a business owner, from the start, I would have looked into these things I would have looked into how to, you know, set up my LLC, or how to make sure that I have all my eyes, what does it take cross T's and dotted eyes as far as my business permits. And, and the thing is, is that even if you're selling on Etsy, you have to be aware of these things. Even if you're not making a lot of money yet you have to be aware of these things. The thing is, is that we want our businesses to succeed, we want them to do well. And if you are saying you know what, I'm not making much money now. So I don't need to worry about this stuff. But I want to make more money in the future. That's a difficult place to put yourself because when that future part comes in, the money starts coming in the sales start coming, your business is not prepared for that on the permit side on the just organization side, and you want to make sure that everything you're doing is just you don't even have to you don't even have to think about it, you know that all of the boxes are checked, you know that your business is operating legally, you know that you're remitting the sales tax, you need to you know all of these things because you've set it up from the start. And it's also a lot easier to set it up when it's really small, because you don't have to catch up and you don't have to look back, you can just have it set up from the beginning. So that's the first thing that I would recommend if you are starting your business is to set it up as a business from the very beginning, whatever that means for you. And it doesn't have to be like before you start, you have everything completely done, you have your LLC, blah, blah, blah, you can maybe ease into it, but I would definitely do it as soon as possible sooner than later.

And that does lead me into my number two is to have your financials organized from day one. And what that looks like for me is two things. One, I have a business banking account, a business checking account, sorry, and a business credit card. And the reason it's so important to have these split is when it comes to tax time. It just makes it so much easier. And it's also just easier for you to be able to track how the health of your business how profitable you are without it bleeding into your personal finances. And then the second thing is to know from the very beginning that you can't get too intimate with your numbers. You can't dive too deep into the data. And this is something that I've said many, many times on the podcast, but financial organization organization is the key to scalability. It's a key to all Honestly, every success that I've had in my business leads back to making sure I know exactly where I am financially. So that means that I track every dollar that goes in and every dollar that goes out. So if you are someone who started your business today, and you want to start organized to stay organized financially, I would recommend starting with a spreadsheet, immediately, putting every dollar that you've spent on your business, I'm in the spreadsheet, and I just organize it daily, I check this kind of thing, I track my sales daily, or you can check it weekly, if that's something you'd rather do. But I don't recommend doing it less than weekly, because I think it's just so important to stay on top of knowing exactly where you are. So make a spreadsheet have a log of everything that you spend money on also organize it by type, I just have like shipping, marketing development supplies, like I have it organized like that. And then every time I spend money, or I mean I get It's not like I charge my credit card and jump into my spreadsheet. But regularly, I make sure that I have an exact log of what I've spent on my business, you can do this on your own, which I do, because I just enjoy it, you can do it through something like QuickBooks, which is integrated with that theme. And then also have a log of every dollar coming in from every single sale. And the thing is that having this from the start means that you can build upon it later to be able to gain a lot of insight from this data. And also, the thing that I did, this is why I wish I had known I'd done it is I didn't do this from the beginning. I just kind of like went with the flow. And I thought I had an idea of where I was financially. And I thought my business was making this much. But when I got down to the brass tacks, I wasn't as profitable as I could have been. But if I had known that earlier, I could have been more profitable sooner, it helps you decide when to start buying your supplies in more bulk, you can see just the percentages of your expenses to profit, you can make sure that your profit margin is where you want it to be, there's so many things that you can gain and make informed decisions off of based on your financial organization. So again, if you're starting, I would make sure to as much as you can separate your business finances from your personal and have a very specific log of money in mon