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Re: So You Want to Start a Small Business

Message 21 of 25


Thank you for question. If i understand you correctly, it is your desire to start Literate in a Minute that helps MA English students fine writing opportunites that pays. It’s great that you want to create a pathway for students to get a jumpstart in the work world. Regarding financing the business, I would start first with developing your business model/plan that outlines your services and how you plan to generate business to pay the writers. Will you become a temp agency for contractors or freelance writers? Once you have that system in place, you can then begin to market your services low-cost through social media, which your tech savvy son can assist with, and networking with companies that find your services beneficial. From what I can tell, your start-up cost would be low to include a computer, which it appears you already have, paper and phone, perhaps. The writers could work from wherever they are - you would not need to have a physical place for them to write. If you get a windfall of money, use it to pay off debt and rebuild your nest egg. Before you spend money determine your business cost, how you will build the business and move from there.  I would encourage you also attend AARP’s Telephone Town Hall on Feb 21 at 7pm EST on Turning Your Passion to Profit. You can register here to participate.

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Info Seeker

Re: I'm a fledgling entrepreneur...

Message 22 of 25
A DBA is only Doing Business As: Some Fictitious Name but is really just you as far as the IRS is concerned so they will be using your SS#. And even if you get an EIN, it is pretty much a pass thru on your personal return.

DBA's provide NO LIABILITY PROTECTION. If you do not want your personal assets as risk, you may want to now, or later when you have enough interaction with the public to be concerned, to obtain an LLC or Corporation. There will be some added book work and expenses. And an EIN will be required.

SCORE can help you prepare a business plan and an application for an SBA loan if desired, Experience in the field with a proven track record will be very helpful. You will probably be required to have Debt not to exceed 3 times your equity (personal investment). Skin in the game gives
lender a higher level of confidence. To capitalize beyond that will probably require you to have a partner with some added financial strength and/or experience.
Two years (24 mo) is a likely target for a banking relationship, or a business relationship.

Good Luck
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Info Seeker

I'm a fledgling entrepreneur...

Message 23 of 25
Hi, I am a retired nurse and have started a business of sorts as an antique/vintage jewelry dealer. I have display cases in three Antique Malls in my area. Am looking to start an online store through Etsy, eventually. I have acquired my DBA and my "Certificate of Authority" from the Dept. of Taxation and Finance here in NY. My question is, due to the limited scope of my business, what do I absolutely need as far as legal paperwork is concerned? What do I NOT need? I'm told I don't need a EIN (no employees), but to obtain a business loan, I will! I am on hold, waiting for someone to call me from SCORE (a mentor), but don't know when that may happen. Can anybody out there give me advice? Thank You!
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Info Seeker

Re: So You Want to Start a Small Business

Message 24 of 25

Yes, this is what I'm looking for. I've given up on the job search. There's too much competition; there's age discrimination. The last in-person interview I had was for a PR position with a start-up. The very last interview was with two girls young enough to be my grandaughters. They had already hired a surfer dude, about 30 years old, who admitted he couldn't write. My guess is I didn't fit their Apple-like culture. I don't even have a smart phone. So, anyway, I'm a former journalist and assistant professor of English in his 60's. I wrote commercial blogs most recently. The pay was pathetic. So I've gone back to starting my own business, which I started to do in 2014, but it was too slow, not bringing in enough money. But now I don't have much of a choice. What I plan to do is to be a writing consultant and to start a business called Literate in a Minute. I haven't gone through the formal dba process yet. So for now, it's just W. Curry, PhD, Writing Consultant. I've spent about $300 advertising in a church bulletin but no luck, so I'm offering a free initial consultation. The client sends me a speech, resume, letter, essay, whatever. If the client is in business, I just fix it for him/her. If a student, I mark weak spots and give examples of something done right that he/she is doing wrong. To all I offer overall advice. I own the domain name,, where you'll find a perfectly horrible website, but it does have contact info. Part of the problem is I started writing it in 2014, when my target was professionals, then came back to it in 2017, when I decided to include students. My message was originally, just let me do it; you don't know the difference between "everyday" and "every day." But my message to students is "I'm not going to write this for you. You need to learn it." Anyway, since 2014 Weebly, the web host, has gone from easy to write to difficult. I don't need their bells and whistles. One afternoon I spent maybe three hours with phone support trying to access my old site. We failed. Then my 14-year-old son arrived from school. He had me up and running in about a minute and a half. My 12-year-old got me in checkmate after 3-4 moves the first time we played. So I have a good brain trust behind me. But, seriously, I want to start Literate in a Minute in part to give English grads, probably at least MAs, a place to work. The academic job market for liberal arts majors is brutal. Unfortunately, I don't even have a car at the moment. Some woman stopped for no apparent reason at a green light, causing a three-car collision, as the road was slick from a recent rainstorm. My car was the only one disabled, and I didn't have comprehensive insurance. Even though the collision was the woman's fault, legally, the guy in back is always to blame. That's why I left law school. I don't believe in blind justice. I'd like to see a lawyer ski down a mountain blindfolded, with no help from another skier. He/she might have an epiphany if he/she lived. Anyhow, I've been pretty much living on the edge financially. On the bright side is my wife, unless the email had a typo, will be inheriting a small fortune in a few days. I'm serious. My father-in-law died last summer, and his will just came out of probate. Apparently, he was a wealthy man. So, if she gets the money, I'm sure she would invest in my company or supplement my pathetic Social Security check and I could retire. On the other hand, my mother-in-law typed the email and the number of zeros behind the dollar sign could be a mistake. Then I'm stuck trying to start a business w/a checking account, the balance of which goes down every month. I believe the contact person is Ms. Felicia Brown. I'd like her advice in both cases. One, if I have a pile of money behind me, and two, if I'm almost broke and don't want to borrow. One credit card is killing me as it is. Well, that's all I have to say. Thanks in advance for your advice.

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Community Manager

So You Want to Start a Small Business

Message 25 of 25

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Have you ever dreamed of working for yourself or being your own boss? Wherever you are on the path to entrepreneurship, AARP is here to help. Felicia Brown (@febrown67) is leading AARP’s small business initiative to educate aspiring entrepreneurs. Ask her about your business ideas, writing a business plan, sources of funding, and more.


Ask AARP Expert Felicia about starting a small business!

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