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EXECUTION Made it to Scottsdale and Business Update

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by GuitarManDan, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. CareCPA
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    CareCPA Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    You can hold off on the S election if you want, until you see if it makes sense.
    S Corp traps you into payroll and an additional tax filing. A single-member LLC will show up on your personal return. You might want to wait until the added cost of running payroll and having another tax filing outweighs the cost of self-employment tax that is being saved.
     
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  2. GuitarManDan
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    Thanks! When I create the entity, will I need to make an election or is there a default that would make more sense?

    This is the info I really need to dig into so I appreciate any advice. I’ve currently just been invoicing using FreshBooks and making it paid to me personally.

    Need to investigate business bank accounts and all of that jazz too.
     
  3. CareCPA
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    The default for a single-member LLC is a disregarded entity, so it would just show up on your Schedule C. You would need to elect to be treated as an S Corp.
    Technically, if you want to be an S Corp, you have to elect within 2.5 months of entity formation (or year-end for the subsequent year), but the IRS has historically been extremely lenient on late elections.
     
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  4. vth
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    @GuitarManDan
    Arizona heat can be brutal - and so can the cold - but the one consistently amazing time here is sunset/sunrise.

    It's beautiful out during these times and honestly is the best time to be outside. Personally I try not to miss a sunset any time during the year and get up for the sunrise when I can. Nothing will capture the beauty of the desert more.
     
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  5. GuitarManDan
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    I've heard amazing things! Any recommended spots to catch a good sunset view? I still need to do some hiking while I'm here too, I've only checked out Pinnacle Peak so far, but have heard great things about Camelback and Tom's Thumb.
     
  6. GuitarManDan
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    Thanks again for your help. I think I'm going to efile online myself ($85 vs. $500 with the lawfirm I spoke with). It's going to be a single-member LLC and then I can file for an EIN after.

    The law firm recommended that I get quickbooks too for accounting purposes. I'm currently just using freshbooks for invoicing and I've been using google sheets to track any relevant expenses/revenue. Do you think I need a system like quickbooks with what I'm doing?

    I'll also be sure to open a business bank account in the company's name after I get an EIN and after I efile.
     
  7. vth
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    Not much of a hiker myself so I can’t say. I just take it in wherever I am. With that said, any elevation gain here will make it that much better.
     
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  8. Crexty
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    Welcome man! Let me know if you want to meet up!
     
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  9. Crexty
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    get quickbooks, its worth the money. When you can, hire a bookkeeper for like $150 a month, it takes a big burden off my shoulders by letting them do it for me.



    ui
     
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  10. CareCPA
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    I think it depends on your size. If you're bootstrapping and just starting, I have no issue with spreadsheets and bank statements. However, the point where you need an accounting system to keep track of your financials comes much earlier than most people think.
    There are plenty of options out there: QBO, Xero, I think Freshbooks even allows for expense tracking (maybe?), Wave, I've heard good things about Zoho One so you get an entire suite of business tools...the list keeps growing.
     
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    I'm not an expert on this corporation stuff. I went through LegalZoom and regretted it, but learned from it. They overcharged for everything. They also made it sound like I had to choose between a C or S-Corp. With my uncle's advice, I went with an S-Corp, but I regretted it afterward. I should have left it what it was.

    Also, filing for an EIN is FREE through the IRS. Do not pay for it like some companies make you believe. You can do that now as long as you have your business name.
     
  12. GuitarManDan
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    Hey everyone, haven't posted on here in a while. Here's what I've been up to since I last posted:

    -Successfully finished and uploaded my first paying client's website, he was very happy with it and it led to repeat business.
    -Recently closed a small/easy $800 site with a previous client that owns another business.
    -About to close and get paid for a $4000 site with someone I networked with back in New York that we agreed upon.
    -Proposed a $6500 site for a really successful Scottsdale law firm. Still haven't heard back yet but going to follow up next week as the in-person meeting went really well.

    In terms of taking action since I've been out here:

    -Made over 200 cold calls reaching out to local businesses. This led to the potential 6500 site and a few other pending deals I'm working on. I think this may not be the best use of my time though, so I'm going to start focusing heavily on in-person networking events. A lot of business owners I cold called didn't need a site, but were happy to meet up and introduce me to other business owners in the area so I took advantage of that opportunity.
    -Met up with some other Fastlaners in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area.
    -Joined a few sports leagues and have met some friends and really cool people out here so far. Focusing on taking massive action and growing the business as the #1 priority, but coming from the insane hours and awful environment of investment banking, I'm trying to take it all in and enjoy my time out here.

    Good news is it looks like April will be at least $4800 in revenue for my web design business! The main goal is to get to a point where I'm consistently covering my expenses and keep scaling this up.

    Will keep everyone posted how it's going.
     
  13. MJ DeMarco
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    I would have joined you guys, but I didn't get the memo because I don't FREQUENT FREAKING FACEBOOK! :clench:

    Play any poker? :playful:
     
  14. GuitarManDan
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    Haha, I've found myself using Facebook these days only for the events feature. I do enjoy playing poker!
     
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    BB9E9803-7360-4D02-B482-D416E521E2EA.jpeg
     
  16. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Really exciting news today! There were some delays with the $4k site that I closed a few months back, but he just called me up that he's all ready to go.

    Sent over the invoice and collected the 50% deposit this afternoon. I see this as a client that can bring me to the next level and my main focus these next few weeks is doing the best possible job for him!

    The deal includes:
    -Customized website
    -Email marketing integration and setup
    -Scheduling coordinator integration and setup
    -Basic social media platform setup and some basic assistance to get him started

    In other news, I've been focusing heavily on in-person networking and it's been going great so far. Last night I went to a happy hour for business owners and everyone seemed to enjoy my story of saying screw Wall Street and starting my own business.

    Instead of miserably cold calling people, I was hanging out at a bar with a few drinks and had people coming up to me asking if I could help with their website. Next steps for this upcoming week:

    -Set up the LLC and create the business bank acct
    -Look into joining the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce to have more opportunities for in-person networking
     
  17. GuitarManDan
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    Huge news, guys!!

    Just closed a $1,500 WordPress site redo for a famous comedian!

    So a little back story, a good friend of mine back in NYC told me she brought in a big client for her comedy talent management business she works for and she isn't going to see any commission on that. A light bulb went off in my head and I told her if she introduced me to anyone where I made a sale, I'd give her 15% of the total sale.

    Next week, famous comedian she works with said he quickly needs a redo for his WordPress site and their company was frantically trying to find someone.

    I quoted them at $800 - $2000 and the manager said $1500 works.

    Just had a call with the comedian and my friend and he saw me as an expert because I had social proof (introduced from his management company). He told me exactly what he's looking for in the site (basic social media feeds, link to his iTunes comedy specials, YouTube videos, etc) and he kept thanking me for helping him out.

    The manager of the comedy talent agency said "do right by us with this client and we'll make sure you have plenty of work in the future".

    I'm so damn excited that months of hard work is finally paying off - This April will be my first month I cover all my expenses and I'll bring in $5500 total (so far) just this month.
     
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  18. MJ DeMarco
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    Could open the door to a nice little niche. I designed Jo Blow Comedian's website, I can do yours just as well!
     
  19. GuitarManDan
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    That's exactly what I was thinking too! So the #1 priority was overdelivering for this client and giving him a great customer experience.

    After working like crazy for the past week, I sent over the comedian the first full draft of the site and just got this feedback and I couldn't be happier:

    "Hey Dan! I think this is great! I love the layout. I will try and get some high res pictures for you and a list of tour dates, music videos to include, etc by later today. But terrific work! I love it!"

    I couldn't ask for a better first impression with the comedian and the management company who promised me more work if I do right by them here.

    Now it's time to continue to do a great job and finish up the final touches with this site and ensure everything goes smoothly. I'll keep everyone posted.
     
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  20. GuitarManDan
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    Hey Everyone,

    I know it's been a while since I updated the thread on here - I've mainly been working hard to overdeliver for the two clients that I closed at the end of April ($1500 for the comedian and $4000 for the retirement planner).

    The challenge I've been facing so far is the learning curve and trying to wrap up the projects (and of course, deliver) in the quickest time possible so that I can free up my time to bring in new business. Right now the current two projects have been going on for 4-5 weeks, which is longer than I'd like, but both are very close to being closed out. Most of the delays are on the clients side... it took me about 10 days to make the full websites for the clients. It's just waiting on small items here and there with few day delays.

    I've been continuing to go to networking events to work on getting some business in the pipeline.

    Another challenge is trying to line up new business while I'm spending most of my time working with the few clients I have now.

    I'll keep everyone posted as updates come in! On a more personal level, Scottsdale and Arizona has been incredible...

    I've already made a lot of friends out here and decided to renew my lease on my apartment. I've started to date a girl I met out here too and it's been amazing for my personal development making this move. It's really great to know that I can move somewhere new where I don't know anyone and make it work.

    At the moment I'm involved in a bowling and a sand volleyball league with some friends and so far it hasn't gotten crazy hot (yet) in the AZ summer!
     
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  21. GuitarManDan
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    It's been too long since I've updated everyone so here's what's been going on since I last posted:
    • Comedian's Website: The comedian's website is completely finished. I really made a huge emphasis not only on over delivering but also giving the client a great customer experience from start to finish. Everyone in Fox's web design Facebook group helped me out a lot to provide a great website and copywriting for him. The client was really happy and now I'm going to see if he could give my business a shoutout on Twitter (he has around 55k followers so I figure that should lead to some referrals).
    • Retirement Planner Website: The retirement client has been dragging his feet a little bit as he's been crazy busy. He's still very happy with how everything is coming out and keeps thanking me, but the website has been 99% completed for about 3 weeks now and this one is dragging on longer than I would prefer. Definitely one of the challenges of this that I wasn't familiar with.
    • Overall Pipeline: One big challenge I've had is that for the past 4-6 weeks I've just put my head down and focused almost all my effort on over delivering for my two big clients (previously mentioned) and now I'm having issues getting new deals in the pipeline. I know these two big projects will lead to solid referrals, but who knows when they will come in. This is what I've been doing to work on getting more deals in the pipeline:
    1. Networking - I've been attending a lot of events and trying to gain a local presence here in Scottsdale. I'm planning on joining the Chamber of Commerce and one other group that meets every Monday. I'm the only web designer in the Monday group so I'm excited about that.

    2. Cold emailing/calling - I'm trying to not fill my days cold emailing/calling because I'm not sure how effective that will be as a use of my time now that I have some solid projects under my belt.

    3. Following up with previous leads that never went through (for various reasons) - a lot of business owners drag their feet with this because they don't see it as being too important to them and I'm sure other projects come up

    It's a challenge and definitely a little stressful as I haven't brought in new business in around a month and half due to how much I've been working on the other two sites. But the great news is my clients I've worked with are happy and I'm sure it will start leading to referrals.

    For now though, the heavy emphasis is marketing and getting more deals in the pipeline ASAP.
     
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  22. MJ DeMarco
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    It's starting to get HOT -- whatdya think?
     
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  23. GuitarManDan
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    It was definitely a shock the first day it was almost 110 but I think I’m getting used to it!

    No more hiking but the AC in my apartment is great and most of my outdoor activities have been at night (joined a night sand volleyball league).

    Curious to see what 120 feels like now haha.
     
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  24. GuitarManDan
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    Closed a $1,200 WordPress site sale today!

    This afternoon I was doing some cold calls and following up with some older leads when this one guy I'd been going back and forth with (didn't seem interested at first glance) was open to hearing about how I could help and eventually convinced him to go ahead with updating his site for $1200 (deposit already paid this afternoon).

    Huge relief because I know I can deliver on this project and I know I'll get him better results and it's great to make another decent-sized sale.

    If there's anything I learned from this one, it's the benefit of persistence and not taking things personally. When I first quoted this business owner for 1200, he pretty aggressively told me he would never pay that much for a "website that looks somewhat nicer".

    Instead of getting offended or hurt, I simply pushed back that I get build websites that get businesses results and went through different benefits and highlighted issues with his current setup.

    Will keep everyone posted on how this project goes, but he seems very committed so far (already paid the deposit, sent over pictures, and provided some additional info I need to get started).
     
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  25. GuitarManDan
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    Another deal closed! This has been a great week for the business.

    $1,000 one page simple HTML site for a networking business owner I met at a few events.

    I just happened to look at his site and saw how bad it was and sent him an email suggesting a few things he could do to improve it and he wanted to have a call to discuss.

    Call went really well, I originally quoted him at $1250 and he said he could do it at $1000 which I'm fine with because this guy knows a lot of local business owners and this is my first client in Arizona since I've been here (all other clients are back home in NJ/NY).

    I know I'm going to overdeliver for this client and I'm really excited to work on this one.
     

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