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Let’s Put on Your Business Training-Wheels

Wouldn’t it be a relief to have someone guide you through the first few months of starting your business?

Wouldn’t it feel reassuring to have an advisor who could not only write and review forms and contracts but also answer your questions about business practices?

If you answered yes . . .

That’s where I come in. I advise business owners like you because I’ve been there: overwhelmed and scared of doing something wrong but desperately wanting the freedom and options of working for myself.

I created this start-up kit just for you, so you don’t have to go it alone and figure it all out by yourself like I did.

I started out by taking workshops and reading books. Then I began teaching business classes (because one of the best ways for me to learn anything is to agree to stand up and teach it to others). And now, guess what . . . I’m also writing a book on it!

Enough about me – what’s in it for YOU?!

Biz 101 Start-Up Kit Contents

This kit is a 90-day business-launching program that includes the following:

  • Initial in-person consultation to discuss your business dreams and needs. Value: $200
  • Formation of a single-member LLC, including filing fee, to protect your personal assets. Value: $400
  • Preparation of a waiver of liability or informed consent form to protect your business and set you apart as a professional. Value: $150
  • Review of a lease or contract with tips on negotiating a better agreement (or preparation of second form for your business). Value: $150
  • A 30-minute phone consultation each month for three months to check in on your business progress. Value: $300
  • Regular emails in response to your questions about the start-up process. Value: $100
  • Worksheets to help you focus on the launch steps, find your market niche, and establish your rates and business budget. Value: $75
  • Guidance and support from an advisor with real-world experience. Value: priceless
  • Total value: $1,375
  • Total investment for Biz 101 Start-Up Kit: $900

Flexible Payment Option

You can take advantage of the flexible payment option by paying for the Kit over three months. That’s $300 a month for three months – an investment in your business and peace of mind.

Ready to launch your business dreams?

Click the button to download the Start-Up Kit agreement.

Sign me up!

Success Favors the Prepared Business Owner

Don’t let fear and overwhelm stop you from starting the business of your dreams. By working with me you get your own professional advisor to help you navigate your way through the start-up process. In exchange, you receive not only legal documents to establish and protect your business, but also authentic advice and one-on-one guidance.

If you prefer to go it alone

I understand that you might not be ready to make this investment. If you prefer to figure it out on your own, check out some great free resources here. Also, remember to always maintain your professional liability insurance. (You do carry professional liability insurance, right?)

If Crossing Your Fingers and Hoping for the Best Aren’t Your Style

If going it alone isn’t your style because you don’t have the time and energy to wade through all the free resources and classes out there, or you know one-size-fits-all advice won’t work for you, it’s time to make an investment in your dreams by working with me.

Still have questions?

Not sure if the Start-Up Kit is right for you? Let’s talk!

Contact me

Last year I took a trip to Bali, Indonesia. A day after I arrived I went shopping to find saris and scarves for a visit the next day to a water temple. My guide had given me an idea of what these items would cost and suggested walking away if I thought the price was too high. I found colorful saris I liked and haggled a bit before happily returning to the resort with my purchase. Later in the day I realized I hadn’t gotten a very good deal at all. The combination of jet lag, a short timeline in which to purchase, and my poor attempt at converting the exchange rate of 13,000 Indonesian Rupiah for one US Dollar in my head had foiled my negotiating skills.

You Have More Experience Negotiating than You Think

Negotiation can feel overwhelming, especially because we may feel like we don’t do it often in the U.S., where items are usually priced as marked, unless they’re big-ticket items like cars and homes. But if you think about it, you’re negotiating nearly every day – with your partner, kids, coworkers, and yourself – over what will get done, how, and when.

 

Negotiating Tips

As a business owner there may be a number of things that you can negotiate, such as the lease price for your space, and the price for services you utilize or products you purchase. Take my Bali shopping story as an example of (mostly) what not to do. 

  1. Do your research. Whatever you are purchasing or leasing, do your research on what the standard price range is in your area. A space for rent in downtown Des Moines may have a different price tag than the same-sized space outside the metro. Know what the price includes and do some comparison shopping. Talk with others in your industry or trusted friends and advisers about the going rate.
  2. Know your own mind. What are your requirements? What must the ticket price include for you? And how much are you willing to pay? If you have a good sense of what is important or not for you, you may be less likely to be swayed by emotion or a crafty sales pitch.
  3. Listen to the other party. This is the step most of us forget. You may be so caught up in what you want, you don’t pay attention to the other party’s desires. What is it the other party really wants out of the negotiation? If you listen, you’ll find out, even if it’s not something that was in an advertisement. Even more than the asking price, perhaps what the landlord really wants is a reliable and conscientious tenant.
  4. Be willing to walk away. If it turns out the offer wasn’t what you thought, or the product/space/service looked better on the screen than in person, or you just don’t have a good feeling about it, be willing to walk away. It may be you need time to step back and clear your head to try again later. It’s also possible you just need to walk away completely, especially if someone is difficult to deal with or unwilling to negotiate in any way. That could be a sign this isn’t someone you want to do business with in the first place.

These are just a few considerations to keep in mind while you negotiate as a business owner. You may not do it as well as you like, but you’ll get better with time. I did much better the second time I negotiated in Bali, and even started walking away when the sale price was too much. Ultimately, I got a souvenir I love for a fair price.

Questions?

Please contact me at 515.238.4683 or regenoldlaw@gmail.com if you have questions about negotiating or any other aspect of your health & wellness business.

As I was finishing up massage school at the end of 2016, my friend Bob suggested we rent a space together. I was planning to start my own business while he still had a full-time job and wanted to offer massage on the side. It made sense financially to rent a space together. But the idea gave me pause for two reasons: 1) I know myself pretty well and sharing just isn’t one of my strengths; and 2) Bob was my friend and I wanted to keep it that way. Given those two things, could sharing space possibly work?

Doing Business Together

You and your friend get along great and your skills complement each other. So, when you have a great business idea, it only makes sense to form a business together, right? Maybe.

“The mere exercise of developing a partnership agreement will illuminate the unspoken fears and foibles that usually stay hidden until things get fractured. The process will also bring forth the beautiful synergies and intentions that make the union so potentially rewarding.” – Danielle Laporte, The Firestarter Sessions, at p. 284 (Harmony Books 2012).

Not So Fast

While my friend Bob and I weren’t planning to form a business together, sharing space would impact both of our businesses and our friendship. I suggested we sit down and talk about the idea first. I wanted to know what kind of space he was looking for and how he wanted to decorate it because one space needed to be able to reflect both of us. Then there was how much we were willing to pay in rent and how to split it, as well as what kind of schedule we’d each keep. Once talked about it and found we had a similar vision, we began looking for a space that fit that vision.

“You’re laying the groundwork here for how you will continue to make important decisions, manage change, and respond to tough times together.” – Id.

Forming a Business Partnership

Even if you and your friend don’t choose to create a formal partnership by registering with the Iowa Secretary of State, you may still be treated like a partnership in the eyes of the law. That means you could both be liable for the other’s actions if you’re sued, and without a formal structure, you personal assets could be vulnerable. Not to mention the detriment to your friendship if your business doesn’t work out or if it’s fantastically successful but not following the vision of one of the original partners. When all is said and done, will your friendship remain?

“If you can’t face your present-day fears directly, then you’re ill-prepared for harsh realities. And that’s the prickly, uncomfortable work that needs to be done when cocreating agreements.” – Id.

Put it in Writing

A strong partnership requires a written partnership agreement. That begins with a discussion between the two of you about the division of responsibility, shares of the business, legal rights to anything you create, and what happens if one of you wants to leave the partnership or dies. Once you’ve talked through these details, which admittedly isn’t easy, then you can put them into writing.

Once Bob and I found a space we both liked, we sat down again to discuss the details. We negotiated how much we’d pay and the schedule we each wanted. We talked about how we wanted to decorate it and who’s equipment we’d use since we both had massage tables and Thai mats. This required give and take by both of us. 

After the discussions, I wrote up a simple agreement that we both read and signed. It reflected all the things we’d talked about. It was also a good tool when one of us didn’t remember something because that’s part of what happens with verbal agreements – people recall details incorrectly or don’t remember the whole thing. That’s why you want to put your partnership agreement in writing. I’m happy to say that when our lease was up, and I decided to close my massage practice to focus on my law practice, we were, and still are, friends.

Our agreement was a simple one, and I’m an attorney. You may want to consult with an attorney as well about your partnership agreement because there may be issues or complications you’re not aware of. Then you can focus on the joy of doing business with your friend!

“If you can make it through the agreement-building process, you clear the runway to really soar.” – Id.

Questions?

If you have any questions about forming a partnership or creating a partnership agreement, please contact me at 515.238.483 or regenoldlaw@gmail.com.