I’ve now got an occupational license ($11 for a half year), a Florida tax certificate, and an IRS employer ID number. I expect my employer will approve my official request for outside employment, since it doesn’t conflict with their interests, and then I’ll officially have a side business. I’ve already registered with CompUSA and Costco.
My dad is my model for a successful independent business owner, and he’s proud to give me advice. I’ve also had very helpful advice from and others.
Since I’m starting in the red, I’m trying to be careful about expenses. Model releases, if I need them, can be printed on 4×6 cards and filed in an index-card box I already own. I can burn CDs on a computer that’s already in our household, and I can find a cheap filing thingy to store all necessary paperwork. I should probably get some sort of order/receipt form, too. And business cards would be a nice touch. Oh, padded mailers, of course.
On the other hand, I don’t yet need a DVD burner with LightScribe (though that would be classy; you can burn a photo’s image onto the surface), so that’s $130 Costco won’t be getting. And therefore I don’t need any DVD blanks. If I find a steady stream of income, I might start saving up for the next Dell half-off laptop sale; my current laptop has only 1GB free space (of 6GB) and USB 1.x, making it unlikely to be useful for quick turnaround at a shoot. Then again, perhaps nobody wants just the CDs. Perhaps most people want me to send them prints in an album or something. We’ll see. And later, again if there’s a reason to do so, I might try full-color business cards. Meanwhile, I’m using a free online spreadsheet for my records. I want to keep this lean unless there’s a really good reason to invest more.
PS to : if you have a wildflower vanity plate, I think I saw you coming home on MLK around quarter to seven. I was one of the guys passing your column of traffic in the other lane, getting around that truck before the I-75 on-ramp.