Worksheet No. 12: Questions to Ask a Bookkeeper

You’re officially in operation. You’ve found your first clients, sent out several invoices, and you’re eagerly awaiting your initial payments.

It’s time to get a bookkeeper on board. Here are 20 questions to ask potential bookkeepers so you know what services you’ll be receiving, and be certain you have someone you can work with.

Thanks to bookkeeper Christie Mascelli of Assured Business Services for helping with these! You can download and print this handy checklist and use it as a guide when you’re interviewing bookkeepers and accountants.

Download: 20 Questions to Ask a Bookkeeper or Accountant (right click on PC or CTRL click on Mac to save to your computer).

Download: 20 Questions to Ask a Bookkeeper or Accountant

Worksheet No. 11: Budgeting

If you want a profitable business, you need to do some financial planning — something Danielle admits she initially neglected.  “When I started my business, I never came up with an actual number in my head, and I never wrote one down. That was a mistake.”

She advises: “Write down your number. It might not be the right number, but you have to start somewhere.”

Aliza had a number, but she wasn’t thinking big enough, she says. Her business partner helped set her on the right track. “In the first quarter after she joined me, she tripled the company’s revenues,” Aliza says.

The following worksheet can help you figure out roughly how much it costs to run your household, how much your spouse or partner can contribute, and a general estimate of the amount of income your new business would need to generate for you to make a minimum contribution. Later, you’ll want to add business expenses to the picture to understand how much more you’ll have to make to cover those, as well.

Download: Budget worksheet (right click on PC or CTRL click on Mac to save to your computer).

Download: Budget worksheet

Worksheet No. 10: Brand-Building Questions

What’s in a brand?

Your brand is what people think of when they hear your name. It’s what makes your business stand out — and why people pay attention to you.

Your brand is also the values that define you. Who are you — and what do you stand for? Danielle wants to spread “goodness.” Aliza is known for her work empowering women through technology.

The following chart presents a list of questions to set you on your brand-building path. If you don’t want to mark up the book, you can download the chart.

Download: Brand-Building Questions (right click on PC or CTRL click on Mac to save to your computer).

Download: Brand-Building Questions.

Worksheet No. 9: Office Space and Family Conversation Cheat Sheets

Of course, there are practical considerations when setting up a work-from-home business. The following charts offer some tips to ease the transition from mother and wife to mother, wife and business owner.

  1. You’ll need suitable space to work.
  2. Even if that space is small, there are ways to make it a productive workspace.
  3. You’ll want to set some rules for you and your family to follow. You have to respect family time, and the family has to respect your work time. Have this conversation with the whole family; you can’t set the rules unilaterally.
  4. If you’re working with a virtual assistant, make sure you set up a system that works for both of you. Discuss deadlines, preferred methods of communication and hours the assistant should be available.

If you don’t want to mark up the book, you can download the charts below.

Download: Cheat Sheets (right click on PC or CTRL click on Mac to save to your computer).

Download: Cheat Sheets (right click on PC or CTRL click on Mac to save to your computer).

Worksheet 8: Permitting Options

Once you’ve worked out an action plan for your business, find out what business licenses or permits you’re required to obtain. The Small Business Administration’s searchable database covers federal, state and local permits, licenses and registrations you might need to do business in your area. These are determined by your location (i.e., the city you live in) and by the business activity you engage in.

The following chart lists the permits you might need, and where you can get them. If you don’t want to mark up the book, you can download the chart.

Download: At a Glance Grid: Permitting Options (right click on PC or CTRL click on Mac to save to your computer).

Download: At a Glance Grid: Permitting Options

Download: At a Glance Grid: Permitting Options