Yeah, I kinda knew it wouldn't be as simple as unpacking Varsity Jackets, and finding where the nearest Post Office was. Setting Muklet back up over here, has become quite the task. Without wanting to sound like a martyr it's been a little difficult even finding time and opportunity to get the Muklet cogs turning. Between unpacking, assembling furniture and churning through life admin paperwork and without childcare it's been tough finding time to do what I need to do to get this business rolling again.
To give myself some credit (because I am my own boss, and I do believe in encouraging and supporting my employees) we have achieved a heck of a lot in the 8 weeks since I landed with the lads. Someone asked the other day on a Facebook forum to think about what you have achieved in the last month as opposed to all those things you still needed to do. It's a good exercise, and one I would recommend you try.
So, here we go, we've:
Received and unpacked our worldly possessions (and whilst we attempt to put everything away the boys proceed to TAKE EVERYTHING OUT AGAIN!)
Bought 2 cars, and learnt how to drive American stylee on the opposite side of the road (that's just me, my American boy had a head start on that one)
Sorted social security cards, bank accounts, cell phones, Rancillio coffee machine (last one being most important)
Found Mum-friend in staggering distance from home to drink wine with as a reward for accomplishing all of above.
On the business front I've been working hard to find people over here to advise me, and most importantly cost out opening and running Muklet Stateside. I'll cover more of this in detail in a later post, but I've found it's a wee bit more complex opening a small business than I had anticipated.
A key piece of advice is considering if your business may have any 'risk of liability'. I've got to hear this 'liability' word quite often in the conversations I've had so far! Liability could be anything from someone copying your ideas, to let's say getting a button stuck up their nose! I've personally not done that, but my brother did once stick my Dad's 1980's desk toy up his nose which resulted in a trip to A&E that I've never let him forget about!
If you think that there is any risk of liability I've been advised to set myself up as an 'entity' or 'company' to us non legal jargon folk. This then separates your business assets from your personal assets - so my collection of Cafe Nero reward cards and my fave ASOS dungarees can be safe and protected!
I've also since discovered there's a bunch of legal paperwork to accompany forming an entity. There's also separate accountancy fees for filing company and personal tax returns to consider. In California there is also a $800 minimum company tax payment, so even if you make a loss at the end of the year, you need to pay that $800. So, all in all, just to get the legal, accounting and tax stuff sorted for this year its going to set me back at least $6000-$7000. Given that the US tax year runs January to December that gives me about 6-8 weeks to try and make a lot of money to justify that outlay! Understandably some of that will be one off payments to get set up, but still, it ain't small change, and at this rate that's all I'm going to have left after all that - small change!
Now, that's not to say I'm giving up. That just ain't my style anyway. When I'm faced with a challenge, it just makes me more determined to figure out another way to reach my goal. Yes, I admit, I've had a few wobbles, I think we all do right?! You have those moments in life where you ask yourself if it's all worth it? Am I doing the right thing? But this means too much to me to not at least give it a darn good try, I've come too far (5,445 miles too far to be exact-ish) to not pursue this. It may not happen as fast, and grow at the speed I'd ideally want, but I'm going to take steps to move it in the right direction- onwards and upwards!
It means I'm going to have to put my business head on, and make some strategic decisions. Yes, I need to speculate, and take some risks in order to grow, but they need to be calculated risks. We have a family to support, but we also have this moment. This is a rare opportunity to take a leap, and see if we can make this idea work. Creating a business that fulfils me creatively, that gives me time with the lads, and makes enough money to sustain itself and to eventually sustain us.
So, thank you for sticking with me, for following this work in progress. Watch this space, and I'll keep you updated how we're progressing. This Momma bear has some ideas up her Varsity sleeve, just you wait and see!