AMM Communications LLC is fast approaching our two-year anniversary. June 1 marks the official day. If you had told me three years ago I would be a business owner, I would have said “Get out of here! I don’t have what it takes.” Well, Lady Luck or Lady Fate — whatever your preference — dealt a lucky hand in my direction.
In the Spring of 2008, I had an amicable departure from my former employer — a small, independently owned firm in Kansas City started by two talented professionals. (My former employer is a top quality group and one of the leading marketing communication firms in the Kansas City area.) Even though I received several job offers to go work at other agencies, I wanted to make a go of it on my own. No regrets to date.
Ed and I started AMM Communications with clients before we had a company name. That is unusual and one where we know was a blessing to be in that position. We were in a position to begin are company with immediate sales and also focus on building the pipeline.
Rhonda Abrams, a small business columnist for USA Today, has a great column in the March 5, 2010 issue focusing on sales and forget the financing. Here is a link to the column, http://bit.ly/d8HyTH. She said the best type of financing to start a business is with sales….it’s also the toughest.
For us, we’ve only managed our business through sales. Now I understand that a start-up of two consultants based in a home office is different then a manufacturing company or a restaurant. My goal for this column is to inform and maybe even inspire other one-person and two-person start-ups with our story.
The way we allocate our money is conservative and to some extent tight but we are reaching our goal of a 6-month reserve, meeting our financial obligations, paying quarterly taxes on time and maximizing our retirement accounts. Below is a percent of how we allocate our funds:
- 30 percent to taxes — No matter what, set money aside first to pay the government.
- 10 percent to yourself — Until we reach our six-month reserve, we will keep it at 10 percent with a goal of increasing it to 15-18 percent. Also, pay yourself. Who else will take care of your in retirement?
- 10 percent to company reserves — You need cash on hand. Just like your personal emergency fund, build one for your business.
- The rest of the 50 percent covers everything else!
If you are in business, you are always selling — don’t assume that if sales isn’t in your job title you don’t sell. If you are just starting out, I wish you tremendous success and much luck in your new venture. Your sales will happen sooner if you aren’t spending your time seeking alternative sources of financing. Go out there and sell!
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Founded in 2008, St. Louis-based AMM Communications LLC is an integrated public relations and marketing firm that provides public relations, marketing, crisis communication, social media and sales management training for small- and mid-cap financial institutions, professional service firms and manufacturing companies. For more information, please navigate to www.ammcommunications.com or call 314.485.4390.