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Ask the Patch Pro: Local Experts Answer Questions About Starting Your Own Business

Our panel of experts are waiting in the comments to answer your questions about starting a business in the latest installment of Ask the Patch Pro.

It's time for another edition of Ask the Patch Pro, where each week we tackle a different topic and open up the comments section for questions. Our team of experts stop in to help you out and answer your questions.

This week we're talking business. Thinking about starting your own business, but not quite sure where to start? Patch wants to help you find answers to your questions this week, but we needed some help.

We've compiled a team of experts to help us out. Meet the experts:

  • Irene Liu: CEO, iReignMarketing
  • Christopher Bent: Attorney
  • Mary Kausch:Chief Insight Officer at HR etc!
  • Richard Moore, M.D.: Medical Director/President of The Lifestyle Center in Clayton
  • Robin Tidwell: Author/All on The Same Page Bookstore/Rocking Horse Publishing
  • Brenda S. Doblinger: Sales Manager for SIGNARAMA, St. Charles
  • Darryl J. Sandweg: Senior Vice President Peoples Bank & Trust Co., O'Fallon
  • Christopher Thornton: Attorney/Small Business Owner 

Have a question? Ask our experts in the comment section below! 

PaulRevere March 01, 2013 at 10:27 PM
Can you "cook"? Can you speak Italian.? Just kidding! Actually, if you can do this alone, then lesser problems. But, if you need employees, that makes you a people person. Do you have that in you.
PaulRevere March 01, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Chris, nice points. I have always suggested "aspiring" new business owners first work in their dream job under someone else. That experience can eliminate 50% of the mistakes made by "cold" starting your own operation. Pizza shops look easy. Work at one first, and see how the owner handles all the problems and settings and employees. This applies to any business.
Doblinger Brenda March 01, 2013 at 10:39 PM
I don't know a whole lot about non-profits, however, according to grantspace.org if you have a service that already exists then it will be harder to get money. Do your research! Investigate how many food pantries exist and determine the need that is not being served. Also, similar to what I recommended before, go and work in an existing food bank and learn from the mistakes they've made before taking on your own, they may be interested in a fiscal sponsorship for you to get started.
Miki McKee Koelsch March 04, 2013 at 05:06 AM
I've entered a partnership for handyman services. The business helps people do things or does things for them. We've formed and LLC and are not commingling funds. The bank suggested that we have two separate accounts, one depository only and one in which we deposit funds to cover expenses as necessary, so that if someone unlawfully gains access to the checking account, they don't get into the income account. Also Charter Business has suggested attaching the business cell phone to the home phone number. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions on either of these options?
Robin Tidwell March 04, 2013 at 02:25 PM
I don't see the benefit of two separate checking accounts, just more fees for the bank and more work for you and your partner. As for the phone - sounds to me like more of an expense again. Even if Charter doesn't charge a fee for this, if you're using a cell as a business phone why would you want it to ring to your home? In my experience, most people answer a home phone with "hello" which, by itself, is somewhat unprofessional.

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