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Moving from the idea stage to inception of your small business can be a daunting task for many. However, taking on the challenge of becoming a small business owner is actually more black and white than you think when you have the right tools on your belt.

After making the decision to operate your business from home or from a store front, applicants should head down to Town Hall to fill out some initial paperwork.  Things like the business name and location,  a State of Colorado sales tax number and a start date are required information to populate the forms.

Forms for at home and store front businesses.
Forms for at home and store front businesses.

The completed application goes under review to make sure it meets criteria for the area in which it will operate. “For the entire process, a safe bet is about two weeks once we submit the forms to zoning,” said Jane Chrestensen, Castle Rock Sales Tax Technician.

“From there, we pass along their information to the Castle Rock Chamber and the Econimic Development Council to give them access to other resources for their business,” Christensen added.

However, obtaining the proper licensing for your business is only part of the puzzle. Denise Fuller, owner of Castle Rock Florist knows that experience, as well as solid knowledge of the movement of money is crucial to its survival.

“I first started as a teen moping floors for a florist eventually working my way up to management before deciding I wanted to have my own shop,” Fuller remembers. Now 22 years later, she credits her experience to helping the shop weather the storm.

“We started on Jerry Street, near the Chamber of Commerce and were there for almost 10 years,” she continued, “We’ve learned a lot since then.” Now at their new location near Fourth and Perry Street, she will be the first to say that knowledge of running a business from the backend is as important as its location.

“I’m grateful that I learned how to manage the cost of goods,” she added. “The specs have to be right on- you buy too much and don’t sell enough, especially with perishable merchandise, you’re out of luck.” And having two months where the business isn’t turning a profit can put your new business out of business.

Along with having a handle on costs and profit, saving and paying taxes is sometimes forgotten in the equation. Fuller said, “The backend, making sure that things like payroll taxes, sales taxes and quarterly taxes are paid is imperative.”

Though it can be done on your own, she suggests seeking the help of a bookkeeper to keep things on track. “It’s a basic formula, but all the pieces must be considered.”

For those with business ideas who want to take the next step, Fuller likewise suggests remaining optimistic and not letting obstacles hold you back. “Finding a bank that want to give you a loan for your idea is the next hurdle,” she smiled. “But don’t give up. Someone will eventually see your vision.”