Olde World Enterprises, Inc.

One Step at a Time…

Our Business Guide to Starting Your Olde World Stone and Tile Manufacturing Business

You've yearned to be in your own business, but the thought of doing so seems overwhelmingly difficult...

Not anymore. We've broken down the process into easy to follow steps for you. Follow them, and your business will be up and running within a very short period of time.

Okay... You've made one commitment! You are going to be an Olde World Stone & Tile manufacturer. You've paid your money, you've received your manuals on CD, Start-Up Kit, Production Video, FREE Bonuses, etc., etc.

Okay, fine! I want to be "up and running", BUT... How do I go about doing this? Where do I start? How will all of the things that need doing... get done?

Much of what you normally need to do before starting your business has already been done for you. We've defined your niche. We've identified and targeted your customer. We've done most of the work on your Business Plan for you already. We've done the market and industry research for you. We've identified your competition. Etc., etc., etc.

YOUR GUARANTEE!
Firstly, There ARE no guarantees that we can give you. Only YOU can guarantee YOUR success. We give you the tools-- you do the work. That's why it's called "YOUR" business. We will endeavor to do everything we can to help you succeed. Obviously, you believe that or you wouldn't have come on board, and you wouldn't be reading this! We've tried to anticipate many of the questions you may have about starting a business. MOST of what you need to know is part of your regular training... that's the easy part!

What about the rest? We all have our own interest and experience levels. You may think that much of what we cover here is common knowledge. You may think to yourself, everybody knows "THAT". Well, everybody doesn't know "THAT". YOU may know that, but the next guy may not. We've tried to answer the common questions that many times, fall through the cracks, because, everybody knows "THAT".

Everything on this list may not be applicable to your situation. Use what you can from it, but be sure that something is not applicable to your situation before discarding it. Rather than number all of the points, we've chosen to utilize boxes that need to be checked. Box 1, upon investigating or commencing the task, then Box 2 gets checked upon completion of the task. Some of these items take time to complete, or you may be forced to wait for someone else to complete them.

USE THE BOXES! They will keep you on track, and are good reference tools to remind you of unfinished tasks.

LET'S BEGIN

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[ ]           [ ] Print out your Training Manual CDs

[ ]           [ ] Read Your Training Manuals.

[ ]           [ ] Read Your Training ManualsAGAIN.

[ ]           [ ] Watch Your Training Video.

[ ]           [ ] Name Your Business: Brainstorm ideas for a name that's easy to spell and say, memorable, and conveys what you do. Test ideas on friends, family and potential customers. Choose three or four possibilities; do a trademark search to see if anyone else is using the names. You may want to consider including the term "stone tile" in your name, as this is the product you will be manufacturing and marketing. Not necessary, but a consideration. Some of the current Producer names are: Olde Country Stone Tile, Exquisite Tile, Robin's Stone Tile Designs, Cast Stone Products, Meridian Tile, Brick and Stone. Some considerations: _____ Stone Tile, _____ Stone Tile Works, Stone Tile by _______, ________ Stone & Tile.

[ ]           [ ] Decide On a Legal Structure: Sole proprietorship, partnership, "C" Corporation, "S" Corporation or limited liability company. Business structure affects tax and legal liability. Consult an accountant or attorney.

[ ]           [ ] Find a Location: Ideally, you would like at least 1,500 square feet in an industrial park location. The building should have at least a ten-foot high, (higher if possible), overhead type door to facilitate deliveries of sand and shipments of tile. No other special needs are required. The building should have a water source and electric, of course. If 220-volt service is available, it is the preferred power source. It is less expensive to run your mixer on 220 volts, and you get the benefit of additional torque to the mixer motor. Review the examples of the plant layouts in your Starter Kit and call OWE before making your final decision. Make simple drawings of the proposed buildings being considered and send them to OWE for review if possible. While traffic locations are always desirable, they are not necessary with this business. Customers will seek you out. Rent in an industrial location is normally less expensive than commercial or retail. There are no environmental or waste considerations to be concerned about as our system is clean. We even recycle our cleaning water. Be sure to mention that to the proposed lessor. Many times, they won't rent to a company that may potentially pose an environmental concern, or one that will generate a lot of waste. Your business will do neither.

[ ]           [ ] Negotiate Your Lease: Do not just accept the lease terms offered to you unless you feel that they are fair and acceptable to you. Be sure to read the manual section on negotiating a lease before accepting it.

[ ]           [ ] Get Licenses and Permits: Contact your city's business license department, building department, county health department, fire department and city zoning board to see what you need in the way of licenses and/or permits to start your business. Each municipality is different, and you may, or may not, require licenses and/or permits in your particular area. Once you have applied for the permits, the various departments will usually need to come out and inspect the building that you will be utilizing for the business. Be sure to ask what is necessary in the way of fire extinguishers. You don't want to fail the inspection because you overlooked getting a fire extinguisher. Should the building fail the inspection due to something being wrong with the building, advise the owner, and have it fixed. Depending on what it is, you will no doubt have to order a re-inspection before you will be issued a Certificate of Occupancy. There is usually another charge for the second inspection. You should charge back the building owner for that and for any repairs, etc. that needed to be made to the building in order for you to legally occupy it. It is their responsibility to lease a legal building.

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[ ]           [ ] Employer Identification Number: If you plan to start a corporation or partnership, or have employees, you need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for IRS purposes. Call (800) TAX-FORM. I would suggest that you secure an EIN no matter what the circumstances, eventually you'll need one anyway.

[ ]           [ ] State Sales Tax Number: If your state has a sales tax, and you will be selling tile at retail, you will need to apply for a State Sales Tax number from your state's Department of Revenue.

[ ]           [ ] Get Your Phone Numbers: You can normally lock in your phone numbers before you even have a location, as long as you know which town you are going to be in. I suggest getting at least two numbers; one for incoming/outgoing calls, the other for your fax machine and Internet access. When you speak to the Phone Company, see if you can get two numbers in succession. As an example: _ _ _ - 1234 and _ _ _ - 1235.

[ ]           [ ] Contact The Utility Company: Most times, before you can get power, you need to get a "Certificate of Occupancy" from your local building department. The C.O. is given after all of the inspections have been made to the building by the various departments. This is of course if you are opening or leasing new space. If you are working out of existing space, (garage, basement, shop), this will not be a factor.

[ ]           [ ] Open Your Business Checking Account: Many banks require that you show proof of proper licensing and/or permitting, that you have an EIN, that you have a State Tax I.D. number, etc., before they will open a business account for you.

[ ]           [ ] Start Building Your Image: Get professional-looking business cards, stationery and marketing materials by hiring a graphic designer and copywriter. You can find suppliers through trade shows, buyers' directories, industry contacts, the Business-to-Business Yellow Pages and trade publications. If you are creative, save money and design them on your computer. There are some amazing programs available now.

[ ]           [ ] Assess Your Personal Needs: How much money do you want to make? How much money do you NEED to make? How hard do you want to work? What lifestyle do you want? Do you want to be open and work on weekends? Are you going to work the business part time or full time? Do YOU plan to make the tile yourself, or have workers make it? Have you set enough money aside to do the marketing needed? Do you know what's needed? Read you Sales & Marketing Manual again.

[ ]           [ ] Complete Your Starter Kit Questionnaires: Be as precise as possible and either type the information or write legibly to be sure you can read it when you go back to write your "releases". Make sure that the information is current. Call to confirm, if you are not sure of it. This information should be considered the life's blood of your start-up's success. It may be very instrumental in how quickly your business starts turning a profit.

[ ]           [ ] Write a Brief Mission Statement: Example: We will manufacture and market the best possible custom stone tile available.

[ ]           [ ] Start Your Business Plan: You wouldn't begin a trip to a place that you've never been to without a roadmap. Consider your Business Plan your road map. Review the hard copy of the Olde World Business Plan. Now put your Olde World Business Plan Disk in your computer and start customizing it to your situation, location, etc. Take your time, think it out, but do it. This is your map. Write it as though you were writing it to secure a loan from the bank, even though that may not be the case.

[ ]           [ ] Build Your Production/Curing Racks: As soon as you can get power to your building, start building your Production and Curing Racks. To save you a lot of time and effort with the Curing Racks, I would order the 4'x8' sheets of plywood, ripped to the 2'x8' shelving size you will need. Your lumberyard can do it faster and better than you can. The same can be done for your 16"x 96" Production Rack shelving.

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[ ]           [ ] Get SBA Help And Information: Contact the Small Business Administration (SBA), (see the Government pages of your phone book or call 800-8-ASK-SBA), for assistance in all aspects of starting and running a business. Their web address and other SBA information are in your training manual. If you have Internet access, definitely visit their website. If not, you may request informative literature from them over the phone.

[ ]           [ ] Polish Your Sales Skills: No matter what business you're in, nothing happens until something is sold. There are hundreds of books on sales and selling, start reading. Listen to sales audiotapes in the car. Top salespeople swear by them. Positive attitude is paramount to the success of any business, work on it. Read your Sales & Marketing Manual. (Yes, again! And Again! And Again!)

[ ]           [ ] Practice For Sales Presentations: Prepare what you'll talk about, questions and answers. Role-play with a spouse or friend and ask for criticism. If possible, videotape yourself. Make an effort NOT to get bogged down in the technical aspect of the tile you make. Most people could care less. Address their "needs". Read your Sales & Marketing Manual, again. Make written notes of parts that impress YOU. By doing so, they will be burnished into your brain, and will be readily available during discussions with prospects. Writing things down that you want to remember works!

[ ]           [ ] Install Display Area Floor: The size and layout of your facility will determine where and how large and involved your display area and sample floor will be. In any case, you need to set aside at least a small area that is tiled, where your tile samples can be displayed.

[ ]           [ ] Get Equipped: Most businesses need a computer, software, printer, scanner, modem, fax machine, copier, phone, answering machine or voice mail, postage meter, and cellular phone and/or pager. Before you buy, comparison shop at the various manufacturers' Web sites. Visit Ebay.

[ ]           [ ] Save Money by Leasing Equipment: You'll have low monthly payments and many companies will upgrade your equipment at the end, or during your lease period. This is a good way to acquire your computer. There are a number of computer companies that offer business lease programs. Or, buy used from individuals, (check local classifieds), retailers, leasing companies or asset remarketers (see the Yellow Pages).

[ ]           [ ] Furnish Your Office. Look for adjustable chairs, a comfortable desk setup and adequate lighting. Save by shopping at used office furniture stores, in classified ads, or at flea markets and auctions.

[ ]           [ ] Set An Advertising Budget: Typically 2 to 5 percent of anticipated gross sales should be allocated to the media that most effectively reaches your target market. Most commercial startups should plan on spending from $5-$10,000+ the first year. It really depends on your market and local advertising costs. In that no two territories are exactly the same, a market study needs to be done and then analyzed in order to make the right determination as to where your media dollars should be spent.

[ ]           [ ] Plan A Direct-Mail Campaign: Send publicity letters, postcards, fliers, catalogs and brochures to prospective customers like builders, interior decorators, tile dealers and installers and pool companies, etc. Send news releases to the various local media inviting them to visit your facility and announcing that you are opening a unique manufacturing business locally. This has historically produced excellent FREE publicity and exposure for Producers. Rent mailing lists through list brokers (see Yellow Pages), or directly from companies that do mailings, or extract names from the local phone directory.

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[ ]           [ ] Hire an Attorney: Ask business-people and professionals for referrals to lawyers with small-business experience, if you don't already have a relationship with a "small business" attorney. Meet with them. Check references and clarify their fees. Normally, there is no charge for an initial consultation.

[ ]            [ ] Hire an Accountant: Ask business-people, bankers and professionals for referrals to accountants experienced in manufacturing businesses. Talk to several, check references and ask about fees. See what, if anything, would be charged to help you set up your books, etc. Be sure that he is knowledgeable about the accounting software you will be using.

[ ]           [ ] Get Basic Business Insurance: Your policy should include general liability, worker's compensation, property/casualty and auto. You may also want disability, business interruption, life and health insurance. Many times you can get a discount by combining your existing insurance with the business policy.

[ ]           [ ] Get Your Domain Name: You want your own web site. I repeat---You want your own web site. Once you have the name for your company, check with GoDaddy to see if that domain name has been taken already. When you are ready, give OWE a call and discuss it with us. Today it is no longer "nice" to have your own web site--- it is necessary. Today, it is a credibility factor. Get online. Set up a basic Web site with information about your company, answers to common questions and a way to contact you, (e-mail, fax or phone), for orders or more information.

[ ]           [ ] Prepare a Personal Financial Statement: List your personal assets, (house, savings, stocks and bonds, insurance policies, and other valuables) , minus liabilities, (mortgage, auto loans, credit card and other debts and obligations).
This is your personal net worth. Keep it on file, even if you're not applying for a loan. Update it periodically.

[ ]           [ ] Complete Your Business Plan: You should now have all of the information you may have needed to complete your Business Plan, so do it.

[ ]           [ ] Build Banking Relationships: Talk to lawyers, accountants and entrepreneurs to find banks that have helped similar businesses. If you anticipate needing a loan in the future, ask bankers about the type and size of loans they specialize in. Share your Business Plan with them, even if you are not applying for a loan. Don't be shy about telling them that you do not need any financial help at present, but as your banker, you thought that they should be aware of what you are doing. Plan on meeting with them at least once a year to discuss your business and progress. This professional approach may yield major dividends down the road, and may get you some business as well!

[ ]           [ ] Consider Merchant Credit Card Status: If you plan to sell at retail, you may want to consider offering the convenience of being able to purchase your tile with a credit card. American Express, Discover Card, Visa and MasterCard seem to be the most popular. You can be set up very quickly and easily.

[ ]           [ ] Assess Employee Needs: Hiring even one full time employee may bring legal obligations in some states. Instead, you may want to consider using temporary workers, secretarial services or employee leasing companies (look in the Yellow Pages), as well as part-timers and interns.

[ ]           [ ] Going To Need Help?: Advertise job openings in local newspapers and on high school and college job boards. Ask for resumes; create or purchase an application from a stationary store. Write down interview questions. Hiring help is filled with "legal land mines", so visit your library and read up on the details, obligations, requirements, etc. Your state usually has rules that you need to abide by.

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[ ]           [ ] Open For Business: A retail location calls for a Grand Opening; a service business, a party for potential customers and community leaders. Starting with a splash conveys your excitement to others. Think big! In our business, I would suggest doing both!

[ ]           [ ] Network Everywhere: Join, and then attend Chamber of Commerce meetings and local business and building industry groups. Tell people at your church, health club, children's school or any other group that will listen to you about your new business. Hand out your full-color brochure to anyone who will accept it. Get referrals. Ask your friends, family and business associates if they know of anyone who might need tile.

[ ]           [ ] Give Away Your Tile: That's right--- Give away your tile. Most areas have what are usually referred to as a "Parade of Homes" each year. Basically, a number of builders display their new models, decorated to the teeth, for anywhere from one week to a month in the same general area of a municipality. Usually, there is a lot of publicity, excitement, and hoopla surrounding the event, and thousands of people visit each of the models, and purchase a lot of homes. Pick a good custom builder or two, and offer to tile the entryway on their Parade of Homes model, either for free, or if you can get a dollar per square foot, your costs will at least be covered. Try to get them to supply the installer for the job and you get the benefit of that contact as well.

[ ]           [ ] Learn About Your Industry: Visit the library for books and publications about the tile industry. The Encyclopedia of Associations (Gale Research) lists industry associations; also read magazines aimed at your target customer. See if there is a local Builder's Association and request membership information.

[ ]           [ ] Learn About Bookkeeping: Even if you have an accountant or bookkeeper, you need to understand the basics. Contact colleges, universities and adult education programs. See what classes they offer if you're not already knowledgeable. The time and money spent now can save you substantially in the future.

[ ]           [ ] Go Back To School: Small business owners wear a lot of hats, so if you're weak in any area, from marketing to writing a business plan, take a class to get up to speed.

[ ]           [ ] Investigate Local Business Incubators: Most provide start-ups with advice and information, shared services and access to equipment...not to mention important contacts. Call the National Business Incubation Association at (740) 593-4331.

Should you need...  molds or moulds, colorant, concrete sealer, stains, or other concrete, cement, or plaster supplies for your handyman or home improvement project, please visit our catalogue website at www.TheMoldStore.com or our shopping cart website at http://www.TheMoldStore.us  to get ideas.  If you are interested in starting a concrete stone and veneer, or concrete and cement paver, brick or tile business, visit our Olde World Stone & Tile Business Opportunity website at www.Oldeworld.com for full details, instructions and various stone making and other concrete product making packages.  We also offer D-I-Y Packages in our catalogue and on our shopping cart websites.

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