The final post in this series ends with a brief discussion of some unexpected purchases triggered by the business decisions I made in this start up. The purchases were mostly technical and equipment.
First financial. I had been using Quicken Deluxe for many, many years to maintain our family finances and using Turbo Tax to do our family income tax. Since I planned to have the accountant do the taxes, I no longer needed to acquire Turbo Tax. That was easy. Then I panicked. I knew my son used QuickBooks for his small business and I thought that I would need to buy that and make the investment in its large learning curve.
I found that Quicken offered a less expensive product called Quicken Home and Business. I compared that to QuickBooks and found the big difference is that QuickBooks did payroll, something I did not need. I ordered the Quicken Home and Business software. Upon installing, I discovered that the Home portion was exactly the same as what I was used to and the Business portion was fairly straightforward, although there was some learning curve associated with it. I have been happily using it ever since.
Next, I realized that I hadn’t addressed storage for supplies and client work. For my solution, based on room size and existing furniture, I selected a 5-drawer file cabinet, since I had more up space. Snuggled next to the end of my desk, it also provides me a magnetic surface with quick and easy access.
I already owned two bookcases, a large computer desk that held my desktop (on a wheeled trolley under the desk), my all-in-one printer (on a raised shelf on the desk), and a large format scanner. I felt that I was in good shape for the office with the addition of the new filing cabinet. My decision to begin giving local lectures did generate some other purchases.
My primary focus on my lecture equipment was weight and price. I wanted all of these items to be lightweight, since I needed to carry them around with me. I cart the equipment around nicely packed in a rolling backpack with a laptop sleeve that I bought at eBags.
My initial purchase was a light (for that time period) 14” laptop. The screen size was my compromise since larger screens caused the laptop to weigh more. Its size would allow me to slide this laptop in my tote easily to take to archives and libraries for research. As it had both a VGA and HDMI video connector, it would also be great for driving the projector.
Many of the places where I planned to speak either did not have a projector or the one they had didn’t work. My next purchase was an Acer projector—very lightweight. My final purchase was a Hisonic portable PA system. This system was both lightweight and inexpensive. It came with a built-in handheld mic, and wireless headset and button mic for under $180. The best news was that it actually sounds good. I do not know if it would work in a really large room, but it works perfectly fine in all my local venues. I purchased the PA system in 2010 and I’m still using it. I noticed Amazon is still selling this model and a later one, both less than what I paid.
This post concludes my startup journey as a professional genealogist. The trip acquainted me with genealogy education, selecting a startup team, business planning, branding and networking, lecturing and volunteering, trade shows and business supplies. The earlier seven posts in this series are listed below. I am happy I took the plunge and look forward to what I hope to be a long ongoing journey.
See the earlier posts in this series:
Business Planning-Becoming a Professional Genealogist: My Journey–Part 4
Branding & Networking–Becoming a Professional Genealogist: My Journey–Part 5
Lecturing & Volunteering–Becoming a Professional Genealogist: My Journey–Part 6