As Requested: My Pre-Plunge Reading List

My good friend Nora asked me to share the things that I read to prepare myself for going it alone, so I went back through the notes I made when I was first setting up Phibersmith and came up with a short list of the resources I used to make me feel like I wasn’t blundering around in the dark.  Without further ado:

1. Craft Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco – in an entirely characteristic gesture of insight, my friend Zhaleh gave me this book for my birthday, at least a year before I started thinking that Phibersmith might be an actual possibility.  This book freaking rocks.  You should read it.  That is all.

2. Etsy’s Quit Your Day Job features – I became obsessed by reading the stories of other people who were doing what I wanted to do.  Not that my experience has been anything like anything I read, but there’s a lot to be said for daily reminders of “If they can do it, I can do it.”

3.  Small Business BC – This is a government funded agency that supports small business owners and entrepreneurs in BC, and the website is a pretty good font of basic info about how to go about things at the beginning.  Probably there are equivalents in other provinces – google to the rescue!

4.  Industry Canada: Business Tools and Resources – Never a bad idea to see how the Federal Government is supporting businesses either.

5.  Canada Revenue Agency – One of my biggest concerns was how I (or, um, Thomas) was going to manage my taxes when that time rolled around.  I spent a lot of time on the CRA website reading about what I could and couldn’t claim as a business expense – this can be particularly confusing for a home-based business, since you have to partition your rent, electricity and other expenses proportionately to the space you use for business purposes.

6.  Small Business Accounting Simplified – Along with the tax issue, I needed to set up and manipulate a good set of records.  I got audited once in university and let me tell you it was not a great experience.  That’s a story for another time, but suffice it to say I am now super squirrelly about keeping everything straight and organized (not that I wasn’t before, but I won’t get into the bitter details).  This book, although it’s geared towards the US, spells out the basics pretty nicely, and although I’m not using the system laid out here in its entirety, I at least know what people mean when they talk about “cost of goods sold.”  I stayed far away from high school accounting classes… who knew?

7.  BizPal – When you’re ready to set up your business, check to see if BizPal is set up for your area.  It’s an online application that will guide you through all the bureaucratic crap that you need to file in order to be legit, and for a government run program, it’s surprisingly straightforward.

8.  OneStop Business Registry – In BC, you also have access to the OneStop Business Registry, which you can use to register your business name – if you’re not going to operate under your own name (e.g. “Alexis Hoy” – if I had wanted to be “Alexis Hoy Designs” I would have had to register that).

And there you go!  If anyone else has any helpful resources I’d love to check them out.

Share | This entry was posted in living and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Posted May 19, 2010 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Amazing! Thanks so much Alexis, I will check these bad boys out. Hopefully my research will develop into some sort of clear (er) vision of what I am aiming to do in the near future. Thanks again!

  2. lex
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Hurray! I can’t wait to see what you’re going to launch :)

One Trackback

  1. By kelly on July 27, 2014 at 4:51 am

    amp@gershwins.indenture” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good info!…

Post a Comment

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>