Starting a new business: How to start a small business!

New business start up plan!

Owning your own business in the past was something that many of our grandparents considered to be a dream. If one had a store of their own then they were looked upon as a steady person, maybe not well off but okay etc. That business owner became a corner stone of the village or township and even though they had to put in long hours and hard work they were a somebody.

For the last few decades that dream of becoming a store or business owner has become a reachable goal for more people than our grandparents could have ever thought possible. Unfortunately it seems that for every ten new ventures being started at least eight go out of business before their third anniversary. There is more to it than just finding a spot, coming up with the first and last, buying equipment and some stock.

With the way the economy sits at the moment jobs are being lost daily worldwide. And with such a high unemployment rate everywhere being a business or store owner has become more than just a dream. It is one of the main reasons why more people then ever are considering becoming self-employed and why they are ready to jump into entrepreneurship with two feet and devil may care attitudes. This sometimes desperation for work is what makes so many willing to plop all they possess, all they can beg and borrow into a venture that unfortunately seems to end in disaster more often then not.


There is more to it than just finding a spot, coming up with the first and last, buying equipment and some stock. Although those are the bare bones there is a long list of important factors to consider and mull over. You will have to conduct extensive research and set up a real in debt business plan. In this business plan you will have to answer these questions:

  • Is there a need for what you want to offer?
  • Is there more similar types of businesses in the area?
  • Can the town sustain another similar business.
  • Can you do better, undercut, offer more then the already existing stores?
  • How easy will it be for you to get supplies? (if you want to open an export/import gift shop make sure you know where you will be able to get those gifts at reasonable prices)
  • What licences will you need to get?
  • Know the township by-laws. (if the town prohibits 24 hour businesses then an around the clock variety store will not be possible)
  • If the township has a by-law about exotic animals a pet store catering to tarantula and snake lovers might not work out downtown but check maybe at the edge of town it will be possible.
  • A canoe and boat showroom might have problems selling any type of water craft if the location is in the middle of the dessert and the nearest lake, river or ocean is a ten hour drive away.
  • If you want to open a bread baking shop can you lift the 80 lbs flour bags? If not will you be able to hire someone that can?
  • Most importantly can you get the fundings for the business you would like to start?
  • Can you live off your savings until the business starts to roll in some dough?
  • Can you reinvest funds into the business without having to drain it to live off of it too soon?
  • Are you sure you can set aside the rest of your life for a few years until the business is running? (after having opened a business it will be quite a while till you can taketime away to go on holidays, to take hunting or fishing trips etc.)
  • Is the spouse and the kids on-board with the idea of a store or new business? Things will sail way smoother if you have the co-operation of your loved ones.
  • Are you opening a dream business that the spouse and kids can help with? (you might need help occasionally if it gets too busy but not busy enough to hire an employee yet. ) Remember that if the spouse or kids are grossed out about worms you  will probably have a hard time getting them to help weigh the slimy buggers for shipping.

There are hundreds of more similar questions that you need answers to before you jump into the middle of a venture that might have expensive consequences if you and/or your loved ones are not willing to co-operate. Make sure you look at every aspect of the business then go for it.

What makes the difference of one business being a success and the other one being doomed from the get-go?

Well, that really is a loaded question. Having owned and worked small businesses (tailor shops) for over thirty years I have a few observations that I would like to share. There really is no guarantee, the only thing for certain when opening a shop/store or business of any type is  to know thy business and to be as well informed about everything as possible.

Obviously everyone's situation and type of business is different but the success no-matter of what kind of store/shop or business all comes down to building a good reputation. Good workmanship and honest fair pricing is the key to a service type of business or if its retail then good quality items again at honest and fair prices. Accommodating hours and friendly service are also important.

Unfortunately even putting ones whole life and soul into a business venture can not guarantee success.

Tips of how to go about stating a new business!

Getting Started

1. The most important aspect of entrepreneurship is to understand the business: If you're interested in opening a store that sells just guitars you better know the hows the whats and everything else about guitars. The minute a customer comes in and realizes that you have no knowledge about the different types of guitars your credibility goes out the door along with the customer who needed info. Same if you have no clue about being a plumber you might not be the right person to start a plumbing business unless you hire good and reliable plumbers to do the work for you. With other words you will have to look after the traffic and delegate the work but you will have to be able to pay out good wages for your trades people. This fleet type of business might work out in a large town, city or a location where many subdivisions are being set up but you will definitely run out of funds fast if you're thinking of setting up shop in a small town of 300 homes where you might or might not get a call daily.You will need to do your homework and research the needs. Even if it means sitting in front of your prospective store counting and watching the traffic of potential customers at different times of day.


2. Just as important as knowing the business is to find out if there is a need for your type of business:  If the town of 3000 already has two flower shops then maybe it's time to rethink and maybe think of opening a garden center instead. Same goes if if the same small town already has a Tim Hortons coffee and doughnut shop, an independent coffee and dessert lounge might not do too well. Unless you are able to cater to a totally different clientele such as maybe offer space for large birthday parties and weddings etc.

Not worth the rent... I'm sure
Not worth the rent... I'm sure

3. Location, location, location again just as important as knowing your business and knowing that there is a need for your type of services. You might be able to get a real great deal on the rent for your business downtown "smalltownmainstreet" but will you get the traffic you need? Honestly if the main street has six store fronts boarded up on either side of the cheap rental place it might not be the right location for a sewing and alterations shop. An older clientele might possibly not want to frequent a location like that. So no matter how cheap the rent, it is too expensive if you can't get customers to stop by.

It is important to know how many people will be going by your potential location. Even if it means sitting in front of your prospective store counting and watching the traffic of potential customers at different times of day, different days of the week etc. If there is very little foot traffic going by daily that does not mean that the location for your store is not right it just means that you will have to do different types of promotions and also a lot more advertisement.


For example if you are a destination store, for example a sewing shop, people will have to plan to come to you with their alterations or their fabric. So if people are parking in front of your potential shop whenever they're going to the bank next door your location will be marked in their minds and next time their jacket zipper needs to be replaced they automatically will know where to take it. To receive that same type of 'location acknowledgment' you will need a mega flashing sign if your shop is in the back forties of a humongous industrial mall and you will have to resign to the facts that you will need to do a lot more advertisement and promotions.

4. Are you willing to put in the work? Unfortunately for a new business to become successful a 9 to 5 situation usually is not enough. So only working 40 hours a week in most cases is an out of the question deal. Working extra long hours will also mean that you will make less money per hour than if you were employed by someone else. And by the time you have your shop/store/business open the extra hours (open earlier & stay later then your competition) you still need to take the extra time to do your daily accounting, get change, make bank deposits, calculate wages, set up schedules etc.

Running your own business is a huge commitment. It requires long hours, the ability to control, oversee and handle every type of situation on a daily basis. If you're a very private person who doesn't like talking and who gets irritated with people you might not be the right person to run a bed and breakfast unless you have someone who will front the business and run interference for you.

As a Business Owner here are some of the traits you will need to have or acquire:

  • You must have Business sense as mentioned in point 1. You need to feel what could become the next new flair.
  • You must have the ability to stay cool calm and collected under pressure...with other words you must have tolerance with customers and employees alike.
  • You must be flexible: in a business things can change from one second to the next. You must be able to rethink and readjust while on your feet. At the same time you have to be able to jump in to do the work needed at the drop of that proverbial hat.
  • Naturally you must be creative... how you promote your business really depends on how well you think creatively (if you lack in this then you must accept that you will need to hire a creative thinker and hand over these duties to him or her).
  • You must have lots and lots of positive energy. Customers respond better to positive people than a negative sour-puss. (having a sense of humor is also very helpful)
  • If you have employees you must be able to change your hats on a constant basis, it's not enough to be just the boss... you have to be a leader, a babysitter, a mediator, a parent, a marriage counselor. You must be able to approach every situation fairly, consistently and treat everyone with respect.
  • A business owner must have a certain degree of schmooze-ability. The old adage of sugar being better than vinegar in treating customers will never change.
  • You as the business owner must have a passion for what you do. If you just can't stand sewing... an alteration shop might not be the best type of business for you.
  • You have to be there at the store or business as much as possible. You should be the first to arrive and the last to leave. An 'absentee boss' will not be able see the problems arising, will not be able to correct them immediately. Because only you are as serious about your business as can be. No-one else will care for it as much as you. It is a job for your employees, for you it becomes a way of life, much more than just a career.


As an entrepreneur especially if you need to borrow money from the bank you will need to have a business plan in place, you will need to have licences and permits in place. Unless you're really good in accounting get yourself an accountant who can set up the books for you, right from the get go, because an accountant can help oversee and point out if there are financial problems or find tax breaks etc.. An accountant is well worth the money as they can save a business in the long run.

Advertising and promotion is another one of those important factors that most business owners want to ignore. It usually is also the first thing that gets dropped when the business runs into tight situations. It should be the opposite...every business should carry a few ads especially when things are tight. People love promotions and coupons. Make coupons short term though, as you want to bring customers in fast. If you give clients too long they will procrastinate and not bring in their work until the eleventh hour...

Lastly, again and again the most important fact to opening, operating a new business, store or shop is to be well informed, honest and willing to work hard. Very few get rich quick schemes work... as far as I know... none will work without an honest days work.

If you have a dream of owning and operating your own shop, store or business do your homework well and then go for it... there really is very little else that can give you the confidence and satisfaction then when you are planning your fifth anniversary sale and promotion.

Good luck

AN IMPORTANT FINAL PIECE OF ADVICE!

I almost forgot to mention

no matter what type, where, why, when or how you start up your business the most important advice I can give you is that you have to make sure you have appropriate insurance coverage.

Insurance premiums can be costly but make sure you build it into your start up costs. And do remember that if you get new equipment as the business grows to add it onto your list at the insurance company.

I know your going to say that your insurance broker should look after raising the insurance policies regularly but you should always remember that ultimately you are the one that will lose out if its not done.

I learned the hard way when the building that housed my tailor-shop burned to the ground taking with it equipment, stock etc that took me thirty + years to accumulate plus the three fabulous new industrial machine that I had just bought (and still had not totally finished paying for I might add) My broker did not raise the value of my policies even though he knew as he also was a regular customer who at the time of the new purchase had admired my new acquisitions. By the time I paid the customers for the clothes that they had at my store there was very little left to re-start a new business.

I added this bit here because I want to point out of how important accurate insurance can be. My first comment to my insurance broker was when I first took out the insurance on the shop was that I do not do insurance for a living, I sew, you tell me what I will need and then set it up and let me know what the payments are going to be... obviously I was wrong in assuming someone else was going to look out for my interests...DO NOT let this happen to you...

photos found on www.morguefile.com

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Comments 49 comments

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

rochelj, thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


rochelj profile image

rochelj 4 years ago from USA

this is very good advice for people looking to start a small business.

there are certainly many factors that need to be taken into consideration when opening a business.

thank you for these tips!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Jason, thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


jasoncox83 profile image

jasoncox83 5 years ago from Ohio

Well done, thank you for the info.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Duchess thanks for taking a look and for commenting. For a small business to succeed today needs every bit of heads up possible.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

I wish I had read something similar a few years ago. I might have done things differently. You've presented a few good reality checks, mixed in with some great advise.

I know for sure I would have started our particular venture with someone other than family! This is a great piece. I'll be passing it on to people I know who are thinking along these lines right now.

Thanks for taking the time to put together so many great ideas.


buytradebiz 6 years ago

Good advice... thanks for the hub.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Pollyannalana, always glad when you stop in. I was lucky, quite a few of my customers became and still are my friends. I can't count how many weddings I have gone to of the kids that I saw growing up (and made most of their wedding gowns too). I loved almost every minute of being in my own business. I would do it all over if I could except I would have better insurance coverage...but then what is it they say...hind sight is 20-20.

Hope you're well

regards Zsuzsy


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

Great hub and been there to learn the hard way, yes you find a need or want but make sure your business is where the people are who need or want it. It is a two fold thing, it is anything but easy but if you love what you are doing it is worth all the work.Having your own business is a 24/7 in your mind, you sleep, eat and live it and I feel you have to love or at least be interested in people. None of my customer became my friends in one way but in my heart they were family and loyal and many I will never forget and I feel sure they remember me too. I didn't get rich, only made a living but would never regret any of it or the hard work because of all the memories that still make me smile and happy.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Martin thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


Martin V 6 years ago

Great Hub! Thanks for sharing.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

JBeadle thank you for taking a look and for commenting. Good luck to you and your wife, working for yourself is a dream come true for a lot of people.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


JBeadle profile image

JBeadle 6 years ago from Midwest

Amazing hub. Nice mix of encouragement, history and practical steps to take. I'm bookmarking it and re-reading this one a few times. My wife and I would love to start out own business in town here. Pretty sure I need to get re-employed first, so I could get loans, etc. Should've ventured out before economic downturn rolled over my 18 years of excellent (they said) service.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

fdoleac, thank you for taking a look and for commenting. I will put that book title onto my list for next month when I go to the city "good read hunting". I love getting title recommendations.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


fdoleac profile image

fdoleac 6 years ago from Hollis, New Hampshire

Great practical advice. I would add a book to read - The Entreprenurial Myth by Michael Gerber.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Well said Nicks. It used to be that ones a business was operating for three years they pretty well had the hurdle cleared but with the economy the way it is said that you need to be looking at 5 years now at the very least.

Thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


Nicks 6 years ago

I guess that two other bits of advice could be - do not rely upon your bankers and allow three years for your new business to 'bed in' sufficiently to be making proper money. Finally, a bit of advice that I was provided was that - 'the longer you stay in business, the longer you stay in business'. In other words, as every day passes you will accumulate more clients, more experience and more contacts. All of these add up to ever increasing strength, potential longevity and the ability to weather problems. Fair?


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Smart Dad, thanks for visiting. I totally agree with you and I feel the same way. I was in the service business (tailoring) for over thirty years and if I would not have catered to my patrons well I probably would not have made it for more than six months as dealing with people close up (fittings etc) needs a friendly demeanor.

Thank you for enforcing this important facet of business ownership.

regards Zsuzsy


Smart Dad profile image

Smart Dad 6 years ago from Northampton

Hej there Zsuzsy, great advice, But I just want to expand little on something that you only had a sentence on...

Great Service. I have a belief that that is one of the most successful parts of a successful business, If I consider where to shop there are only 3 main decision factors that I drive my choice, Product, Atmosphere, Service.

Take eating out...The products of the same/similar type can be purchased in almost any eatery or restaurant, Atmosphere in this case is focused around cleanliness, lighting background music etc, but the most important to me, the thing that may drive me to re-visit is the memory of the service that I received, did they make me feel special?

The same ca be said for any store I walk into whether I be buying shoes or groceries, to me the service will always win my custom... But that's just me all over :)

Nether the less... really great info you supplied. Cheers


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

AlexK2009, thanks for taking a look and for the great comments. So true that its important to have enough backing-funds until the business can rolling and also to be able to put money back into the business and not drain it to procure a living too soon.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

sweetypie1968, thank you for taking a look and for commenting. I would think that your research about insurance should include a few visit to brokers to find out what kind of coverage you need and try to find one that includes a loss of wages clause too. It really sucks to be thinking about a disaster happening when you're all full of enthusiasm about starting your new venture. I my case I was the single provider in our household and being without my shop to earn a living was really hard without an income. Again as far as that was concerned the broker should have given me the opportunity of adding that type of clause into my policy...If I can be of more help just let me know.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Tatjana always glad when you come by for a visit. All the best to you in 2010 too, may all your wishes come true.

Kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

hypnodude, sorry to hear that your venture did not work out just right. Don't let that stop you from going after your dream though. Just do it better next time and prepare.

good luck

regards Zsuzsy


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

Great hub. I've tried various ventures with varying degrees of luck. The most important thing is to have enough to live on till money starts coming in (I understand the main cause of SME failure is undercapitalisation). That requirement means business-to-business enterprises (translator, accountant, etc) need more of a cushion than retail. However a few good business clients will result in a more stable income and maybe shorter hours.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

bellywinks glad you came for a visit. These dreams are placed into our minds early on in our education and it's a great thing to act on. As I said though, the rate of success is so much better when the bases are laid out just right, rather then 'jump-in-two-feet-first-we'll-sort-out-the-details-later'

attitude.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Wrath Warbone thanks for taking a look and for commenting. Good luck in your venture.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Laura in Denver so glad you dropped in. Here too, in my neck of the woods, we have small business development agencies. They have a lot of great information and they sure are an important asset to all who want to venture into business ownership.

regards Zsuzsy


sweetypie1968 profile image

sweetypie1968 6 years ago

Excellent Hub! I have an idea to start a web-based business, and your hub gives me a great informative start. I was wondering if you have a few tips/terms about underwriting to help jumpstart my research?


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

Great article, Zsuzsy, thanks for sharing your experience. Very Happy 2010!


hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 6 years ago from Italy

Very good hub. You explained every needed point to consider. I was a business owner too once and I have to say that if I had read your hub before it would have made quite a difference. Great.


bellywinks 6 years ago

What a great Hub! Lots of things to think about before venturing out there. I work in public schools and so many kids talk about having their own businesses online, they think they can sell whatever and sit back and let the money roll in. I remember myself in 11th grade having an assignment about putting together a business plan for a store, wish I still had that I'd probably cringe at my naiveness.


Wrath Warbone profile image

Wrath Warbone 6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

Thanks. Just what I've been looking for and wodering why it was so hard to find.


Laura in Denver profile image

Laura in Denver 6 years ago from Aurora

Thanks for advice. Here in Denver, there is the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) who runs classes on small business, tax, etc. It is a wonderful, helpful resource with many kind small business owners giving helpful advice. ;-)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you Neil for stopping in and commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


Neil Ashworth profile image

Neil Ashworth 6 years ago from Ireland

That's really good info, thanks for sharing. Very good piece of writing. Neil


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Paradise thanks for taking a look and for commenting. Being the only one near and far can make all the difference in the world when it comes to success.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

GPage, how awesome to have such a fantastic piece of family history in your possession. So glad you were able to pop in for a visit.

And you are absolutely right about having to love what you do or someone you do it for with love.

I absolutely love anything to do with sewing, cloth etc and as a single parent I was totally gaga for my children so I had a triple wammy to succeed.

The thing I forgot to add to the hub which I will have to correct right away is to tell everyone that good insurance is an absolute necessity.

regards Zsuzsy


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Very good hub, and TRUE!!! I know, I owned and operated an income tax preparation service for several years. My edge was I was the only income tax preparer in a town of about 30,000; otherwise people had to drive for about 45 miles, in the deeps of winter. I also had experience with HR Block, two different taxing authorities, and an accounting degree, so I was well set up for several years. The only thing I COULDN'T offer that my clients wanted was a rapid refund, and they were generally speaking low-paying, simple returns.

Everything you said is true and I hope people who are going into business for themselves for the first time get a chance to read it.


GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 6 years ago from California

Zsuzsy Bee.....this is a VERY informative hub! I have started many businesses. Some of them have been successful, but others not so. One of the things I cherish most is a love letter written on One Hour Martinizing stationary from my grandfather to my grandmother from many years ago. He was one of the first to open that franchise in the South. It always reminds me that "love" plays a huge role in business success. You have to LOVE what you do or LOVE someone enough to do it!!!!! ha Best, G


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Lizzy, never give up on your dreams. If you research all the different aspect of your dream business you are mega steps ahead of the game. That also means that you have done all in your power to succeed.

best of luck

Zsuzsy


LizzyBoo profile image

LizzyBoo 6 years ago from Czech Republic

Thank you for such a great advice. I have a dream to open a small business but probably not confident enough. Lizzy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Beth thank you for taking a look and for commenting. I really hope that everybody who wants to start their own business does a lot of research before they jump into it full force as there is nothing nicer than being able to live your dream.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you Laura. I'm always glad when you stop by. The little town I'm near to has a still fairly active mainstreet but last 2 years alone 11 new stores opened in 9 available spots. A couple didn't even make it for 6 months. It makes me really sad that so many dreams just get shattered and unfortunately quite a bit of that could have been prevented with some research. Like for instance there are already 3 embroiderers and silk screeners (they do Tshirts and team uniforms etc) They have been doing it for years and years they have standing orders every new season... guess what opened the last week of November right downtown...yap a new embroidery and silk screening store right on the main street where rent is fairly high... How long do you want to bet that they're going to be there? The other already existing people are doing their work out of their homes because thats the only way to turnover some money... there are only so many sport teams around... there are only so many people that want a tshirt with a saying or logo on it... it is sooooo sad

kindest regards Zsuzsy


beth811 profile image

beth811 6 years ago from Philippines

Good job! Very helpful for those who are planning to start a new business.


Laura du Toit profile image

Laura du Toit 6 years ago from South Africa

Excellent Hub and much needed advice as more and more people with no business sense opt for starting a business without doing the essential research. Many of these people do not and never will have the business acumen to run their own business and people should recognize and admit to themselves that they are lacking the basics required to be a successful business owner. Let us hope that your Hub reaches these people before they start out on a path to bankruptcy.

Well done Zsuzsy!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Glad you came for a visit Nancy. I really enjoyed my own businesses over more then thirty years.

regards Zsuzsy


alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

I started my own business 15 years ago and am still going strong. You've got some great tips here. I knew absolutely nothing ahead of time ....learned it all on the job. But, believe me, there are easier ways. Good hub.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thanks Audrey for taking a look and for commenting.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

All totally true having been there and done that - great hub (as usual)....Audrey

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