Many of my clients are convinced they can’t start a business. They believe they are not innovative, extrovert or entrepreneurial enough. This is possibly a newsflash to you, but we all are extremely capable and have been endowed with amazing skills to run any business.
Firstly, humans have been gifted with the power to problem solve. We define a problem and we devise a solution. It has become so unconscious we don’t even realise we do this throughout the day.
Secondly, we ARE already entrepreneurs, all running our own businesses, You Ltd.
We are CEO’s of our lives
Within our company we have various tools and “employees” that work for us. The most obvious one is our body and health. The human resources department of our company. We know we have to keep ourselves happy and healthy for the company to thrive.
The second is our research department, our brains. We build our knowledge and identify our usefulness in society.
The department I want to talk about in this article is our employees, our money. In the early days we are working to build our “employee” base and training them to know what to do.
If our company is a little disorganised we might be working hard to earn our “employees” but because we aren’t giving them direction they are running off and pursuing side hustles such as the overspending gig, mindless indulgence and one of the most pervasive and loss making pursuits – inactivity. Sitting around in a bank account and losing value.
Creating direction for our money
Every successful business has one thing in common. A clear strategy that employees can follow and the ultimate goal of being profitable.
You have a lot resting on the success of your business and as a result want a clear roadmap of where you want it to go and clear direction for your money.
Create a clear business plan laying out your long term goals, the medium term goals that will take you to your long term goals and the short term goals that will keep you on target.
Set up monthly milestones that you can measure and track to see your progress and keep you on target to reach your goals.
Slash operating costs
Profitabilty is driven by how much money you can keep in your business. If you have a constant outflow your business will fail to reach the goals you have set for your life.
Step into your CEO power and take a hard look at your expenses and any debt you have.
Are there expenses that are not serving your business?
Start by taking a look at subscriptions, utilities, insurances, high interest bearing debt and any other costs you may have gotten complacent about. Put on your hard core business hat and get to work slashing those “deadweight” money vampires.
The interest you have to pay on debt is one of the biggest money vampires. Identify this debt and create a repayment plan that will free you from its destructive grip.
Fund the important business departments
For your business to grow successfully the areas that support this growth need sufficient funding.
Every business needs a contingency plan to deal with the challenges that all operations encounter. An accessible cash fund to cover 3 to 6 months of expenses protects the business against periods of rough trading.
Contributing to the “employees” who are in the business for the long term and who will ultimately be in a position to take over the business is of paramount importance. This is the contributions you will make to your pension.
Your pension will eventually become a nest egg of assets that produce a cashflow sufficient to fuel your lifestyle without you having to work.
Another important business area to fund is your Investment portfolio created to meet your medium and long term goals. Most businesses will aim to minimise the taxes they have to pay and the Business of You can do so by investing through a Stocks and Shares ISA. The funds you invest in your ISA are those you have already paid tax on, but all the growth and income earned by the assets you have bought within your ISA are tax free.
The final area to fund are those things that are hard to predict and likely to require more than your emergency fund in the event that something like this hits the Business of You. This is your Protection department. The department that funds you when you cannot work, provides for your family if you die and replaces your assets after theft or other cause of loss. This is your Insurance department.
Build a stable operating base
A business succeeds or fails on its systems.
Establish robust systems by automating the cashflows to your various departments. Create a stable, self sustaining business environment that can run itself efficiently while you get on with the other business of living your life.
Finally never lose sight of your big goals. Your business architecture should support you in achieving them. You can move towards your goals much quicker the more fuel you are able to add by increasing the money you have available to direct to the goals and you achieve this by earning more, saving more and investing more.