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5 Money Management Tips for Entrepreneurs

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article
 
As an entrepreneur, you know how important money management is. Both inside and outside of the workplace, it can be the difference between struggling to make ends meet and paving your way for financial success. What’s more, it can be the difference between making and losing a profit. For this reason, money management simply must be a skill that you work on and try to become well versed with regards to.

If you feel that your career as an entrepreneur is being held back by a lack of knowledge on your part in the art of money management, then make sure to check out the five pieces of advice below.

1. Establish personal financial goals and steps to reach them

In order to turn over a profit in your career and grow your entrepreneurial portfolio as a result, you must, first, be able to manage your money on a personal level. Well, if you can’t look after your own money, how are going to be able to look after a business’s or even another person’s?

To learn how to look after your own money, you should establish some personal financial goals. It means setting targets and being proactive in the steps that you take to reach them. Whether this means aiming to have a specific amount of money saved by a particular time, or whether this means spending a certain amount in a week, you should set your targets and put plans into place so that you can reach and hit them. By becoming well versed in the art of goal setting and step taking as a person, you’ll succeed as an entrepreneur because these are skills that are exchangeable.

Something else that you should do on a personal level is to know what your credit score is. You’re never going to get anywhere as an entrepreneur if you don’t know what your rating is. What’s more, you could actually be held back from making future investments based on past discrepancies. It means that knowing where you stand with regards to credit is essential.

2. Get educated

If you want to become a genuinely great manager of money, then you need to educate yourself financially as often and as fervently as you can. It doesn’t necessarily mean taking a course in finance or accounting; this just means throwing yourself into tasks in which you have to be on the ball in a financial sense to stand any chance of success.

A good first port of call is to throw yourself into the deep end with investing and stock markets. By learning all about what it takes to study and manipulate ever-changing financial markets, you will soon understand how to stay afloat financially no matter what financial fiasco comes your way. By educating yourself in regards to bull and bear markets and what kinds of investments can and should be made within them, especially, you will set yourself up for a lifetime of financial strength and longevity. In this instance, you should check out Dr Kent Moors stock picks, specifically the information that details oil investment, as this will help you to have a better grasp on what, how and when certain investments should be made.

3. Learn to crunch numbers

By learning how to crunch numbers, you will be able to make sense of every financial figure that comes your way, which means that you’ll never be left dumbfounded by anything that you come across, and you’ll find yourself missing out on profit far less. To learn how to crunch numbers and reach financial figures easily, spend as much time as you can with your company’s accountants. Also, you could try playing games that rely heavily on one’s ability to read and understand financial patterns, one such game being poker.

Learning how to crunch numbers will also benefit you in your quest to become a great marketer. This is because number crunching will teach you what it takes to translate the impact of trends and then turn them into tangible results for yourself.

4. Become well versed in the art of organization

You’re never going to become an entrepreneur that has a reputation for being great with their money if you aren’t good at organization. It doesn’t just means learning how to organize your money, either. You should treat organization as if it is a way of life. You should know where everything is at all times, and you should know where you have to be at all times too.

In regards to chronicling your financial information specifically, start by organizing everything into categories. Put information of the utmost importance and outgoing payments that are deemed urgent at the forefront of your financial plans, and sums that can afford to be left unattended for a while on the back burner.

5. Find yourself a mentor

If you aren’t a professional accountant or financial advisor, you will struggle from time to time when it comes to money management. Sometimes you’ll feel like you can’t keep up with all of your monthly outgoings and incomings, and sometimes you’ll spend far more than you can afford to. To stop yourself from inflicting irreparable damage on yours or your business’s financial status, you should find yourself a mentor who can guide you. It could mean working alongside an accountant at your firm, it could mean hiring a financial consultant to help you from time to time, or it could simply mean talking to an older friend or relative of yours that has some experience in equity and asset holding.

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, then learning how to manage money is an absolute must. To do this, you should ensure that your personal finance is as strong as it can be, you should educate yourself with regards to investment, you should learn how to number crunch, you should organize yourself in a business sense and as a person, and you should align yourself with a mentor. By doing all of this, you’ll be well on your way towards being able to handle even the largest sums of money.

7 Ways To Finance Your Business


 
Financing a business can be a big obstacle for new startups and established companies alike. It isn’t always easy or even possible to obtain funding through the usual channels, especially if you have no track record to show lenders or investors, and without the money required, it can mean that the business simply cannot succeed. However, there are some ways to obtain the money you need, and if you want to start or grow your business and need funds to do it, you can look at these options to see if anything will work for you.

1. Your Savings

It’s true that not everyone has any savings put aside, but if you do and there is enough, then you might consider using that money to fund your business. This can work out perfectly because there is no requirement for you to borrow the money from anyone else, and therefore your business won’t be in debt (although, of course, you will want to have the money paid back to you over time). You won’t be giving away any equity either, which is something that some business owners don’t like the idea of. Plus, if you do need to borrow more at a later stage, your business’s credit won’t be affected.

2. Your Investments

For those who like to make investments and trade, the profits made in this line can be something you can use to start your business or add funds to it when you need to purchase something specific that will, in turn, help you to make more money in the long-term. Investing doesn’t automatically mean that you will make a profit, which is why checking out the gold and silver price regularly and finding a good broker will help you. However, when you do make money, it can be ideal for your business.

3. A Business Loan

Possibly the first thought that will come into a business owner’s mind when it comes to finding money to fund their project is a business loan from a traditional lender such as a bank. It can work out very well, and with enough research, you will be able to find a variety of different loans with varying interest rates and special deals. You may not be eligible for all of them, however, and applying for too many loans all at once can damage your credit rating. Therefore, it is wiser to make appointments to speak to bank managers or investment advisors to find out what you can and can’t do, and what will work best for you. It may be exciting to find that you can borrow tens of thousands of dollars, but remember that this money must be paid back, and that can be the part that causes problems. Think things through carefully and only borrow what you know you can afford.

4. A Personal Loan

If your business has no trading record, it might be difficult to obtain the loan that you want, in which case a personal loan, assuming your credit rating will allow it, could be the ideal alternative. You take out the loan and then make a director’s loan to your company. The company pays you back each month, and you then pay your own lender back too. This way, you aren’t ever out of pocket, and you don’t have to worry about making repayments.

However, the vital thing to bear in mind with this kind of loan is that you are ultimately liable for it. It means that if the company cannot pay you for any reason, you still have to make the repayments for your loan. Make sure you have two or three months’ worth of repayments in a savings account just in case you need to pay the money back yourself.

5. Angel Investors

Angel investors are groups of people or individuals who use their money to fund businesses and projects that they think are interesting, have potential, and will bring them a profit. This last point is the most important of all because although angel investors do have the business’s interests at heart, their main aim is to make money from whatever they invest in.

The first step in obtaining an angel investor is to write an interesting and informative (and truthful!) business plan as this is what they will want to see before making any decision. You should also work out how much equity you are willing to give away in your business, and how active a role you want the angel investor to take. Some simply want to give you their money and leave you to get on with running the business, and others will want to have a more active role. It is essential you know how you want to do things before agreeing to anything, and don’t get carried away if someone offers you money; make sure you are happy with the deal first.

6. A Credit Card

Credit cards can be supremely useful, or they can be disastrous, and which outcome will depend on how sensible you are with their use. Funding an entire business on a credit card, especially if it is a personal one, is not a good idea; this can leave you in vast amounts of debt that you find difficult to pay off. Plus, the interest rates on credit cards tend to much higher than on other forms of borrowing such as a loan from a reputable company. However, for smaller business expenses a credit card can be ideal, as long as you pay as much off the balance as possible each month. Paying just the minimum amount will mean you spend a lot more than you would need to otherwise, and it will also take you longer.

7. Friends And Family

A loan from a bank or other lender might not be possible if you or your business don’t meet specific criteria, and an alternative might be to borrow money from friends and family. Ideally, you should have a loan agreement drawn up so that everything is legal, and so that everyone knows what is expected of them. This way, there can be no disputes, and you will know how much to pay and when, just as your friend or family member will know how much of a return they should be able to make.

What Every Adult Needs To Know About Money

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article
 
As an adult, the most confusing thing we often have to get used to in our lives is dealing with money and being responsible for a whole lot of things. We never get taught how to manage money in school so when we hit adulthood the terminology can be super confusing and it is no wonder so many of us are left in debt. If you are new to adulthood and need a few easy tips on managing money, here are the basics.

You need to start saving soon

Savings are so crucial for anyone to have and you should never take them for granted. Start saving even a few dollars as soon as you can and have it secured in a savings account for you to use later on in life. This acts as an emergency fund for if you are ever taken ill from work or you ever suffer from some sort of unexpected bill. Always save and be smart.

Tax is a pain

Tax is a word which can bring a collective shudder down the spine of pretty much any adult and it can be a real pain to manage. Tax is a form of payment we give to the government to help them run the services and other things which make the country. Everyone has to contribute a little bit and this is used for the better of the whole country. There are various things to think about with tax such as getting Qdos IR35 advice, thinking about national insurance and lots of other elements, and it is worth reading up on the basics of tax so that you know what your money is going towards.

Pensions are super important

Pensions might be something you don’t consider when you are in your late teens and early twenties but a pension can be a huge benefit to you later in life and the earlier you start saving the better it will be for you. If you can start your pension now you will have more money towards your life later on when you need it the most. It is a simple thing to set up and you won’t even notice the pension leave your bank account anyway!

Read your bank statements!

It cannot be said enough that those bank statements you get through the post or emailed to you every month should be read. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t really bought much or had any big costs this month, it is always worth knowing how much money you have and also how much money you spend on average each week. You might find that you need to cut down on lunch or coffee costs and work and this can help a huge amount towards your financial stability in the future.

Compare prices for your bills

If you own a house, first of all, congratulations. It is becoming increasingly difficult to be a homeowner these days so you deserve a little pat on the back! In seriousness, if you have bills to pay each month, it is important to make sure that you compare deals online to see if you can pay less. Even if you already have a provider there is no problem in switching!

Money Management Tips Every Business Should Consider

StrategyDriven Budget Management ArticleRunning a business is something that takes grit and resilience. This is because you’re likely to face many hiccups along the way as well as challenges as most businesses do. However, if you make a conscious effort to ensure you’re continuously learning, taking in new information, and keeping up with industry trends, you should find that your business continues to grow. Of the many key aspects of your business, finances are one of the most important. In light of this, you should continuously look for ways to ensure that your business finances are well managed. On that note, you’re going to find some key money management tips every business should consider below.

Look for Discounts

Bargaining and looking for discounts is something that can be done, even when running a business. For this reason, when looking for ways to manage money and resources in your business, you should consider where you can get reasonable discounts. You could, for instance, speak to your vendors and see if you can get a discount, especially if you’ve been a loyal customer. You can also try checking other areas such as your internet provider, phone bill, and insurance providers as well. The goal should be to save as much as you can as it all adds up at the end of the day.

Keep Track of Expenses

Another way that you can effectively manage money in your business, is to keep track of your expenses. This may seem obvious, but it can become easy to lose track of your expenses and begin spending outside of your budget. Some tips for keeping track of your business expenses include developing a bookkeeping system, setting up a payroll system, and determining your tax obligations. In addition to this, you should also carry out audits on a regular basis and ensure your finance team is effectively carrying out their job. As the saying goes that every penny counts, it’s imperative that you know where your money is going. When tracking expenses, you should also ensure that they are within your overall budget.

Periodically Review Expenditure

After tracking your expenses, the next logical thing to do would be to ensure everything adds up. While doing so, you might notice that there are unnecessary expenses eating out of your budget. You should, therefore, be realistic and see if there happen to be any expenses that can be completely eliminated or reduced. This could mean reducing the amount you spend on buying office snacks or seeing if you can get a cheaper alternative. If you find you’re going through a rough patch, it could also mean reducing the amount you pay yourself some months. To cover unforeseen expenses, you could find a loan with good or bad credit to help you get by that month. The idea should be to get rid of expenses you don’t need so that you free up your money and have more disposable cash to work with.

Save

One of the most important things to do when managing money as a business is save. This is where budgeting comes into play as saving is almost impossible without budgeting. You should begin by looking at your cash flow and determine how much you can actually afford to save. As with any time you’re saving money, you should pay yourself before spending anything. In addition, reducing your expenses as mentioned above means that you have a lot more left over to save and reinvest in other aspects of your business.

Hire a Professional

If you don’t have one already, hiring a CFO or accountant is a good idea if you need help managing your money as a business. They typically have the expertise needed to keep you on track and ensure you meet your financial goals. Seeing as tracking your business expenses can be tedious, they can take on this task and let you know if they identify any areas of concern such as with your cash flow. You could also explore the option of hiring a freelancer or contracting with a local provider instead if you’re trying to cut costs or can’t afford a full-time employee.

Money management tends to have similar fundamentals whether you’re trying to apply it in a business or your personal life. It is, therefore, key that you adopt positive habits when it comes to money and use the many tools and software available to aid the process. Hopefully, after reading the tips above you’ve learned a few more money management tips every business should consider.

Why You Should Consider Switching To a Direct Debit Service

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution ArticleDirect Debit is one of the safest and most cost-effective methods of conducting a financial transaction. It is an instruction from customers to bank or building society to collect specific amounts from their accounts after giving an advance notice of date and value of the transaction.

You give the authorisation by completing a Direct Debit Mandate form that can be either in paper or in the form of an online web page. Post-authorisation, the organisation can automatically take payments from you in accordance with their scheme rules.

Direct Debit makes sure all bills are paid automatically without delays or any hassle. It saves businesses plenty of time meaning they can focus on the importance of staying concentrated on their core competencies.

Use of Direct Debit

Direct Debit is mostly used for payments along with:

  • Paying regular bills of variable amounts. You will be assured with direct debit that all your bills are paid timely every month.
  • Safest and easiest way to make recurring payments like magazine subscriptions or membership offers.
  • Companies provide Direct Debit services as an option for spreading costs or paying on an account.
  • Other than regular and recurring payments, it is also used for one-off payments.

Direct Debit Payment

It’s hard to remember when bills have to be paid, but matters can be made easier using Direct Debit that allows hassle-free payments. It is the most preferred method of payment in the UK. It is not only used for paying household bills, but also by businesses to pay their day-to-day transactions and commitments. Payments are automatically taken from your account on a regular basis.

Direct Debit Collections

Direct Debit is the easiest way for an organisation to collect payments from customers and businesses. It reduces the cost of collecting funds directly from a bank account.

Here are some reasons why you should consider switching to a paperless direct debit service:

  1. Ease of use

It is very easy to set up. Once your business signs up with a direct debit provider, customers can get ready for payment collections through a one-off process. Customers receive a link where they enter bank details online giving customers the authority to make payments from their bank accounts. Direct Debit services are also optimised for mobile so customers can sign up on the move, making it very simple.

There is also an option of paying variable amounts at different intervals without having to do anything more. This feature makes it perfect for paying those bills where you are charged depending on monthly usage. The company AccessPay offer a Cloud-based Direct Debit solution (which you can view here) that adds an advantage and ease that I found few other competitors do. With their service, they make collecting funds faster, simpler and more efficient for you. With the cloud-based debit solution they allow you to set up a number of Bacs direct debits, which will help to manage the entire payment process with ease.

  1. Saves precious time

It is very challenging for some people who lead busy lives to find time to stay on top of their bills and other finances. Setting up Direct Debit can help you pay on time without having to remember the deadlines. Everything will be done efficiently and automatically. Once your payment mandate is set up, your job is done. Forget all about setting reminders for your payments because direct debit will do all that for you without you having to lift a finger.

  1. No more late payments

If you are running a business where customers are making credit payments and you are fed up of those people who never seem to pay on time, a direct debit service can make your life a little easier. With Direct Debit, your customers will pay on time every time. The entire payment process is taken care of automatically, so your customers will not miss a payment again. You can also give better customer service this way without any disruptions or awkward chase up emails. Save yourself from embarrassment and also from the cost and effort associated with tracking your debtors.

  1. Safe and Secure

Direct Debit Services are secure and protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee. It has modern encryption and secured firewalls to protect all users personal and private information. When the information is transferred from the bank, it is encrypted at the source so customers can be assured the safe security of their data. The Direct Debit Guarantee gives customers complete coverage of payments in case of unforeseen circumstances like fraud or payment errors. From all the payment methods in the UK, this is by far the safest for users. It also guarantees to give you the rights to immediate refunds for any incorrect charges that have been added to your account.

  1. Cost effective

Direct Debit Services gives you ample time, admin and cost savings. This money can then be further invested in the business or passed on to customers in the form of incentives or discounts. This will make your services/products more attractive to existing and potential customers. At the same time, it will improve your business standards giving you an edge over your competitors.

  1. Attractive Packages

More attractive payment packages can be made for goods that are expensive so that customers can pay back easily through affordable instalments. This will also avoid late payments and the added bank charges for exceeding the overdraft limit in banks. You can make more flexible payment plans for a faster, more efficient payment method.

Switching to a Direct Debit Service reduces the complexity of payment handling, saving your time and giving you peace of mind. So, start improving your cash flow and handle your finances smoothly.

Photo courtesy of Grace Stroke