You’ve opened a business – that was your first mistake. But now that you’ve ventured into the big bad world of entrepreneurialism, you can’t afford to make another.
Indeed, running a company is rife with perils and pitfalls – unless you have a firm foundation on which to build.
With that in mind, we’ve cooked up a selection of tips to help you rustle up business success.
Know your premises
Understanding the ramifications of your workplace location is vital to any business – especially if you’re aiming for a flurry of profits.
Geography is the key to most successful business locations. A vintage clothing shop in an industrial sector, for instance, is about as likely to find a good customer base as a fish is likely to survive on dry land.
Find a shop for rent that meets all your needs, from the right location to the perfect price, and you’ll be far more likely to net those customers with minimal effort.
Naturally, you’ll have to consider the competition surrounding you. Make sure you’ve got the right balance, then, and you’ll start raking in the cash.
A way with customers
Are you aiming your business at hip and happening, beard stroking trendsetters, or blue-haired grannies who just want a hot cup of tea? Don’t know? Then your enterprise is already on the wrong track.
Every company has to know its target demographic when it’s heading into the big leagues. After all, few people want to see a shop selling bespoke furniture like it’s a branch of IKEA.
Hire some research bods to make sure your social media networks and advertising are in line with your imagined target audience. After all, can you imagine a funeral company having an Instagram account with coffin selfies –they’d lose most of their business in weeks.
Understanding your audience seems like an impossible dream for some companies. But with the right kind of help it can be simple.
The perfect team
As the high street fails, having a place to rent is growing increasingly difficult for a lone business. As internet behemoths like Amazon stomp their feet on the market, customers are growing increasingly disenfranchised with brick-and-mortar shops.
Which is why savvier companies are teaming up and splitting their floor space. Take Waterstone’s as a prime example.
The book chain has teamed up with coffee chain Costa to give customers the option to pick up a paperback with their latte.
Consider this yourself. Find a business that complements your own and team up to offer something customers can’t find online – warmth, comfort and variety.
Here are 3 simple decisions you can make that will affect your future finances:
– Take the time to check your account details online and make sure that your savings account rates outpace inflation.
If you are holding money in a savings account that does not provide competitive rates, then you are actually losing money the longer that you keep your finances in that place. Many traditional savings accounts simply do not have the interest rate that you are looking for. You must look for other types of savings accounts such as jumbo savings accounts, certificates of deposit or long-term money market accounts. There is always a way to move your interest rate past inflation; it simply takes more research these days in order to find it.
– How you view debt will definitely affect your future finances.
The only reason to get into debt is to create more assets for yourself in the future. Debt for consumables is one of the least effective financial techniques that anyone can implement into their daily lives.
If you are taking on debt, make sure that you are gaining a resource that will add to your assets. These activities may include adding a feature on a house, gaining a new skill specifically for a job or investing in a business that has been thoroughly researched. These activities absolutely do not include going on a shopping spree at your favorite mall or upgrading yourself to first class on a vacation in which you suddenly decide to splurge.
– What do you do with your expendable income?
After you have paid all of your bills, what do you do with the rest of your money? The money that is not moving towards your immediate expenses should be moving towards improving your quality of life. There is only one way to truly improve your quality of life over the long-term – your money must make more money for you.
Your expendable income must be put into activities that will continue to make money for you. Hopefully these activities will include streams of passive income that do not require you to trade your time for money. These streams of income may include dividends on stocks, investing in a business that does not need to be personally managed or purchasing real estate that can be rented out easily.
These three simple decisions will have a huge effect on how your finances will serve you in the future. Remember that money is a tool for your quality of life. Never overlook its value to you or its ability to free you from the daily grind of the rat race.
A lot of trust is placed in financial advisors. They are tasked with helping us manage our money properly to ensure we remain financially stable in the future. Because it is such an intimate relationship, it is important for each person to find the right financial advisor for them. Different financial advisors excel in different areas, so asking a few questions will help you determine their strengths and whether they are the right financial advisor for your current financial needs.
What Is The Financial Advisor’s Professional Designation?
Many people do not know that there are more than 100 different professional designations for financial advisors. Some professional designations, such as certified financial planner, chartered financial analyst and personal financial specialist, require a CPA credential, while others can be handed out to those with a minimal amount of education and related work experience. Do your research and make sure the advisor is qualified before handing over any of your hard-earned money.
What Services Does The Advisor Provide?
Are you looking for a full package of advising services, including investing and tax services, on a regular basis? Are you looking for someone that you can check with from time to time to ensure that your investments are on track? Both types of financial advisors are available, but they will each have very different requirements and strategies. Before choosing a financial advisor, make sure that the services they offer match up to the services you are interested in. Choosing wrong means that you will either be paying more that you should or be disappointed that the advisor is not doing more for you.
How Do Their Returns Match Up Against Benchmark Returns?
The comparison between the returns that a financial advisor gets and the returns of larger industry benchmarks can show you whether the advisor is providing good advice that will help you increase your wealth. While the stock market is unpredictable, trends can be spotted when comparing the results of a particular stock against the results of the wider industry. Financial advisors use these trends when choosing investments for their clients. If the advisors returns are consistently lower than the benchmarks, it means bad news for the value of your portfolio.
How Is The Financial Advisor Compensated?
There are several different ways that a financial advisor can be compensated. If the advisor has a transparent fee structure, it should be easy to see what you are paying for and how much you are paying for it. In most cases, there is no reason to pay a management fee of more than 1 percent of the total amount of assets being managed. If the fee structure provided to you is difficult to understand or the financial advisor cannot adequately explain how they are compensated, it is a sign that you should probably choose a different financial advisor.
While watching television over the past week, I was struck by how many commercials I saw advertising reverse mortgages to seniors. On just about every channel I watched, there was a commercial showing seniors how financially beneficial a reverse mortgage could be and generally glossing over any downsides to the transactions. To me, it seemed like an offer that was too good to be true. I was sure that there had to be some issues occurring with reverse mortgages that no one was talking about. After a bit of research, I discovered that I was right.
You Could Lose Your Home
A reverse mortgage is a type of loan that allows older homeowners to borrow against the accrued equity in their homes and use that money as income during their retirement years. According to the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, more than 51,000 homeowners secured reverse mortgage loans from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in fiscal year 2014. Most of the commercials that I viewed for the reverse mortgages contained reassurances that the senior would be able to keep their home and that they would be able to live in their home as long as they liked. This was true…to a point.
Some seniors are at high risk of losing their homes after signing up for a reverse mortgage, often because they don’t have enough money to pay the homeowners insurance and property taxes for the home. The senior can also be in default on the loan if they fail to make necessary repairs in a timely manner. If the senior fails to meet all of the requirements of the loan, they must either pay back the loan amount immediately – which is unlikely if they are already facing financial difficulty – or they must give up the home to the lender.
You Could Outlive The Loan
Today, seniors are living longer than ever before, lengthening the amount of time that they need to stretch their retirement savings. A reverse mortgage looks like an easy, risk-free way of getting some additional money for your expenses during your retirement years, but the money is not guaranteed for the life of the homeowner. If the loan is obtained too early, then there won’t be any money left from the loan in the person’s later years, when they may need it the most. Worse, the home’s equity has been drained off by this point, leaving seniors with few options for continuing to fund their retirement.
The Fees and Interest On The Loans Are Substantial
Many people fail to understand that a reverse mortgage is a loan that has fees and interest rates associated with them to make money for the lender…just like every other loan in existence. The word “loan” is used sparingly in commercials for reverse mortgages because the companies don’t want you to think about how much you are going to pay for the reverse mortgage. They only want you to think about how much money you would get. Instead of a windfall, a reverse mortgage is more like a personal loan with your house as collateral if you, or your children, cannot pay back the loan in full.