Posts tagged with "finances"

elderly illustration by 360 Magazine

How Do You Know That You’re Ready For Retirement?

It’s Not Just The Finances.

An intriguing find once emerged from a RAND Corp. survey on Americans and their working conditions. It turned out that 40 percent of employees that are age 65 and older had previously retired, but something lured them back to the working world.

In some cases, financial troubles might have been the cause. But often the reason is that people neglect an important component in their retirement planning. They don’t think about what they will do with their extra time, or how they will give their life the meaning and purpose that work had provided, says Patti Hart, co-author with her husband, Milledge, of The Resolutionist: Welcome to the Anti-Retirement Movement.

“Money is certainly important, but it’s not the only thing that determines whether your retirement is a success,” she says. “It may be that you are financially ready to retire, but are a long way from being emotionally ready.”

The Harts offer tips for figuring out when to retire and for making sure you’re successful when you do:

  • Know your catalysts. Identify milestones or signs that will let you know you are ready to embark on a new post-work life, Milledge Hart says. Yes, that could be when you’ve accumulated a certain amount of savings. But it might also be related to when your spouse quits their job, or when your children graduate college and head out on their own. Maybe your plan is to work until your health gives out. “Knowing your catalysts can mean the difference between successfully transitioning to a fulfilled life after your career is over, or boomeranging back to the full-time workforce simply because you didn’t know why you quit to begin with,” he says.
  • Plan ahead to avoid separation anxiety from work. For many people, moving from the excitement and fulfillment of a career to the quietness of retirement is too much, Patti Hart says. They develop a form of “separation anxiety,” longing for their old way of life rather than venturing boldly into the new one. “You need to make a plan for what you want to do in your new post-career life so you aren’t floundering when you get there,” she says.
  • Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. At work, people are thrown into uncomfortable situations and have no choice but to face them head on. In retirement, it’s easier to avoid discomfort, but doing so diminishes your confidence, and you miss out on opportunities for personal growth and fun, Milledge Hart says. “It would seem counterintuitive to think that being uncomfortable brings happiness, but it does,” he says. “Go at life as if it’s an adventure – because it is. When you accomplish something you didn’t think you could, you get a jolt of endorphins that drives you to your next challenge.”
  • Learn to be your own best friend. Even when people want to try a new hobby or activity, they sometimes are afraid to do it alone. “In retirement, you might not have the social network you once did,” Patti Hart says. “You may long for a good friend you can rely on.” But if you think about it, she says, you already have that friend–yourself. So as you prepare for retirement, be ready to go solo on occasion. “When you get to this stage, you will often find that some things on your list are on your list alone,” she says. “No one in your universe shares your interest or has the time to join you. That’s all right. If you are going to continue to grow, you need to sometimes feel like you did something completely on your own.”

“Don’t convince yourself that in retirement you are going to be destined to a life of watching evening game shows and baking pies, unless of course that is what you love to do,” Milledge Hart says. “My advice is nothing is off limits, so reach for the stars. Look forward rather than backward, and embrace the new you.”

About Patti and Milledge Hart

Patti and Milledge Hart, co-authors of The Resolutionist: Welcome to the Anti-Retirement Movement have spent more than 30 years as executive leaders in numerous technology and investment banking businesses. Today, in what they refer to as the “Resolutionist,” rather than retirement, phase of their lives, they are applying their resources and skills in new ways to advance philanthropic and corporate activities around the globe.

Money & Relationship illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Money Issues × Relationships

Are Money Issues Ruining Your Relationship?

Read on for 5 tips to resolve them.

The COVID-19 pandemic has played havoc with families’ finances through lost jobs, squeezed budgets, increased debt, and missed payments.

Money and the decisions spouses make with it are one of the main sources of stress among couples, and sometimes money issues end relationships or cause divorce. But differences can be solved or managed if couples learn to listen to each other and work as a team to formulate a sensible plan, says financial planner Aaron Leak, the founder of ECL Private Wealth Management. 

“No matter how long you have been together, financial issues can wreak havoc on a committed relationship,” Leak says. “When couples don’t agree about spending and saving habits, it causes arguments and resentment.

“But understanding what you’re fighting about and why helps you and your partner come up with solutions. By being transparent and honest with each other about your finances, you can not only prevent arguments that strain your relationship, but you will strengthen it.”

Leak offers these tips for couples to address and resolve financial issues:

  • Understand your money styles. Think of some extreme examples of money styles in your circle. Like your friend, the foodie, who won’t touch a bottle of wine that costs less than $75. Or your sister who constantly surfs Amazon. Or your mom who washes aluminum foil, then folds and reuses it. Everyone has a money style, and it’s helpful to talk about it without any name-calling or labeling involved. Understanding your partner’s spending habits often involves a deep dive into money fears, scarcity memories and childhood traumas. Come up with a spending plan that works for both of you.
  • Decide how to divvy up the bills and save for future goals. You can both put all your earnings in a joint account and pay everything out of that. Or you can split bills down the middle and keep the rest of your own earnings for yourselves. Once you have decided how the bills get paid, you need to devise a plan for saving for your long-term goals. Remember that you need to work closely together as life changes arise – such as one of you losing a job or cutting back on hours to care for a parent. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that contingency plans are always advisable.
  • Create personal spending allowances that stay personal. Having some personal money that’s designated just for you each month can really help how you feel about your relationship. It can also help avoid relationship-ruining behavior like “financial infidelity,” when one spouse hides money or purchases from the other. The personal spending allowance gives each partner the chance to spend their money however they wish, no questions asked.
  • Face and eliminate undesirable debt. Couples should employ a strategy to pay off debt, such as paying off the higher-interest debt first or paying off the smallest loans first (the snowball method). Payments on credit cards, car loans, and student loans can devour monthly budgets, so the sooner they are paid off, the better.
  • Set a budget you can live with. One of the best ways to keep in sync with your partner financially is to have a budget as part of your overall plan. The budget includes your household bills, your personal spending allowance, your debt-paying strategy, and your monthly budget for long-term goals like retirement.

“Relationships take consistent work in order to be happy and successful, and money management is a big part of it,” Leak says. “The best way to be sure you and your spouse are staying on the same page financially is to talk honestly and without judgment.”

About Aaron Leak

Aaron Leak has 16 years of experience in the financial industry and is the founder of ECL Private Wealth Management. He holds Series 7, 6, 63 and 66 licenses as well as life, health, and property and casualty insurance licenses.

Money illustration by 360 Magazine

How to Leverage Your Assets to Live the Life of Your Dreams

When you are growing up, your world is filled with wonder, great times with friends and time for fun and play. It’s also when your soul’s dreams start to emerge and we begin to imagine what we might be in the future. Then, when we reach adult age we are suddenly thrust into a world where the dream goes dormant and we find ourselves working full-time just to make the money we need to survive. Sadly, that’s the way we are expected to live until retirement. 

Society has us penciled in to work endlessly to make money for others for 40 plus years of our life. We typically follow the script without thought until one day we start to wonder is this all there is? With those words our true awakening has begun. The veil of what you were taught you should be is lifted and your soul and spirit come back out to play. It’s finally time to reconnect with your hopes and desires.

Stepping into the Life of Your Dreams

The world calls this awakening a crisis, giving it a pejorative label so it can be dismissed. This moment, though, is a pivotal part of your journey. You are leaving what you were programmed to do and instead choosing your own path. Old dreams begin to re-emerge and new hopes often arise. 

It’s time for you to live a life you truly love. When you reach this moment, you should let all the dreams out to dance. If you love travel, begin to imagine how you might see the world and get to live in different countries. If you have a passion or hobby that truly calls to you, do some journaling and come up with creative ideas to pursue that. You have the power to manifest your soul’s desires. 

Leveraging Your Assets to Live Your Dream

If you are ready to pursue your new path, it’s helpful to have the money and financial freedom to do what you want. One of the ways you can help fund your dreams is to consider selling your life insurance policy. It’s possible to tap into the value of your policy and get a life settlement that would generate the cash you need to live beautifully. 

This is an especially good option if you are further along in age. With a life settlement you basically sell your policy for cash and the investor then receives the death benefit at a future date. If you go online you can find out if you are eligible and determine what your maximum cash value would be. It’s important to do your research so you fully understand your options and know the pros and cons of your choice.

Consider Downsizing and Moving to the Country

One of the ways society keeps your nose to the grindstone is to encourage you to spend more than you make. We are taught that we should have a big house, filled with the best of everything. In reality, you don’t need any of that to be happy. If you wake up every day and get to live the life you love, you will quickly come to understand that much of what we buy barely matters. 

In order to have the freedom to pursue your dreams, you may want to downsize so you can dramatically reduce your monthly expenses. If you own a home in a city, you could sell that and pocket the equity. Then you can look for a smaller place in a rural area that costs far less. You’ll find that when you lower your monthly expenses and have some cash from the sale of your home, you won’t need to work full-time to make ends meet. You’ll then have the time to follow your soul’s path and live the life of your dreams.

remote learning illustration by Kaelen Felix

What social media tools can do for your business?

Are you sick of being stuck with no growth on social media? Are you new to social media and looking to grow your business using it? 

Traditional marketing is long dead and far gone–TV advertising, newspaper ads, and road-side billboards are all outdated. Social media has now replaced all of that by making online marketing the norm when it comes to brand promotion. Currently, there are three different platforms that are dominating the social media space–Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok–and they all have their own unique qualities to offer each individual or business. 

If you are thinking about using social media to get your business up off the ground, here are a few tools that you might need to become even more successful.

Why should you use social media? 

Social media, while having been around for a long time in its various different forms, has become the most popular it has even been in the past 10 years or so. This is due the fact that so many more people now have access to mobile devices and Wi-Fi connection. This means that by marketing your brand on social media, your business has the potential to reach millions upon millions of people, if marketed in a desirable manner. Not only will you be able to reach a larger audience, but this audience can be international as well. 

Traditional marketing can tend to be quite pricy. However, social media marketing–unless you’re putting in a bit of extra cash to help you–can literally be completely free. Most social media sites require no sign-up or membership fee, and are completely free platforms. 

On social media it is easy to create brand awareness by following trends and seeing what other people are looking for, which will eventually contribute to the organic growth of your accounts and brand. One of the best benefits of social media marketing is that it can increase traffic to your website, which will ultimately put more money in your pocket. 

Which one is right for you?

There is a relatively large variety of social media platforms, although it is recommended to stick to the most popular ones. Having so many options doesn’t need to overwhelm you though, it’s all about knowing your target demographic and style. All social media platforms are unique and can have different, individual focuses dependent on your particular brand.

This mean that between platforms, the target demographic and and style of communication are completely different. For instance, Instagram is a place where the millennials hang out. Everyone has their own aesthetically pleasing feed to look at and every post is designed down to the very last detail, whereas TikTok is far more laid back and dominated by Gen Z kids. These short form videos can literally be anything you think of. Most of TikTok is not nearly as aesthetically pleasing as Instagram, but it is more authentic and fun. 

All the different platforms require different kinds of interaction from both the brand owner and the followers, from commenting and liking, to following, and even direct messaging. With Instagram having over 900 million users, Twitter, with an average of 152 million, and TikTok reaching an insane number of just over 1 billion users, these platforms are the best social media option for business and brands to promote themselves as they are all relevant and very popular. 

Twesocial 

One of the most important things when it comes to twitter marketing, is expanding the amount of people your marketing reaches. This can be difficult because the number of brands making use of Twitter tools to promote their businesses is rising dramatically, and those who began earlier probably have an advantage. Twesocial is an organic Twitter marketing service that was launched in 2016 to help users grow their account with real Twitter followers, without too much effort and time wasted. 

Twesocial will manage practically every aspect of your account from posting and posting times, hashtags, user interaction, and growing your follower base. Using a service like Twesocial can be very helpful when it comes to trying to get your brand account off the ground because initially it can be hard to be noticed in a sea of other content creators. Twesocial takes away all the hard work, only leaving you with the task of creating your own content. 

Task Ant

Instagram hashtags are such a prominent tool that should be used when social media marketing however, most people don’t really know how to use them correctly or which ones to use. Task Ant, launched in 2019, is a hashtag app that allows you to find the best hashtag for your content, as well as provide solutions to previous hashtag mistakes. 

Making use of an app like this can enable growth for your business by increasing your content’s engagement and reach. There are two different price options: the solo package for those looking to get started, and the growth package to maximize hashtag use. There is something for everybody.  

TokUpgrade

TikTok has quickly become one of the most popular social media platforms around, which also means that it might be a bit more difficult to get your content noticed. Much like Twesocial, TokUpgrade, launched in 2020, claims to increase profile views and visits through organic engagement. They can increase your engagement and target your audience to get real TikTok followers through a series of specific questions, as well as engage with your followers to keep them interested. 

Tok upgrade also comes with two different packages, the regular and the pro, which can either be paid weekly or monthly. It is important to note that this service is a little more costly than the others, but is definitely worth it in the long run as the potential for your brand’s growth is endless.

Kaelen Felix illustrates truck article for 360 Magazine

How to Buy a Truck You’ll Cherish for Years

If you’re ready to finally pull the trigger and buy a new truck, it can be difficult to know where to start. On the one hand, buying a new vehicle is always exciting. However, you also need to be conscious of your budget and long-term satisfaction with the vehicle. 

Buying a new car is a big investment. Don’t rush your decision and end up making a mistake you’ll regret for years to come. We want to help.

Keep reading for our top tips on how to buy a truck you’ll love now and in the future. 

Figure Out Your Finances

One of the most important things to do before making a big investment is to take an objective look at your finances. How much can you afford to make on monthly truck payments?

Your budget needs to include other costs associated with buying a new truck. For example:

  • Sales tax
  • Auto insurance
  • Registration fees
  • Fuel costs
  • Regular maintenance and repairs

We also recommend getting pre-approved for an auto loan to make sure you’re eligible for the price range you’re shopping under. If your pre-approval comes up short, you may want to spend a few months improving your credit score.

Save for a Down Payment

One of the best ways to get approved for a larger loan with lower interest rates is by putting money down on your new truck. This is one of the most important steps of learning how to buy a truck the right way. The difference of a single percentile on your interest can account for thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Determine the Type of Truck You Want

When buying a new truck, you also need to take a little time to figure out what types of trucks are best for your lifestyle. For example, if you’re planning on using the truck as your primary means of transportation to and from work in the city, you’ll want something with excellent fuel efficiency. 

Alternatively, if you’re planning on using the truck for outdoor recreation activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping, you’ll want something a little more rugged. You will undoubtedly need a four-wheel-drive vehicle. 

Finally, consider hauling and towing capacities. Will the truck be towing a camper, boat, or trailer?

Decide What Features Are Important to You

Learning how to buy a truck that’s perfect for you means prioritizing your wants and needs. For example, do you want all the bells and whistles of high-end luxury models? These include things like smart entertainment systems, top-notch speakers, heated and cooled seats, advanced driver features, and more.

These models are more expensive but provide much more comfort, luxury, and convenience. 

Do Your Homework

Before buying a new truck, it’s vital to do a little digging. Lookup vehicle ratings and reviews.

Look at professional safety ratings from certified organizations. However, you should also see what other drivers have to say about the vehicle. Find customer reviews and testimonials from people who have the same truck you’re considering buying. 

For reference, check out this review on the Chevy Silverado.

Decide if You Want to Buy New or Used

Another important step in the truck buying guide is deciding if you want to buy a new or used pickup. There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument. 

New

Buying a brand new pickup means you’re getting a vehicle with no previous owners. It also comes with manufacturer warranties that will last up to 60,000 miles or five years. However, brand new trucks are much more expensive and can lose as much as 30% of their value in the first year.

Used

Alternatively, buying a used truck most likely means forgoing any warranties. Additionally, you’ll need to make sure you’re buying from a credible seller to avoid buying a truck with pre-existing issues. However, buying used may save you thousands of dollars and grant you access to high-end models you may not have been able to afford new.

Certified Pre-Owned

Finally, there’s a happy medium between the two options. CPOs are slightly used vehicles that have been refurbished to like-new condition. They’re more expensive than traditional used vehicles but are given new warranties. 

Get the Vehicle History Report

Learning how to buy a truck used means getting your hands on the vehicle history report. This is especially important when buying from a private seller. The vehicle history report records vital information about the truck’s past, such as:

  • Number of previous owners
  • Locations of registration
  • Accident/repair history
  • Maintenance history
  • Factory recalls
  • Commercial history (used in a commercial fleet for rent or lease)

Technology has made tracking a vehicle’s history easier than ever. As such, it’s now virtually risk-free to buy a vehicle with s solid history report.

Take the Truck on a Test Drive

Last but not least, when buying a new truck, make sure you test drive it before you make any final decisions. For all you know, you may not even enjoy driving the model you’ve picked out. Make sure the truck feels intuitive, responsive, and easy to handle. 

Depending on the type of truck and what you’ll be using it for, you may want one that produces minimal engine noise and road noise. If the vehicle is used, make sure all the instrument panels, driver features, entertainment equipment, and other electronics work properly. 

Regardless of the temperature outside, ensure both the heating and the air conditioning work, as well. Have someone stand outside and check the brake lights, headlights, brights, turn signals, etc.

If you feel it necessary, consider taking the truck to a trusted mechanic for a full inspection. 

Looking for More Tips on How to Buy a Truck?

We hope our list helps you find the best pickup truck you’ll cherish for years to come. And remember, if you can’t afford the truck you want now, save up for a few months to make your dream a reality. Patience pays off. 

And if you’re looking for more tips on how to buy a truck and other auto-related news, be sure to check out some of our other articles before you go. We have an entire section dedicated to the auto industry for people just like you.

Basketball illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Projected NBA Revenue 

Data gathered by Safe Betting Sites shows that the NBA sponsorship revenue over the past decade amounts to about $9.24 billion. According to the data, the revenue is projected to grow by 159.33% between 2010 and 2020. 

Sponsorship revenue to peak during 2019/20 season. The revenue will be highest during the current 2019/20 season at $1.39 billion while during the 2009/10 season the revenue stood at $536 million. 

The revenue surpassed the one billion mark during the 2017/18 season when it stood at $1.12 billion and later grew by 15.89% to 1.29 billion in the 2018/19 season. 

From the data, the biggest growth was between the 2016/17 and 2017/18 season with a percentage increase of 30.08%. 

The coronavirus pandemic might impact the current season’s sponsorship revenue. According to our research report: “It is important to note that the NBA’s unprecedented move to suspend its season early this year due to the coronavirus had an immense cost as the league’s clubs collectively lost millions in game-day revenue for games canceled. This move might significantly impact the 2020 figures. However, the league is expected to resume later this month.”

Our research also overviewed sports sponsorship spending in the United States from 2014 to 2024. By 2024, the spending will grow to $19.8 billion, an increase of 27.74% from the estimated 2020’s figure of $15.5 billion.

By next year, the spending will stand at about $16.4 billion, which will later increase by  6.09% to $17.4 billion by 2022. In 2023, the spending is projected to stand at $18.5 billion.  Between 2014 and this year, the sponsorship has grown by 28.09%. From the data, the lowest spending was registered six years ago at $12.1 billion.

Follow Safe Betting Sites: Facebook | Twitter

Follow NBA: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Vaughn Lowery, Alejandra Villagra, illustration, 360 MAGAZINE

5 Reasons You Should Create A Financial Budget

To successfully manage your finances, you must create a budget and stick to it. This may not be easy at first, but it is a rewarding endeavor that will benefit your life. Getting a handle on your hard-earned money makes a huge difference in your lifestyle. Making a financial budget is necessary to live a full life because your choices can make or break you. Here are the top five reasons why you should create a financial budget.

Gives You Control

Your financial budget will give you more control over your money. You will know how much you earn, where every penny is going, and how much you need to save each month. Everything is enumerated, so there is no room for errors. With this roadmap, you have a clear grasp of all your assets and liabilities. It will prevent arguments and protect your relationships because everyone in your family is on board. You all have a clear picture of what is happening with your funds, which helps avoid misunderstandings and arguments.

Helps Attain Goals

A budget is akin to a blueprint that will help guide you into achieving your financial goals, both short-term and long-term. Whether it is setting funds enough for investments, buying a new house, saving money for your kids’ college tuition, or preparing for an emergency, having a definite plan on how to get things done makes you more efficient. You can prioritize your objectives, so you can readily devote your resources to the things that matter to you. With a plan in place, you can crush your goals without getting super stressed out. As the saying goes, people who fail to plan, plan to fail. If you want to hit your targets successfully, you must be willing to do your part.

Keeps You Honest

When you document all your expenses down to the last cent, it allows you to see how you are spending your money concretely. You don’t get surprised that your paycheck has been depleted at the end of each month. With this mindset, you avoid nasty overdraft charges and steep credit card feels. When you hold yourself accountable every day, there is less risk of impulse purchases that drain your savings. When you are true to yourself about your spending habits, you can quickly achieve your goals.

Helps Improve Your Habits

It is a terrible habit to spend more than you earn. This sets you up for a lifetime of misery because you will be immersed in debt. If you continue your bad habits, you set yourself up for financial ruin. By accounting how much you spend and making a budget for your needs, you will make better choices. With these in place, your warning bells will ring when you notice that you are headed in the wrong direction. Consequently, you can take the necessary steps to avoid trouble by inculcating good financial habits. Keeping a budget or financial plan also trains you to be more systematic and consistent with your record-keeping.

Deters Debt and Improves Credit

With a solid financial plan in place for yourself and your family, you are in complete control of your spending. You can make adjustments with your choices if your budget doesn’t cut it. You may also be able to determine ways to help address your existing debt. Moreover, your budget will prevent you from accruing more debt and entering a dangerous downward spiral. When you have your plan in place, you are motivated to pay your bills on time because you see the results firsthand. All of these elements work in conjunction to help you build a good credit score. Better credit gives you more favorable options to lean on during financial emergencies.

Final Word

Crunching numbers may not be as fun as going on an all-out shopping spree, but you need to be more financially responsible as this equates to a better overall quality of life. Having a financial budget prevents you from spending money that you don’t have. Crafting a detailed budget that everyone follows is the only way to achieve real security for your family. Apart from keeping your short-term spending in check, it also sets you up for a more solid long-term financial future.

360 magazine, save money, money, Alejandra Villagra

How to Save Money For What You Really Want

Whether you are looking to save money in order to clear your debt, purchase a new car, put a deposit down on a new home, stage the perfect wedding,or go on the vacation of a lifetime, these simple budgeting tips will help you save money. It might seem difficult at first, but the key is to look at it as a spending plan rather than a restrictive budget. You will not be quitting spending completely, instead you will be prioritizing some financial goals over others.

Make a Budget

A popular budget that many people use to save money is the 50/30/20 budget. 

  • 50% of your post-tax income is used for necessities.
  • 30% is devoted to things you want.
  • 20% is stowed away in savings.

If you stick to this spending plan, you should be able to save a lot of money over the course of a year.

Use Digital Tools

There are lots of apps out there to help you budget. Some banks automatically transfer money from your checking account to your savings account each time you spend. You will not even notice that the money is gone until you start to see your savings grow. This is great because it allows you to save money with the minimum amount of effort. 

Collect Your Change

Empty your pockets when you get home each day and put the coins in a money box. Checking down underneath the cushions on the sofa, or underneath your car seat are also great ways to help fill your pot.

Cut Down on Expensive Clothes

It is possible to spend vast amounts of money keeping up with the latest trends in fashion. However, the clothes are often overpriced and tend to go out of style very quickly. It is okay to splurge on something you really love occasionally, but for the most part you can get high quality clothing at sites like this for a fraction of the cost.

Plan Major Purchases

Always plan to make major purchases, such as household appliances, furniture, computer equipment or cars, during annual sale periods. Post-Christmas, January sales and Black Friday events are perfect for this. Another underappreciated tip is to wait two days before making a purchase, even after you have decided on which product you are going to buy. This helps prevent buyer’s remorse.

Remain a Stranger to Online Stores

A great way to limit the amount of money you spend online is to opt out of creating online shopping accounts. You are much less likely to make impulse buys if you are required to go through the arduous process of filling out all of your personal data and billing information each time you click through to the online checkout.

Make Your Own Gifts

The cost of buying birthday, Christmas, anniversary, and wedding presents for all the various people in your life can really add up fast. It is not only much more economical, but it is usually seen as more thoughtful and caring to make your own gifts to give to loved ones. Even if you don’t spend a lot of time creating arts and crafts, sites like this can give you the inspiration you need to make a great gift.

Be Your Own Boss – Tips for Starting Your Own Business

It sounds great, doesn’t it? No more 9-5 hours, forget the daily commute, and just work when you feel like it, but the reality of being your own boss is often very different. While choosing when to work, or not, is possible for some, there has often been a lot of hard work for them to get to that point. But, with now more people than ever declared as self-employed, it has never been a better time to be your own boss. If you are dreaming of quitting the day job, starting your own business and becoming your own boss, this guide gives you some tips on what you need to do.

Find the Right Business Niche

You might have some idea already about what area you want your business in, and that is great, as long as you play to your strengths. Pick a business niche that you are already knowledgeable about, because if you already have the expertise, then you are far, more likely to achieve success. Also, make sure you choose a business idea that you are really passionate about also. Otherwise, you might see your enthusiasm dwindle after a few months.

When deciding on a business niche, it is important to do your research and identify a gap in the market that your business can fill. It will be much harder to make a successful business if you are just doing what your competitors do. Offer something extra, and you will stand out.

Create a Business Plan

Having a solid business plan gives you a focused look at what your targets are for your business and the strategies to implement. Your business plan will have detailed information about your target market, and how you intend to sell to them. Not only does a business plan to keep your project on track, but it is also a worthwhile document to show to possible investors.

If you are not sure how to create a business plan, there are examples and templates you can use online, as a way to get you started. At first, your business plan might seem a little basic. But keep coming up with ideas and flesh it out as you learn. The more you learn, the quicker you will be able to grow your business.

Learn New Skills

So you might have a great idea for a business, but if you don’t know how to run a website or have any marketing experience, then that is going to be a weakness. You will also need to learn accounting skills to keep track of your business spending and keep records for tax purposes. Learn the basics before you start, and it will make running your new business much easier.

Finances

Financing a start-up business can be hard, so make sure you know exactly what you need to spend money on and what you don’t. It is a good idea to save up some funds before you start your business, to get you up and running.
If finances are tight, you could consider bootstrapping which where you build a business by only investing the profits it makes and keeping costs as low as possible, rather than spending a lump sum of your own, or an investor’s, cash. This might mean keeping your business small until you have raised enough to invest in growth, but you won’t be getting into debt to fund your business. If you are bootstrapping, it is often worth having another source of income to keep you afloat until your business is making more money. Don’t forget that you still have everyday living expenses to consider, so it might not be the right time for you to completely give up your day job. Try to begin your business alongside your regular job, or at least work part-time, so you still have a source of income.

Sometimes, new businesses face problems with cash flow, so you might have to supplement it with your own money. Or, you might be putting much of your own money into funding your business that you might temporarily be finding it difficult financially. If so, a short-term loan can be beneficial, such as from Bonsai Finance.

Entrepreneurial Mind-Set

Your attitude is what drives your business, so you need to get into the mindset of an entrepreneur to get success. That means having the will to succeed even when times feel tough. It also means having discipline in your working day to get tasks done and to also have the confidence to make decisions.

It takes effort and hard work to achieve anything worthwhile, but if you show up ready to work consistently, you will soon see your efforts pay off.

Don’t Overdo It!

Remember why you wanted to be your own boss in the first place? It was to get that work/life balance you have always dreamed of. So while it might be tempting to work all the hours you can to make it a success, remember to take regular breaks and days off. Too much work and putting pressure on yourself can lead to stress, and that is not productive for your or your business.

If you find yourself under pressure, delegate what you can. If you have clients waiting, call them to rearrange a time for completion of a project, or consider outsourcing work if you have too much.

Being your own boss gives you the opportunity to manage your own time, rather than being dictated to by regular employment. However, it does come with risks. If you get sick, you won’t get sick pay, there is no paid annual leave, and if you don’t make it a success, you could stand to lose any money you may have invested in it. Treat starting your own business with caution, but don’t be afraid to try! Every successful entrepreneur had to start somewhere, and most experience failure as well as success. If you believe in yourself and have the will to succeed, then you have already won half the battle.