• Personal Finance Startups

    Guide To Success

Entrepreneurs Launching a Startup

Cash Management

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Track and monitor

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fixed expenses

We can help you save on fixed expenses by ensuring the you implement the right approach.

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Rule Of Investing: Buy Low, Sell High

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Establish Financial Goals

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How To Create A Business StartUp Budget

StartUp Budget

Once you have the idea and the plan set up, the next thing that you have to do is plan a budget for your startup. Now for the budget, you need to plan the consistent requirement and growth as well are emergency savings at the time of crisis. The failure of the budget plan has led to the demise of many startups in the first year itself. So what should you be doing to have a stable budget for a successful company?

Planning for day one of your startup

Start with determining the budget for day one of your business, deciding on the things required to open up your sale. The day one budget can be broken down into fours categories.

Facilities Costs

The cost required to facilitate your office, warehouse, transport and your location.

Fixed Assets

The budget for furniture, equipment, and vehicles needed to set up your interior, which includes machines, electronics and appliances too.

Material and supplies

The paper for paperwork, promotion materials, inventory, etc. also needs a record.

Other Costs

The accounting system, local licenses and permits, insurance deposit and other fees to establish your business.

 


Estimating monthly Fixed and Variable Expenses

Fixed expenses are the costs that will be necessary to pay every month. It does not change and does not depend on your number of customers. Your common monthly expense will include the rent, utilities, phones, credit card processing, website service fees, equipment lease payments, office supplies, business insurance, dues and subscriptions to professional publication. Other costs may include raw materials, production costs, commission on sales, postage, mailing, packaging and shipping, commission on sales etc.

Estimate Monthly Sales

Estimating the monthly sales can be the most difficult task as you have no idea what the companies sales will be by the end of the month since you are just starting. You might require to make three different sales projections to be ready for every scenario.

Best case scenario, the worst-case scenario and the likely scenario. The be more realistic in your budgeting, you must assume that not all sales will be collected. You might have a greater or smaller collection percentage based on your type of business.

Creating a cash flow statement

Cash flow is the money which goes in and out of your company throughout the month, and you will need an accounts department and a system to make it function more efficiently. Managing your cash flow is the key to have a stable and growing business as it is more important than the profits you make.

You can begin your cash flow statement by combining total costs with a total collection of money throughout the month. Sales and collection might be different unless you have cash or credit business. Your cash flow statement should have the record of Monthly Sales, Collected money, Total Fixed Costs, Total Variable costs, and Total Cash Balance. Your total cash balance can give you the information about your cash needs and how much you will need to borrow for working capital.

Start up costs

The hardest task i faced when starting my business was getting the initial start up funds to be able to start trading. For example, I identified what i thought were the most important costs, by most important I mean money that i needed to spend on things that were essential for my business to start generating an income such as a website. I then prioritized the costs from most to least important. You will find that the most important costs will generally cost more than the least important costs, and rightly so. However with that, there also creates a problem on how to actually fund the important costs.

In this instance, I chose to apply for some additional finances and use the money to pay for those higher cost items. There are many different companies that can offer business funding solutions, however i chose to approach traditional consumer finance company Payday Pixie as the amount i needed was under their maximum threshold of £2,000. For anything larger i would likely have approached a peer to peer lending platform as you can get some very competitive rates on loans of a larger value.

Tips To Manage Your Small Business Finance

business

Starting a new business can be a challenging task if you are new to understand how the market works. It can be a risky decision for you, as you will have to deal with an endless stream of complex problems and administrative tasks. It is not an easy road to establish a stable business and requires all your attention. Managing you finance will provide you with the information and freedom to make future decisions.

Take time to prepare a proper plan for the company’s finance to ensure security and realistic approach to the problems that you will face in the market. Here are some tips that would help you to manage finances for your small business.

Avoid expensive credit

You need optimum use of funds to lead a successful and stable business. During the growing period of your business, the cost of credit has an important role to play. Keep the credit cost at a minimum and reduce the cost of interest rates to gain profit in future.

Expenses

Keeping the expenses fixed and low is a good way to start your business. Avoid wasting money on things which are not your priority. Your expenses maintain your gross revenue and process better savings. Early planning of your expenses for the payrolls, taxes, interests and cost material for goods, debts, utilities can make it easier in the future.

Maintain personal finances and business finances separately

Your personal and business bank accounts should be two different things. Having a borderline between these two accounts will help in better decision making and accounting. It will also eliminate the problems caused by the business due to personal expenditure.

Consider Insurance

Insurance is a necessity if you are starting a new business. While building a profitable portfolio and managing your small business finances, spend more time in researching about the needs and of your business. Insurance will provide you with financial security for your dependents, mostly your family. With time you can also increase the insurance to cover all your dependents.

Set up a retirement account

If you run a successful small business for a long time and think of moving to something new, you can have a retirement account to invest some part of your income to fund your retirement so you can be free of financial crisis even after you leave your business.

Invest  in technology

A fair choice that you have to invest your money is technology. Make use of new technologies that are related to your business and can help you gain the top spot among your competitors. Online software to keep a record of your finances and accounts is a smart way to make progress in your business.

Keep track of your money movements

You should have all the data on your company’s inbound and outbound cash flow. You are required to have your payment terms outlined concisely and efficiently. Keeping a track of the money will help you figure out which areas perform more efficiently and which areas need more attention.

Business Utility Comparison Sites

We have all received cold calls from sales people telling us that they can help us save on water and electricity rates as well as insurances and even office equipment supplies, but how many of us have actually followed through with it just to see if they are right?

This is something that can be a big help to small businesses and can even get you a massive reduction on your business rates including rent. And the best thing about this is, you hardly have to lift a finger as the comparison company does everything for you. So, go ahead, try it, you may just surprise yourself!

My Personal Lending Club Referral

Club Referral

Lending Club ReferralLending Club is a peer to peer lending company that I have personally referred to my friends and family. I’ve been investing with LC for over a year and have been completely overwhelmed with the results. My net annualized return is 10.08% and I have yet to have a late payment or a loan go into default.

My Personal Lending Club Referral

I’m not the only one that’s benefited from these high returns. The average annual return for all of LC is 9.67%. Most fund managers would thank their lucky stars to earn nearly 10% on investments. Over the past three years, Lending Club investors have on average earned more than stocks and bonds.

Personally, I’ve found that if you are picky with your note selection, you can achieve a double digit return with little risk. I like to look at only B-rated borrowers. A-rated borrowers don’t earn you a high enough interest rate. C-rated and below are too risky. I also like to invest in people that are borrowing a small amount of money, are consolidating debt and have zero delinquencies.

With this selection strategy you are investing in real people who have never been late on a payment before. Additionally, they’re currently paying off the same amount of debt at higher interest rates. Why wouldn’t they be able to pay off your loan that will be a lower monthly payment? Also, it makes me feel really good to help people get out of debt. Everybody deserves a chance to get out from under mountains of debt.

Lending Club Borrowers

I have yet to personally borrow with LC, but I have a wedding to pay for in about a year that I might take out a loan for. Basically, my fiancee and I will have enough money to cover the wedding by the time the big day comes around, but we feel more comfortable keeping an emergency fund fully funded. We’ll have no problems quickly paying back the loan, but we might as well get the best rate we can.

The Carnival Of Twenty Something Finances – MLB Playoffs Edition

Silicon Valley Blogger presents myFICO Promotional Code and Review. There is nothing more important to a strong personal finance foundation than a good credit score. Silicon Valley Blogger provides you with a number of ways to monitor your FICO score.

The Smarter Wallet presents an Online Business Guide. For any of you young entrepreneurs, this online business guide provides the structure to start you own online business.

OneMint presents Retirement Planning Calculator: Some More Thoughts. It is never too early to begin planning for your retirement. In fact, retirement planning works best the earlier you start.

Get Rich Slowly presents Money is More About Mind Than it is About Math. J.D. discusses the psychology of money, which is super important to understand before you can quit compulsive spending.

Debt Kid presents How to Make Your Hobby Work For You. Do you have any hobbies that can earn some extra money on the side? It’s a great way to start building up that retirement fund at a young age.

Accredited Online Degrees presents Top 20 Personal Expenses You Can Cut This Year To Save $1,000. There are two ways to free up money for retirement saving, making more money or cutting back on expenses. Cutting back expenses is usually the easiest way.

Darwin’s Finance presents Verizon FIOS is Way More Expensive Than You Think. When comparing services always match them up so the quality is equivalent. Compare apples to apples.

Bill Eater presents How to Determine the Best Debt Elimination Strategy. Unfortunately, many young adults find themselves in debt. A good debt elimination strategy is a must.

Self-Employed Income Plans

Income Plans

A few random and recent events have combined to make me think hard about my future self-employed income plans:

  • I just received a guitar
  • I began reading Yanik Silver’s “Moonlighting on the Internet“
  • Fantasy Baseball is starting again
  • Each one of these events had some part in my new line of thinking. I will get into how each one changed my income plan, but first I will briefly detail my current self-employed income plan. Currently, I am just beginning to attempt to make money from this blog. I also tutor as a contractor through a tutoring company.

My New Guitar

My parents gave me an acoustic guitar for my birthday. I’ve wanted one for a few years now, even though I’ve never played before (other than rock band of course). I really want to find more time to try new things like learning how to play the guitar. I want to be able to work out more. I’m falling behind on my movie watching. I used to go watch every new movie that intrigued me. I haven’t seen the new Underworld movie, even though I had been counting down the days until it came out.

I’m not only failing to find the time for things that I enjoy doing, but I’m failing to find time for my obligations. I haven’t kept my condo as clean as I want. I haven’t sorted, filed and even opened some of my mail in over a month. I have to find more time.

“Moonlighting on the Internet”

If you want to be inspired to make money on the internet, read Pat’s Smart Passive Income Blog or Yanik Silver’s “Moonlighting on the Internet“. I’ve been reading Pat’s blog for over a month now and I just began reading Yanik’s book. I’m only 40 pages in, but I highly recommend this book and I’m very inspired and motivated to begin some new online ventures, other than blogging.

I already plan to tutor on my own, and I’m hoping my expertise in the high school math and science realms will open up some new money making ventures online. I’m not sure if I want to try to develop a membership site with clearly laid out lessons for difficult high school topics or if I want to write ebooks. Either way I have to find some time to work on this. At the very least it will be a great resource for my tutoring ambitions.

Fantasy Baseball

I absolutely love fantasy baseball, so much that I recently wrote a post comparing it to the stock market. I’ve already participated in four mock drafts at espn. Annually, I participate in at least 8 leagues. This passion for fantasy baseball (I also enjoy football and basketball) has to lead somewhere. There has to be some sort of income generating venture in the vastly growing fantasy world.

I have to at least attempt to generate some income from my passion. I can’t think of a more enjoyable and entertaining job than writing about fantasy sports for my career. I won’t be very happy with myself if I don’t at least try to start something.

I’m not sure how I will go about generating income, but I will be doing some research into starting a blog, and potentially morphing that into a membership site with annual ebooks with premium content. I haven’t done a whole lot of thinking about this, but I feel like the market for fantasy advice and inside information and will continue expanding.

Future Career Path

I find that there’s a common theme for these three random events: I have to find more time. Either I have to cut back on some tasks or I have to be more efficient at what I do. I’ve decided to cut back on the time I spend working on this blog. Instead of trying to post 5 times a week, I’m hoping to post 3 times (not including my link post). I think cutting out one or two posts a week will save me some time that I can spend on other ventures.

Credit Scores from Credit Karma are Deflated

Credit Scores

I recently refinanced my mortgage, which provided me with my real credit scores from all three repositories: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. For a while I’ve wanted to try out Credit Karma’s free credit reporting service. This is a perfect opportunity to compare Credit Karma’s score with my real credit score.

How it Works

Credit Karma provides free credit scores because they believe the credit score is necessary to maintain and improve your financial health, so they give it out for free. The site is secured through VeriSign and Hackersafe. Your social security number is the only critical piece of information that is needed to access your credit score, and it’s only request once.

Credit Scores

Credit Karma provides a graph that allows for easy tracking of your credit score.

Credit Snapshot

Credit Karma provides more than just your credit score. They provide you with information regarding how your credit score compares with others. Credit Karma provides the following charts.
A quick distribution shows that I fall into the largest category with 17% of the nation. Compared to US consumers I fall in the 68th percentile. Apparently, my credit score in the eyes of a lender ranks between fair and good, yet my mortgage broker says I’m in the highest bracket, which qualified me for the lowest rate on my mortgage. All of the FICO scores that I’ve received in the past year all provide me with higher credit scores, percentiles and lender rankings. Again, Credit Karma appears to be a bit low with regards to statistical analysis rankings.

Credit Compare

I don’t know how useful the following information is, but Credit Karma provides you with credit score comparisons with the Credit Karma community, your state, age and email domain. I find this information to be very useless when compared to information about the total US consumer base.

Credit Simulator

The most interesting aspect of Credit Karma is the credit simulator. The following categories can be modified and you will receive a simulated credit score.

  • New credit cards
  • New loans
  • Credit inquiries
  • Increased credit lines
  • Close your oldest credit card
  • Balance transfers from another credit card
  • Increase or decrease your credit card balances
  • Pay off all credit card balances
  • Allow monthly accounts to become overdue
  • Make your payments on-time
  • Public records (liens, foreclosure, etc.)
  • Go to collections
  • Declare bankruptcy

Biggest Lesson Learned from this Bear Market

Bear Market

The bear market has taken a huge toll on everybody’s investments. I read numerous personal finance blogs, most of which write an end of year financial status round-up. Many of these bloggers are experiencing significant declines in stock market investments, so much that their net worth has decreased over the course of 2008. Fortunately, the majority of my savings was held in cash for a condo down payment. For this reason I didn’t experience too much of an effect from this bear market, however, I did learn a very valuable lesson from this bear market, know your risk aversion.

Risk Aversion

Risk aversion is how well you handle risk. A risk averse person will trade higher returns in order to lower risk. A less risk averse person will take on higher risk to gain higher returns. Risk aversion is not something that is consistent from person to person. Knowing the degree of your risk aversion is crucial to surviving the ups and downs of the stock market.

If you have never experienced a bear market, which was true for me up until now, you may think you aren’t risk averse, that is until you’ve lost 50% of your portfolio. Everybody can ride the market highs, but can your stomach handle the lows?

Not knowing your how risk averse you are can lead to making one of the largest mistakes of your investing career: buy high and sell low.

Past Bear Markets

Even though I didn’t have a lot of money in the stock market, I have learned that I have a high tolerance for risk. I know that I am just beginning my investment journey and I have over 30 years to recoup any early losses. Studying past bear markets has made me confident that the market will rebound and rebound in a big way.

Investing at today’s discounted prices is the equivalent of investing in 1997, at least according to the S&P 500. Back in 1997, the S&P 500 was in the 800 range, the same as it is right now. That’s 11 years worth of stock investing that I hope to take advantage of when the market rebounds.

Also, a market similar to the current market existed between the years of 1963 to 1974. In 1963, the S&P 500 was in the 60’s. The S&P 500 peaked around 118 in 1972 before taking a nosedive back to the 60’s in 1974. If you had sold your position because you did not correctly know how risk averse you were, you would have missed out on the gains the next 11 years provided. Over the course of the next 11 years, the S&P 500 increased in value into the 250’s.

Conclusion

The stock market is not guaranteed to increase over the short-term. Over the long haul, however, the stock market will outpace inflation and help secure a happy and financially independent retirement. A bear market such as our current market, is the only time to really be able to determine how risk averse you are. Can you sleep at night knowing that up to 50% of your retirement savings have vanished over the past year? Can you sleep easily knowing the loss is only a paper loss and the market will rebound? Are you willing to pump extra money into the market during a bear market? Your answers to these questions will help you determine a suitable stock/bond ratio for your investment plan. I’m confident that the stock market will rebound and if you don’t believe me, check out the history of the S&P 500 for yourself.

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