No matter what other ideas we have, there is one goal we all start with when we open a business. We want to make enough money so that we can retire comfortably without ever having to worry about the future. Instead, we can forget about the problems of pension funds, finances and investments. We know that in the end when we stop earning a living each working day, we’ll have enough money to settle down comfortably. That’s the aim, and in many cases, it does pay off. People do find that they can retire quite happily after twenty or thirty years running a company. But what if you wanted to retire earlier while still earning a lot of money from your business. What if you wished to run a company and claim the profits without all the stress involved. These days, it’s possible to do just that, and we’re going to show you how.

Make It Flexible

The first piece of advice we recommend is that you try and make your business as flexible as possible. The aim here is to ensure that you can run the company from anywhere. You don’t just have to think about heading into the office each morning. Instead, due to the flexibility of your business model, you can run it from home. You might still have an office or factory where the brunt of the work in your business is completed. But, it doesn’t mean that you have to be there. To make sure this is a possibility you need to look at the technology that is available when running a business these days. For instance, you can get a cloud server. Connected to your business a cloud server will allow you to access business files from anywhere and keep on top of all the moving parts of your company. When you’re working from home, you might not have retired. But, it can certainly feel that way.

Look After Your Team

If your business has any issues that need your attention you can almost always guarantee the source will be your staff. That’s why you need to make sure that they are looked after and taken care of. This doesn’t mean you have to take on that role or responsibility. Instead, you can set up a service that will keep an eye on your staff for you. With employee assistance programmes you can monitor your staff and yet never need to be in the office. Everything can be taken care of remotely.

Hire The Best Team

If you want your business to essentially run itself, you do need to think about your team. It’s important that you hire the best worker for each job in your company. If you don’t do this,, you may find yourself taking on more roles than you should have to as the owner. A great team will grow in their roles and eventually, they will start to complete the roles in your company that were your responsibility. You will be able to delegate more areas of your business because you’ll know they will be able to handle them.

We hope you see that it’s possible to make a fortune and live a relaxing life long before you retire.

At the turn of a new year, most of us pledge to sort out our finances, get out of debt and generally make better decisions when it comes to money. So there’s no better time than the present to put plans into action, and make 2017 as happy and prosperous as possible. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Work Out Your Income and Expenditures

When you know exactly what you have coming in and what you have going out each month, it gives you total control over your finances. It’s a good idea to find out what has to be paid and when- carefully noting down the payment date and amount of each household bill in a notebook or on a calendar. This way you’re never missing payments, falling behind or getting yourself into trouble with money. This will also give you an idea of where your money goes each month, and highlight areas where you’re able to make cutbacks. Any money freed up can be used to pay off debt; this will get the balances down quicker, and also save you on additional interest

Set a Budget

Another way to be in control of your money is to set a realistic budget. Along with bills, your budget will include things like food and travel (such as bus and train tickets if you use these to get around). Toiletries, cleaning products, pet care. Working out exactly how much you have in each area prevents you from overspending, and again helps you to see where your money gets spent each month.

Consider Consolidation

If you have lots of different accounts open, consolidating them into one payment can be much easier to manage, and work out cheaper too. This is where you take out a loan or use a credit card to pay off everything you owe, and close all of the other accounts. Rather than paying interest on lots of separate accounts, you pay just one- on the card or loan used to consolidate. Often you can find good deals where you don’t start paying any interest for a number of months too, giving you time to pay down the balance even more quickly. If you’re looking to get a handle on your finances, debt consolidation could be a good option.

Get Debt Advice

People put off getting debt advice because they can feel ashamed, guilty or because they’re not ready to face up to the issue. But remember, debt is something that can happen to anyone. No one is perfect; sometimes situations can and do lead to these kinds of things. The important thing is to try and put it right as soon as possible. Buying your head in the sand, unfortunately, won’t make things go away. The quicker you take action, the more fees you’ll avoid and the weight of worrying about it can be lifted off your shoulders. There are lots of free debt helplines and charities out there where you can seek advice. Whether your next step is a debt management plan, an IVA, bankruptcy or negotiating with creditors, you’ll feel much more on top of the situation with a plan in place.

What are your financial goals this year? Do you have any tips for reducing debt more quickly?

 

When you’re adopting a lean management style, you’ll soon find that loss isn’t the only thing that gets in the way of greater efficiency. Your work can sometimes get in the way of your work. You want to spend more time plotting out the next step towards growing the business, but all that admin and infrastructural upkeep is draining your time. What do you do about it?

Prioritise

First, you need to figure out which jobs need to be done first and which can be left until you have the important tasks out of the way. Learning to prioritise and manage your time is essential. A helpful matrix to help you break down your workload is to divide tasks by ‘important/unimportant’ and ‘urgent/not urgent’. Breaking them down into these quadrants makes it a lot easier to see where your time should be spent.

Organise

Take a closer look at the tasks that make up your workload and start looking at the methods by which you do them. Process improvement is the act of changing your methods to find the most effective but least time-consuming. In many cases, using specialised software or looking at specific steps that don’t add any value but only add more time to a task.

Outsource

Not everything has to be directly your responsibility. For instance, if you’re running an IT network in the business, it might need some reorganisation or troubleshooting from time to time. Instead of grasping for answers yourself, it’s a good idea to entrust these kinds of tasks to those more experienced in the field than you. By outsourcing to services like IT support, you ensure the job is done more effectively and efficiently than you might be able to do it yourself.

Automate

There are quite a few admin tasks that are common across all industries. Sorting emails, providing support, processing invoices and payroll, etc. Altogether, they can take up a lot of your time. Which is why automation software has been created to take many of those tasks off your plate entirely. With a bit of supervision, it not only frees up a lot of your time but can result in a lot fewer mistakes caused by human error.

Delegate

Some processes can’t be left to computers, however. If you need free time and the tasks are both urgent and important, you might want to consider delegating them to your team. It’s a good way to offer real experience, responsibility, and training to those ready to take it. However, you have to be aware that they will still need you to be available if they need help. You should also never think to delegate any of your core responsibilities. Don’t use your authority to pass on tasks that need you, specifically. Use common sense.

It never has to be an ‘either/or’ question. You don’t have to choose which tasks you do, just how and when they’re done. Use your head, your team, and a bit of outside help from time to time. It’ll free up a lot of effort you can spend on growing the business and making money.

 

“Investment” is a very broad term for a number of things. You could invest in stock market shares to gain income, you could invest in a Kickstarter project to gain something cool or useful, or you could invest in a property to rent it out for income. Whatever you do, paying money upfront for a chance of positive gain in the future can be considered an investment.

But what type of investments can make you passive income? Read on to find out more.

Real Estate

Though it takes a while to get running, real estate can generate some very large passive income numbers. You’ll need to be the owner of some property or have the money to start investing in real estate, but the passive income is fairly predictable and easy to deal with especially if you have the help from a tax lawyer to give you guidance and assistance on how to handle your property. They’ll also help you pay your taxes to boot, which can be a hassle to manage if you own property for the sake of investing.

Your income will come from renting a property out to prospective tenants. There are many factors to consider, such as registering your property with an estate agent or looking for potential renters on your own. You’ll also have to trust your tenants because it’s possible that they might ruin your home or damage the furniture and structure. You’re still in charge of the home so it is your responsibility to deal with repairs, but your tenants will be liable for any malicious or accidental damage caused.

While it is considered “passive” income, you still have to look for renters, list your property and contact repairmen to fix the property in case something breaks or needs maintenance. As a result, you might be working more than you hoped but those situations only apply for the start of a rental contract. Once you’ve secured some tenants, you won’t need to worry about much besides receiving phone calls to fix repairs.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Another popular option is to focus on peer to peer lending. You simply register, browse a couple of loans that you think will work, then invest in those individuals who want to borrow money. When the individual repays their monthly instalments, it’s credited directly to your account and the service you use gets a small cut.

You’re essentially lending people money and getting a better interest rate than you would with a bank, and the person that borrows your money pays back less interest than if they were to borrow from a bank. You’re cutting out the bank when it comes to investing and instead, you’re using a middleman to manage the money and handle the services.

Unfortunately, those with low credit rating scores won’t be able to benefit from lower interest rates than using a bank. However, there is no minimum loan amount so even if you have a small amount of money to invest, you can still contribute and start making a passive income.

To be a success in the business world, you need to learn how to master a very complex formula. It is made up of an endlessly shifting series of checks and balances. It can change dramatically from one month to the next and there’s never any guarantee that what worked once will work again.

In other words, owning a successful business is no easy feat. It has the potential to be the most rewarding decision of your life, but it requires hard work, grit, and determination. Often, the line between failure and success is determined by basic investment decisions. Things like office location, networking facilities, and IT equipment.

This guide to spending your money in the right way will help you to grow your business safely and successfully.

The Best Office in Town

It is always worth taking a little extra time to search for the perfect office. Broadband providers, telephone services, décor choices, and cleaning rotas can all be changed further down the line, but you need to get your workspace right quickly. This can be tough when you’re just starting out and things are hectic, so why not consider a flexible solution.

Virtual offices are ideal because they can be instantly accessed on a ‘pay as you use’ basis. Plus, with the kind of packages available from Servcorp, you’d be able to tweak and adjust the resources that you need. In other words, if you could really use access to high-quality boardroom facilities, you can pay for those, but get rid of a service that you won’t use.

High-Speed Broadband

Even if you’re a fairly small company or just a lone entrepreneur, you need the best possible internet speeds available. Not only will they allow you to stay in contact with customers, clients, and suppliers, they’ll save you a substantial amount of time. It is shocking how much time is lost to sluggish internet speeds and it could be used to check on deliveries, set up marketing campaigns, or whatever else you require.

Look for a virtual office provider that can guarantee you fast internet, with no outages or downtimes. This is very important because the main benefit of accessing digital resources via virtual solutions is the fact that you’re not responsible for them. You’re paying to use a fully prepared service and that includes the expectation of easily accessible surfing.

Receptionist/Phone Answering

Phone answering services are particularly important for businesses which have relocated. So, if you are trying to set up another branch or access the market in a different city, you could be working with conflicting time zones. The best way to stay connected, all the time, is to register for a 24/7 receptionist service. These are available at most virtual and serviced office facilities.

They allow you to switch off at the end of the day, without worrying about missed opportunities or calls from important people. When buying or selling across time zones, this is a very valuable asset. You won’t always be around when customers on the other side of the country (or the world) want your attention. However, there is a range of options which will enable you to stay in touch.

Pay As You Go IT Support

Access to reliable IT support is highly recommended for all companies, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be internal. For small teams, it is often more cost efficient to outsource networking and other IT services. This is because you won’t always need it. A full service could be redundant, especially if you’re working flexibly from a virtual office.

So, pay for what you need by accessing IT support on an ‘as you use’ basis. The same usually applies to things like boardroom facilities, presentation equipment, telephone answering services, and more. They provide flexible, agile corporate resources because they don’t demand a commitment. Pay for more or pay for less, the choice is entirely yours to make.