Starting your own business may be your lifelong dream. Big believers in their product or service want to form their own name in the corporate world without being held back by big business or working for someone else.
While faith in one's self and a go-getter attitude is a positive start, there's much more that goes into launching a start-up or small business. A great portion of this comes down to personality type and what you've got to offer. Even the best ideas can fall flat without the perseverance and attitude that gets you past the finish line.
How can you be sure you're cut out for this venture and ready to roll? Ask yourself these "5 Ms" for a better idea if your goals are actionable, attainable, and as amazing as you think they are.
Motivation - Are You Passionate and Determined?
A drive to succeed is more important than you may think. Belief in yourself, your company, and your success is the first building block to your future castle. A positive attitude, strength of character, and a true love for what you plan to embark upon will give you the steam to push through every obstacle you'll no doubt encounter on your journey. Entrepreneur notes, while passion alone won't seal the deal, it's essential to be truly excited about starting. You'll need to be your own cheerleader before anyone else joins in. In this case, there is an "I" in "team."
Marketability - Is Your Business Idea New or Better than What's Out There?
A novel idea or a newer or better approach to an existing concept or business is part of what will make your potential start-up stand out from the pack. Do your homework and find out if you've got something the market is lacking. See if there are existing patents for a product or prototype, and search diligently online to the point of exhaustion. There's no reason to leap into something you won't be able to bring to fruition. If you think your idea is gold, then paired with your passion, bring it to life. People don't realize what they want or need until it's presented to them. We all got along just fine before cell phones, right?
Must-Have - Do Friends and Family (even strangers) Like the Concept?
While you may think you've got the brains and business sense to make your start-up soar, a little (or a lot) of validation is imperative. You're going to need clients, customers, and consumers, so get yourself a range of potential users or buyers to confirm that your concept is on point. Ask friends, neighbors, and even people on the street what they think of your idea. Would they buy it or utilize the service? What would they do differently or expand upon? A pre-launch, self-administered market research project will let you know if your idea is interesting to more folks than just yourself. As posted on Entrepreneur, sometimes the vision doesn't align with what customers want, so make sure there's a market.
Money - What's Your Budget Like?
You're likely going to blow through money like it's water while launching your start-up, and there's no guarantee you'll make it back (plus more) quickly. Talk to a financial advisor to plan intelligently and accordingly, and be realistic. It's important to do your research as to how much everything from parts, to space, to salaries, to advertising will really cost you. Plus, you'll need to be sure you've protected yourself from dipping into your retirement or other savings so you don't bleed yourself dry. As Money puts it, a good rule to follow if to limit your investment in a start-up to no more than 30% of your savings. Insurance is smart as well, and Money recommends a general liability policy for your business to protect yourself. With this in mind, make an appointment with your banker and work out a doable plan that will help you launch with enough gas to push through the start-up phase.
Management - How Are Your Time Execution Skills?
Before you're able to hire a part- or full-time staff, you're going to have to wear a lot of hats and juggle more balls than a circus clown. Are you the type of person who can multi-task, yet still get things completed? Are you versatile and knowledgeable about many, if not all facets of your business? Wall Street Journal warns that if you're not the type of person who can manage numerous roles, entrepreneurship may not be what you're cut out for. Self-discipline and strong decision-making skills are key as well. You're the boss now so the motivation comes from within. Entrepreneur suggests looking inside yourself and be honest if you've got the skills to do it all (at least at the get-go).
This is only the start, but with affirmative responses to these "5 Ms," you will better gauge whether or not you're ready to start up your start up!
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While it's possible to be frugal with many aspects of your lifestyle, there are certain events and possessions that will require you to spend a substantial amount of money. Thus, a wise course of action is to begin saving well ahead of time while thinking about your goals for the future. This way, you'll be able to maintain a stable financial state even when faced with those large expenses. The following are a few major life purchases that you should plan for.
Marriage is a joyous occasion that many people look forward to. However, a wedding can be quite expensive, often costing thousands of dollars. Your family and your future spouse's family will often contribute to covering this, but you should still prepare to spend a good deal of your own money on the ceremony. If you're in a serious relationship and are considering marriage, you should plan where the funds for the wedding will come from and take the necessary actions to accumulate them. It's also crucial to discuss financial matters with your partner, since your property will merge once you get married.
A New Car
Automobiles remain one of the top modes of transportation. As a result, you may want to purchase a new car at some point in your life. Although you may be fine with an old or used vehicle at present, you may one day be motivated by a desire to acquire something nice for yourself or by the practical needs that arise as you raise children. Whatever the case, obtaining a new car is a major life purchase that you should plan for.
In addition to setting aside funds to eventually put towards a vehicle, you should also aim to build you credit score. This is because your credit score will determine your available car loan options. The higher your credit score, the more you may be able to lower your interest rates on your car.
Owning your own residential property is a worthy objective that you may hope to make a reality one day. Ideally, you should save about 20 percent of the total cost of a house before you buy it. This will allow you to make a larger down payment and thereafter face less interest on your mortgage.
As with acquiring a car, the mortgage options that you'll have can change based on how strong your credit score is. You'll want to increase your score as much as possible in the years leading up to buying a house so that you can get more favorable interest rates. In addition to contemplating down payments and mortgages, you must also remember that you'll need to deal with property taxes, insurance, maintenance and repair fees, and sometimes homeowners' association charges.
It's also necessary to hire a real estate agent to help you with the buying process. There are different types of real estate professionals. You should know how to distinguish between buyer's agents and seller's agents so that you can obtain favorable prices on homes as well.
Many people live together before getting married and have begun the process of combining accounts and sharing responsibilities. However, some people wait to do this only after marriage, and others wait until they're married to live together. Whichever path you've chosen, it's still crucial to know a few tips to manage money together as newlyweds to determine where you should begin and how you can remain on the same page.
Discussing Money Motivations
As we begin to share money with our significant other, we soon find out what one person may rank as a priority regarding money and the other may not. As such, sitting down and discussing money motivations is important. Two people who cannot agree on how to handle money may cause serious issues. This should include:
- How to deal with money following payday. Is a percentage put into savings? Is that the day to splurge on dinner, drinks, and more?
- The frequency and size of payments made to debts. Some people like to pay minimums, whereas others pay in full or make double payments.
- What do you each consider money well spent? Is it a new 70" 4K television? Is it an investment? Is it paying as much debt off as possible?
- How do you go about consulting each other before making purchases over a certain amount?
Establishing Financial Goals
After you evaluate the motivations behind your money and how it should be spent, you'll need to spend time together hashing out financial goals. As newlyweds, there are certain things on your list that you're going to want to save for. How do you go about that? How much of each paycheck will you dedicate to a particular fund?
Some things in the future worth making a financial plan for include savings and paying down debts. This is the time to be honest about your current financial standing. If you're looking to buy a home, you'll want to assemble a first-time homeowner financial checklist to begin to develop topics of conversation. Some of the things to consider setting goals for are:
- Student loans
- Car loans
- Future children
- A house
- Medical bills
- Delinquencies on credit reports
- Vacation and rainy-day funds
- Emergency funds
The more honest and open you can be with each other about the money you have and now the debts you share, the better. Implementing plans for the best ways to have the things that you both desire while still taking care of existing demands is important. These can be uncomfortable things to talk about; however, these conversations are necessary.
Following these tips to manage money together as newlyweds will allow you to have a starting point for conversations that can be tough to start. The sooner you and your partner get on the same page with finances and the responsibilities that come with them, the easier the transition will be and the sooner you'll find success.
It's the dream: money you can count on to keep rolling in, even while you sleep.
Passive income isn't entirely passive, of course. You'll put in work up-front to get the profits rolling, so don't relax in your recliner just yet. But with so many potential sources of passive income available to you, picking one or several will mean that the day you can finally kick back will draw steadily closer.
Real estate is a tried-and-true wealth builder for a simple reason: people will always need somewhere to live. Research the market in a growing community until you know a good deal when you see it. You can maximize rent by fixing up a deteriorating property or upgrading a mediocre one. The key is to hire a property manager to do all the day-to-day landlord duties for you—and you'll need a good one. Smart investors put their profits in another property and repeat the process until they have a diverse portfolio.
A YouTube Channel
You can start a blog if you're more comfortable hiding behind a computer, but consumers are more likely to prefer video content. Post a series of “how-to" videos to answer questions about whatever you're an expert in.
You can put up any content you want, but if you don't want to commit to regularly updating it, focus on “evergreen" topics that will draw clicks for eternity. Ads will create your income, especially if your channel grows in popularity. Better yet, sign up for affiliate marketing. If you recommend a product and provide a link to buy it, you'll get a small percentage of those transactions.
If you don't mind vinyl-wrapping your car with an ad for a company, you can get cash just driving around and running your errands. Make sure you contact a reputable company that doesn't ask for any money from you; if they're the real deal, they'll evaluate your car, your driving habits, your area, and more. Bonus: the brighter the ad, the easier it'll be to find your vehicle in the parking lot.
What's something that people will pay for but doesn't require shipping on your part? Finding that item is what can supplement your income indefinitely. Write an e-book, charge for your cross-stitching patterns, design prints that people can digitally download, invent an app, record a “masterclass," or whatever else you want. Every time someone new discovers it, the cash register rings. With a little more effort, this is a potential source of passive income for you that can continue to grow. Once you build up a customer base, they might want more products. The good part is that it's up to you whether you wish to give it to them.