Today’s career landscape is bizarre by Boomer standards: 23-year-olds are CEOs, working parents are running businesses out of their living rooms and work-from-home opportunities abound in almost every industry.
Given these recent trends in the career industry, it’s unsurprising that more and more employees are considering becoming their own boss — and many get the opportunity to do so. The “virtualization” of jobs, the influx of startup culture and the rise of the gig economy are all contributing factors to increasing opportunities for self-employed workers.
If you’re thinking about leaving behind a nine-to-five to freelance or embark on an entrepreneurial business venture, below are a few helpful resources to give you a leg up.
How many times have you simply grabbed the nearest envelope for the posting of crucial business correspondence? Without knowing it, you could be harming the image of your business by sending important letters and documents via sub-standard, inappropriate or generic envelopes.
The first job of an envelope is to get its contents to their final destination safely. However, it also the first thing your clients and customers will see when you make contact through the mail. A neatly addressed envelope that is appropriate to the tone of its contents, and designed specifically for your business, can deliver five unexpected benefits.
Most employers are failing to engage employees, and it’s costing billions of dollars. According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the Global Workplace survey, just 13 percent of worldwide employees say they are engaged at work. In the U.S., where engagement is at 30%, Gallup estimates that active disengagement 18% of the workforce costs the economy $450 billion to $550 billion per year.
“Engagement” is all the rage in business, but we’re failing at it, and we aren’t clear on what the word means. We’re engaging employees, engaging customers, engaging partners, engaging with social content, engaging in dialogue and engaging millennials—basically engaging everything and everywhere without results. The problem is that most employees don’t have any outlets for engagement. Thankfully, every business leader has the power to change this.
There’s no doubt about it that being a successful entrepreneur requires a lot of expertise in a lot of different areas. Arguably one of the most important aspects to becoming a successful business owner is having your finances in order; after all, with no money, you’ve got no business. So, to help aspiring entrepreneurs take their next step towards building their empire, we’ve asked 16 expert entrepreneurs for their best piece of advice for managing your personal finances. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Diversify!”Diversify. Diversify. Diversify. I know that’s canned advice you would hear from almost every other “financial expert,” but it rings especially true for entrepreneurs. Here’s something you might not want to admit to yourself: your entrepreneurial venture has a greater chance of failing than succeeding gasp!. By diversifying and placing funds into another side business, alternate investments, or just setting aside cash, you will give yourself breathing room in the event that you have to call it quits or need to pivot to another business. In my own experience, I have been able to diversify into other ventures that operate independently of each other and that has led to constant growth and more exciting opportunities.”–Jeff Rose, GoodFinancialCents.com
2. Plan For Inevitable Rainy Days Or Months
Does the battle over the minimum wage pit employees against small-business owners? That was the notion put forth on the Real Clear Politics website recently. In an essay titled “Living the Wage? Try Living the Small Business,” Tom Bevan, a co-founder of the site, ridiculed Democratic politicians who had embarked on an effort to understand how people subsist on minimum wage.
Several officials, including Jan Schakowsky, a congresswoman from Illinois, signed up for a week-long challenge called Live the Wage. For that week, they attempted to spend just $77, which is the effective take-home pay for someone making minimum wage, according to the advocates who want to raise it. Mr. Bevan called this effort “a gimmick cooked up by the progressives at Americans United for Change.”
Managing cash flow is a challenge that many small business owners don’t realize can make or break a business, but streamlining the process is easier than you might think.
“Many great operators who understand their industry and how to deliver for the customers don’t have an understanding of what it takes to grow, maintain or create efficiencies in their operating cycle to empower their business,” said Quincy Miller, executive vice president and head of business and commercial enterprise banking sales at RBS Citizens Financial Group.
“Companies that have accelerated their receivables, streamlined their banking operations and established more-advantageous payment terms and processes with their vendors, suppliers and customers have a definite competitive advantage in today’s marketplace, no matter their business,” Miller said.