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.
A consultant we know was talking about a partner she was working with on a project. She thought that they agreed prior to an important client meeting that they would present themselves as a single company to minimize any client concerns. At the meeting the ‘partner’ grandstanded, establishing his separate identity and launching into something approximating a sales pitch. The client became confused and my consultant friend and her ‘partner’ lost the work.
We have partnered with several firms over the years and have had both negative and positive experiences. What we’ve learned is there are levels of partnership that reflect the level of commitment between the players. These levels also reflect the amount of trust between them as well. While have identified the levels as: ally, collaborator and partner.
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
Score one for Hollywood.
Six movie and television production companies convinced the Federal Aviation Administration that they are capable of safely using drones while filming scenes in the U.S., opening the door to broader commercial use of the unmanned aircraft.
The FAA today said it granted the six companies waivers from regulations on general flight rules, pilot certification and equipment mandates designed for traditional aircraft as long as they meet certain conditions for safety. The agency is working with a seventh company on a similar drone approval and has at least 40 additional waiver requests pending for commercial use of unmanned aerial systems.
Developed by three Chilean engineering students; Juan José Monsalve, Andrés Roi and Cristóbal Cabello, the ‘Yerka’ project maintains the design of an urban bike yet incorporates a closing frame device to improve security. To thieves, every lock can be broken whilst leaving the bicycle intact, the creators have a strong clamp out of the velocipede’s frame. This means that the only way to steal it is to break the lock and thus the two-wheeler completely. No more will you have to carry around a padlock as the Yerka tech uses the bike’s body as the securing measure, taking less than 20 seconds to set-up.
“Yes, and … “That two-word phrase can deepen your relationships and make you better at sales. That’s the word from Isaac Rodriguez, CEO of Provident Loan, and an amateur improv performer. He learned “yes, and … ” as an improv technique for continuing or escalating a scene, but then discovered it was very effective in the business world as well. I’d never really thought about “yes, and … ” before he recommended it but now that I have, I see how it’s a surprisingly powerful tool. Here’s why:
I’m writing this post from my new, shiny HP desktop. It wasn’t cheap, and I dragged my feet on the purchase for years, but I’m glad I bought it. I’m now more productive, and stressing less over slow load times. Are you like me? Do you find your business or your professional development to be the last thing you invest in? I think it’s a symptom of being a micropreneur. If we had staff complaining about their computers, we’d have to do something about it. But when it’s just us, we put up with faulty equipment and subpar technology just because we think we’re not worth it. Let’s change that.
If you’re good about keeping your personal and business finances separate, you may think that the only credit score you have to worry about is your own. While maintaining good personal credit is certainly important if you’re applying for business loans, you may not realize that your company has its own credit score — and it’s just as essential to monitor.
“Businesses in the eyes of the law are treated like people,” said Jeff Stibel, CEO of Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corporation, which provides credit-building and credibility solutions for businesses. “The smallest businesses tend not to incorporate or get a credit file, so they [think they don’t] have a credit score. Whether you’re proactively trying to get your score or not, it’s very likely that you still have one.”