So – you have an awesome business idea. You’ve bounced it around with your group of friends, talked your wife’s ear off about it, and you’re finally ready to take that idea and turn it into a reality – maybe even a reality that allows you to quit that 9 to 5 you hate.
The big question now is: how do you actually turn your concept into a functioning business? We’re here to tell you. Check out our list of step-by-step instructions built to take you from the vision board to the corporate board, so you can finally live your passion and run your own business.
Step 1: Start small
If you want to see your business succeed, then you need to build a foundation that you can comfortably grow from. It might be tempting to run out and get a massive small business loan, but this is a risky path, as you’re not sure whether your idea has what it takes to succeed just yet.
If your business idea allows for it, it’s probably a good idea to start a freelance side-gig. As they say, don’t quit your day job, at least not until you gain some experience and provable use cases for your product or service.
Once you do, see some traction, however – and start bringing in enough money to build up a bit of capital – you’ll want to think about your next steps.
Step 2: Grow slow and steady
Growing your business is essential to its success. Sure, you could stick around in Step 1 and keep it as a side-gig, but then you probably won’t be able to quit that desk job you’ve come to dread every Sunday night.
Take a look at these action-items that are critical during your early growth stage:
Devote more and more time to your project – maybe even reducing your hours at work or looking for a part time job.
Think about hiring extra help. Whether it’s freelanced help or a full-time employee, though, be sure to do a background check to protect your property. (Not sure how to run a background check? There are plenty of guide online.)
Start thinking about investing more capital in your project, whether it’s your own funds or a loan.
Step 3: Focus on finances
Business is business, and even the best ideas can fail due to a poor financial plan. As you start to invest more money in your business, growing it from side-gig to full-time operation, you’ll want to think about how money is moving through your accounts.
It’s a good idea to invest in some small business accounting and bookkeeping during this stage, just to ensure that you’re breaking even each month. If not, you may need to reassess.
Step 4: Start courting investors
Looking for that surge of cash that can take you from a garage-based startup to a sleek urban office space? You need investors. Small business loans can only go so far, and you definitely don’t want to be running your business on top of a massive debt.
Investors can help you launch your business to new heights; the question is, how can you attract them? The best way is with a rock-solid and professional business plan. A business plan can is essentially the road map to your business’s future: how you plan on expanding, how you plan on improving profits, and what will build your customer base.
If you have heard about the trend of investing in gold, you must be curious about that whole concept. I’m not saying that you are ready to immediately jump on board, but you are probably wondering about how the whole process works and whether it is actually a good option for you. Merely thinking about owning gold does seem like a great idea, but you want to know how it works in practice.
Here, let me explain things quickly to you. Imagine having a secret room in your home. Let’s call it a treasure room. You let nobody in and you spend a couple of hours every day going there all on your own. Most likely, you are simply counting the number of gold coins and bullions you have in there, but if you want to get really crazy, you can also take a little swim in the pool of coins.
What are you, Uncle Scrooge from Donald Duck? If you believed the story above, then you are definitely trying to become Scrooge McDuck, but let me tell you something right here and right now. This is not how things work in the real world! Investing in gold has nothing to do with filling a secret room with coins and bullions. In fact, I don’t think anything anymore has to do with filling a secret room with coins and bullions.
It’s time to make peace with the fact that you will never be as rich as Uncle Scrooge, the cartoon character. After all, that’s a cartoon and we’re living in the real world. Plus, I’m really not sure that you would be happy with the “secret room” setup. That would be rather dangerous and not so very safe for your actual money. Thank God that the real option is actually a lot safer than that.
In case you have never dealt with investments before, or you are used to investing with paper assets, I can understand why this whole idea about adding gold to the mix might make you more than a little confused. Still, imagining Donald Duck’s uncle really isn’t the right way to get started on the whole path. If you’re actually looking to get started, read this to help you understand how the whole process works. I promise I’m not joking this time.
Reasons To Invest In Gold
Now, if you are still not looking to get started and, instead, you want to learn more about why you should get started at all, I suggest you keep on reading. I’ll give you a few good reasons to invest in gold and none of those will have to do with creating a secret room full of coins. A large number of people are engaging in this practice. Could you imagine them all having rooms filled with gold?
Anyway, let us not get off track. As I have already said, people are largely deciding to take this important step and invest in gold. There must be a reason why everyone is turning towards this type of investment. You are right – there actually are quite a few great reasons and if you read on, you will find out about them. Here we go.
It Stores Value
Ever since the beginning of time, gold was held valuable. It was always an asset worth having and for a long, long time, there was nothing more desirable and appreciated. If we now travel back to the future and take a look at the situation in 2020, we couldn’t exactly say that many things have changed regarding people’s perception of this asset.
It’s true that the global currencies are no longer backed by gold, but it is still highly valued and appreciated and, most importantly, it is still a great store of value. Is the fact that this perception isn’t changing even after so many time has passed telling you anything? I believe that it is telling us quite a few important things.
The most significant conclusion that you can make is that gold has always been and will always be a highly valuable asset and, although its actual market value might fluctuate from time to time, all those fluctuations are almost insignificant. There’s one case, however, in which the fluctuations are significant. I’m talking about the periods of economic instabilities. While all other assets get to depreciate, the value of gold can actually increase.
When I say that inflation has got nothing on you, I am actually trying to say that it won’t be able to hurt your gold. History has shown that gold has always been an excellent hedge against inflation. Care to guess why? Well, if you aren’t really great at economics and if you don’t care to learn about it, I suppose that you won’t know the answer. That’s no reason for concern, because it doesn’t take an economic genius to understand this.
So, during inflation, all assets are known to become extremely less, if at all, valuable while the costs of living are increasing. That can cause a lot of headaches to all those investors dealing with some kinds of paper assets. Waking up one day and realizing that inflation is eating away the value of your investments really isn’t a pleasurable experience. What’s more, it’s actually pretty stressful.
Do me a favor and ask your gold investment broker, because you definitely will be working with one in this process but we will get to that later, what happens with gold during inflation. This is such a wonderful occurrence that it leaves me completely amazed and astonished and really makes me appreciate this precious metal much more. This is what happens. When the costs of living rise, the prices of gold rise right along them. Isn’t it beautiful?
When Supply Decreases – Demand Increases
This is another one of the most basic things that you should know about any type of market. The whole premise is rather easily understood, so I believe you will have no trouble comprehending it. Let’s not talk about just any market though. Let us, instead, focus on the supply and demand of this amazing precious metal that we have been talking about so far.
Given the fact that the exploration budgets are rapidly shrinking while the costs of mining are actually on the rise, fewer and fewer gold mines are being discovered. What does that exactly mean? If you use your logic, you will be able to understand what it means in an instant. It’s pretty simple. Fewer mines means lower supply.
And lower supply means what exactly? If you have been paying attention to what I have been saying, then you will know that demand will increase once the supply decreases. Since we have that kind of a situation today, although it’s still not extremely visible, wouldn’t you like to be one of those who actually have some gold on their hands? If you’re confused as to why, let me remind you that the price will also increase once the demand increases. I believe that’s reason enough.
How To Find Your Brokers
As I have briefly mentioned above, when you decide to invest in this precious metal, you will have to work with a broker. This is especially correct for all those people looking to diversify their retirement portfolio with gold. Brokers will advise you on what to do, how and when to invest and they will also be able to handle all the transactions for you.
For an average person who would like to get the most out of their retirement portfolio but they don’t know anything about these types of investments, having a broker on their side will really be of huge help. So, before you even start thinking about going through with one investment or another, I suggest you create or find yourself a list of the best companies that can handle the gold investments and transactions for you. Then, of course, after having that list, you’ll have to make your choice and choose only one candidate. Let me give you some tips both on how to create the list and how to make the final choice.
Search For Brokers Online
Unsurprisingly, creating your list begins with doing online research. Start searching for these brokers on the Internet and write down the names of all the companies that seem good to you during your initial search. Of course, you can also find premade lists online, so if you opt for that, you can go through this first step much quicker. My advice is to rely on the premade lists just enough to learn which companies to research, but also rely on your own manual search as well.
Dig A Bit Deeper
The first tip above must have been enough for you to create a huge list of potential candidates. That’s when the hard work begins. What? Don’t tell me you thought you would be doing “eenie meenie miney mo” on the list in order to choose your particular company quickly. We are talking about your future here, so I suggest you start thinking about it more seriously.
After having created the list, it’s time to start shortening it. There is no way you can do that without actually digging a bit deeper about all of the companies that you have written down as your candidates. This means that you should get ready to do some extensive research and, of course, that you should arm yourself with patience because that might take a while.
Open up the websites of those candidates and thoroughly inspect all of them. Check the exact types of services that all of those companies are offering and make sure that you understand every step of the process they would be taking you through in order to protect your retirement. While it is okay to make note of the first impression that the websites will make, you shouldn’t rely solely on that. Make sure to get as much info as you can about all the companies, including the info about the quality of their services and their fees, and scratch anyone who doesn’t seem to be up to standards off that list of yours.
Start Going Through Reviews
If done correctly, the above step will help you narrow the list down enough in order to start some more intense investigation about the few candidates that are left. Just like you wanted to know how the whole buying gold process works (find out more), you now want to know how individual brokers work, as well as how reputable and reliable they are. There is a pretty great thing you can do in order to find out a bit more about the reputation of particular brokers, as well as their trustworthiness.
The best part is, you can do it all while sitting at your desk in front of your computer. If this seems like a lot of work, I would like to remind you that getting this type of information was much more difficult back in the day, so I suggest you be grateful for the fact that you can now do it all from the comfort of your very own home. It’s not like things can get easier than that and while the whole process can take some time, it is definitely much simpler than it used to be.
Here is what you should do exactly. Start browsing the Internet and searching for reviews about different brokerage companies that offer to help you with your gold investment process. You will be able to find a lot of honest and objective reviews that will outline both the good sides and the bad sides of particular companies, which will definitely be of huge help when the time comes to make an actual final decision. Once you have checked out the reviews about the candidates that are left, you will have a much clearer idea about their reputation and reliability and that will be enough for you to make a smart decision about the broker you want to work with.
Running an online business, let alone grow it, during the Covid-19 pandemic is a tricky proposition. The disease has got the planet firmly in its clutches, causing one of the worst economic crises in history. Dubbed the Covid-19 recession, it has driven thousands of companies to bankruptcy and left millions without jobs. At one time, over one-third of the planet’s population was on lockdown, causing massive economic turmoil the likes of which have never been seen. The United Nations estimate that by the end of 2020, more than 200 million jobs will be lost worldwide. Regardless of the type of business you own, this is very bad news. However, it may be possible to not only survive but even thrive in these circumstances. Here is how.
This Is A Perfect Time for Online Business
It may sound a bit callous, but the Covid-19 pandemic has created almost perfect conditions for the growth of an online business. People are cooped up in their homes with nowhere to go. Their interactions with the outside world almost exclusively go through the Internet. That means we will be spending even more time online than usual. Since we are already there, it shouldn’t be that hard to get us to spend a few bucks on your products. Of course, that won’t happen magically and you will need to put in a lot of work, especially since the competition is trying to do the same thing.
A lot of people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and are struggling to make the needs meet. That means they are spending their money on essentials only. If you want them to spend it on your products, you need to convince them that you are offering true value in exchange. Often, that means you will have to cut into your profit margin, but what you lose there can be offset by the increased sales. Not only will you be able to ride out the economic turmoil, but you will also set an excellent foundation for the future. People will associate your brand with value and that will drive your sales for years to come.
Engage Your Audience
During difficult times, people need solace and compassion above all. Establishing your brand as an integral part of your community is always a good idea, but never more than during this pandemic. There are many ways you can achieve this, but many companies mess this up. Instead of actual care, they offer their customers corporate media events masked as community outreach. Of course, these usually backfire spectacularly, leaving their executives stunned and publicly embarrassed. Don’t repeat their mistakes. If you are going to reach out to your audience, do it properly. Design programs that actually matter and that people can benefit from. That doesn’t mean just giving away freebies. You can also offer help with job hunting or sponsor a food bank.
Maximize Your Online Presence
Some businesses are experiencing a massive boom during the pandemic. For instance, if you are involved with any casino affiliate program, you are probably making a killing right now. It just so happens that the current situation benefits some more than others. People stranded at homes have limited options when it comes to entertainment and online casinos are a popular choice. By definition, any online business should be able to profit from people spending more time on the Internet. You just have to find ways to maximize your presence and develop an edge over the competition.
You Have to Spend Money to Make Money
This is an old adage, but still remarkably true. During the economic turmoil, companies will do everything to stay afloat. Often, that means opening their war chests and sending lavishly on marketing. After all, your product may be the best in the world, but it won’t do you any good if nobody knows about it. Focus on social media, as this is the cheapest marketing available, especially if you have access to a good social media manager. Your aim should be to increase conversions, not just rack up the followers. Collaboration with influencers in your niche can do wonders for your conversion rates. Another thing to focus on is brand awareness. The easiest way to increase it is through giveaways. However, they should be designed to achieve maximum effect for a minimal investment, so you don’t end up giving away half of your stock.
The Future of Online Business
One thing this pandemic has taught us is that the future of humanity will revolve around online presence. Many companies have successfully migrated their large portions of their workforce online without any loss in productivity. In some cases, productivity has even gone up with the move. This is something you should also consider. Not all jobs can be done online and remotely of course. You will still need warehouse managers and workers. But many jobs can and you should take advantage of that. Even with paying home internet for your employees, it will still save you a ton of money. During the crises, those savings can be a difference between life and death for your company.
Whether it’s playing the stock market or reviewing real estate, everyone is considering different investment opportunities these days. There are numerous different ways to let your wealth grow, and the best method for you depends on your risk tolerance and time scale horizon. Take a lesson from these sports teams. Some have been owned for decades and turned a relatively small investment into a corporation worth billions. Of course, not everyone can be fortunate enough to invest in a major league sports team in the 1980s, but these examples certainly show what is possible in the world.
The Dallas Cowboys have recently become the most valuable sports franchise in the world, with an estimated total worth of $5.5 billion. This is an absolutely staggering evaluation, but it becomes even more impressive when you realize that the team was purchased by owner Jerry Jones in 1989 for only $150 million. That’s not a bad investment by any stretch of the imagination.
Since Jones made his purchase, the team has been quite successful in the NFL, much more so than a lot of teams that have been around for just as long. The Cowboys returned 3 Super Bowl Championships in 1992, 1993, and 1995, and have numerous divisional championships and playoff appearances. These accolades bring many new fans into the fold, increasing ticket sales and merchandise revenue over time.
The future of the team is looking bright, meaning an even higher evaluation in the future. With some key positions filled, they look to be very dominant in the 2020 season. For their October 11th game versus an equally well known team, the New York Giants, the Cowboys are heavily favored with -350 odds to win. When it comes to both brand recognition and skills on the field, the Cowboys are a hard team to beat. They will continue to be one of the most valuable teams in the world.
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees need no introduction. As the most notable team in Major League Baseball and possibly one of the most recognizable logos in history, the Yankees certainly have set their mark in the world. While they have recently been beat by the Cowboys for the title of “most valuable sports team in the world” their price tag is certainly nothing to look down on. As of 2020, the Yankees are worth an impressive $5 billion dollars. Their current owners, George Steinbrenner and a group of investors, purchased the team in 1973 for just $8.8 million. That’s a sensational return in just 50 years.
Los Angeles Lakers
Not many professional sports teams can rival the Yankees in popularity or value, but the Los Angeles Lakers certainly are up there. What the Yankees are to the city of NY, the Lakers are to LA. The team represents the culture and community there and has provided a backbone to the city for a long time. For a meager $20 million dollars, the Lakers were purchased in 1979 by Jerry Buss. Today, that same investment is worth almost $4.5 billion dollars. Not bad considering basketball was always looked at as a less important sport when compared to baseball or football in those days.
While this list may have included some eye-popping returns, the Chicago Bears may very well trump them all. As one of the oldest teams in the NFL, the Bears have been around since 1920, the very dawn of professional football. Today, the Bears are worth a very respectable $3.5 billion. While that is impressive on its own, the real kicker here is that the team was established for just $100 dollars. According to an inflation calculator, that’s just $1,300.
The sports industry has its ups and downs like any other, but the value of these sports teams have proven to rise over time for the most part. While other teams have changed hands multiple times over the years, the Bears have been a long term hold that rivals even Warren Buffett’s stocks. The Chicago Bears have been owned by the Halas family since they were first established by George Halas. Of course, with a 100 year investment into a brand new industry there is certainly some luck involved but you can’t hate on the results. When you’re talking about generational wealth, it really doesn’t get much better than that.
A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Institute reported that more young Americans are living with their parents than ever before. While there are a myriad of reason why children move home, the Covid-19 pandemic and rising unemployment rates have been important contributing factors. With no clear end in sight and our financially stability in question, many young adults are looking to save money any way possible.
The Lost Generation
Let me begin by stating that I am a Millennial, born between 1981 and 1996. Let me then preface this first statement by debunking the stereotypes associated with my generation. Many call us lazy and self-righteous, soft and coddled children. We are not ungrateful or demanding. On the contrary, many of us are just trying to survive.
Some have dubbed us “the lost generation.” We grew up in the age before cell phones, witnessed the birth of the internet, and lived through a terrorist attack on home soil all before we graduated high school. Then, we were forced to take expensive loans in order to get a college education only to graduate in the midst of the mortgage crisis. We are now facing a second economic downturn just as we are reaching our prime earning years.
The promises we had been fed about working hard and getting a good education have fallen short. However, living through such adversity has taught us to adapt and be resilient. The majority of us are simply getting by. Like most Americans, we live paycheck to paycheck, and pray not to get sick or lose our jobs right now.
How Covid-19 Has Affected Employment
Although we are better educated than previous generations, we are the first generation to be worse off than our parents. Most young adults have little savings and fewer investments. Few of us can afford our own homes because we have outstanding debts to pay off first. The only thing that keeps this precarious boat afloat is a steady income. Unfortunately, recent closures and quarantine measures have left thousands of people out of work.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, American unemployment rates have skyrocketed. Millennials have been hit especially hard since many hold jobs in the service industry. The reported job losses in the wake of the economic downturn are the highest ever since the Great Depression. These conditions have forced many young adults to move back in with their parents. According to the Pew Research Center, 52% of Americans ages 18-30 live with one or both of their parents. While unemployment is not the only reason for children moving home, it is a significant factor. Furthermore, no one is certain how long conditions will continue or an economic recovery will take.
Financial Stability of Young Americans
Another intangible mark this has left on our generation is an attitude of pessimism and lack of trust in financial institutions. Paying monthly bills has become a challenge with reduced hours and widespread layoffs. The first stimulus check issued by the government offered some temporary relief, but when rent comes due many tenants will be unable to pay. It’s no wonder why many young Americans are living with their parents. Cutting out a monthly rent payment offers a huge financial relief.
The uncertainty of just how long conditions will persist only exacerbates these negative feelings. Conservative predictions estimate that it will take the better part of a decade for the economy to fully recover. This further complicates any plans to pay off debt, purchase homes, invest and retire. I can only speak for myself, but I think it’s safe to say that most young adults do not want to live with their parents. Unfortunately, with little savings and job opportunities it is becoming more of a necessity until we can better understand the full and lasting economic impacts of the coronavirus.
Ray is a sought after thought leader and an expert in financial and money management. He has been published and featured in over 50 leading sites and aims to contribute articles to help novice financial planners. One of his goals is to impart his knowledge in finance to educate and help ordinary people create and achieve their financial goals.Continue reading →
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It might be necessary to undertake a debt when you deal with a large expense you cannot manage to pay for with the money you have now. These major expenses could be home repairs, vehicle repairs, or hospital bills. Continue reading →
The average cost of a funeral in the United States is $7,360, though it can greatly vary depending on the location. In fact, in many states, the average cost of a funeral is around $20,000. No matter where you’re located, budgeting for your final expenses is likely to be an expensive and large undertaking — though it doesn’t have to be morbid or uncomfortable when planning ahead. In fact, there are several benefits to doing so that makes it a great investment of your time. From the peace it can bring your family to allowing you to fulfill your final wishes, here’s what you need to know.
Says Tina Jackson an independent insurance agent ” Many families truly have no idea of the costs involved to cover a family member’s funeral expenses. Instead of taking out a final expense insurance policy, many people think a Go Fund Me fundraiser is the correct way to cover expenses. Don’t be one of these types of people. Be smart, and financially responsible and have an insurance policy in place.”