More and more of us dream of having the creative control, flexible working and intellectual challenge of running our own business. Entrepreneurship is the new corner office in terms of the ambitions many of us hold for our careers. Before getting anything off the ground though, the one thing you will definitely need is money.
The first test of leadership is taking a proactive approach to raising the finance to get your business idea off the ground. When you pitch to investors, they’re going to have a lot more faith in you if you’ve raised some capital of your own- not only does it show initiative and discipline, but it demonstrates your own faith in your business idea to be profitable. Less to borrow also means that you can retain more of a stake in your business yourself. The process is called bootstrapping and it’s hard – it involves having the self control to be able to save 30-40 per cent of your monthly salary. But if you have the vision and mastery to make it happen, you’re already showing the leadership qualities you’ll need to make your business work.
Ditch the Plastic
The problem with spending is that it’s almost too easy these days – contactless payments, transactions on Apple Pay – it’s so easy for the money we have to become abstract. When it doesn’t feel real, overspending is almost inevitable. Most of the transactions you’re likely to make will be impulse purchases, so challenge yourself to leave the plastic at home and go back to the old-fashioned method of withdrawing the money you need in cold, hard cash. Somehow handing out a wedge of notes feels much harder, and it gives us the crucial cooling off moment to remind ourselves of our priorities and decide if that purchase is really worth it.
Go for Greener Transport
What’s good for the planet can also be great for your wallet, and one of the easiest methods is to challenge how you travel. If you’re currently driving into work and you could be cycling instead, not only can you get fit on the go but you can swerve fuel costs and also more servicing on your car due to wear and tear. Turning your commute into a green journey has so many benefits. You’ll have every right to feel a little smug as you lock up at the bicycle stand, having avoided all the traffic, fitted in a workout and saved money all by peddling into work!
Avoid Delayed Payments
When trying to save money but also keep a great credit rating – both of which are important for a small business owner – you should always try to avoid pay later schemes or any form of unsecured credit. Not only are these always charged at a higher rate of interest due to their nature, but if you can’t afford a purchase now, you probably still won’t be able to afford it in 90 days tim. Aim to save up and pay cash for larger purchases. You can often secure a better deal if you’re willing to bring your negotiation skills to the table, and it means you don’t pay over the odds for things, like you do when you use credit.