Starting a Business: The Financial Side of Things
The pandemic has been hard on the lot of us. Jobs galore have been lost, businesses have creatively downsized, and many companies have realized that profit margins are stronger if their employees continue to work from home. In short, many unsuspecting people have been marginalized or altogether left out in the cold.
Yet, this is also an era of new thinking and innovation, filled with opportunities to start anew. As such, more people than ever are considering starting their own businesses. As the world again opens up, the market will be more fertile than ever - people desperately crave a return to normality, and part of that process is jumpstarting material and virtual consumption practices.
As an entrepreneur, it's your job to pinpoint areas of deficiency in the current market. This is the creative side to the whole enterprise, where you can make your mark as an individual and show the world something unexpected. But there is also the practical side of any endeavor, filled with bureaucratic and technical details you simply must know in order to succeed.
Once you have a brilliant idea for a new sort of business or niche product, you need to start sketching out a practical strategy.
This can involve many things, from recognizing a potential customer base to assessing your current finances. It is undoubtably important to develop a network with other small business founders, and perhaps find a solid mentor in your line of work.
But first things first: think about your income. Do you have the ability to devote yourself entirely to your new business, or will you need to continue to work full or part time? Freeing yourself up to devote all that necessary energy that any business demands can be daunting - no one can just up and quit their day job, right?
Well, there are some options to make this transition smoother. Things like robo-advisors, trading platforms, and financial planners help sure up your wallet before starting on what will perhaps be the grandest adventure of your life.
The World of Robo-Advisors
As Bob Haegele of Modest Money notes, robo-advisors have been hugely popular since hitting the scene back in 2008. As algorithmic-driven platforms that help you decide the best way to invest your hard-earned cash, robo-advisors offer both intuitive ease-of-use and some user autonomy.
That's because robo-advisors, like Betterment or M1 Finance, give the investor the option of picking between predefined and custom portfolios.
Let's take a closer look at M1's profile, as their innovative "pie investing" solution is great for beginner and seasoned investor alike:
Perks of M1 Finance
Pie-Based Investing: this allows the user to visualize their investments. Pie-charts let you see exactly how your money is divided up, whether it be in individual stocks, bonds, or exchange traded funds (ETFs).
Expert Pies: Additionally, subscribers of M1 Finance gain access to what are called "Expert Pies". Expert Pies are steeped in quantitative analyses overseen by investment professionals. The result is rugged portfolios that combine diversity and performance.
Goal-Oriented Pies: M1 Finance should appeal to investors of all stripes and persuasions. This is because they offer a number of different pies, all suited to divergent investing goals. For example, they offer pies emphasizing ethical investing, some which stress pure, untethered growth, and others which optimize long-term security.
A very robust mobile application. This is one of the overlooked features we enjoy most about M1 Finance: moving from your desktop computer to your phone is seamless, not something all robo-advisor programs can claim. It really is convenient.
M1 Finance features one-click rebalancing and uses fractional shares to evenly distribute your deposited funds
Managing Your Money - Era of Personal Finance Apps
In addition to auto and robo-advisors, personal finance apps are a great way to start accumulating capital.
By allowing one to track spending habits and identify sore spots, an application like PocketSmith affords a handle on the here and now, as well as the ability to forecast what your financial future may look like.
Designed like as a calendar-like app, it's easy to use, intuitive, and its "premium" membership service only runs $19.95 a month.
We'll take a gander at some of PocketSmith's more impressive features.
PocketSmith's Selling Points
Financial Forecasting: PocketSmith uses your personal data to project financial tendencies, estimating what your wallet would look like 30 years from now if things continued unchecked. What's more, it will even estimate your daily account balances.
Budget Calendar: this nifty feature pinpoints reoccurring costs, such things as subscriptions or minor conveniences that you don't even think of, but surely add up over time.
Scenario Testing: another sort of forecasting feature, Scenario Testing allows you to simulate hypothetical situations like a vacation or the birth of a child in order to see how such significant events may affect your finances. This is the kind of feature which can help wisely determine and chart courses of action, rather than relying on the here-and-now of raw emotion and unbridled want.
Starting a Business? - Start Saving Now
These are only a few solutions for establishing a better economy. One of the great perks of modern technology are the myriad ways in which you can get help bettering your finances and future - and they are more accessible than ever.
Before finalizing your business idea, do the dirty work: square your finances, build have a pile of cash. Though at times tedious, you will undoubtably thank yourself later.