Entrepreneurial Success: Top 5 Secrets for Building an Empire

Entrepreneurship is the way of the future! It may be the answer to the personal success that you’ve been looking for all along. Becoming an entrepreneur is the most effective path to building an empire. And building an empire is a surefire way to achieve your dreams.

If that’s what you want, you have to start somewhere. Becoming an entrepreneur requires a lot of effort on your part. But you’ll be beyond happy when you’re at the end of the road.

If you have limited entrepreneurial know-how, use this checklist to get on the correct path:

  1. Buy into a business idea. Commit wholeheartedly, and for the long haul. This doesn’t necessarily mean putting down financial capital. Make an emotional and educated investment into whatever the business concept may be.

    • Researching your business idea is crucial to success. Is anybody else doing it? What’s the usual market response to similar ideas?

  2. Identify a target audience. Who wants your product or service? Naturally, you’ll need to be able to identify them. It’s safe to say that a business without a target audience may not do very well!

    • When you determine your target audience upfront, you can focus on building a marketing plan.

  3. Find ways to start small. It’s exciting to have big ideas for your business. But it’s also wise to start small. Start researching and designing launch plans, financing, and other key elements to get it going, with plans for expanding as profits allow.

    • Some of today’s biggest businesses started as tiny “hole-in-the-wall” operations. For example, Steve Jobs built computers in his garage. This may be the approach for you since it’s your first entrepreneurship.

    • Your bank might be offering you impressive financing. But do you really need all that startup capital? Keep your head on and only take what you really need. The less debt you have at the onset, the easier it is to see profits.

  4. Think evolution. The businesses with the greatest success are the ones that constantly reinvent themselves. You’ll need to have that eye of longevity in order to build a good business model.

    • Your business idea might be for bottled water today. But who says it can’t evolve to other bottled beverages tomorrow? This is the kind of thought to put into your startup business.

  5. Get involved in the process. Getting involved in the process can mean a lot of things, depending on the type of entrepreneurship.

    • Understand the numbers. The dollars and cents are the main determining factors in how well the business is doing.
    • Stay on top of every aspect of the startup project. It’s great to have experts on board, but it’s an even better idea to know what they’re doing!

At this point, you’re probably already starting to feel excited! Getting your business idea off the ground is a challenging, but rewarding, experience. Once you stick to this general planning sequence, you’ll likely pull it off successfully.

Nobody dreams bigger dreams for you than you do! Live those dreams out and create the empire you always wanted. It’s yours for the taking.

7 Strategies to Increase Cash Flow in Your Small Business

Would your small business benefit from a higher rate of cash flow? It’s possible to increase it through several business strategies.

Try these strategies to increase your cash flow:

  1. Reduce your spending. Decreasing your spending is one way to increase your small business cash flow.
  • The first step to implementing this strategy is to carefully analyze all of your business spending. How much do your office supplies and electrical bills cost every month? How much do you pay for insurance, employee salaries, and other bills?
  • After analyzing your spending, look for areas that can be reduced. However, it’s important to approach spending cuts carefully because pay cuts can drive away employees. In addition, if you try new services to save money, the quality may not be the same.

  1. Extend discounts for fast payments. If you’re trying to encourage your customers to pay faster to increase your cash flow, then discounts for fast payments may help.
  • The discount doesn’t have to be large, but customers may appreciate a small amount of savings. Try several payment plans with different discount levels to reach more clients.

  1. Watch your inventory. Are you investing a large portion of your cash into inventory?
  • Inventory may be the lifeline of your small business, but you don’t want it to destroy your cash flow. The boxes of shirts, candles, or other items you sell shouldn’t sit in warehouses for decades.
  • Find a balance between having enough inventory to satisfy customer needs and having too much.

  1. Raise your prices. Are you keeping up with inflation? You might be able to raise prices on your products and services to keep up with the market.
  • Higher prices can lead to more cash flow, but they may also scare away customers. Find a balance that works for your business and your customers.

  1. Consider collection agencies. Do you have a large number of customers who haven’t paid their bills?  
  • Collection agencies can help you recover a portion of the unpaid bills. They charge a fee and take a percentage of the money. However, you may not have the time to pursue the customers who haven’t paid.

  1. Consider court. For larger amounts, you may have to get a lawyer and take your customers to court for unpaid bills. This is one way to make your cash flow higher because it can force them to pay their overdue bills.
  1. Offer prepayment rewards. You can offer a variety of rewards ranging from discounts to extra products. You can make a special rewards program with gift cards or other items.
  • Customers who prepay for large packages, services, or multiple items could receive extra rewards. These rewards can encourage them to stay and keep buying your products or services.

Your small business may benefit from more cash flow. Creating a customer rewards program with sales, discounts, and other special rewards is always a good idea to expand your customer base and gain loyalty to your business. Incorporate several of these strategies into your business operations to discover what works best for you.

How Much Money is Enough?

If you ask a billionaire, he’ll likely respond that no amount is enough. Others might reflexively say, “One million dollars.” Those that are more thoughtful might have a different number. There comes a point that there might be a better way to spend your time than chasing more money. You’ll never know if you’ve reached that point if you don’t define it.

Studies have shown that happiness doesn’t increase beyond an income of $70-75k per year. That’s a comfortable living in most parts of the country, but it’s not enough to drive a new Mercedes every three years and vacation in Europe with the family every summer. It would be tough to send your child to Harvard on a $70,000 salary.

How much is enough? It depends on you and your circumstances.

Consider how much you need to live fully:

  1. How old are you? How much longer do you expect to live? If you’re 90, you probably require less money for the rest of your life than someone that just turned 30. There are actuarial tables that can tell you how much longer you’re expected to live. Plan to live longer than expected!

  2. How much are your monthly expenses? What would your expenses be if you were living the life of your dreams? Let your imagination run wild. What expenses would you have? A new bowling ball each year or a second house in Vail? A housekeeper? A thoroughbred? It’s your life. Determine how much it would take to finance your ideal life.

  3. Who are you responsible for? Do you have three children that will attend college in the next 10 years? Do you have a spouse that doesn’t work? Do you care for an aging parent? For how long do you expect to financially provide for others?

  4. What is your current debt situation? Do you have 20 years left on a mortgage hanging over your head? Significant medical bills? Credit cards?

  5. When would you like to retire and how much do you need each month to live comfortably? How would you like to spend your retirement? Do you want to travel regularly? Play golf every day? How much would a typical month in retirement cost?
  • Maybe you value your free time above all else and would be happy living a simple life with a Labrador retriever and a large vegetable garden, reading books all afternoon.

  • What toys do you want to own? A plane? A Porsche? A boat? A second home? Swimming pool? Motorcycle?

There’s no set answer to the question, “How much money is enough?” It’s completely dependent on your desires and circumstances. The number might be quite small or very high. It’s your number. If you’ve never considered how much money you need, take the time to think about it.

Money is great for a couple of things: primarily, solving problems and providing choices. It has limited value beyond those two purposes. It’s a mistake to use money for establishing status. To be worried about impressing your peers is best left to your teenager. Needing money for the wrong things is limiting. It requires working longer and harder than necessary.

You could be doing other things with your limited time on Earth.

Think long and hard about what is most important to you. Ensure that you develop an income, savings, and net worth to acquire the possessions and freedom that will allow you to live your life in the way you desire. Spend time addressing this important issue. You might be able to quit working sooner than you think.