2020 was the year for creativity! Whether that be you started up a new hobby you've always wanted to try, focused your free time on DIY projects, or like many of us became creative in your business. The shut down was a trying time for all businesses owners across the nation. Though, now that we are coming out on the other side, it's time to think about how we can pivot the way you do business in a way that maximizes your skills, resources, capability and profits! Here are a few simple ways you can start doing this now on your own.
Many of my clients are contractors, industrial engineers and excavators, landscapers, investors within real-estate and land development and so on. Meaning many of them, and I am sure you as well, drive A LOT.. Perks and rewards from credit card offers and memberships to various chain filling stations are a great way to earn free travel, stays, fuel, dining and so much more. Fuel reward memberships are free to join and paired with a high performing credit card you can maximize your perks effortlessly on something you do already.
Also check with your popular suppliers on getting a business account going. This is handy because they will often have professional discounts and rewards. If you're a builder check Home Depot, Lowes, Hardware shops etc and get on a business account. Using your high performing credit card to pay off your business supply accounts at the end of the month is also a little hack when working the credit card reward system!
I know most would rather stick their hand in a fire than talk about insurance but it's a part of life as an adult and business owner. The start of a new year is a great time to assess your property and casualty policies and reach out to your insurance agent to see if you can get a better rate due to updated plans, new state discounts, combination plans, loyalty, etc. However, as a former top performing insurance agent in the US it's probably best to shop around for a better rate first and present that to your current insurance company. They won't typically lower the rate without an incentive to do so. Don't go in headstrong though, be reasonable and see what they can offer and then use the shopped rate as a wild card if need be. They will want to keep your business and if they don't work with you than you know it's time to move on and go where your business is valued.
Life Insurance, as your business grows so does your net worth and your life insurances need to reflect that. There are various different policies your agent can bundle together to give you the best coverage for your current position. As a safety net, I always recommend a policy that builds a cash value and includes a rider for a high fixed amount. The high fixed amount will cover your debts and income in your higher performing years and the cash value can be borrowed against in the case there is a lack of cash flow.
Health policies change so often due to new government regulations and legislation and as your business grows, so make sure your personal and/or group business policy gives you and your team everything you need for the most reasonable price. Health insurance is one of the hardest insurances to navigate as a business owner, so find someone reputable and trustworthy to work with. Ask a fellow peer, a friend who is also a business owner, or your handy business advisor for a recommendation. I network with folks from all avenues to ensure I can offer my clients the best service possible.
Now is a great time to glance your credit card statement, iTunes, your mobile app store and so on for subscriptions, recurring charges and memberships you are now longer using. Many times business owners will try to be a jack of all trades before they become overwhelmed and choose to outsource. So I'm sure anyone reading this has apps they've downloaded, software they tried and stopped using or recurring charges that can easily be cancelled. Though, this isn't something that's going to save you millions, it all adds up. A couple years ago I went through my own finances and cancelled everything I didn't need, want, or even knew I had and ended up saving over a thousand dollars a year! That's a vacation if you do it right and are savvy with rewards, and spending!
If you don't have any current investments or retirement accounts it's time to start getting those in order. Being self employed means you have to go out on your own and find these essentials rather than signing up with a corporate plan. Find a financial advisor who can take in your needs, financial goals, and comforts with risk in consideration and create the best plan for you. I personally use Jeramiah Botkin, email: email@example.com with Edward Jones. He is an educated and exceptional financial advisor who is registered to do business in most states. Something you can do simply on your own is getting a round up investment account like Acorns. This can take your charges on your cards to round up to the nearest $1, $5, or $10 and invest your spare change. This is a completely effortless way to invest and save, in turn increasing your financial portfolio.
If 2020 has shown us anything I hope it is that we don't need to be kept in a box. Break down those walls and crush that ceiling! It's more important now than ever to get creative in your business. If you are a service business like an auto service, builder, landscaper, metal work etc consider getting social online with YouTube or IGTV of Instagram. People, even myself, love watching the behind the scenes of garages, home builds, before and after's, tours, and I'm not the only one. Noticing the millions of views channels and videos are getting it's a free and creative way for people to connect more with your business and choose you over a competitor. Plus, the bigger the following you can start to gain income from ads and sponsors. Getting social online doesn't even have to be that extensive. Simply taking progression photos and sharing them is also a great way to showcase your work and get people interested.
Widen your offerings. Maybe you're a cafe' and people typically come in order their latte and head out. What about hosting a specialty baking class, curated holiday themed events, or a coffee tasting? This is a great date idea, girls night out, parents with young children etc. that can draw more people in to connect with YOUR business. These days it's all about connection. Which is ironic because people are spending more time on screens than ever before, but hey I don't make the rules. Also a given, is a website. If you don't already have an online presence it's time to get one.
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