In this era of dwindling job security and a mass migration toward gig work and freelancing, nearly everyone is seeking a side hustle and plotting a Plan B.
Noted financial commentator Dave Ramsey encourages ambitious folks to create a career by pursuing their passions. “The backbone of our economy is the small-business entrepreneur,” Ramsey writes in his book EntreLeadership.
Ramsey offers these seven tips for aspiring entrepreneurs:
EntreLeaders turn grand dreams into achievable realities. Start by laying out your business goals on paper. A written statement helps you narrow down the mission so that your business plan isn’t just a bunch of fanciful meanderings. As focused businesspeople, EntreLeaders turn their dreams into defined visions and then into reality.
2. Manage your time
Prioritize your to-do list by labeling tasks you must complete today with an A and putting a B on tasks you need to finish soon. Label all other tasks with a C, and if you don’t do them within a few weeks, move them to an ideas file or delegate them. Reorganize your list to prioritize your A, B and C tasks in order of their importance within each section.
3. Get organized
Keep your desk uncluttered and free of paper. Make liberal use of your trash can. The clearer your desk is, the better organized you will be.
4. Know your numbers
One of the most common start-up mistakes is failure to do even basic accounting. Another is comingling personal and business funds. “Small business fail because of poor accounting,” Ramsey writes. As soon as you open a business, set up a separate checking account, and deposit any earnings from your new firm in it. Pay taxes on time. Regularly maintain a full financial accounting of your new business. Always keep careful track.
5. Budget carefully – but don’t be a cheapskate
Do not overspend. Avoid debt, especially credit card debt, which can kill your business. Pay cash. Save money for tough times. Use part of your retained earnings to invest in your firm’s future success – for example, in increased marketing. Never be a scrooge in business.
6. Be realistic
Don’t quit your day job until your entrepreneurial enterprise is earning good money.
7. Treat your people well
EntreLeaders hire team members, not just employees, Ramsey writes. Treat them as you would want them to treat you. Pay them well. Offer good benefits.