Recently I shared a key concept about Cash Flow and different ways that we can earn money – one key concept that will really open up the opportunities of time and financial freedom is moving from being an Employee only to also having Investments (passive incomes where you earn money whilst you sleep) and having other income sources with Business ideas you created or work on.
To recap on the key concepts from Cash Flow Quadrant, a system shared in the great financial advice book called “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki, check out my video below:
// Multiple Passive Income is key to Financial and Time freedom
Never put all your chickens in the one basket as they say, and with money – one of the fundamental things you need in order to survive and keep a roof over your head and food in your belly – we need to be smarter and not rely on a job for life any more.
I’m passionate about helping people create those multiple sources of income, and still encourage you to make the most of steady employment whilst you have the option or want the option to of course.
In my opinion, I wouldn’t risk a steady income source until I had build up enough passive income to replace it fully or replace it enough that life is still joyful and enjoyable.
Interested in finding out more about financial freedom, check out these other posts:
Today I am going to lay out for you exactly how to take that basic idea that comes your way from any inspiration to a business idea that you could then put time and effort into.
// No such thing as an overnight success
Remind yourself of this wonderful quote though that “to be an overnight success usually takes four or five years”.
We tend to quickly look around us on social media or online and see others apparently jumping into the limelight with their business ideas from nowhere.
In the background there has usually been a lot of consistent effort and daily action towards that business, so keep that in mind as we approach this.
Assume that your business might hit the ground running, but might take consistent effort believing in a bigger goal to help people and the rewards will come.
// Set your intention first and get clear on the reason why you want to create a business
Let’s quickly recap with that in mind then the simple process we need for anything that we want to invest our time in.
Yes, we may wish to earn money from it but your intention for the business idea in whatever form it may be needs to add value to others.
You need to be ultimately giving back in some way to the world and allowing it to be better for your contribution, or else ultimately you will liking pack it all in the moment you don’t make a sale quick enough in your eyes even though hundreds of sales where just around the corner.
Start by looking at your own life for inspiration and think of a problem you have faced or can understand that people would face – if you can find an emotional reason for an issue and take that away that is usually more beneficial to your potential customers.
Look for problems to solve and solve them in whatever ways you see fit, even if you don’t have the solution right now. If you don’t have the solution, it just means you may need to learn new skills in order to make it happen or find others that have the skills you need.
Look at passive incomes that require you to produce a product ideally once and then resell over and over again – one area I think is great for anyone looking to start a business whilst working or in the home full time is using Etsy or Ebay.
You can find my tutorial of How to start an Etsy Store in 1 night here:
And here are also some other suggestions for business ideas, based on what I currently do myself outside of my day job:
// STEP 1 from Idea to Biz – Spot your NICHE
Find the problem that you believe you can solve and solve well, and look at your own life for inspiration and problems you have overcome in the past or facing right now.
Chances are if you are facing the problem others are looking for the solution to avoid pain right now too.
They could be willing to part with money to take the quick route to the solution via you.
Think about things you enjoy doing in your free time – could you offer it as a service for others such as dog walking, baby sitting, spreadsheet design, Virtual assistant skills for blogs etc Combine things you are good at and interested in – blogging about meal planning and motherhood, create templates for Christmas cards online.
Research how much it would cost to start, I personally love low cost or free so if you can start any business with little or no investment that is always the option I try first.
I am always wary of any business model that requires me to buy a “starter kit” or part of a larger network where others up the chain are profiting from me whilst I develop myself and the business, but if you feel the opportunity is right then absolutely embrace it fully and know that it might take some time to recoup any investments especially for new ideas in your life.
At this point, try to research your market and your target customer, base it on a hobby or something you can start small.
When thinking about who your perfect customer would be – have some fun with it and get as specific as possible (remember SMART goals are there for a reason).
I believe once we know more about who our ideal customer is – the problems they are facing, what they do for a living, their age, their gender, where they live in the country etc – that is when we start to have ideas on how to attract them and actually how they start to come into our world as customers.
Often the most successful businesses bring nothing new under the sun, but they have learned how to be niche and very specific in their problem solving.
// STEP 2 – WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN
So we have our idea roughly in our head and the problems we will solve.
We think it could be the next big thing.
Now is the time to start writing it all down in your journal and thinking specifically about a Business Plan.
A Business Plan is where you would write down exactly what you are going to do and offer in exchange for money listing the services and costs to the customer accordingly, who will be interested in your product, how will you deliver it to your customer, key problems you are solving for your customer (think in particular about their emotions felt before and after with improvement) and where are you going to offer this (online, local adverts, newspaper ads, Facebook ads, Instagram, Etsy, own website).
Think about ideally how much money you believe your time is worth compared to the hours you want to give it and similar business rates in the local area/websites in your niche.
Never undersell your time – but if you feel you are more expensive than others make sure to highlight why your services come at a premium (qualifications/years doing the service etc).
If you have transportation costs involved in your idea, write it down. If you believe you might need to purchase a website and create it from scratch, list it all too.
This document should be your outline as if you were to present the business idea to a bank manager in exchange for a loan to start it, instead though you are firming up in your mind that you are clear about the business you want to offer and starting to make it happen.
Break it down exactly in regards to where your operating costs might be – if it is online and only requires web hosting or a website, then write that down.
If you believe you might need to attend training or gain qualifications, write it down as a goal to set money aside each month for.
// STEP 3 – BRANDING and BE UNIQUE
The online world and business world alike is noisy and filled with lots of voices trying to get attention and other people’s cash already.
It is critical that you find your own voice about the message and experience you want to give your customer to really set yourself apart.
People buy from people and ultimately relationships are what drive anyone to part with their money through the emotions we convey to them.
Branding has never been as important as in the digital world, and to be honest in absolutely any business whether local or global depending on your idea- you need to start an online presence for your business.
Choose a few colours that you believe will work together (say three at the moment) and think of patterns and fonts that you like try again to stick to one or two at the moment.
Brainstorm and pick your company name that embodies the company and what you believe you will give people and try to make it as unique as possible so that when people search for you online they find you quickly and easily.
Use a free online publisher to create your logo and branding (I use Canva.com currently) very easily and start to make your business take form physically, and especially think of a tag line or company motto to summarize your service and share your business with your social media as coming very soon.
Clean, simple and to the point always work best to catch attention and retain it.
If you don’t feel confident enough of course with design, you can easily outsource this using many of the online virtual assistance and freelancing websites out there (fiverr.com or upwork.com), where a new brand and image could be the cost of a few coffees from those fancy shops.
// STEP 4 – LET’S GET IT OUT THERE
Create a website for your business, either via a web hosting platform or purchase your own domain name that fits your brand name well.
I personally use 1and1.co.uk for my website and email hosting, but in the past have used others such as Godaddy.com – plenty of choices out there with different prices for your budget.
You might want to even have your business name as your email address and again this can all be purchased at the time you create your website name and buy it (Assuming no one else has it of course).
This part of the journey will cost you some investment so be comfortable with anything you purchase and perhaps sign commitment to having for a year or two (web domain names tend to be a yearly fee).
Remember though, from our Cash Flow Quadrant information, anything that is a business expense can be a tax deductible expense on a tax assessment.
That means that if you are currently an employee of another company paying through P.A.Y.E tax contributions, receive benefits or this is your first income source, you must register for a Tax Self-assessment each year to take into account this new income source for tax purposes and have these business expenses noted against your total take home pay from your employee wage and your future business wage.
Setting up for Self- assessment, which would take into consideration this new income and pay tax accordingly for it, can be completed online through the UK Government Gateway very quickly and easily.
You require usually your National Insurance number and some form of Identification to verify your name such as Passport.
Currently you do not have to register this extra income unless you will hit over £1000 a year in profit for that new income, which is roughly £70-80 per month – but bear in mind you might wish to register when you start so that you can have any business deductions taken from your profits accordingly.
Be sure to keep accounts, a basic spreadsheet with incomes and outgoings for your business, with dates, details and save receipts electronically as a backup accordingly. Do this as you go along the year of your business and this will make your tax return much easier.
If you believe you will make money very quickly with your business, possibly over taking your normal day employee income, you would be best to consider using an Accountant to complete the necessary tax and legal paperwork for you.
This can cost normally £80+ a month for this service from an accountant.
If you wish to be the sole employee of your company, all profits going straight to you along with full liability, then this defines you as a Sole Trader with HMRC and tax returns.
Today I would love you to consider registering your business name officially and create a Limited company.
A Limited company will also mean that you have the potential to hire other people or pay other people as your business grows, and also the liability for any errors or customer complaints down the line is then held by the company rather than you personally.
An accountant can do this for you, however there are also some great easy to use websites that will register your business with Company House officially, giving you a Business identification number and the requirement for company accounts to be submitted each year.
For example – https://www.companiesmadesimple.com/
Bare in mind that with a limited company, you also have the option to pay yourself a fixed wage or dividends from the profits accordingly, and for those cases researching the best options for your tax contributions and pay would be worthwhile.
// STEP 5 – BE READY FOR YOUR BUSINESS TO BE A HIT
Create ways for your customer to give you their money as easily as possible.
That could be using PayPal, Etsy or Ebay as a marketplace to display your products and services which is ideal also for digital products where you don’t even have to have a website created to start an account and sell via them online.
You could though as well use Shopify and WooCommerce methods on your website to take payment for goods, and also integrate with product shippers etc.
Really it’s time to think about how do we get the money to you, and that can even be via cash if you are face to face only for your business such as babysitting, cleaning services etc, but keep all possibilities for payment in mind.
We want to make payment the easy part rather than complicated and risk you not getting your money.
There are even many online and app based book keeping services that take the hassle of invoices, payments and tax returns away from new business owners so start to research the best ones that could make your life easier here. We want as much time as possible spent in front of the customer rather than time away and doing admin – 80/20 rule all the way yet again.
Our most productive time is time making money directly rather than supporting the idea.
// STEP 6 – FEEDBACK TIME
To really make sure we have a solid business idea that could work, and prevent us from wasting too much time and effort when the returns from customers won’t be there – this part is the ideal time to ask for potential customer feedback to tailor your services.
Make a list of 50 people you could tell about your business, become more comfortable and also get feedback on what products and services they would like.
You should be asking them clearly if the problem you are solving is indeed a problem for them and how much pain or suffering it causes them; how much they might be willing to pay for such a service or short cut and what would really make them believe they were receiving the best service possible at a bargain price – the WOW factor.
Use the wonders of social media to ask as many people as possible, ideally your ideal customer as said, and then listen to what they say.
Now is also the perfect time to define your marketing plan or how exactly are you going to find your customers via social media or others.
Consider social media as a great no-cost method to spread the word of your business and pick whichever social media outlet you believe works best for your ideal customer to be using.
Think Instagram for photo and visual services, think Facebook for anything local and that could purchase globally/uk wide, if for younger people perhaps you need to use SnapChat etc etc.
// STEP 7 – GIVE BEFORE YOU RECEIVE
The best advice I can give anyone who is starting any new business idea is be willing to give to others and add value before you even see a sale.
Be happy to give and set your intention on offering something more than yourself gaining money only.
I cannot stress how relationships drive everything in life and business is no different.
People buy from people they like and trust, and especially look to engage with customers and with experts or mentors in your chosen business area online or locally to gain more knowledge personally in your niche and also to give value to others.
The more you give, the more you will receive in return and you never know where a chance encounter will lead to another opportunity for you or your business by being at the right place at the right time.
Are you overwhelmed with Debt and don’t feel there is a way out of endless monthly payments taking all your money?
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Not enough money left over each month or barely enough to last you post the few few weeks?
With my Tried and Tested Principles, we can change your financial life around completely in just 1 week.