These entrepreneurs make millions of dollars, but they wouldn’t be worth what they are now without clear financial strategies. We asked them for the best piece of financial advice they had to offer to another entrepreneur.
Here’s what they said.
Get super rich
You don’t need to just get rich. You need to get super rich. Entrepreneurs need to stop thinking about R800 000 or R5 million. Think tens of millions — north of R300 million. The definition of entrepreneur is someone who puts their money at risk to make more money. Entrepreneurs need to redefine what ‘more money’ means.
— Grant Cardone, top sales expert who has built a $500 million real estate empire, New York Times bestselling author of Be Obsessed or Be Average, and host of The Cardone Zone.
Look for a 5x return on everything
Some investors have so much money to invest that they push their entrepreneurs to spend the money to ‘scale’.
My advice: Raise their money, but don’t use it unless you know that every rand spent brings in five. If you aren’t spending for at least a 5x return, you should be saving for a rainy day. — Tim Draper, founding partner of DFJ.
Spend money to make money
Money is made to be spent. Don’t desperately try to hold onto it like it’s scarce, otherwise you’ll miss opportunities that can change your R1 into R10. Pick your best shots, plunk down your money and take a chance on it. Don’t hang onto too much money. It has very limited utility just sitting in a bank account. Spend it and see how far it can take you. — Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group and one of the Sharks on Shark Tank US.
Buy and hold
Mentally divide your financial strategy into two parts: Positive cash flow and owning long-term wealth-creating assets. Don’t mix them together.
To create positive cash flow, you must have a skill that’s relatively rare and in demand. Positive monthly cash flow doesn’t have to be that much; it just needs to be enough to survive and not stress you out. Then you can be patient with your long-term wealth-creating assets because you have the cash flow.
For example, a lot of people buy real estate just to ‘flip’ the properties, which is fine if your full-time business is the real estate flipping game. But if you ask Warren Buffett, the real way to create long-term wealth in real estate and the stock market is via a ‘buy and hold’ strategy. You buy solid businesses and real estate with solid rentals, hold them for a long time and let compound interest (which Albert Einstein said is the eighth wonder of the world) work on your behalf. — Tai Lopez, investor and advisor to many multimillion-dollar businesses who has built an eight-figure (US dollar) online empire.
Related: Build A Financial Model
Learn to invest early. Budget a portion of your income to automatically be deposited into an investment account with the lowest monthly fees. Once the account pools up, make your first few investments right away. Most entrepreneurs make good money but never put it to work for them. I only work for money to acquire assets and have the money work tirelessly for me. Passive income is the only way to become wealthy. High earnings won’t change the future, only passive income with consistent growth eventually offsets all your living costs and gives you a high quality of life. — Com Mirza, CEO of Fitness Expo Dubai and ‘The $500 Million Man’; failed in eight companies back-to-back and today runs a nine-figure (US dollar) empire with more than 600 employees.
If you don’t change, you won’t survive the ever-changing business world. That doesn’t just include new technology or a new advertising model, but also the business model, which has always been the core of failures in businesses. Kodak and Betamax both failed because they didn’t evolve. — Jay Georgi, founder of Nadvia and operations/management/profits-retention coach.
Build from the ground up
Success has a formula: You must focus on what is in front of you. Human nature is immutable and we are programmed to avoid a loss. It’s common to fear the unknown future of entrepreneurship. My strategy is to build from the ground up. As the son of a contractor, you learn that the building is only as strong as the foundation. In my practice, delivering solutions that save individual employees thousands of dollars creates indirect savings of millions of dollars for the organisation. We benefit everyone in the organisation by focusing on how to improve the financial well-being of individual employees and their families. — Craig Lack, CEO of ENERGI and creator of Performance Based Health Plans.
Invest in people
Hire the best talent you can find for your company, who will become extensions of you. It’s okay to invest in good salaries if that gets you the right team players. Invest in people and don’t think small. You’ll only grow with the right people. To be the best, you must hire and nurture the best. — Manny Khoshbin, president of The Khoshbin Company and author of Contrarian PlayBook; arrived in America at 14 nearly homeless and now has a nine-figure (US dollar) net worth.
Know your numbers
Entrepreneurs are naturally enthusiastic and see the very best possible outcome. They don’t need encouragement. However, they don’t often know the numbers. They’re so focused on their outcome that they don’t see the lag time and the cash flows required to maintain the process. They also don’t bank the money, but spend it before they have earned it. Have a really good accounts team that gives accurate, timely, effective information so you can make great decisions, create the leadership required as an entrepreneur and, ultimately, true and consistent success. — Roy McDonald, founder and CEO of OneLife.
Cash flow is king
Turnover is vanity. Profit is sanity. Cash flow is reality. Focus on profitability and remember that cash flow is the lifeblood of business. Have strong cash management strategies in place at all times, including: Minimising cash tied up in the operating cycle (receivables outstanding and inventory held), increasing gross margins where possible, negotiating extended payment terms, holding cash reserves, and having bank or other credit facilities available for times of cash flow crisis. — Adèle McLay, business growth consultant, author, and speaker.
Be positive about your finances
Spend as much time as you can feeling like you have all the money you need or desire to take your business to the next level. Be positive about your finances. As Roy said, find a good accountant and bookkeeper — someone who can speak your language. Finance has a different vocabulary, but a good accountant will be able to communicate with you so that you understand. — Katrina Palandri, co-founder and CFO of AEG Investments.
Outsource with confidence
Obtain definitive timelines and firm costs when you are outsourcing work. Determine who is responsible for overages and what the remedies are for missing the target you establish. I have found that it is so much better to have an understanding now, than a misunderstanding later. — Jon Braddock, founder and CEO of My Life & Wishes.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
The Simple Way To Pay Wages When Your Staff Don’t Have Bank Accounts
If you have employed casual workers over the busy season, you can pay wages even if they do not have bank accounts.
At Absa Business Banking, the things that are important to you are just as important to us. We understand your business needs, which is why we have developed tailored solutions to help you where it counts. Take CashSend Plus, for example. It is a payment solution that enables you to pay workers even if they do not have bank accounts.
It is safe and secure
Your employee will receive a six-digit access code and a ten-digit reference number, so that they can verify the transaction. The money is instantly available at an Absa ATM.
You can even pay yourself
We have all lost bank cards or wallets at some point in our lives. What an inconvenience. Well, it is good to know then that you can access cash by sending it to yourself. Now, that is what we call better.
Please speak to one of our consultants or call 0860 111 123 or visit your nearest branch.
Absa Business Banking
Do better business. Prosper.
Entrepreneurial Balancing Acts with Debt
Young South African entrepreneurs face many challenges when it comes to debt-related financing. Small and medium enterprise (SME) owners typically require extensive debt financing from bank and non-bank lenders.
Young South African entrepreneurs face many challenges when it comes to debt-related financing. Small and medium enterprise (SME) owners typically require extensive debt financing from bank and non-bank lenders. Unfortunately, many South African entrepreneurs are limited in their ability to access capital markets. Among others, the major challenges facing entrepreneurs include lack of credit history, no collateral, shaky credentials, and unformulated business plans.
Regardless, SA entrepreneurs are forging ahead and using multiple resources at their disposal such as payday loan providers, non-bank lenders, family and friends, crowdfunding and other economic empowerment initiatives to raise the necessary seed capital for investment purposes. Given the staggering unemployment rate in the country (+25%), the only way out for many people appears to be entrepreneurship. The 2008 global financial crisis threw the economy for a loop, and now the hopes and dreams of many South Africans hang in the balance.
ISM Study Sheds Light on SA Entrepreneurial Pros and Cons
An intensive study conducted by the University of Cape Town’s Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing (ISM) found that the country is experiencing ‘a crisis of aspiration’. Simply put, many South Africans are struggling to attain their career objectives in an economy that has been ravaged by corruption, mismanagement, and scandal. Despite tough economic times, South African entrepreneurs are determined to try their luck. Pressing challenges in the form of rising unemployment, and an economy mired in failure are challenging entrepreneurs to be more inventive than ever before. The most volatile component of the economic spectrum in South Africa is the middle class.
Many South African families have lived the high life, or ascended the rungs and then been knocked down a peg. This instability is creating added volatility in a country where high crime, mismanagement and political rancour pepper the scene. For many entrepreneurs, any access to credit is a godsend. Banks and non-bank providers offering personal loans, business loans, or credit card funds invariably expose themselves to debt default. For entrepreneurs, it’s important to know where to draw the line. Access to lines of credit in a crippled economy is significantly more valuable than the equivalent access in a developed economy.
How to Know when you are Overstretched as an Entrepreneur
Debt is considered a prerequisite for investment purposes. Most South Africans simply don’t have the necessary capital to start up a high-tech venture, fund a new business, or conduct marketing and advertising activity. As such, lines of credit are increasingly being used to propel business activity among SMEs – both in the formal and the informal sector. However, once debt reaches untenable levels, the tough questions need to be asked. For example, if multiple loans and multiple payments are required monthly, revenue streams need to be evaluated against expenses to gauge whether this is a feasible status quo.
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Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to manage multiple loans simultaneously, although it is necessary to acquire the capital from multiple sources. One of the ways to deal with these types of exigencies is a single loan from a low-cost lender in the form of debt consolidation loans. Simply put, these loans are provided by bank or non-bank lenders at lower interest rates than the prevailing interest rate on other lines of credit. By taking out a debt consolidation loan, the entrepreneur has more disposable income over time by not paying the higher interest on credit card debt.
Escape Debt Before Debt Consumes You
There are several other ways to know when your personal financial situation has reached critical mass. For starters, the nature of your business may require you to continue dipping into lines of credit to maintain business operations. If you don’t have the requisite discipline to stop indebting yourself, you may not be able to get out of debt. Debt consolidation is only effective insofar as you have the necessary discipline to put an end to debt financing of all business-related activity.
Credit should be used sparingly, and profits should be generated to allow your business to prosper. In a tight economic climate, costs are the bugbear that need to be attacked. Lavish trappings are unnecessary for business functionality – modest budgets, and high-quality goods and services are far more effective than window dressing at a premium.
How South Africa’s Small Businesses Plan To Invest Their Money In 2018
Here are their five areas they should focus their attention on in the next year and beyond.
Despite economic uncertainty, South Africa’s small businesses are positive about the future. In fact, our State of South African Small Business report reveals that 40% of small businesses are expecting to grow. However, to achieve growth without overextending their limited resources, small businesses need to invest wisely.
Here are their five areas they should focus their attention on in the next year and beyond.
When times are tight, companies typically reduce their marketing spend. This isn’t the case for 36% of South Africa’s small businesses. These respondents recognise marketing as a critical investment area.
They’d rather make a concerted effort to grow their customer base, than sit still and do nothing as consumer demand declines.
Without access to the latest technology, business growth can quickly stagnate. This is why 23% of South Africa’s small businesses plan to invest in up to date equipment, whether that be new machinery, mobile devices or computers.
The right investment in this area can give a business a real competitive advantage.
It can help boost profits and improve operational efficiency – both of which can help a small business withstand difficult economic conditions with greater success.
Consumers are spoiled for choice. Their needs are constantly changing and companies can’t afford to become complacent. To keep up with market demands, 22% of small businesses plan to invest in product development. Barring a few timeless classics, most products need a regular review and tweak to stay relevant and popular.
Digitisation is transforming business functions across the board. Technologies, like cloud software can take care of laborious administrative work.
This liberates employees from time-consuming tasks, enabling them to focus on more strategic work like customer retention and acquisition.
Technology has the power to improve productivity and efficiency. Which is why 18% of small businesses are going to focus their investment plans on this area of their businesses.
The customer should always be the priority. It doesn’t matter how good a product is, if there are no customers, then there’s no business. As competition increases, the user experience becomes more and more important to win over customers.
Business growth depends on happy customers and to achieve that, 18% of small businesses plan to invest in delivering better service.
All five of the above business areas are worthy investment focuses. The question is, how does a small business work out what to invest where? The only way it can invest effectively is with a full view of its company finances. A small business needs to be able to see which functions have provided the best return on investment to date.
It also needs to consider how much investment capital it has to spend. What’s more, before it makes an investment in say, marketing or product development, it must know exactly how and where the money needs to go.
The right software can help a small business access the real-time insights it needs to make better, faster financial decisions. To combat increased competition and market uncertainty, South Africa’s small business owners need access to up-to-the minute information from any device no matter where they are. An informed investment has the greatest chance of success.
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