Five Key Investments Entrepreneurs And Small Business Owners Should Make
Often when entrepreneurs and small business owners create a successful company, they are consumed by the daily operations of the company and lose sight of all of the investments they should be making. The company you created or manage today is not the end game. It’s a means to an end based on what you want in your life. What is it you want? To raise a family, travel the world, make a difference in the lives of others? Well, as you think of your company, take a step back, think about your goals and consider the following below as key investments you need to make, both in you and your company.
The business of you. Sometimes, when you start a company, you are consumed by all the operations of the business and you lose sight of the most critical investment you could make…in yourself. This could be as simple as getting a yearly physical, taking a course at a local college and taking the time to travel and relax. Another way to look at yourself as an investment is to look for ways to give your self more time. Time to relax, get a massage, go for a run or meet with friends. Look at what you can “outsource” and create a somewhat balanced version of you that is healthy and happy.
Your business needs investment. Quite often, a small business owner or entrepreneur will run the business a little too lean in an effort to generate or maximize profits. Sometimes it’s not about revenue or profits but costs you need to look at. Or perhaps investing in new software yields more transactions or reduces an employee’s time to do a specific task. If you can’t create the highest return on investment in your company, then maybe you should step back and analyze how you could run your company better.
Tax accountant is your friend. If you are a successful entrepreneur or small business owner, you may not realize that your single biggest personal expense is your income taxes. By evaluating options to lower their taxes, entrepreneurs can often increase their net income anywhere from 10 percent to 50 percent with only small changes in the way that they operate their business and personal life. This increased cash flow, if reinvested wisely, can dramatically impact your future. You may want to examine where your business is incorporated, or review the legal ownership of the company. You could also check and see if you structured your company to be owned by a Roth 401k, would it yield tax-free dividends or allow you to invest profits tax-free for the rest of your life.
Diversify in real estate. Okay, your company is successful and providing a strong cashflow to where you can pay yourself more and buy that Tesla. Or you diversify your financial “platform” and invest in commercial real estate that provides additional cashflow and tax benefits. I know of several entrepreneurs who have built commercial real estate portfolios that yield more than $250,000 of annual net cashflow while the value of their real estate continues to appreciate. Small office complexes, apartments and warehouses all can provide a diversified real estate portfolio that could generate an income for life if you needed it.
Invest broadly in the stock market. Meme stocks and new investment platforms like Robinhood is not really investing, its gambling. Unless you are going to do the research and spend two to three hours each day investigating markets, trends and companies, you should not be risking your hard-earned income. You would be better served by just investing equally in three to four broad market index ETF’s like the Dow, S & P 500, NASDAQ and maybe the Russell 2000 and let time and history do the rest. According to Motley Fool.com, the stock market has gone up more years than it has gone down. The S&P 500 gained value in 40 of the past 50 years, generating an average annualized return of 10.9%. With just that rate of return average, your investment would double every seven years. All without the stress, head-ache and risk of making individual investments or perhaps bets.