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Recent Entrepreneur? Here Are Some Financial Planning Tips For You

Entrepreneurs need to take some unique financial planning considerations into account to become successful.

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Whether it is due to the slew of job losses during COVID or the ambition and desire to build something out one does not know, but the fact remains that entrepreneurship in India is at an all-time high right now.

Entrepreneurs need to take some unique financial planning considerations into account. Particularly if they are transitioning from cushy corporate jobs, and have no family history of entrepreneurship, they could potentially struggle with money management early on. The fact that the average age that women and men transition into entrepreneurship globally are 30.5 years and 29.9 years respectively stands to further complicate matters, as that’s typically the age when familial pressures are at their highest as well.

Optimism in the face of seemingly unsurmountable challenges defines most successful entrepreneurs. Ironically, it is this very attitude to life that often makes them poor investors. If you’re an entrepreneur, or planning to go down the start-up route, here are a few important financial planning related considerations for you.

Save – even if its just a little bit

Entrepreneurs, owing to their erratic cash flows, tend to disregard the act of saving money in a systematic manner, preferring to invest moneys as and when they become available instead. While this is a natural tendency, it’s vital to at least get into the habit of saving a little bit of money systematically. This could be as little as Rs. 5,000 per month.

Know what you need (and what you want)

As an entrepreneur, it’s likely that if left unchecked, your various buckets of spending and saving will get commingled together into an unwieldy mess. It’s critical for you to sit down and arrive at an exact number that will suffice to take care of your basic needs each month – for instance, rent, groceries, and electricity. Multiply this number by six and keep it in a liquid fund – you never know when you’ll have to buckle down and stop drawing from your business for extended periods of time.

Go frugal – many Billionaires do it!

Don’t fool yourself – chances are, you’ll have to cut back on luxury spends and live frugally for the first three to five years that you’re setting up your business. Instead of resenting it, embrace it as part and parcel of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Depleting your cash reserves – or worse, taking on expensive loans – during the early stages of your entrepreneurial journey are bound to cost you later. The number of global billionaires who still drive their rickety old cars to work might surprise you! 

Protect yourself and your family

As you set out on your journey, make sure you cover your bases when it comes to safeguarding yourself and your family against unforeseen risks that could severely erode your personal wealth and put you in a precarious position. Being set back by five or ten lakhs by a medical emergency during the early stages of entrepreneurship may weaken your resolve to continue. Make sure you’ve got adequate medical insurance and (if required) personal accident coverage in place.

Out of sight, out of mind

When you do come into lump sums of money by way of business profits, you may be inclined towards fulfilling your long-pending wants and frittering them away in the process. After all, you’ve been cash starved for so long! However, it’s vital that you exercise willpower and discipline at these times, to invest surplus lump sums into long term, high growth financial or physical assets instead. That shiny new luxury car or world tour can wait until the time that you’ve built a more solid financial base for yourself and your family.

Avoid personal leverage like plague

You could borrow for your business, with the intent to pay it back from your future profits – but never, ever borrow for your personal spends. In fact, it would be a wise move to clear out all your pending EMI’s before you set up your business. As an entrepreneur, personal leverage is a strict no-no, and could in fact go on to materially impact your business decisions. Keeping yourself loan free actually allows you to take more long-term, well-structured business decisions. 

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