A Diva’s Budget

  • NEW Everyday Diva Logo PNGPutting together a budget is an extremely helpful tool for someone trying to get their financial house in order. During the process, they can find out what expenses are necessary, what expenses aren’t and what expenses they should start to incur.

Prepare the Budget with an Advisor

I recently sat down with an opera singer who is a friend of mine to go over her budget. For some time she’s had the feeling that she was making a pretty penny but didn’t have anything to show for it.

During the review we were able to determine that certain bills had to be paid. They included rent, car, power, medical insurance, student loans, retirement savings and a number of other necessary bills.

Know the Goals and Outcome of a Budget Review

Now part of the reason that she wanted to go through the exercise was to determine how she could set aside money for simple savings for a rainy day but also carve out a portion of her income for continuing her opera lessons.

With this review we also came across expenses that where secretly and subtly draining her pocket book. Namely food. This included not only the food that she bought for the home but also what she spent every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was adding up.

On top of those expenses she noticed that going out with her friends was hurting her finances. She realized that she was spending too much going to dinners, movies, and generally hanging out with her friends.

Do What the Budget Plan Recommends

Now to be fair, the review was not designed to say that she should stop doing what she was doing all together. It was however designed to let her know where the challenges where and how to fix them. Namely watching what she buys outside the home for lifestyle.

This part of the review is critical. Once we identified what needed to be done she needed to do it. This is not to say that she won’t spend a little extra here and there but she needed to follow the plan to make it work. That way she can achieve a healthy financial balance in her life.

Putting together a budget with a financial advisor can go a long way in getting ones financial house in order. They provide independent, expert eyes that can look at the finances of their clients and determine what the best use of money is and where they can make improvements.

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Journey of a Business Startup

 

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Starting a business is a rewarding and challenging experience. It allows you to be very creative in the way you operate your business and the way you deliver value to your clients. Starting a business also allows you to take control of your life and determine how you will make your living. It does come with challenges, however.

Locating a Space for the Business

In starting my business I came across a number of hurdles I had to overcome. For starters, I had to search for the right location. Embarking on that process meant that I had to look at more than 100 locations in a number of cities to find the right place. I was looking for the area that had the right visibility, rent costs and potential customer income; all very hard criteria to match up. Yet it was work that had to be done as the cornerstone for building the business.

What is the Business Brand Identity?

Another challenge I had to overcome was brand name recognition. Now starting off I was working with a franchise company that had a number of brands under its direction. In starting out I had every intention of working with one of those brands. I did everything in the process up until actually sending the franchise fee to enter into the franchise as a franchisee.

Then one day the parent company decided to just simply discontinue the franchise I was considering. That was never in my business plans. Frankly I had never really thought about it and never even heard about something like that happening in the franchise world. Clearly I needed to do more research in that area.

So I had a decision to make: do something else or create my own brand name. That’s when I had a good conversation with a dear friend of mine. She had never believed in the overall franchise model in the first place, so she immediately said, “Go and do it with your own brand name.” That’s what I did.

Financing Challenges of a Business Startup

Still another hurdle was financing. After the mortgage meltdown, credit received from any bank is tough to get under the best of circumstances. For a startup business it’s just not going to happen. The banks have no cash flow history to go by so they are very hesitant to lend. They may make expectations if there is collateral to get if the business should go under. But those opportunities are few and far between. They want good credit, good cash flow and good collateral. Again, three things that a startup by its very nature doesn’t have.

So out came the credit cards, retirement savings and backup from family members. That’s when the feasibility of a marketing plan comes into stark focus. An owner will examine it a million times to see if there are any holes in it and look to plug them the best way they think. But it’ll never be 100% until the doors open.

These are just some of the challenges that a business startup will confront. Through these examples, you can see that starting a business is a series of challenging experiences which the owner or owners will need to overcome. Some of those obstacles will be obvious and anticipated, while others will be completely unforeseen. The best that a business owner can do is plan for both.

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