Becoming an entrepreneur is no easy feat. Deciding on the right legal structure for your business is a common challenge you might face.
So if you’re going to legitimize your business, which option should you choose? Sole proprietor, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), or corporation? Here are 5 key benefits of incorporating your business and using it to boost your bottom line.
1. Personal Asset Protection
Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership, a corporation is completely separate from its owners from a legal standpoint. This means that your personal liabilities and debts are separate from that of your business. This separation is key when protecting your own personal assets like your home, car, retirement account etc.
If in an extreme case, you’re unable to pay a business debt or someone sues your business, they won’t be able to seize your personal assets.
2. Tax Benefits
Certain tax benefits make corporations very appealing to entrepreneurs because self-employment taxes can be pretty brutal if you are operating as a sole proprietorship or even an LLC.
Generally, a corporation pays the standard corporate tax rate on its taxable income and the owners pay income tax on their personal earnings from the business. Yes, this is double taxation but it can be beneficial given the fact that only the owner(s)’ salary is subject to self-employment taxes instead of all your earnings.
If you can run a successful business and legally save on taxes, why wouldn’t you want to keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket?
3. Automatic Protection For Your Business Name
When you incorporate your business, the business name automatically becomes protected in the state you registered the company in. This means that no other company or LLC in the state that sells similar products or services can use the same name as your business.
If you want to protect your business name throughout the U.S., you must file a trademark but incorporating your business is a good first start especially if you do a lot of local, in-state work.
4. Opportunity to Get Shareholders
One of the cool perks of having a corporation is that you can sell stock ownership of your company to raise money. This could be a nice alternative to taking out a loan to grow your business. With a C-corporation, you can have an unlimited number of shareholders
5. Instant Credibility
Finally, I’m going to be blunt and say that incorporating your business will most likely provide instant credibility which is what you want as you expand your operation.
When you take the time out to formally register your business, it can make finding prospective clients, customers, and vendors easier. Even if you’re great at what you do, it’s difficult to trust people these days and there are tons of scams out there that others want to avoid (rightfully so). You want to give the best first impression when you meet people and network.
Having a formal and organized business tells people that you care about your company and are serious about working with them in some capacity.
Incorporating your business is a big decision so it will require some thought, planning, and a discussion with your attorney and accountant if you think it’s necessary. If you do choose to move forward, you’ll need to make sure your business meets all the legal and financial requirements. Then, you can start filling out the registration paperwork.
When it comes to banking, individuals often default to what they know best. And that’s traditional banking. Unfortunately for them, they’re likely going to face a lifetime of long lines and hidden fees. Well…it’s not that bad but there are surely better solutions. Thanks to online banking you can now do all your banking without ever leaving the comfort of your own home.
If that’s not convincing enough, here are a few other reasons why you should make the switch to online banking.
The bottom line is that it’s much easier to access your online bank than a traditional one. When you use a traditional bank you need to adhere to their business hours in order to access your funds and accounts.
If you work full-time then it’s often difficult to carve time out of your day to make a trip. Not only that, once you’re at the bank you often need to wait in a long line before you’re even able to speak to the clerk. I don’t know about you but waiting in lines at the bank can be grueling.
With online banking you can easily access all your accounts online. No lines no hassle.
Compared to online banking, traditional banks have much higher operating expenses. Those extra expenses mean more fees pushed onto the consumer. In this case that’s you.
With online banking you can avoid many of those fees since there’s much less overhead.
Quick and Easy Deposits
The majority of traditional banks will let you deposit checks through an ATM. With online banks you can easily deposit checks through their mobile application. Simply snap a picture, sign the back, and voila your money is in your account!
In addition, the majority of online banks offer access to a huge network of ATMs so if you’re ever in need of some cash you’re still in luck!
This goes back to the fact that online banks have much fewer expenses than traditional ones. Because of this online banks can offer higher rates on savings accounts.
When looking for a new bank make sure you always calculate your potential earnings on CDs and savings accounts. Many individuals make the mistake of jumping ship before doing the math. Is it really worth switching your accounts for an extra $50 a year? When making the switch always comparison shop to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Simple Money Management
One of the best perks of online banking is the ability to easily access and manage your money. Paying bills and other related tasks have never been more simple.
Most online banks offer the ability to check accounts, pay bills, transfer funds, and send money all from a single dashboard.
Pro tip: Look for an online bank that gives you automated savings options. For example, you can set up automatic transfers from your checking to savings account each month. Some platforms allow you to automatically round up your debit card purchases and deposit that amount to your savings. This way you’ll always be putting money away. Remember, every bit counts.
It’s no secret that we’re moving towards a completely digital economy. One solution at the forefront of this is online banking. If you’re still relying on a traditional bank then you should definitely look to make the switch today. You won’t regret it.
While it seems as if everyone is turning a side hustle into a full-time gig, the reality is not everyone wants to do that. Heck, not everyone even should do that!
Contrary to how you may be feeling, it doesn’t make you any less of a business owner to keep your day job. That being said, you do need to find ways to stay sane during all of this. After all, you’ll be working quite a bit.
Tip #1: Prioritize self-care.
If you want to keep a side hustle and a day job, you will need to prioritize self-care. If you don’t, you will likely lose your mind with all the work you have to do.
Back in the day, I had a regular job, a side hustle and I was taking classes for a certification simultaneously. I had almost zero time for anything outside of that and the time that I did have was spent exercising.
Whether it was yoga or kickboxing, I was at the gym twice a week no matter what. This gave me the energy I needed to keep hustling and helped me deal with the stress related to the pressure I was under.
Tip #2: Know how much money you want to make on the side (and why)
I recently interviewed someone who has three businesses on the side of his day job. His success has a lot to do with the fact that he knew exactly what he wanted – to be financially independent by the age of 35.
Because he was so clear on what he wanted, he knew how much he wanted to earn and how. This allowed him to maximize the time he had outside of his job so that he could create three profitable businesses.
Tip #3: Take your side hustle seriously anyway.
Just because your side hustle isn’t your full-time gig doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously. In fact, you should see it as a business like any other.
The problem many people run into is they don’t see their side hustles seriously. They just think it’s a hobby or a way of making some extra money – not necessarily a business.
This leads to problems in a few ways. First, you lose motivation to work on it. Second, because you don’t take it seriously then you allow other things to easily get in the way of growing your business.
Before you know it, you no longer have a side hustle that is providing you with extra income and you’ve reverted back to just having a day job.
Tip #4: Build a team.
While all business owners need to think about building a team, I would argue that it’s especially important with a side hustle. The reason is that you have limited time to create an extra source of income.
While I was recently interviewing people who successfully kept a side hustle on the side of their day jobs, I noticed they all focused on having team members. They wanted to remove themselves from certain tasks so they could focus their limited time on making more money.
It’s more than acceptable to choose to keep your side hustle as a side hustle. After all, not everyone needs to be self-employed full-time. Just make sure that you still take it seriously so you can create another source of income.
Time and time again we read about how the most successful people start their days. The morning is truly the only time of the day you have to yourself. During this time it’s extremely important to develop and stick to a morning routine.
Here are seven things you should add to your morning routine:
Be an Early Riser
If you aren’t a morning person then you need to suck it up. The majority of wildly successful people start their day at the crack of dawn. You should aim to wake up well before the actual work day starts.
When you wake up early you can use this time to get a head start before getting worn down on your day’s responsibilities.
This one may seem like a no-brainer. However many overlook the need to properly hydrate first thing in the morning. The experts suggest you should drink at least one 24 oz glass of water to start your day.
One of the biggest indicators of low energy is the fact that you’re dehydrated. Get up, hydrate, and start your day.
Avoid Your Phone
Cell phones are proven to be one of the biggest productivity killers at work. When you constantly check your phone you’re seriously inhibiting yourself from focusing on the task at hand.
In the mornings I suggest staying as tech-free as possible. Use this time for deep thinking and reflection.
Exercise Before Breakfast
Everyone should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise each and everyday. Exercise gives you lasting energy and motivation throughout the rest of your day. I can’t stress how important this is.
A pro tip I have is to exercise before you have breakfast. If you don’t like working out on an empty stomach then you can have a banana or something small. However, when you exercise the first thing your body will burn is fat, rather than energy from the food you may have just eaten.
Have a Healthy Breakfast
Again, this one sounds like another obvious one. However very few individuals actually know what constitutes a healthy breakfast. The American diet mostly consists of sugar. Cereals, granola mixes, yogurts, breakfast sausages, and many more common items are packed with sugars.,
Sugar will give you a temporary rush and leave you feeling lethargic halfway through the day. Instead of buying packaged cereals, look for some granola in the bulk section that has no added sugars. Use greek yogurts like Siggis that are high in protein and low in sugar. A general rule of thumb is to avoid processed or added sugars at all costs.
Knowledge is power in this world. I strongly suggest spending at least 15 minutes each morning reading. In addition to learning more skills and gaining knowledge, you should also read up on current events in the world and in your industry.
Apps like Apple News and Flipboard are great for early morning reading.
While it may seem silly, meditation is one of the most powerful things you can to your mind. There are plenty of free resources available that can help you practice mindfulness. I recommend spending at least 10 minutes meditating each morning.
Meditation at it’s simplest form is the ability to focus on a single point typically your breath. In order to truly meditate you need to remove everything else from thought. Give it a shot, it’s much harder than you think!
Everyone spends their time differently, especially in the mornings. That said there are definitely practices that you should adopt each morning if you want to have a more successful day. If you haven’t already I strongly suggest adding the seven things listed above to your morning routine.
Feeling positive makes you feel motivated to take on anything the day brings your way. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to adopt some positive morning habits. Here are ways to bring positivity to your morning routine so you can conquer your days in 2018:
Stop Checking Social Media a Few Hours Before Bed
Your morning routine starts the night before. Try to cut down on your screen time in the evening. Give yourself time to clear your head before dozing off.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Abundance attracts abundance. Positivity attracts more positivity. We all have things to be thankful for. Our health, family, friends, and a roof over our head are just a few things we should appreciate.
Write down things you’re grateful for in your life and business each evening or in the morning. You can even trade social media time for journal time right before bed.
Add Designated Times to Check Email
Each morning, I write a to-do list. Usually, I put the tasks that will take me the longest at the very top of the list. I purposely don’t check email first thing in the morning to avoid derailing my day.
When you check email first, you can get lost down the rabbit hole of other people’s request before you get anything done including pressing items. Schedule in a few 20- to 30-minute time slots each day where you check in.
People will adjust to your response frequency. This will help you be productive and protect your sanity. There’s nothing like getting a “not-so-great” email in the morning to mess up the entire day.
Work to Productivity Music or Listen to Something Uplifting
YouTube has a treasure trove of playlists for productivity. Type in “productivity music” into the YouTube search engine and you’ll find a goldmine of slow and high tempo playlists that you can use when getting work done.
Another option is putting on a podcast or audiobook that lifts your spirits in the morning. I’m always inspired by the entrepreneur stories on the How I Built This podcast.
Don’t Start Off Your Morning with the News
Avoid starting mornings off with the news if you’re someone who internalizes it and lets it negatively impact your day. Don’t worry about missing out on anything. People will bring up in conversation any emergencies that require your immediate attention. There’s no need to obsess over your social media feed waiting anxiously for the next piece of news to break. Again, I’ve found that if I check social media first thing in the morning, I’m glued to social media throughout the day.
Instead, be intentional about where you’re spending your time. Try meditating or reading positive and motivational books in the morning. There are even productivity website blockers you can download to your browser to keep you away from certain sites while you’re working. Automate social media for your business to reduce the amount of time you need to spend on each platform.
Starting off your day with positive vibes makes a difference. Come up with a daily schedule that includes mindfulness so you can make the most of your days.