Your Finances

Make your money last a lifetime

This section of the book covers both healthy personal and healthy business finances.

In my role as a financial consultant, I am constantly in touch with clients from all walks of life – from those of modest means to wealthy entrepreneurs. But I’ve come to realise that whatever their net worth, everyone from time to time entertains the same misgivings that their money may not last their lifetimes.

In the book I’ll show you how you can prepare financially for your time ahead, whatever your age, whatever your means.

Personal

The key to Healthy Personal Finances is to build up enough capital to provide a level of income that will sustain you during your working life and beyond, when you either can’t, or don’t want to work.

I’ll tell you about the basic rules that you’ll need to follow to lay down the foundations of a successful lifetime financial strategy.

I’ll show you how to plan your expenditure and personal finances so that you can make the most of your income.

I’ll show you how to calculate the level of income you’ll need in retirement with the help of my Capital and Income calculator.

And I’ll provide details of the five popular UK, tax-efficient investment vehicles that could help you save money and build capital.

Finally, I’ll share my top tips for securing a sound financial basis for your retirement and, as always, my Healthy Personal Finances Quick Start Tips.

Business

In the Healthy Business Finances chapter of the book I’ll share the knowledge I have gained over the years by talking to entrepreneurs about how to build a profitable business – knowledge I have successfully applied during my own business life.

I have learned that there are a number of vital, key areas that should be addressed to ensure business success and profitability. These are fundamental principles that apply whether you run a one-man-band, self-employed business or a large enterprise. I have distilled my experiences into a number of recommendations and these are covered in detail in the book, together with personal examples from my own business experience by way of illustration.

Here then, in brief, are my ‘14 Principles for Success in Business’:

  1. Build a relevant business. Make sure you are providing what people want.
  2. Develop a clear business plan. Three years is a good basis but be prepared to adjust the set of your sails to the prevailing wind!
  3. Have a clear vision of your target clientele and audience. Keep focused on your market, look after existing clients and always look for new customers.
  4. Maintain a strong leadership. Staff and clients need the reassurance that ‘those at the top’ know what they are doing!
  5. Make it profitable. Know the exact cost of your product and service.
  6. Increase profits. There are three areas to address – increase turnover, increase the margins, decrease expenses.
  7. Make the business attractive and saleable. It should be able to run without you.
  8. Keep up with the times. If your market is getting smaller, reinvent and adjust.
  9. Be motivated. You’re the boss – always look for new ideas to improve what you do.
  10. Treat staff well. They need to know they are valued.
  11. The right people in the right job. No square pegs in round holes.
  12. Persistency wins the prize. Don’t be put off your chosen course.
  13. Market your products and services well. If you don’t tell people what you do, how can you expect them to buy from you?
  14. Protect the business. Keep on top of your insurances, legal and tax affairs.

Business can be – and should be – profitable, of course. But it should also be fun and deliver both personal exhilaration and satisfaction. Get a head start by reading my Healthy Business Finances Quick Start Tips.