10 ways to start 2015 on a positive note

sun_feather_imageWith all the geo-political unrest in the world, it is stated by The Conference Board, that global economic growth in 2015 will hold at a rate of 3.4 percent. Downsides to the global outlook relate to intensifying political and economic risks; upsides relate to the ability of policy and business to invest in people, raise productivity, and rebuild trust and confidence

Interesting enough, Forbes took an end-of-year look at companies leading the way as valuations get extra frothy, ranking the Hottest Start-ups of 2014 by fastest growing valuation over time between funding rounds. These aren’t necessarily the most successful (or most hyped) start-ups — but they are the ones that investors are betting the biggest bucks on for the future.

The Forbes 2014 list included some big names, like private taxi juggernaut Uber (3rd), which announced another $1.2 billion funding round in December, coming just six months after a previous raise of $1 billion-plus. And investors aren’t just bullish on Uber’s future (at a $40 billion valuation) — they love the whole ride-share category. Uber’s arch-rival Lyft also appears (7th), along with smaller competitor RelayRides (14th).

Home-rental service Airbnb is the second-largest start-up on the list (at 15th). After raising $450 million in 2014, Airbnb’s valuation jumped to over $10 billion. It’s also yet another Silicon Valley disruptor growing despite fierce opposition from regulators in certain places. Cloud human resources company Zenefits, the 1st startup on their list, is also fighting against laws that restrict its business practices in Utah.

Some of 2014′s hottest start-ups are already graduating out of private company life. Since raising $90 million in its April 2014 series F funding round (and adding nearly $3 billion to its valuation), Lending Club went public on December 11, adding another $870 million to its coffers in the IPO. Shares quickly shot up to $24 a share from the $15 price, giving the company a new market capitalization of $9 billion.

The most recent recession saw tens of thousands of people suddenly lose their jobs after spending most of their adult lives on the same career path. This prompted many to consider whether it would make more sense to work for themselves and not for a company. These days, more people are deciding to take their future into their own hands and become entrepreneurs.

It is a fact that no business is guaranteed to succeed. But with the right level of energy, passion, determination to a belief in yourself and your product/service you can progress independently with your dream idea and business.

sun_feather_imageThe beginning of the year has arrived and while it’s important to take some time to assess the positives and negatives of 2014, it is also worthwhile ensuring everything is ready for the year ahead so that 2015 does not start with unnecessary stress.

Many entrepreneurs are passionate about their chosen trade but aren’t always strong when it comes to the financial side of business.

It is the little things that people often forget about. Simple things, like cash flow and budget, that can make all the difference.

The following 10 tips would make sure business owners cover all their bases and have a successful 2015.

1)      Budget for the year ahead

2)      Understand your business and its customers

3)      Analyse your monthly management accounts

4)      Keep your accounts and taxes up to date

5)      Secure your IP/IPR

6)      Know your limitations

7)      Invest in good legal and accountancy experts

8)      Build revenue streams with trusted relationships – no matter how small

9)      Invest in cash recovery experts

10)   Take a holiday and exercise every now and then

If you follow the tips you will see the benefits returned ten-fold.

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