Entrepreneurship is fast becoming attractive and a fad among the populace, the latest being the suitcase entrepreneur whose office is his suitcase.
There are business people who can work from anywhere, spending most of their life in transit, shuttling between locations and never needing to be physically present in an office for extended periods of time. This kind of entrepreneurship is becoming very common these days.
However, because of their lifestyle, many suitcase entrepreneurs have a high tendency to go overboard with budgeting and spending. These entrepreneurs usually end up having money problems because they lack basic financial literacy.
Below are a few tips on how suitcase entrepreneurs can budget more effectively, save more money, and secure their financial future;
1. Always Budget
The major benefits of a budget are that it helps you know what’s allocated to what and when to activate what.
A yearly financial plan or a six months’ financial plan helps to avoid impulse spending and allows you to be able to account for your finances. Even when you have to go for unplanned trips, it would definitely help if you have a budget of the amount you’ll be needing for the trip, while taking into cognizance the number of days to be spent, hotel, feeding, transportation and miscellaneous.
Budgets must be robust enough to allow for contingencies and rigid enough to be limited to the necessaries.
2. Book Your Flights Way Ahead
If you live the suitcase life, there are some yearly events you would need to attend for business networking purposes and for learning and upgrading your technical know-how. Travel tickets for trips like these should be booked way ahead of time so as to get a cheaper deal and the same goes for hotel accommodation.
Before you book a flight or a hotel room, check to see if what you’re booking for is good value for the money when compared to other options around.
For example, train tickets, peak periods are more expensive than off-peak periods and also Friday flight tickets are more expensive than other days of the week. You also have the option of adjusting dates and seat allocations for flights and rooms for hotels or lodges. Save more money, book your tickets in advance.
3. Travel Light
As the name suitcase entrepreneur implies, you are supposed to travel with only your laptop, one set of change of clothing, your travel documents and other lightweight items that can fit in one suitcase.
Travelling with only a hand luggage will save you time, money and stress, as you can skip checking in your luggage for the flight, waiting for your luggage at baggage check after the flight, and you also saving on the weight fees and not worrying about exceeding baggage size limit and incurring extra charges. For the feminine folk, you can buy smaller sizes of the toiletries you use daily.
4. Do Your Research!
For every suitcase entrepreneur entering a new town or city, it is very essential to do groundwork research concerning basics like affordable and effective transportation facilities, quality local restaurants and dishes, and the closest community mall to where you will be staying.
Some day to day expenses in a new city or town can be overwhelming and way out of budget. One of the ways of avoid overspending is through research, take the local train instead of a private taxi, buy from local shops/markets and eat at local restaurants. This is also a way to connect with the cultural roots in a town/city and have loads of fun!
5. Stack Multiple Trips Together
If you’ll probably need to take multiple trips in the following months, it would be more cost effective and make more economic sense if you lump them together and take them all at once instead of the vicious cycle of travelling and coming back to base.
Lumping all the trips together at a go might be stressful but then it saves money.
6. Don’t Over-Impress
Most suitcase entrepreneurs are always meeting one high profile investor or a potential client and there is a great tendency to go out of your way to impress these people. Suddenly your normal gear doesn’t look good enough and you want to go to a high end store to buy a designer shirt or pants or you book dinner in an expensive restaurant.
I am not saying that buying high end wears aren’t nice or going to a classy restaurant isn’t cool. But don’t fall into this trap especially when it would be difficult to keep up with the status quo you initiated. Be yourself, speak well. Be confident and know your onions, your client would definitely be enthralled.
7. Assets over liabilities
When buying work gadgets, always go for effectiveness and efficiency rather than aesthetics or fanciful features. A lot of new technological equipment are nice to have and flaunt but in the real sense might not be useful to you or your business needs.
Read reviews before buying that new gadget so it doesn’t just take up space after a while and also save money whilst still being able to work efficient.
8. Drop The Suitcase For A Bit
A lot of conferences and events in this time and age can be attended virtually with no need to be physically present. Save monetary resources, time and energy by connecting via internet platforms to attend meetings, events and conference. I know it doesn’t seem possible but it is actually possible not to travel. Technology can allow you to have meetings, continents apart and close deals online.
It may cost a fair bit to have such technology immediately, but in the long run putting into cognizance the trips and money it saves you… it is a pretty good financial management tip.