The Best Way to Diversify Your Income: Build a Business

The Best Way to Diversify Your Income: Build a Business - Lori Darlington

​Whenever we talk about investments, saving for retirement, and early retirement, the subject of diversification always comes up, and for good reason. We obviously don’t want all our eggs in one basket. 

But what if we applied that concept to our income sources? 

Just how diversified are your income sources? Is 100% of your annual income coming from just one source: your job? Obviously, that’s not very diversified. 

One of the big things that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, is that our jobs are not actually all that secure. 

Join us as we go over the best (and my favorite) way to diversify your income sources: By starting your own business.

About Our Guest:

Our guest today is Lori Darlington, a Vice-President in the Small Business Division at RBC. Because she works for RBC (one of Canada’s largest banks), she has access to an incredible amount of data on small businesses in Canada, and when you have that much data, studies and reports on Canadian small businesses, you start to notice certain patterns between the small Canadian businesses that succeed, vs the ones that don’t. 

I wanted to ask what her findings were in regards to this so that you and I can structure and optimize our business in the right way, and not make some of the top mistakes that Canadian business owners tend to make.

We also cover questions like how to get set up properly as a new or existing small business in Canada and much more.

Links and Resources Covered:

Lori and her team have put together some great free resources, over on their site here.

One of my favourite sections, is the “Explore tools and services beyond banking” page, where they share other businesses and services that they found particularly helpful for helping small businesses thrive. I’m actually in the process now of going through it, and am particularly interested in the free business accounting software that they have on there.

In Other News: Free Tickets to the Canadian Financial Summit Are Finally Here!

The free tickets to the Canadian Financial Summit are finally available here.

In case you’re new to the podcast, this is a free event, it’s 100% online so no travel required, and it’s specifically for Canadians. It’s taking place this October 15th, and I’m bringing on some of Canada’s top personal finance experts to share their best practices to help you retire early, invest better, lower your fees, pay less in taxes, and help you learn the best practices when it comes to personal finance and investing so that you can hit your financial independence number years earlier.

Collectively, past guests of the Summit have been in hundreds of media articles from major news and financial publications in Canada such as the Globe and Mail, Financial Post, Global News, CTV, Yahoo Finance, and many, many more.

I’ve brought on some big hitters this year like the creator of the TFSA, Kevin McCarthy, and the Warren Buffett of Canada, Peter Hodson, just to name a few. I hope to see you there, it’s free to attend, it’s all online, and you can register for free here.

Questions Covered:

  1. As the largest bank in Canada, I’m sure you have access to some really good data on small businesses in Canada, and the top mistakes and challenges that they tend to run into.

    Can you share some of these with us so that anybody starting or running a small business in Canada can hopefully better bypass some of these common mistakes? 
  2. For anybody starting a new business or already running a small business, what are the most important essentials and best practices to ensure that we are set up correctly from the banking side and government reporting side, so that we don’t end up getting in trouble during tax time, or run into money management issues because we aren’t properly set up?
  3. One of the pages that I really liked on your site was the “Beyond Banking” page where you list other companies that provide different services that small businesses need (like free accounting software for example), and then it looks like you were able to negotiate deals with some of these companies and give Canadians special rebates and discounts on their services.

    Can you talk about this page as well as some of the other free resources and tools that you have available on your site? (ex. Your Startup Cost, Cash Flow, and Loan calculators).
  4. With COVID-19, we are in a very unusual time for new and existing small businesses. I imagine there are many Canadians who after seeing all these job losses that take place, are considering starting their own business on-the-side to provide that extra cash-flow and give them that extra stability so that they aren’t fully reliant on their employer for all of their household’s income.

    Do you have any advice for new and existing small business owners as we (hopefully), continue to recover from COVID-19 as a country?
  5. With the thousands of small businesses that bank with you, I’m sure you’ve noticed some patterns between businesses that especially struggled during COVID-19, vs those that were able to minimize the negative impact that it had. Were there any lessons learned from the data and conversations that you’ve had, that can help us be better prepared for such storms in the future? (whether it’s another pandemic, or something like the 2008 financial crisis).
  6. There is a fair bit of aid available to small businesses because of COVID-19. If somebody has questions or wants to see what their business is eligible for, is it better to reach out to a bank like yours, or should they be reaching out directly to the government instead?
  7. Can you tell us more about where we can go to learn more, as well as any other free tools and resources that you have available for small business owners?

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