It should be no secret that cash is the fuel that keeps a business running. Getting it, keeping it, and managing it; these are activities business owners should master if they want their business to survive. In financial terms, it’s called cash flow, and it means more to your business than just whether or not there is money in the bank.
What do you do when your back is against the wall? When a key client quits on you? When your top employee decides to leave? When you go through a surprising period of low revenue that you can’t quite put your finger on? When your cash flow takes a hit and you can’t meet your obligations?
If you are in business for yourself, you know what challenge feels like. You are either in it, coming out of it, or just about to go through it. At some point, setbacks happen, and in spite of your best efforts to minimize the impact, you are (or will be) faced with a pretty serious situation.
So what do you do?
When it comes to time management, Calvin, the 6-year old trouble-maker and philosopher in the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, said it best: "There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want!"
That might often seem true, but I suggest the following change to Calvin's complaint to his tiger friend: There's never enough time to do all the something you want!
As business owners, experiencing change is the one thing we can count on to never change. We're bombarded with articles, blog posts, think pieces, and podcasts about the importance of change in the business environment. You might say “I’m a small business. All we do is change!” And you would probably be right. But the reality of the marketplace is upheaval, re-invention and rebirth, with business models that come and go. How effective are we at dealing with changes that occur at such a rapid pace?
The last time I checked, 1 out of every 1 persons eventually retires — one way or the other! If you own a small business, it is crucial that you think about how you want your business to be handled when you are gone. Whether you want to work till you drop, sell out, or pass the baton to your children, it takes proactive planning well in advance to ensure maximum success.
After years working with small business owners, I've learned there are six common myths about succession planning...
Excellence. We hear about it, and think we know what it means. As consumers, whether we consciously think about it or not, we know what we want when we hand over our hard-earned money. We want what we paid for. Or, more importantly, we want what we think we paid for. At the very least, we want what the seller said we would get.
Since we are all consumers, why doesn't this expectation find its way into our businesses more often? Are our business models so complex that providing excellence is just too hard?
Trying to grow your small business? Who isn't?! Growth requires new customers and new revenue. Where do they come from ? How do you find them and convince them to spend with you? More importantly, how can you do this in a way that is consistent and predictable? Spotty sales results is a major issue for most small businesses, and only a few find a solution.
It’s happened again. A new year has snuck up on us. Perhaps you find yourself saying something like “Where did this year go?”, or “2018 already?”. Each January 1st we have the opportunity to begin again, to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. There is something about the turning of the calendar to a new year that makes it possible to put the past behind us, and to look ahead to brighter days. We can and will do better, we tell ourselves. This time will be different!
I came across a thought-provoking story a while back about two men who were walking along a crowded sidewalk in a bustling business area. Suddenly one man exclaimed, "Listen to the lovely sound of that cricket!" His companion was incredulous: "How can you possibly detect the delicate sound of a cricket over the din of traffic and all these people?" The first man, a zoologist, had trained himself to listen to the sounds of nature, but he did not explain this — he simply took a silver dollar out of his pocket...
One of the biggest movies of the year opens this month — in Justice League, an A-list team of superheroes joins forces to save the world. You might not have Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash on your team, but surrounding yourself with strong individuals, suppliers and strategic partners can be the difference between success and failure. I call this your Power Team.
At some points in life, everyone faces stagnation, lack of momentum, and the feeling of trying to run in water. Tasks take longer. Motivation is no longer there. What once gave joy loses its impact. Projects stall. Business feels as though it has plateaued. The very definition of being stuck is the inability to move further — think of your car being stuck in mud, unable to gain the traction needed to get moving again. Getting stuck is a part of life and when that happens it undoubtedly impacts your business.
Someone once said, “There are few problems that three more sales won’t solve!” Would three more sales make a difference in your business, and your life? If so, then it is imperative that you increase your chances of making those sales happen! Here are five ideas to help you jazz up your sales efforts:
We’ve all heard of and use to-do lists. They are a quick way to lay out what needs to get done and are most often used as daily reminders. They are a great way to get a full picture of all the items demanding your attention, allowing you to prioritize them for proper resolution. If you're like me, when things get a bit overwhelming, preparing a to-do list can clear your mind and change your perspective. Proper prioritization has a way of doing that.
In a sporting match, when one team begins to make things happen, move the ball quickly, or put points on the board in rapid succession, what's the secret?
Momentum is powerful. So powerful, in fact, that in the sports world an opposing team will do just about anything to break the pattern and cause momentum to stop in its tracks — call a time out, stop the clock, or cause a foul or penalty. Momentum can be a game changer for your business, too.