Suddenly, after years of a flourishing income, you realize that things have changed. Bills are piling up and the bottom of the petty cash box is almost showing. Your business has become part of the dreaded words – recession, slow-growing economy, cash flow problems.
This checklist will help you to maintain cash flow in your business:
1. The future is now
It is important not to deny your weaknesses. This is the 21st century but maybe you got stuck in the 20th century. Focus on now and face the reality. Don’t be shocked about how much things are changing every day. Marketing is no longer the marketing that you remember; no longer the world of paging through the newspaper or handing out fliers on the corner. Even word of mouth is not enough anymore. You need to be on top of your industry and the needs of the community. What is trending? What can you do differently from the competition down the street? Who is your target market?
High-impact marketing is just a click of a button away. Online marketing can be very scary, but with a professional website, you will attract many new customers. Think creative. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn will definitely help you put your business on the map.
2. Review your business plan
Every small business needs a plan to guide the road to success. Every now and then, it is time to plan again, to set new goals and objectives for your business, by reviewing your business plan.
A business plan needs to be reviewed annually to assure long-term success. You need to be realistic and identify the problems and weaknesses of the business. It is important to include a monthly one-year cash flow projection. This will help you to measure the progress of your business.
3. Prioritize the bills
Is your business in debt?
Bills can drain the petty cash box and eventually your business. It is essential to prioritize and to remember that payroll and rent come first. Avoid penalties or interest by settling the bills in time. Some business owners are open for cash discounts, meaning that you will receive a discount on your bill by paying cash.
If others are in debt:
Customers want to have options and control over which payments they use. Your business can accommodate them by offering multiple payment options. Multiple payment options will make your business look professional and trustworthy. Try to avoid cash flow problems by preparing and sending invoices out in time, implementing interest penalties to late payers, and to have due dates on invoices.
4. You have to spend money to earn money
Everybody wants to see positive numbers on the bank statement and the cash in their pockets but any small business owner will confirm the fact that you have to spend money to earn money.
Help your staff find their voices – Investing in employee training seems quite impossible in these economically challenging times. But the future success of your business requires motivated, creative, talented employees.
Change the look – Make your business more visible by investing in a facelift. No, not you – well maybe. But it really is amazing what a bit of color and new furniture can accomplish. The new, modern, fresh look will definitely catch the eye of potential customers.
These are only a few guidelines to help get you back out there. Take the time and give it some thought, this doesn’t have to be the end.
M. Rafiq is the brain trust behind multiple e-commerce startups, and has become a thought-leader in the entrepreneurial space by providing wisdom and advice based on his decade of startup success. The digital age has opened opportunity to everyone, and M. Rafiq is passionate about providing opportunity to anyone willing to work both hard and smart. He also writes about his personal experience on financentric. Follow M. Rafiq on Twitter.