Once the euphoria of getting your small business off the ground starts to recede into a distant, if very pleasant, memory, and the reality of hard work, finding clients and making actual money starts to take over, it can be a challenging time. Designing the logo, building the product, sourcing the best team and making those first early sales are serotonin hits to the entrepreneur, but the business world is tough and owes your business absolutely nothing. It’s up to you to captain that ship towards success and it’s up to you to correct the course when times are tough, when the sales are low, and the budgets become even more tricky to balance. In this article, we take a brief look at how you can mitigate some of those cash flow hiccups and keep things on track.
Take a broader view of the business
Rather than act first and think about the consequences later, slow down and take a long look at the big picture. Create some space between your perceived problems and issues and your corrective actions. The longer you wait, the smarter you get as the saying goes.
Looking at things from a top down perspective will enable you to consider all the strengths and weaknesses of the business, assess skill gaps, training needs, inventory and stock issues and marketing wins and losses. When you can see the entire playing field, you are better able to make good strategic decisions and prevent previous mistakes being repeated.
The devil is in the details
Alongside an analysis of the business from the top, looking at the big picture shouldn’t be at the expense of looking at the details of the business too. Quite often you find that you may be leaking unnecessary amounts of money from the most unexpected of places, and these little things can quickly add up. Look at your signage, assess the adequacy of your parking, and access to your store or office. Explore the small costs; are you spending too much on stationary, could you save money by switching to a cheaper supplier, do you really need offices near the London stock exchange?
Maintain access to working capital
Without reliable access to cash, it can be tricky to keep things moving forward during lean times or when unexpected costs or fantastic opportunities arise. Whether it’s a short term loan from a reputable lender such as biz2credit.com, for example, or a loan from a family member, or using savings, so long as you have access to cash you can keep the business afloat.
Keep your standards high
It’s very tempting when times are tough to sacrifice quality to keep costs down and cash flowing. This is definitely not the way to go about things. Whilst assessing and tweaking processes to keep margins acceptable is a critical part of running a business, it should not be at the expense of the high standards you set for your customers. Reducing the quality of your outpost is a surefire way to lose customers, completely negating any perceived cost savings.
Ensuring you can see the big business picture, maintaining a constant flow of accessible cash and maintaining your high standards are all essential aspects of keeping your small business running.