There are many challenges for business owners especially entrepreneurs and freelancers that work on their own. Business success is measured in a variety of ways from sales to income, to leads, and more. In fact very often two different entrepreneurs may have totally different successes for similar business types. While the success of a business is individual to each owner many businesses will struggle with the same challenges over time both monetary and time based. The business owner will often struggle with efficiency of their operation and cash flow issues. These two issues can hamper a company whether the company is small or large in size.
The two issues are also intertwined and that also can make success seem farther away. In the beginning of many businesses that begin with one person teams the business owner is doing all the work themselves. Often we work early on to improve our efficiency for ourselves and handle as much work as possible on our own. The danger with this is that many owners end up working “in their business” instead of “on their business” which will often delay success in the company. The owner often gets bogged down with this scenario and the suggested fix for this is to hire someone to do the work while the owner works on getting more contracts. That is easier said than done however as often there is not enough money to hire other contractors or employees. This is how cash flow can affect the efficiency of a business and stop the growth of the company. Many business owners that give up in business is due to lack of cash flow. Cash flow is different for each business and much depends on products or services offered within the business and the purchasing agreements with vendors.
So what is the secret for combatting these issues and moving forward towards success? It will be different for each business based on the needs of the business, but here are few tips that may help. Keep an eye on expenses. Look for trends in your purchasing patterns and in order to do that you will need to be up to date on your bookkeeping. Possibly buying more supplies in bulk and at certain times of the year when cash flow is better may be a way of keeping much needed funds for leaner times. As a society we are purchasing more items online due to cheaper pricing and convenience. The problem is that many times those cheaper prices have shipping fees associated with them allowing for expenses that may not be tracked properly. Monitoring both income and expenses and knowing when cash flow will be tight will go along way to helping smooth out cash flow problems.
As far as time management, if the cash flow is there you can hire for services to keep the business going such as bookkeeping and graphic design. That will allow the owner to work on getting more clients and increasing income. If cash flow still doesn’t allow to hire others then the owner needs to get very focused and spend time on the larger issues of the business. Marketing should be done grass roots and with social media or networking that can be done inexpensively. Planning your days so that you are productive is very important to keeping yourself moving forward to success. So the two issues go hand in hand and each business is different. Knowing the trends in your business cash flow will go along way to deciding when to purchase and hire help therefore creating a more efficient business. Focus on those two areas for business success and you will be on your way.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is an entrepreneur and author of the books Driven to Drive, Running By The Mile, and How to Start an Artistic Business in 12 Easy Steps. He also hosts his own business and career podcast for the transportation industry called The Lead Pedal Podcast. To learn more about Bruce and his work please visit his websites at www.outridgeenterprises.ca and www.theleadpedalpodcast.com