What To Do In A Cashflow Crunch
We have all heard the statistic; 80% of all small businesses will close their doors within the first 5 years. And a further 50% will close in the next 5 years.
Here is the really interesting bit, the common thread in all of these closures is a lack of cashflow or in other words an inability to meet the monthly expenses and payments required to maintain the business.
Most people in business and have been for any length of time will be familiar with the situation. Bills are mounting up, sales seem to be diminishing, customers don't seem to be returning to buy more and your nightly sleep becomes punctuated with being wide awake imagining all the worst possible scenarios. Stress levels increase, family life suffers, health suffers and generally speaking the world is not a good place to be.
In working with many business owners over the years and even in my own businesses there have been times when lack of cashflow became an issue.
The question arises, how the heck
Well here is the first thing to do. Stop using all the wording that I have bolded in the first few paragraphs. Without exception, anyone that I have worked with who is experiencing monetary challenges has been inflicted with "stinking thinking". Mostly their thoughts are on the lack of money, bills, lack of sales and scarcity. We move in the direction of our dominant thoughts. The reality we are currently experiencing is a reflection of what we think about most often. Want good cashflow?..........Think good cashflow thoughts ie sales opportunities, payment terms, increased profit margins, return customers, investment opportunities, fast moving stock, well-controlled stock levels and so on.
In other words GET POSITIVE. Set a target of when you will be out of this cash-flow restriction. Spend 1/2 hour every morning listening to positive mindset audio material or reading positive mindset books. Make a decision that you will ALWAYS HAVE STRONG CASHFLOW in your business.
Secondly get in the mindset of taking ACTION. Again without exception, people who experience cashflow limitations are relying on habits that are not serving them well in business. Lack of Action means you will start to WORRY. WORRY breeds FEAR. This is what will keep you awake at night. Taking ACTION will improve your mindset.
Focus on being Income Heavy not Expense Heavy in your business. Place the priority on everything that will generate sales and leave the other activities to later on or after hours. Be prepared to work 1/2 days...
If Cashflow is CRITICAL then ACT NOW. Prepare a plan of action including
- Calculate breakeven points for business and all sales people
- Reduce non-income generating expenses by 10%
- Increase prices
- Review wages as a percentage of sales. If appropriate move people from salaries to performance based pay
- Increase conversion rate by training the team in sales
- Set a target for increasing your average $ sale and then put in place 5 strategies to help increase it
- Ask for help
- From suppliers- would they accept a payment arrangement for next 6 months
- From team- explain the situation to them and ask for them to rally around and put in 110% effort. Ask for a commitment from them to increase productivity and reduce expenses.
- Put your tax bills on a payment plan. Much better to be paying a little bit off than nothing and getting a "please explain letter"
- From bank manager -consolidate loans including credit cards to reduce interest payment
- Reduce all debtors starting with any over 60 days
- Reduce owner’s drawings to the minimum amount.
- Organise a sale to move slow moving or outdated stock
- Upsell or Cross Sell
- Sell like crazy
- Set short-term (90
day) sales goals and get buy infrom the whole team
- Sell unwanted assets
- Understand Cash Gap concept
- Calculate gross profit margin on everything you sell and then focus on the items which are bringing in
the most totalprofit (volume x margin)
- Categorise customers into "ABCD". Focus on the profitable A's and B's with your advertising.
Just remember that you are not the first person to experience tight cashflow in business and you definitely won't be the last.