Tag Archives: Cash flow

How to Keep Your Business from Failing

It’s a scary thought – you came into business, excited at a new idea, buzzing with the possibilities that lay ahead and laughing in the face of failure.

Six, twelve or eighteen months on, the realities have hit: you have experienced the ups and downs of running a business: you have got to grips with accounts, day to day expenses, marketing, invoicing and perhaps stock flow. You have discovered the bad bits of running a business.

Of course it’s not all bad: sometimes your invoices will flow, your customers will pay you on time and you can enjoy being a small business owner and think that all’s right with the world. It seems to be the case, however that business can be feast or famine: either everyone wants your services or no one wants your services. There seems to be no steady flow of work.

First of all, you need to keep a steady head. Take an honest look at your business. What are the good and bad points? Where are problems arising and how are you dealing with them? Check the invoices, check the cash flow and check the customers that you are talking to. Are you doing all you can to keep your customers happy?

Once you have taken stock of your business, then think through what you need to do to improve the bad points. Do you need to increase your marketing? Do you need to set time aside regularly to chase up invoices? Do you need someone else on board to take on the little tasks that are filling your day when you have more important needs to take care of?

Decide on up to three points of action, write them down, pin them to the noticeboard and put them on the calendar then act on them. Do what needs to be done to keep your business afloat. Take the action you need to take and get your business back on track.

It’s your business. Whether it succeeds or fails depends on you alone. You can choose to take the steps to improve it and move it to the next level, or you can choose to let it fail. Sometimes events happen that are beyond our control and in that situation things change and there may be little you can do. Where you have it in your power to instill a change for the better, then do it.

Your business may thank you for it.

Sarah Charmley is a freelance copywriter, editor and proofreader who can use her skills to improve your website and give it that professional touch. You can get in touch with her by using the form on this website.

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Form Alliances with Fellow Small Businesses

An Apple MacBook in an aluminium casing.
Image via Wikipedia

For small businesses, it can be difficult to have the skills to do all that your client may want you to. Your client may be looking for a web designer who also has graphic design skills, or they may look for someone who can design mobile apps as well as designing an e-commerce website.

You might not have the skills necessary to complete all the work, but do you know someone who does?

Teaming up with other small businesses can be a way to compete with bigger companies who can afford to have people specialising in different aspects of website work in-house. You both gain from the business and the client can have everything that they need for their website to work. You can have people who you go to for web design, mobile app design, graphic design, copywriting, in fact anything that you think may be required by future clients. The small companies that you form alliances with may also be able to reciprocate and send business your way too.

How do you find companies that you will be able to work with?

Business forums can be a good way to find business partners. Joining forums can be a good idea to raise the profile of your company and enable local people to find you, but it can be a place where all kinds of business people gather to answer questions posted and chat about business issues. You can normally get a good idea of what kind of person someone is by their replies. Many business forums allow private messages or pm so you can open a conversation with someone and find out their rates. It is best if their rates fit in with yours so that there is not too big a discrepancy.

You may also meet people when you contact companies to advertise your services. As you get to know people and work with them, you can get a good idea of whether or not you would work well together and whether you would recommend this company. This should encourage you to always produce your best work, as you never know who might recommend your company.

Business networking meetings can help you to meet people that you might be able to work with. It is preferable to know the person that you are recommending and that means spending time with them and getting to know how they work.

If you are a business owner, and particularly if you offer a service, then you cannot just wait for the opportunities to come to you. Mingle and meet people; you may never know when your next job is going to come along, but you will be in the best possible position to meet all of your clients’ needs if you can form some friendly networks with business people that you trust and that you know you can whole-heartedly recommend.

 

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