Financial ups and downs are a natural part of business. As much as we’d all love to keep a constant cashflow, reality tends to have other ideas. Some months may be fantastic, but it’s just as possible to find your small business struggling to make ends meet. After expenses, are you barely breaking even or even in debt? These five tips can help you find solutions to your cashflow problem and hopefully keep things running more smoothly in the future.
A word of encouragement is to not let this difficult period stop you from chasing your dreams. The world of business is harsh and unforgiving, even for the most passionate and creative entrepreneurs. Financial hardship doesn’t mean your brand is a failure or that you will never go anywhere. Remember to take a step back and assess the situation from a logical standpoint. Why am I losing money, and what solutions are available to me right now?
Cut Your Personal Income
No one wants to go without a paycheck, but if you have to choose between cutting your take-home pay a bit to keep the business going, it might be a good idea. This is obviously only applicable if you have a way to survive with a temporarily reduced income. You may have to dip into your savings or use your credit card a bit more for the next month or two, but this can make the difference between falling behind and regaining stability.
The primary concern is keeping as much money going into your business as possible without doubling your losses. In other words, you shouldn’t have to take your entire income and live without a paycheck while having zero profit for months on end. This will run your company into the ground and wreck your personal finances. This solution is better suited toward the entrepreneur who just finds themselves facing a specific obstacle and needs to get through a rough patch.
Price models fluctuate depending on the demand, but what happens when consumers can’t or simply aren’t willing to pay your current rates? Rather than lowering all your prices to the point of being in the negative, you can run specials that generate income by combining multiple purchases into one package. If you run a restaurant, think about introducing a new lunch special or adding take-out exclusives. If you’re in ecommerce, think about how some of your products could be grouped together and marketed as deluxe packages. People are willing to pay a bit more when they feel like they’re getting more in return.
Don’t forget to promote your content online. If you aren’t already active on social media, make it an effort to expand your reach. Instagram and Tiktok are two of the hottest marketing platforms and they’re entirely free to use.
Look at Your Insurance
Personal insurance policies might be draining your finances more than you’d like. They’re non-negotiable to have, but they can often be modified to save some cash. Take your life insurance policy as an example. It’s a good form of protection, but it could also be costing you money that you need right now. You may be able to sell your life insurance and receive a lump sum payment today to help fund your business. Check out uplifefinance.com to learn more and find out if you’re eligible.
When was the last time you got a quote for car insurance? If you just renew your policy without reviewing your options every year, then you could be missing out on big savings. Sometimes, companies will offer you 25 percent or more in savings just for switching to them. Others will give you better deals on comprehensive, collision and personal injury protection that lower your monthly premiums without compromising your level of coverage.
Take on Smaller Clients
If you provide a service and tend to rely solely on a few clients to fund your company, you’re in dangerous territory. If even one client backs out or fails to pay, you’re in the hole. You should aim to have multiple revenue streams that guarantee you’ll always have access to some form of income. Smaller clients might not stay with your business as long, but they could provide you with faster payouts. Shorter jobs mean faster turnarounds, so your income can just be a much-needed boost just by expanding your client pool.
In conjunction with this idea, the second tip suggested on this page can work well. Packages that target a new sub-group of potential customers can boost your business visibility and attract a new audience without costing you anything to get started. You may also consider lowering your prices temporarily to attract more customers. There could be a whole group of consumers willing to buy what you have to offer, but your high price point makes it inaccessible to them.
Ask Family and Friends for Help
You might cringe at the thought, but asking people you know for help could be the fastest way to get some assistance. Even though you may struggle to admit your business isn’t doing well, it will be worse to know that it failed because you wouldn’t allow yourself to let others help you. You can also ask them to promote your business on their social media or to let their friends know about your business. Word-of-mouth marketing is still a powerhouse in advertising, and it could help you make some unexpected connections and find new customers/clients easily.
Of course, even if someone is willing to help, you should discuss the option of repayment in the future. Don’t take more than you can reasonably return, and ask them how long they’re comfortable offering the financing for. This option tends to be the most accessible for small business owners, but it can come with some personal risks that others don’t. If you don’t pay back a loan, you face serious financial consequences, but your personal life is still relatively intact. Failing to pay back some you’re close to can damage your relationships. Only borrow what you’re comfortable taking, and don’t assume that everyone is willing to hand over money without expecting it to be paid back.