When you hear the word cash-flow do you freeze up and get fearful that there won’t be enough? I know I used to worry and still do sometimes, about the flow of money in and out of my business. In this article we’ll take a look at simple cash-flow strategies and perspectives to help you manage it all!
Being a small business owner, we’re often experiencing ebbs and flows, and it’s not like being a salaried employee that gets a regular paycheck every two weeks. There is flux, and you can’t always foresee big expenditures or predict how well a promotion is going to do, either.
So how can you reframe the concept of cash-flow so that you always have money when you need it in your business, while remaining practical about the ongoing expenses of running your business?
Let’s find out…
Why Cash-flow Is At The Heart of Business and Why Heart-Centered Entrepreneurs Need It The Most
I love the analogy that cash is the lifeblood of business.
In a sense, cash comes into the heart of your business without much purpose… it’s like the de-oxygenated blood that’s just coursed through your body when it returns to your heart.
Once cash enters your business, you give it meaning. You give it a job and energize it before it can go back out and bring oxygen to the rest of your body and business.
If you’re not being conscious about what “job” you give the cash that comes into your business, you’re going to have less than stellar results… and you might wonder where all the money that comes in seems to go.
I believe that heart centered entrepreneurs need to be even more cash-flow conscious than the really cold calculating business people out there. Why? Because your work is so needed in the world, and I don’t want to see you get taken out because of a lack of cash in the bank when you need it.
If your heart doesn’t get blood in or out on schedule, you die. The same goes for you business: without the right amount of cash in and out and your business goes bust.
That’s why figuring out the best way to plan for and manage your cash inflows and outflows is so incredibly important. Not to mention that it can really take the pressure off and help you think long term in your business, so you’re not stuck living client to client.
That’s the equivalent of living paycheck to paycheck, by the way.
How To Manage and Plan Cash-flow Strategies In Your Business
The great thing about your business is that you decide what needs to happen: you can decide whether to take on a new team member, relaunch a product, or stop using a recurring service to decrease expenses.
With that ability to make decisions in mind, you can plan for your ideal business vision, and also for when things don’t go as planned.
In the book Profit First by Mike Michalowicz, the concept of putting away a percentage of all money that comes into your business as profit is explained in more detail. The essence is that if you treat your business bank account like “free money” that can be used for anything until it’s gone, then you’re always going to find things to “re-invest” in.
On the other hand, if you have a few different business bank accounts for the different planned expenses that you take on, then you can save for them in advance.
For example, if you want to hire a new part-time team member, why not put aside 10-15% of your incoming cash-flow into a new bank account earmarked for that purpose? Then when you’re tempted to hit buy on the next information product shiny object, you’ll remember that this is not for training but for hiring.
The same goes for taxes, paying yourself (you are paying yourself right?), and building up a rainy day fund. We can’t always control how well a launch or upcoming month of business will do… but when you know that you have a little extra in the bank to keep your business’ lights on, then you can be a little more daring and creative and get the big wins.
This also helps you get out of the needy “I must take every client that comes my way” space. This helps you say no to projects that aren’t in alignment with your business’ vision.
So take a look at how you can start to save the money that comes into your business, by giving it a “job” and then watch what happens when it goes back out into the world. Or into your personal bank account, which is equally important because if you’re not taking care of yourself first then your business is not going to be around for very long.
That is the power of energized cash-flow, with heart.
How Comfortable Are You With Your Cash-Flow?
I know that money can be a touchy topic for many of us to approach, but I’d love to know what your relationship to your business’ cash-flow is like.
Do you feel like it flows a little too fast once it comes in? Do you want it to flow in more regularly and less sporadically?
Leave a comment below and let me know, I’m here to help!