There is no question that growing a business is a labour of love. Sometimes there’s plenty of cash on hand, and other times … well, there’s just not. And often, as you’re growing there’s trial and error involved as you figure out your cash rhythms. You can’t always control your circumstances, and planning ahead to have extra cash on hand is of course your best bet.
So for those of us in the “real” world of running a small business with its ups, downs, and sleepless nights, here are five ideas to help increase your small business cash flow as quickly as possible:
1. Have a Sale or Special Promotion
While you may think of sales as something only for big-box or retail stores, consider how you can feature a special promotion for your business. Offering a discount on significant purchases, or a special bonus to incentivise clients to hire you now, can drive more sales than sitting and waiting.
Of course you don’t want to have sales every week, and you have to be careful how you position your promotion, but when done occasionally and done right, running a special offer can be just the boost you need. Email or call your clients or customers to let them know about the special promotion. And remember to add a deadline to your offer, otherwise they have no reason to take action now.
2. Raise Your Prices, but Do This First …
It’s probably time to increase your fee, if it’s not long overdue! But don’t do it quietly. Announce to your current and past clients and customers that prices are going up as of a certain date, and explain why. Then give them the chance now to renew their contracts or stock up and save, before they’ll have to pay more.
3. Borrow for Tomorrow
The biggest barrier to small business growth is funding. Some business owners are dead set on not taking on ANY debt in their business. Hey, if you can do that, good for you. But debt can be a fantastic tool when used smartly.
4. Move from One-Shot Services to Packages
Adding package deals to your repertoire not only boosts immediate cash flow, but is a great excuse to market and connect with past, current and future clients. Consumers are suckers for a good deal and a well packaged and priced deal will ensure that customer loyalty.
5. Sell or Lease Unused Assets
Take a close look around your offices, home, and storage units for things you really don’t need access to regularly. Do you have excess materials, inventory or equipment? Don’t discount personal items as well. If you have extra office space, consider subletting it to someone who could use the workspace.
Lightening your financial load (and just clearing your clutter) can net you some cash to get you through a tough spell. Also, when you sleep better at night, you’ll be able to focus more on growing your business.