Crowdfunding

Do you know that crowdfunding can be an effective cash management tool for raising capital?

Crowdfunding is pre-selling products that are in development. You owe people something, but usually at a good profit margin. You don't sell equity in your company and you don't go into debt. You do get:

- Publicity before you launch

- Feedback on your product

- Ideas for additional product

- An idea for market acceptance

- Names for your mailing list

- The cash you need to launch the product or business

Most people think of Kickstarter or Indiegogo (I've used Indigogo) as only for new companies...wrong! You can introduce new products as well.

I've done crowdfunding for non-profit as well as for-profit organizations. Possibilities for funding:

- Book launches

- Food vendors

- Manufacturers

- Service providers

- Race/adventure organizers

- Non-profit fundraising

The possibilities are literally endless.

Have you done any crowdfunding? 

Have you bought something from crowdfunding? I've only had positive...

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Step One: Mindset

What's the one thing that business owners never talk about when I ask them to tell me about their business?

Cash management.

I don’t blame them. They didn’t start their business to manage cash. They started their business to do something they really enjoy and get paid for it – like create websites, sell real estate, practice law, do collision repair, or any of a million things that people enjoy doing to make money.

When I start working with a business that has a cash crunch and may not survive, I first work with the business owner’s mindset.

I help them understand that while managing their cash isn’t what they want to do, it will keep their business alive so they can do what they love to do. It allows them to spend more time and energy on what they love, but only after their cash management systems are in place.

Check out my article about 5 Key Mindsets.

Want to talk about managing cash in your business?

Then tell me, what's your biggest cash management...

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Growing Pains vs. Shrinking Pains

manage your cash Jul 12, 2022

What are two critical times when cash management is really important? When a business is shrinking and when a business is growing.

Businesses with shrinking sales have smaller profit margins to pay your bills and to pay yourself.

The result: Cash shortfalls due to a decreased amount of cash coming in.

Seems obvious, but what isn’t obvious to most businesses owners is how to:

  • Cut expenses that are not critical to the core businesses
  • How to get paid faster
  • Slow the cash going out for critical expenses
  • Maximize profit margins
  • Engage employees in all of this

Growing business: You have more profit margin to pay your bills and to pay yourself.
 

Again, this seems obvious.

What many business owners don’t plan for is the delays of the cash coming in to pay those bigger bills.

A staggering number of businesses get themselves into serious trouble because they grow too fast and don’t have the resources in place, including...

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What's the Story Your Business Tells?

chart of accounts Jun 28, 2022

Each company is unique. Your company is unique. So why use a generic chart of accounts?

Think about the story you want your reports to tell, then structure your chart of accounts, classes of business, items, and everything else that you can possibly configure in the software, to get reports personalized for your
business’s needs.

Some ideas for structuring your chart of accounts and configuring your software:

  • Track multiple revenue streams from product types or client segments
  • Identify key expenses of delivering goods and services to your clients
  • Know your profitability by client, product, revenue source, lead source

The possibilities are endless, so focus on what are the most important factors that ensure your business will succeed. Those factors are what you want to build your record-keeping and reports around.

What’s the story you want to know about your business?

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Keep Your Business Alive

What's the one thing that business owners never talk about when I ask them to tell me about their business?

Cash management.

I don’t blame them. They didn’t start their business to manage cash. They started their business to do something they really enjoy and get paid for it – like create websites, sell real estate, practice law, do collision repair, or any of a million things that people enjoy doing to make money.

When I start working with a business that has a cash crunch and may not survive, I first work with the business owner’s mindset.

I help them understand that while managing their cash isn’t what they want to do, it will keep their business alive so they can do what they love to do. It allows them to spend more time and energy on what they love, but only after their cash management systems are in place.

Want to talk about managing cash in your business? Then tell me, what's your biggest cash management challenge?

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Will a Loan Help?

loan May 31, 2022

If you are in a cash crunch, will a loan help, or just make things worse? Or for that matter a capital infusion from a new partner? Or cash from your personal bank account?

The answer all depends on your ability to manage your cash and understand your cash flow. Depending on your situation, a loan could dig a deeper hole, a new partner could end up in a lawsuit, or could be throwing your good money into a bad situation.

Here are three basic scenarios:

1. You have complete understanding and control and know that the money will pay off through profitable business activities and healthy growth. Bring in more cash.

2. You don’t have a complete understanding, but you 100% know that for a particular project, order, or capital investment there will be a payoff. Bring in more cash just for that project or order.

3. You just don’t know what will happen, but you need the cash to survive. In this case, do everything you can to avoid bringing cash in until you know what will happen....

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Can People Get to Wherever They Want to Go?

action plan May 17, 2022

What do you think? A new connection asked me if he could get to where I am without my educational background (he has a professional certificate and additional professional training, but no 4-year degree.) I first commented that I wasn't sure that he knew where I was, nor where he wanted to go.


Then I said, "Yes, you can get to where you want to be." My concern is that he is not sure where he wants to go.

I get the same type of questions from clients:
"Will I ever have money in the bank?"
"Can I ever stop having huge cash swings?"
"Does my business have a chance to get to the big leagues?"

The answer is always, "Yes, you can get to where you want to be." Then we have two discussions:


1. Where do they want to be?
2. How can they get there?

So what do you think, can people get to wherever they want to go? Can companies always have the success the owner wants?

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Who's on Your Team?

The quality of your team can have a HUGE impact on your cash flow. You are much better off paying ABOVE market wages and benefits to a smaller number of "A" and "B" players than trying to save some money hiring average people at lower wages.

Here are two examples:
 

  • A manager at a bridal shop who ran all sales and marketing. She was not paid in line with the results, asked for more, was told "no", so she left. When the store owner realized how much work was being done, a sales manager and a marketing manager were hired. The sales manager wasn't up to the job and quit after a few months.
     
  • We reorganized a division that was losing a LOT of money. We laid off 50% of the workforce that did not have the skills or attitude that was needed. We rehired back 25% of the headcount with people with the right skills. We needed to pay much more per person and saved very little on compensation. The smaller team produced much better results and we were profitable within 1 year. 

...

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Fix Your Finances

The COVID-19 global pandemic is a wake-up call to ALL business owners to take responsibility for their company finances.

I posted that financial advisors are responsible for the companies they work with to have good financial plans, including a 13-week cash flow model. Now, I am putting the responsibility 100% onto business owners. There are no more excuses.

For too long business owners have said...
"It's not about the money, it's about the people."

"I do it for the love of my craft."

"Someone else can deal with the finances."

"I want to be my own boss, but so I decide that I only want basic bookkeeping."

Now a tiny virus has told you that you are wrong.

You are in business. Business is about the numbers.

Not only numbers, but if you don't have money, you can't...

...help people
...work your craft
...let someone else worry
...be your own boss

If you survive this downturn, fix your finances.

Start with a cash flow model that tells you how long you can survive. (Put "Cashflow" in the comments if you...

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Profit with Sustainable Cash Flow

Profit does not mean that there is cash in the bank. A growing bank account does not mean that you are making a profit.

Surprised? You're not alone. Most schools, CPAs, news reports, etc. focus on a company’s earnings, profits, and sales. That’s because those same institutions are geared toward teaching, working for, and reporting for BIG big businesses and public companies.

But if you are a small business, your most important measurements for the next 3 months or so have to do with cash:
 

  • How much cash is coming into or going out of the company?
  • What is your cash balance projected to be?
  • Do you have cash or credit reserves to get you through cash shortfalls?

So don’t be fooled by “the establishment” into thinking “profit, profit, profit.”

Think: “Profit with sustainable cash flow!”

Let me know in the comments below if “profit without cash” is a new concept to you, or if it’s not, how you learned about...

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