Has your business run out of cash? Jo Haigh looks at your options.
You know the saying ‘sales are vanity, profit is sanity’? This little sentence should end with ‘but cash is absolutely essential’.
Businesses do not fail because they don't make profits (at least, not immediately), they fail because they run out of cash. Once it’s gone it’s gone!
If your cash wells have all but dried up, keeping what you have, and squeezing the last drops out of your assets, is more than desirable, it’s essential to survival.
So, first things first, are you fully exploiting your key assets of stock and debtors? In other words do you have optimum stock levels and are you collecting as promptly as possible?
Try this simple formula to work out what each day tied up in stock and debtors is worth to you. You may also like to check if you may just be paying too quickly. I call it the RIP ratio, so try ripping into your assets.
Sue Stockdale looks at how asking the right questions can change the focus of your employees and your business.
When was the last time that you were asked a great question? One that really made you stop and think, or that caused you to come up with new ideas or insights. It is likely that it was quite a long time ago, as my experience in day to day business is that powerful questions are rarely asked.
In Western society the focus is often more on finding the right answer, than asking the right question.
Dina Yuen, Founder, Asian-Fusion.com shares the five entrepreneurial lessons her father couldn't teach her, and which she learned the hard way.
I grew up in a family of three girl siblings, no brothers, and that’s exactly the way my Asian parents wanted it.
Defying millennia of beliefs and thought processes, my parents were and are a fascinating balance of modern progressives and traditionalists. They strongly believe in the nuclear family, providing a profound sense of love, commitment and closeness that in today’s generation may seem foreign or stifling. To me, my parents are the greatest blessing in my life. They gave openly of their love and constantly reinforced that we girls could and should achieve greatness and to never be intimidated by men.
Without my father’s encouragement to shadow his every step at his office during my pre-teen years, I may never have brought to fruition the innate entrepreneur in me.
The very idea that I could create something of value, that I could be my own boss, that I could build a huge company-these were instilled early on.
Emma Agese, Founder of Agese Oils counts down her top five tips for staying motivated against corporate giants.
5. Stay Diligent
Diligence can be defined as “giving the degree of care required for a specific task”. This however should not be mistaken for hard, laborious work. (The two are not the same). In basic words it is smart, persistent work.
For instance, a tree surgeon embarking on felling a large tree can go about it two ways. In one hand he has an axe and in a few hours of arduous and sweaty labour he might have succeeded in bringing it down. However in the other hand he has a chainsaw and, in a matter of minutes and maybe a few sweat drops, he could have the same tree crashing to the earth with far less force exerted from him and much greater precision and efficiency. This in my eyes is diligence.
Like a lot of entrepreneurs, are you constantly and frantically busy, running on coffee during the day and a few glasses of wine in the evenings, at networking events or to try relax at home after a hectic day? Alisa Burke looks at some small lifestyle changes which will make a real difference to your wellbeing.
What is the cost to you and your business of compromising your wellbeing? What can you do about it?
Years ago I remember pondering why, despite being successful, I just didn’t feel as happy as I assessed other people seemed to be. Years later I heard another coach speak of ‘self sacrificing overachievers’ - what a great description, and yep, that used to be me!
The question I would like to ask is is it you? Are you so focused on your career goals and balancing your work and outside of work life that you feel you are running on ‘vapour’ perhaps relying on caffeine as an ‘upper’ and wine to unwind? This may be allowing you to achieve (for now); but what are the are costs in the long term to your health, happiness and business sustainability?
The NextWomen Technology Theme
Yifan Zhang, CEO and Co-Founder of GymPact, looks at some alternatives to finding a developer for your startup idea.
We absolutely love Elizabeth's comprehensive series on funding! Click here to view Part 3: Incubators & Acccelerators.
Not sure incubators and accelerators are the best way to fund your company?
I'm happy to report that you can gain some of the same experience and exposure through business plan competitions.
Prize money is growing exponentially for the hundreds of business plan competitions held every year. And the number of competitions is growing, too. The public and private sectors have now joined in what was once mostly the domain of universities, making for a dizzying array of options.
The NextWomen Fashion & Retail Theme.
Looking back on how I started my online boutique www.heatherandgrace.com, I never expected it to develop the way it is. Times evolve, fashions and styles change, and your business has to keep up in order to remain interesting and attractive to customers new and old.
8 months ago Heather & Grace was a dream of mine, never fulfilled but always there. When my eldest daughter started school my situation changed and I could no longer work full time as I had been doing for the previous year. However, I’m a woman, with a brain, and I need to work to keep myself busy and motivated. Starting up my own business was the best way for me to be there for my children but also keep my independence and earn my own keep.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a form of marketing through which a company’s website, or piece of content on a website, reaches a higher ranking on search engines to maximize visibility to consumers thereby creating a higher probability of traffic, which can later translate to sales and/or interaction depending on your business goals.
This is accomplished through creation of “do follow” links within a number of different arenas. While there’s more to making a web-based company successful than just good SEO, it is a very important part of getting clicks and page views.
This is a review of the book How to write a business plan by Brian Finch (KoganPage Creating Success Series), 4th Edition, 2013.
If you want to start your own business, you should not only have a clear picture of where you want to take it, but also of how to get there exactly. This is one of the first rules that Brian Finch explains in his book How to Write a Business Plan:
The vision is not enough (p.2).
And there is another important rule: Nobody can write your business plan for you. As a founder, you are the one who needs to know the company by heart, to win over investors, employees and customers alike, by convincing them with your knowledge, preparedness and business logic.