In the middle of an article on a different subject, Zane Safrit spills his successful formula for improving your small business cash flow.
The goal was to add x percent to our already positive cash flows. The deadline immediate…and we’d look at the results compiled over the next 12 months to judge whether a bonus had been earned based on the results. The tactic, the steps, were for each of us to look in our areas of influence and decide what expenses, big or mostly small, we could cut without a negative impact on our service to our customers. Everything was on the table from travel costs, to journal subscriptions, incentives for customers and prospects, office supplies, paper clips, everything. We created a wiki and shared all of our itemized, recurring, expenses except payroll and commissions and everyone’s suggestions for costs/activities to cut.
In the first 30 days we’re halfway to our goal with the whole process being one of discovery, education, near celebration, as we find a series of itty-bitty steps that taken together…create a great big savings for the company. It served the added purpose of creating greater engagement, deeper engagement and a real sense of sharing in the results, owning the results, from creating partnerships within the company.
Apply these lessons in any size small business. The tools are available free right now to get started. Anyone can create a wiki, user-created and edited online document(s). Look at this example from PodCamp, using the tools at PBWiki.
No employees or team to work with? Share the costs and ideas with a few of your trusted advisers. Take it to your small business counselor at the Small Business Development Center. Brainstorm with other solo entrepreneurs.
The key is a willingness to be open with expense information and to work together in a positive, celebratory manner.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.