September 22, 2011
I recently got my “LinkedIn” report and noticed yet another one of my colleagues had taken a job over his entrepreneurial efforts. I completely understood. Times are tough right now. Companies are afraid to spend and that leaves some of us with less income than years before.
Here are some of the things I have found to help me through:
1. Look at the numbers & get perspective. I met with one of my mentors the other day to be-cry my business woes to him. He looked at the actual numbers and said “I thought you said you were in dire straights. These numbers are fine.” Sometimes, things seem darker than they really are. It took him showing me to see it. He asked me how long I could go on in the financial situation I was in. After I told him, I noticed that there were some rather large accounts receivables that should come in well before that. Sometimes, you just can’t see the forest for the trees.
2. Tighten your belt – again. All is fair in love, war, and business. Sometimes, you have to make the hard decisions to survive. I have had to let people go whom I was very fond of because it didn’t make financial sense to keep them. Sometimes, it just has to happen. It may be a networking group you need to take a break from or a service you need to suspend, or even converting an employee to a contractor. You have to do what you have to do.
3. Have a plan. I have a plan A, B, C and OMG! A lot of times, I think I’m at OMG but I’m still on A. You can send resumes out, or get a valuation for your book of business. It doesn’t mean you have to go that direction, but it’s nice to be prepared.
4. Collect. For me, my accounts receivables were later than they’ve ever been. My solution is to find alternative ways for clients to pay. Things like Credit Card payments, setting up a payment plan, alternative methods of payment, future measures of prevention, etc. I spend a little time each day on this and slowly but surely it’s getting caught up.
5. The trusty HELOC. In a season when banks don’t want to lend, the quickest and easiest way to get capital is a home equity line of credit. I know this has been invaluable covering between payroll and a big check from a client.
6. UNWIND. Find your way to unwind. Be it a walk, workout, meditation or golf. You need to spend some time decompressing. All work and no play makes Jack go postal. And NOBODY wants that.
Now get out there and look good!
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