Survival Mode and short-term cash flow

A small business owner (and SlideBy user) lends advice on punching through “survival mode” by focusing on short term cash flow

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In survival mode, focus on near term cash demands. The first task is to know exactly where you are with cash: what your balance is today and what it will be at the end of today; what payroll is going to need for staff; what essential suppliers and key contractors need to be paid; what customers are overdue – everything that is due today and tomorrow. Make sure that you have the contact details of these people immediately to hand.

Devote some time every day to your customers, suppliers and then staff – staff who know what they are doing will do the job and look after themselves if they have the supplies.

You are going to scrape a bit – get over any shyness and pride

You are going to scrape a bit – get over any shyness and pride. You are going to call customers to get that money in – if they can only afford so much then get that in and afterwards ask for more. If they pay you some then carry on working with them. Tell your best customers that you are invoicing them early because you need their help – one of the reasons why they are your best customers is that they understand what you are doing for them and the effort you put in.

Tell your suppliers that you are paying part of their bills. Be straight with them, and early with the call to them. They want to keep their customers and every one of them can bear some of the risk of working with you and will give you more slack than you might expect if you talk to them; if you pay them part of what you owe them and demonstrate in your conversation with them that you know how much you owe them, and how much you will owe them after paying the amount you intend to pay them. Next time you can talk about how you part paid them before, and they received all in the end.

SlideBy helps (a) because it’s free, and (b) because it keeps track of all these things and shows you the exact cash position for each of those customer and supplier relationships. Plus, if you’re like me and have a trusted partner or senior staff, they can use it at the same time if you if you let them help you!

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