|Small Business Information|
Cash Flow: Why Chaos Equals Poor Cash Flow
Recently one of my customers told me the chaos swirling through his company was the result of poor cash flow. If only he had more money, his company would run better.
I must respectfully disagree.
Poor business processes produce chaos. Chaos leads to poor cash flow. Fix the poor business processes and the cash flow problems disappear.
What business processes am I talking about?
1. Having a clear picture of who your customer is.
Here's what my customer looks like: My customer is a small business owner looking for ways to make his or her business run better. He or she is often overwhelmed by all the tasks that must be completed and often does not have time for the really important business functions of strategic planning and forecasting and may not have a great deal of experience in those areas.
What does your customer look like? What challenges are they facing? What do they struggle with everyday?
2. Using that picture to develop services and products that provide value to your customer.
Based on my picture of my customer I can provide my customer with time saving services and products that teach them skills or provide knowledge they can use to solve the challenges they face everyday.
How can you help your customer? What products or services can you offer that will save them money or time? What problems can you help them solve?
3. Developing a plan of delivery.
What works best for your customer and how can you deliver that in a way that makes you money? My customers need both general knowledge for running a business and specific knowledge for running their particular business. And they're short on time. Therefore, I can combine a product like a manual of general information with one-on-one consulting services for their specific situation. If I deliver it over the phone or the internet, they can access my knowledge at a time that is convenient for them.
What ways can you think of to make your delivery more valuable and useful to your customers. The easier it is, the more your customers will love it.
4. Ensuring that you will be able to collect what is owed to you by establishing good credit policies.
Do you need to extend credit? Can you get paid at the time of delivery?
Can you get your customers to pay you by credit card? Can you ask for a deposit up front? Who will you extend credit to--what criteria will you use? I am happy to say that in all my time in business, I have had only one customer who did not pay me and I learned very valuable lessons from that experience. It caused me to change my process and I haven't had any problems since then.
Think through your business processes to see where the holes are. Booting the chaos out of your business by developing good business processes is the best way in the world to improve cash flow.
Are you a solo professional feeling Stressed, Disorganized? Tired of Working Long Hours for Less Than You're Worth? Struggling for Focus?: Learn how one Solo Professional used the Chaos Tamer to Survive and Thrive in the Midst of Total Rampaging Chaos. http://www.TheJordanResult.com .
c 2001-2005 The Jordan Result LLC & Caroline Grimm Jordan All Rights Reserved.
Successfully Adding a Service To Your Business
There will come a time in your business where you feel ready to add another service offering. To make this successful, there are ten tips to consider before moving ahead.
Leverage The Power of Publicity For Your Small Business
Your business is only as good as the number of people who knows about it. For your venture to grow, you need to start spreading the word about your business. You may have the best products your field, but you cannot expect your business to breach the million-dollar mark in sales if only the people in your street know about it. Some entrepreneurs start doing promotions only when their businesses are up and running, while some market their business even before the products or services are fully launched.
Launching your Business with a Chamber of Commerce
Why are Chambers a good launching pad?
Boat Hull Cleaning Procedures for Owners and Detailers
For really tough boat hull cleaning you will need to break out the acid. Muratic acid is the best for this. You'll want to have a 50/50 mix of muratic acid of 6-8% concentrated (12% is the highest concentration you can legally buy over the counter), water and a good strong sprayer. You can purchase muratic acid at Wal*Mart, K-Mart, Pool Supply Stores, Home Depot, Lowe's, Van Waters and Rogers Chemicals. Sears Craftsman makes a nice strong sprayer or try a local store for another brand of commercial pump-up sprayer.
You Are Invited
Business card size works well for invitations to special events.
Local Government Relations for Small Business
Most small businesses simply go about their daily business and serving customers without ever worrying about local government relations. For some it turns out okay but for others it can become a disaster. You never know when a new project down the street may call for new plans to adjust the roads or put in center medians. If you are on a busy road you rely on traffic from both directions. A five-month road project can kill a business and what if it is in your busy season. If you are in retail that could be Christmas Time; imagine half you customers not being able to turn into your driveway? Then imagine after the holidays are over you have to deal with a center median which does not allow cross-over traffic. Or a do not cross over the line sign with a police car enforcing the new laws from your drive way leading into your business?
Look Like Sizzle, Be The Steak
You've heard marketing and advertising gurus quip, "Sell the sizzle, not the steak." Advertising initiatives best reach their target audience with benefits and the "wow" effect, not the value or features of their product or service. This may work well to get customers in the door. But once they're in, you better have some substance. How can you ensure you uphold the integrity of your business and still maintain the "Wow Effect"? It just takes well executed strategic steps for business AND personal development:
Setting Up a Pressure Washer Rig to Clean Concrete
Maximum efficiency in the cleaning industry is a key to survival and higher rates of income. The trailer or tuck unit needs to be set up so that you can use a garden hose and external water supply, because you never know when you are going to need one for concrete or other types of jobs. Any new rig should also come with quick releases between the tank and the intake tube to the pressure washer. There should also be a valve that is turned so the water is running from the black tank that now holds the external water that comes in if you are running thru an unmodified hot water pressure washer skid unit with a float tank.
Provide Affordable Health Care To Employees At Little To No Cost To You
You can provide affordable health care plans to your employees. If you feel overwhelmed by health care plan costs, you may be able to achieve far more than you believe. Here is how.
Pressure Washing of Paving Equipment and The EPA
Many pressure washing companies will be glad to take on additional work when a company calls them up to come and wash, but the days of cleaning asphalt compactors, steamrollers, paving equipment with diesel fuel are gone forever. If you are caught doing it the old fashioned way it's a $1,000 fines in the United States, fist offense and you pay for cleanup. The second offense is $10,000 and one year in jail and you pay for cleanup, in August of 1999 Newfoundland became the last place in North America to outlaw washing out asphalt dump trucks and paving equipment. It is now illegal every in the US and Canada to hose down paving equipment in this manner. This is because one gallon of Diesel fuel can pollute one million gallons of fresh drinking water about the allowable limits for safe potable water supplies.
How the Humble Ice Cube Made Business History
Gather round while I tell you the story of Kennebec Ice. It's a story full of valuable business lessons even though it happened long ago.
Small Business And The Ability To Find Market Place Opportunities
Marketing is one of the four corner-posts of a solid business. Knowing a few marketing tricks is great, but to be really successful you must be able to assess market place opportunities. Here's 13 points you should look at? It is necessary to understand the prevailing economic and industry conditions. Analyze the demographics of your customer base
Expanding Franchisee Advice
Franchisor expansion policies are not as simple as one might think. On the mind of every businessperson is the idea of expansion. We think we will make more money when you expand to a second, third, fourth, etc. unit, store or work truck. So you would think if you are franchisee of a large franchise system that the franchisor would want to help you into that additional outlet as soon as possible or, like some franchisors, much sooner. After all they will make more royalties and have an additional unit or push pin on their map of the country or state. The franchisor's goals are actually more complicated than that. Our goal is your success-profit-happiness. Running an additional unit can create tremendous amount of headaches, which a franchisee may or may not be ready for.
How to Protect Yourself & Your Business
As a business owner, you already know how important it is for your customers to feel safe about doing business with you. After all, if a customer even suspects he may not receive everything he was promised, then chances are he's taking his business elsewhere. So to prevent that you offer guarantees, secure payment methods, prompt customer service, and more. You do whatever it takes to show each customer that you are sincere and trustworthy.
Not Listening Can Hurt Your Small Business
Most small business owners seek advisors who can help them improve their businesses. They want advice from those who have the experience and really know what they're talking about. But they can only benefit from the sound counsel if they listen to the expert's guidance. Unfortunately, there are some entrepreneurs who aren't going to hear the professionals out or follow a plan no matter what. At that point, experts realize that they might as well save their breath and hope that the business owner will eventually see the error of their ways before it's too late.
Competition in the Mobile Car Wash Industry
We have all seen the mobile washing units cruising our city, usually they are trucks, vans or trailer set ups with a water tank and a pressure washer unit aboard. They market their services with flyers and business cards, however most of their business comes from weekly repeats and referrals. Some cities have hundreds of these units going around the city cleaning stuff. You may think what a great business, but like in any business there is a competitive component to the industry, which is not so obvious on first observation.
The Role of the Business Model and Strategy for Business
People will always stress that having a well researched business plan is key before you start your business. Although creating a business plan is often an important step in the evolution of a business, particularly if you need financing or you are not experienced at running a business, it is not necessarily the essential first step. There are two key elements that should be completed prior to the business plan:
Why The Carwash Industry is Stagnant; What You Can Do to Change Your Field
Many years ago, I had warned the carwash industry of problems brewing in customer dissatisfaction as we continued to grow our car wash company into a National Franchise Chain. I warned of environmental controls, speed of wash, water usage, quality of labor, price points, car wash fundraisers, car damage, up selling and hot wax. At that time I was called everything under the Sun by operators who did not wish to change.
Common Mistakes When Planning Your Medical Spa
Everything starts with a business plan: If you don't have one. Write it. A good business plan will help you get a handle on all of the things that get glossed over in the excitement of starting a new business. It's also a usual requirement for getting financing.
Starting a Mobile Auto Detailing Business; Dry Wash or Pressure Wash?
Many experienced auto detailing professionals who have started out using a pressure washer rarely use Dry Wash n' Guard. Most would say this is a matter of preference more than anything else. Each side has logical arguments as to why their methodology is better. Many pressure washing mobile detailers only use dry wash on Aircraft at customer's request or in certain instances on race cars, antique cars in show rooms and customers whose cars are kept in near dust free garages and only driven rarely. Why bother to pull the cars or aircraft out of the show room, garage or hanger, just to wash it, and pull it back in?
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