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Leverage this instead of finances for BIGG Success

Cash Used to be King

Leverage this instead of finances for BIGG Success

Listen to this post! Click play to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast (Duration 3:29)

In the hit movie, Wall Street, Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas) said to his protégé, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen):

“The key to the game is capital reserves. If you don’t have enough, you can’t piss in the tall weeds with the big dogs.”

How’s your access ability?

We hear it all the time – cash is king. But it’s not just cash that matters; it’s also access to capital.

Large companies generally have that. Small business people often don’t.

So it’s crucial to manage your cash flow wisely. Make sure you’re getting a return on every dollar that goes out your door. Because…

Even if an outlay goes to your Income Statement as an expense,
it should still deliver a return to you or it’s not worth spending the money.

In addition, build up your reserve borrowing capacity. Protect your credit rating like you would any other asset. Then you’ll be able to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

Watch your debt ratios so you could always tap into some money if need be. But also be aware that …

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The Dirty Secret to Getting Rich

the secret to getting rich for BIGG SuccessWhat’s better than being debt-free? Large companies know the answer.

Large companies are already flush with cash. Yet they are borrowing money like crazy.

Why? Because they know a dirty secret to getting rich:

What’s better than debt-free? Hitting pay dirt with money that’s dirt cheap.

We are witnessing interest rates that most of us won’t see again in our lifetimes. So now may be the time to add to your long-term capital base.

As long as you’re strategic about it.

Ask people who lend to consumers and they’ll tell you that most people only think about the payment. And they borrow for the wrong things.

Entrepreneurs think differently. They realize that the “interest rate” is the cost of money. It’s the rent you pay until you return the lender’s money.

So why not lock in cheap rent for the long haul? Use the money to buy assets which throw off enough cash flow to service the debt and provide you with a nice return.

*Please note that this is general advice. You should speak with your professional advisors about your situation before you proceed.

But also note that we’ve already taken this advice. We recently did some strategic borrowing. So we’ve put other people’s money where our mouth is!

You may have to dig a little for it. But if you invest it to create more cash flow, it can lead to BIGG success!

What do you think? Is it better to be debt-free or are there times when it pays to borrow?

Image in this post from Flickr

Entrepreneuring Your Personal Finances

personal_financeBigg success is life on your own terms. You are the entrepreneur of your life. Entrepreneurs look at the world through a different lens than do large company CEOs.

For example, large companies and small companies use different financial models. Large companies generally have the ability to raise large amounts of money when they need it.

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For small companies, it’s much more difficult. So it’s more critical for small business owners to watch their cash flow. For us as individuals, our financial model is much closer to the entrepreneur’s.

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10 Danger Signs for Business – Part 2

danger Last time, we discussed 5 of the 10 signs that your business may be heading for trouble. All involved looking at the structure of your top line, your sales. Now we want to move on to the next five signs.

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#6 – High employee turnover

When you lose employees, customers are affected – they deal with less experienced people who don’t know your business or the customer’s needs as well as long-time employees.

There’s a concept from Harvard Business School called The Service – Profit Chain. It says that employee satisfaction leads to customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction leads to revenue growth. And revenue growth leads to profit growth.

So the chain starts with employee satisfaction. High employee turnover is often a sign of unhappy employees. That is why this is such an important early warning sign. Plus the costs of training people so they’re fully productive are significant.

#7 – Costs rising faster than sales

Costs rise for a number of reasons. As your sales rise, so will your costs. If they don’t, why do you need that cost at all? So rising costs are expected. However, it’s a bad sign if costs are rising faster than sales. You have less and less profit on each dollar of sales.

#8 – Disproportionate purchases from one vendor.

Sign #5 was being too dependent on a single customer. We don’t want to be dependent on any vendor either. This applies not just at the enterprise level, but within product categories as well.

If you’re too dependent on any one vendor in any one category, your vendor may have too much leverage in your business. They can pass on cost increases to you that you may not be able to pass on to your customers.

So it’s important to diversify your vendor base or at least have a back-up plan for needed supplies. Maybe you still use your vendor, but you know who you would go to if need be.

#9 – Unwarranted increase in receivables

It’s great to make sales, but not if you don’t get paid! That’s worse than not making the sale at all because it costs you money to make a sale. Slow paying customers also create problems because you can’t pay your bills with receivables; you need cash!

This is one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses right now. Their customers are paying slower, which means receivables are growing. Make sure you’re the squeaky wheel – you have to keep after them, make some noise, so you stay high on the list. Consider offering a discount for early payment or, even better, change your terms to cash-on-delivery if possible. And best of all, ask for prepayment. But that’s a whole other show!

If you can’t afford to offer a discount, make sure you’re charging a late fee and notifying your customers regularly of their balance due. Get on the phone and call them. See when they will pay and then follow-up if they don’t.

#10 – Unjustifiable inventory build-up

Depending on your business, inventory may be even less liquid than receivables. First, you have to sell it; then you have to collect on the sale.

Inventory that’s not turning over is dead-weight. So if your inventory is building up too fast, your business will likely experience a cash crunch at some point. Get slow moving inventory out the door, even if you have to give it away!

How does that help, you ask? Because space is costly for any business. And shelf space is an incredible asset for retailers. Having a product sitting there as dead weight costs any business a little bit; it costs retailers a lot!

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Join us next time when we ask, “Do we need to take the social out of social media?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00349-031209.mp3

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10 Danger Signs for Business – Part 1

5 Marketing Strategies to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck During a Recession

The Secret to Survive and Thrive in Your Own Business

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There’s Gold In Them There … Customers!

(Image in today's post by asifthebes)

10 Danger Signs for Business – Part 1

danger We’ve heard that diagnosing a medical condition early greatly increases the chances of successful treatment. The same is true for our businesses – we want to spot the minor issues so they don’t become major problems.

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Cash to a business is like blood to our bodies. It has to continue flowing or we won’t survive. As a small business owner, the bottom line is that you can’t run out of cash. So you have to know how to diagnose and treat the source of the ailment before it spreads. With that in mind, here are ten signs that your business may be heading for trouble:

#1 – Lost market share

Your sales may be growing, but your share of the market may be falling. Are they up because you’ve increased prices? Is the growth of your sales keeping pace with the growth of the markets you serve?

Market share is precious – among other things, it provides leverage to raise prices as your costs increase. As competitors enter your market, you have to work even harder to maintain (and hopefully increase) your share.

#2 – Declining customer counts

Your sales may be holding steady, but fewer and fewer people are making purchases. Your remaining customers are spending more, possibly because of price increases. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you have to find a way to attract new customers because a certain amount of customer attrition is natural.

We don’t want our customers to leave because they’re unhappy. But you can’t make everyone happy all the time so even that will happen. We’ll also have customers move away, pass away, grow out of our product or service, and the like.

#3 – Low repeat and referral business

Many businesses actually lose money to get a customer for the first-time. If they break-even, they’re very happy. It’s the follow-up purchases that make a difference to our bottom line.

A healthy percentage of repeat and referral business also shows that your product or service is still meeting the needs of a core base of people. And these people are the ones who will refer other people to you, which is much less expensive than depending totally on advertising to grow your business.

#4 – Declining sales

Right now, a lot of businesses are experiencing this. It may have nothing to do with you – it may be your industry that is experiencing trouble. So you have to ask yourself … is this a long-term trend or is it cyclical? That’s the first thing you have to determine.

Next, ask yourself, will my industry recover? Some industries were facing challenges even before this recession. It’s only accelerating the long-term trend. Other industries will do just fine coming out of it. You have to know which one applies to you.

Once you’re satisfied that your industry will survive, you have to look at your own business. A lot of shake-out is happening even in healthy industries. Isolate whether it’s a problem with your business or the industry as a whole to know your best strategy.

#5 – Disproportionate sales to a small group of customers

Picture this extreme situation – all of your sales come from one customer. You’re totally at the mercy of that customer. It’s like being an employee without the safeguards that go with employment!

Generally speaking, if more than ten percent of your sales are to one customer, you may face trouble at some point. Five percent is even better. Bigg customers are great. But serving a bigg number of customers leads to bigg success.

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thank you for reading our post today. Join us next time when we talk about five more early warning signs of trouble ahead in your business. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00348-031109.mp3

Related posts

5 Marketing Strategies to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck During a Recession

The Secret to Survive and Thrive in Your Own Business

Growth: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

There’s Gold In Them There … Customers!

(Image in today's post by asifthebes)