I have the good fortune to listen and learn from women all around the globe about their big ideas, dreams and goals and a common theme is women start businesses based on their values and a desire to make a difference in the world. The idea of giving back or helping others is exciting and it gets the creative juices flowing. However, the desire to serve can sometimes overshadow the one thing you must do in order to keep your business strong and healthy: cash flow.
Cash flow is the heartbeat of any business. It is the one constant you need in order to keep your business running smoothly and without stress. Having said that, I find women entrepreneurs leave this one essential near the bottom of their actions steps when it comes to starting a business. The reason, in most cases, is women are nurturers by nature. We have this innate gift that compels us to reach out and help others – sometimes without being properly reimbursed for our product or service. Women share that it feels uncomfortable to ask for business. There's a feeling of desperation inside.
I, too, experienced this challenge when my business was in startup mode. I love supporting others and want to end my day feeling like I've made a difference in people's lives. I soon realized that if I didn't generate enough cash flow to pay all the expenses associated with running a successful business, my hopes and dreams would soon be dashed. I was barely surviving and I needed to take action to thrive!
I made a decision to make changes that began to generate cash flow quickly on a consistent basis and today, I'm sharing them with you:
1. Believe in YOU – Having the belief and confidence that your product or service is valuable and needed in the world is key to generating a positive cash flow. Keep testimonials or rave reviews from others close at hand about how you made a difference in their lives. Use daily affirmations to reinforce what you do and how you help others.
2. Get Noticed – To attract more cash flow, it's essential that you get noticed or seen by your ideal client. Get out of the office, leave the laptop behind and go meet people! Attend local events and conferences where your ideal client will be. Host complimentary workshops in your area of expertise. Craft a presentation on a topic you know a lot about and ask event hosts if they are looking for speakers.
3. Create Simple Systems – Do you have a systematic process in your business to take potential clients through when you meet them? This was a huge key to consistent cash flow in my business. Having a system to take people through in the beginning highlights your expertise and supports the client in feeling at ease and more eager to work with you.
4. Focus on Profit – Early on in my career, one very wise mentor shared with me, “It's not what you make, it's what you keep.” Indeed. Keep your eyes on expenses and make sure you spend wisely in your business. In order to make money in your business, you must invest money into your business. Be smart and savvy about what you need in order to make your Big Idea a reality.
5. Ask – Last but certainly not least. People will not offer to pay you if they think they can get the product or service for free. I invite you to share with your potential clients what they need to do to solve their problem and why it's important. Refrain from telling them how to solve their problem (that's why they need you!)
The bottom line: If you're passionate about giving back and making a difference in the world through your work, it's essential for you to develop a sustainable business. The easiest, most effective way to do that is to have a consistent, positive, cash flow week-after-week, month-after-month, year-after-year. Here's the most important reason of all: We (yes, you and I) have a duty to become beacons of light for women in the world. We must show them through our own actions that earning money for what we do is a right which we must claim.
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
© 2012 Joy Chudacoff
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Joy Chudacoff, ICF, PCC, is the founder of Smart Women Smart Solutions®, a Professional Certified Coach to 1000’s of women, Motivational Speaker, and Entrepreneur. She publishes a weekly buzz generating ezine, Reflections On Life and Business for Women Entrepreneurs. If you’re ready take your life and your business to the next level, get your FREE Tips, FREE Report and FREE MP3 now at Profits With Passion.