Cash Flow

Cash Flow is the life and breath of business.

The life and breathe of any business is Cash Flow. Does the money coming in match the Money going out. That is Small Business Cash Flow.  With The Recession still going on at least for us on main street. Cash flow is something we used to think about weekly or monthly but now must of us are thinking and doing something about it daily.

Here are some things That I have been doing to help my Cash Flow :

  1. Do the you cash checks daily. Check the bank know when checks clear. Know what checks have been written and when they post. Doing your daily accounting is important. Know where you are and your numbers will tell you.
  2. Don’t wait to balance the checkbook. I know it bad news but you can’t change or correct it if you don’t know how bad it is. Face It head on.
  3. Know your pricing. If you have to discount to get the job, so be it. But know what your profit or loss is with every transaction. It you are selling services that have a lot of components, follow and track it. Don’t assume that you are making a profit. Margins are small. So don’t assume you are making money We track it for every invoice. You can’t afford to lose money on any transaction. Turn down the job if you are not making money.
  4. The deepest discount should be given for cash transactions. They are deposited immediately and do not bounce or get charged a percentage. Ask and you will be surprised how many people don’t mind paying cash if you ask and offer them a discount.
  5. Cash Flow issues are never permanently solved. But it is important that you managed  it well.

Bad Cash Flow will destroy any business. When someone owes you money, unless it is in you hands, it does nothing for you. Avoid   having people owe you money whenever possible. You are not a bank. Don’t let people treat you like one.

~Gregg Kerr

Your  Business Coach

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Be Thankful for Your Customers

Thankful to Be in Business

Hello everyone,

I hope you had a good holiday.

I was able to spend the long weekend visiting my new grandson and I was able to take the time to do some thinking about what I am thankful for. So what does that have to do with your and my businesses? Well, I see it like this.

The last couple months I have been thankful for the business that I have been getting. We all know that those in our field have not been getting the traffic that they need. I was talking to a supplier the other day who said that 20 customers that he had have folded up and given up.

I am thankful that I was not one of them. Having a thankful frame of mind can help you when dealing with you customers. Remember that everyone who does business with you is an asset. That relationship needs to looked after and nurtured. Being thankful is an important part of any relationship.

I once heard that a customer is worth $10,000. I don’t know if that’s true. But, if so, we need to treat them like they are $10,000 clients. I am Thankful for those kind of clients and any kind of clients.

I hope we all manage to keep a thankful attitude all year long.

Jump Start Your Business

Battery Power

Jump Start Your Business

Hello everyone I hope you all are doing well in your businesses.

I would like to share something I have learned this past month. Like you, I run a small business. Also like you, I have been scared watching my monthly totals drop as the government decides what they are going to do with taxes, health care and the like.

This past month, I decided to put an all-out effort into making my totals increase no matter what news came out on the economy. I did not spend much money on advertising. But I spent a lot of effort on relationships that I have already built with existing customers. I also spent time with my employees, working with them to provide better service and finding things to offer to every customer that comes into the shop.

At first, I must admit, it was very discouraging. It took a lot work. Not just physical work, but a lot of mental work, to get my crew and myself in the right frame of mind. In other words, we focused on what really counts.

After one month, this is what happened. Overall, our total went up by more than 30%. The average ticket sale went up by 15%. The weekly customer count went up by 10%. It was the best month we have had in an entire year. And this came on the heels of the worst mouth we had booked in over a year and a half. My employees are working harder but seem happier. They have even started bringing customers to the shop. I’ll get into this in detail in a future blog post.

So what happened? I can only attribute the change to the fact that we decided to focus on what really matters in our business. So what we all need to do is sit down and focus our thoughts and efforts on what we do in our businesses and recommit to doing it and doing it well.

Here is an Action Plan:

  1. Remember why you went into business in the first place. Relive your dream.
  2. Write down your original vision and then check to make sure you are on track with those values.
  3. Ask for help. Ask someone who will be honest with you instead of someone who will just fill your ego with fluff.
  4. Put together a plan. Divide the big task into smaller tasks that are easier to accomplish. Track your progress. Test and Measure. Push what works.
  5. See if you can reignite the spark that started in the first place. And then go out and do it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. We should set our course and follow it. There is no one that can stop you if you really want make it happen.

If you would like more details about what I am doing to turn around my business, send me an email with your request. I will be happy to provide you with more details that might help you right your course.  Autofix@aol.com.

Marketing is Everywhere; Get in the Game

Marketing business sales

Marketing is Everywhere; Get in the Game.

Marketing is the art of convincing someone to take notice and to want to take some kind of action. Whether you are buying something, wish to attend something or want to call someone, it all starts with marketing. Here some basics that will help your marketing efforts produce results.

Remember the importance of the headline. It all starts with an attention-grabbing headline. If you don’t catch your target markets’ attention with your title, they won’t read the rest.

Call you target to action. Ask them to do something. What do you want them to do?

  • Call
  • Email
  • Order
  • Write
  • Buy now!!

Target your Target. Shotguns only work when they are pointed in the right direction.

Test and Measure. Some words that used to be effective no longer work. If an ad doesn’t work, retool it until it does.

“50% off” does not work as well as “Half Off.”

Don’t afraid to copy what the other guy is doing. In school, they call it cheating. But, in the real world, it’s referred to as market research. If you liked it, so will someone else.

We use some form of marketing in everything we do. It’s not just for business. Churches use it to get their members to attend services. Teachers use it to get students to go to activities. Charities use it to solicit donations and volunteers. Youth sports groups use it to get kids to come out and play.

Marketing is everywhere. Have fun with it.

Fake It Until You Make It

Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it.

Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it.

Are things tough right now?   Let’s see.

The world is in as recession with the U.S. pulling up there rear.

The stock market is up but we live on Main Street, not Wall Street. Sales are falling again for the winter, not that we had a summer. And if misery loves company, at least we are all in the same boat. No cash flow. No money.

So what to do?

I have learned a great lesson that I thought I had learned a long time ago. Misery loves company. And success love success.

Too many of us are in the pits. But we need to stop acting like it’s the end of the word. The sales person who is desperate to make a sale projects his desperation to his customer. Doing this will prevent him from projecting the confidence that he needs in order to close sales.

A small business owner needs to behave like he or she is on the top of the world because people like to buy from winners. A general who puts on an air of defeat, will surly lose. Someone once told me to “fake until you feel it. Feel it until you believe it. And when you believe it, it WILL Happen.

Here are some Ideas that will help.

  1. Be around positive people. Their attitudes are contagious. Positivity will rub off on you.
  2. Take small steps to be successful. Work harder. Working on, not in your business is therapeutic.
  3. Ask for positive feedback from friends and family. They should have your back.
  4. Look hard for the things to be positive about. They are out there if you look for them and focus on them.
  5. Like I mentioned before, sometimes you have to fake it until you make it.

The Mayonaise Jar and the Coffee

When your life seems almost too much to handle and when 24 hours in a day are just not enough, remember this parable of the mayonnaise jar and the coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class with a few items on the table in front of him. When the class began, he silently picked up a very large, empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. Then, he asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

Then, the professor picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly and the pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. Then, he asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

Then, the professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled the empty spaces between the larger items in the jar. Then, once again, he asked his students if the jar was full. The students responded with a hearty, “Yes.”

The professor then brought out two cups of coffee from under the table and poured both of them into the jar. The coffee effectively filled the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

Coffee cup with clipping path

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – your family, your children, your faith, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions – things that, if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter – your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else – the small stuff.”

Then, he said, “If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important.”

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Play another 18 holes. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the garbage disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your
priorities.

The rest is just sand.

The Story of You

It’s Now the 4th Quarter of the year. It’s time to ask how the year is going.  So how is it?

Are you going to have a Christmas this year?

It’s time to put together your 90-day plan, so you can close out this year with a bang.  Remember, if you fail to plan, the year will be a bust.

Business

Here are some ideas for you 90-Day Plan

  1. Set goals…smart goals.
  2. Come up with strategies to help you achieve your goals.
  3. Map out your strategies with step-by-step actions that will help you achieve you goals. Track your success or failures.
  4. Test and Measure.
  5. Reset your course as often as necessary.
  6. Make changes if you need to.
  7. Establish a relationship with a mentor or peer to report to…someone who can hold you accountable. This is critical.

Not long ago, I heard that our success is like a book that needs to be written and only we can write the chapters. The best part is that we also get to write the ending.

Gregg