by Melanie Benson
How did you learn to solve cash flow problems in your business? Did you have a mentor help you flush out the root of a chronic issue? Or do you fall back on how you solve other problems in life? Maybe you just follow your instincts?
How we go about diagnosing problems and creating solutions is a pretty big deal for a small business owner. It can literally mean the difference between feeling stuck or keeping your business, your team, your cash flow, and your enthusiasm in momentum.
There’s typically one big problem that can cause you to throw your hands up in the air and wonder if you really have what it takes to be a success. Often that problem is a lack of consistent cash flow.
What if you knew, that your current approach to fixing cash flow problems is actually keeping you stuck there and that you are solving the wrong problem in your business? And by solving the RIGHT problems you could experience more money and success.
When Jessica joined my coaching program one of the first things we did was assess her cash flow (and in the process, we uncovered a few hidden profit drains.) Jessica, like many of her peers, was surprised to learn that activities she thought would GROW her business were actually draining away funds and causing additional stress.
Here are some of the indicators you could have hidden profit drains:
- You have more people leaving your programs than you do joining them (which, by the way, is a pretty common problem these days.) Even though your offering is rock solid and full of valuable content, you just can’t seem to flip sales so that more people join than leave.
- When you need cash flow, you tend to create new offerings and launch them within 4 – 7 weeks. You and your team always seem to be in launch mode to generate desired cash flow.
- If you review the list of tools, plug-ins, integrations and systems your business needs to run, you’ll discover overlap or resources that aren’t being used (but you are paying for.)
- You can’t keep good people on your team – or the people you hire or contract with never seem to deliver the results you want (hint: it’s probably you not them.) You find that you are often training new people instead of focusing on growth opportunities.
- New opportunities for speaking, interviews or partnering with peers fall by the wayside because you don’t have the bandwidth to respond to, let alone pursue, them.
- You have so many balls in the air that you can’t keep up and you are exhausted mentally, physically, and financially. Your mind is cloudy, your energy is low, and you know you are not performing at top speed.
- Up to now, you fly by the seat of your pants, deciding what you will do tomorrow instead of creating a revenue plan (not to mention you have no systems or procedures to help guide predictable results.)
- If you saw yourself in one or more of these situations and started to get down on yourself that you’ve been struggling with these hidden profit drains, here’s what’s super important to know. First off, it’s not your fault that you are here. Most highly creative, visionary people are not wired to think about these nuances. And most of us are conditioned just “work harder” to make up the difference in revenue.
But if you add more income to a business that has a profit leak, then you will always have to work a hundred times harder to keep up. Ultimately, you are solving the wrong problems in your business.
Here’s how to solve the right problems (and kick-start your momentum again.)
1. Make a decision to thrive and be profitable.
You don’t even have to know how to pull this off at the moment. Just as I teach in the Own Your Bold Challenge, when you make a decision to experience real profits and to feel like you are thriving as you grow, your very clever mind starts to see new ways to fulfill that decision.
2. Recalibrate your Growth Plan
Take the time to solidify your foundation before you push for more growth. It may FEEL like you are going backwards but truthfully, you are plugging holes so that what you add in doesn’t go down the drain. Create a revenue plan (you can even use a tool like the Profit Explosion Toolkit if you need a little help.)
3. Choose to Optimize instead of Create
Most entrepreneur’s “go-to” is to create more stuff. More books, more products, more programs, more webinars. But as we already covered, more is not the answer. Learn how to optimize what you already worked so hard to create BEFORE you add more stuff. Optimize means you learn how to market it, sell it, and increase the profit on it to people who already love what you do. It’s the easiest and fastest way to boost income.
Now, imagine yourself a few weeks out from today. Won’t it be nice to see all your hard work starting to pay off? You might even notice that areas you felt blocked by are dissolving and now opportunities are flooding in. I can’t wait to hear how you fill your profit drains and start thriving again!
Melanie Benson is known as America’s Leading Small Business Optimizer because she knows how to boost profits and results with her secret weapon — LEVERAGE. With over 12 years in corporate project management, Melanie works exclusively with thought leaders and visionary entrepreneurs who want proven strategies to monetize their big ideas and catapult their success without giving up their life.
Melanie is host of the Amplify Your Success Podcast, author of Rewired for Wealth, serves on the Executive Leadership Team for Women Speakers Association, is co-author of Entrepreneur.com’s Start Up Guide to Starting an Information Marketing Business and has her success tips featured in magazines such as Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Parenting Magazine, Woman’s Day and American Express FORUM. Melanie is a proud lifestyle enthusiast and spends her free time in search of the best spas and beaches in the world.