Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
One of my favourite business tools is a cashflow forecast. It’s not sexy, in the way a snazzy business card, or colourful leaflet can be. It’s functional.
Business needs to be grounded in reality, or we are just guessing and allowing our ego to get the better of us.
Sales can be intimidating and fun and exciting. We meet interesting new people, get to sell our wares and feel great that cash is ringing in our till. However, it’s very tempting to allow ourselves to assume our success rate will be higher this year than last year.
It’s also tempting to assume the orders will all be completed on time, with no defects and that the customer will pay up on time too.
Yet we know that our personal lives have smooth patches, little hiccups and large potholes. I’m always curious that although people know this, they often ignore this in business and assume everything will run smoothly.
It wont. It never does.
Which is why our cashflow forecast needs to be cautious and always needs to make sure we have cash in the bank to fill the gaps that arise.
Our selling activities need to be cautious in their outlook too. I’ve coached many start ups who make a quick first sale and assume others will follow. A false dawn can lead people to think they’ve cracked it! They are smarter than their competition! They can sell and spend and order that new car already!
No! Business is tough and requires long term diligence and hard work. It’s more realistic to assume it will take six months to get a new sale from a new customer. Relationships and loyalty take time to build.
If we are starting a new business today then it’s prudent to add a new sale to our cashflow forecast for nine months time. Nine months? Well, six to get the sale and deliver the work and three to get paid.
Six month selling means to be real about the time taken to research, meet, quote and win a new piece of business.
If we live in reality and plan our cashflow forecast accordingly then, although we may have to delay that new car, we will have a better business as a result.
So, this week we can all take a moment to think about who we will be selling to in six months time.
Next week: Blogging For Beginners
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