Cash Flow Solutions

Five common business hurdles

B2B Editor22 March 2017

Five common business hurdles

Owning a business takes a huge amount of energy and drive; growing a business takes even more. We work with many businesses across a variety of industries and time and time again, five key challenges crop up:

Keeping client business at a safe percentage of total revenue is a challenge for many businesses. Developing a healthy number of regular customers is the foundation for long-term growth and stability, but it certainly can seem elusive when all of your time is devoted to the select few. But the cold hard fact is that when any one client becomes the source of 30 per cent or more of revenue, the risk of financial instability emerges. To avoid this problem, it’s essential to find the time and ways to continually market and bring in new business.

Good old cash flow…
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business, but unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as sending an invoice and having it paid at the end of the month. It’s a challenge that all too often can be the make or break a business. Companies that have accelerated their receivables, streamlined their banking and established efficient payment terms and processes are in a much better position to offer a competitive edge and kick into growth mode. That means setting terms that support your business and formalising these arrangements.

The productivity toll…
Stress is unavoidable, particularly business owners. While it can be a great motivator, too much over time can take a real toll on productivity. Business owners carry a much heavier burden than the average employee, but finding a work/life balance that keeps the business humming is essential. It’s one of those things you have to force yourself to do – create habits that give you time out; rejuvenate the energy stores; and provide the opportunity for perspective.

Growth versus quality…
You’ve worked hard and have set the expectation for your clients. But when taking on resources to grow, some common hurdles that make striking the growth v quality balance tricky, are: (1) difficulty letting go of the reigns, (2) a lack of critical processes to manage a growing team or extra resources, and (3) cash flow pressure from additional operating costs. The trick is to stand back and work out the best route bit-by-bit. Getting into the detail and process mapping the specific deliverables of new resources helps determine exactly what will support business growth in manageable stages without risking quality and stressing cash flow.

Me, myself and I…
It sounds simple – just give more control and responsibility to employees or partners. But let’s be real here – a business is not just a tax number and services; real emotional connection and protection often characterises how a small business owner feels about what they have built. But the fact is, a business can’t tick over if its owner’s out of action, and controlling everything limits ability and freedom to innovate and expand. It’s a tricky balance but a challenge that simply has to be overcome.

Jane Lombard
P 0408 226 841
E [email protected]
PO Box 3269, Weston Creek ACT 2611

Fifo Capital