Keep It Simple

Especially With Your Money

Among the many things that I’ve learned since becoming a mentor of The Business Wealth Club Birmingham, it’s the importance and power of keeping things simple. That is, when we are able to break down seemingly complex issues and powerful business concepts into digestible, understandable chunks of information.

One of the most common challenges for many businesses (small and large) is the matter of the clear, confident and comfortable understanding of “money matters” such as cash flow.

“Cash is or oil in your business engine. Without it, your business will seize up and die.”

This a quote from Paul Avins and another clear example of how, in this instance, cash flow can be boiled down to clear and powerful metaphors that business people understand. That’s what we do at The Business Wealth Club.

Recently, The Guardian newspaper (the online edition), published one of my articles on the subject of cash flow. In the article. I explain how establishing and maintaining cash flow can also be broken down into three core principles (yes, another tetrahedron)

We have always based our Cashflow management on the following:

  • Relationships
  • Systems
  • Processes that are bound by trust backed up by paper (written agreements made while relationships are good).

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Three Steps to Better Cashflow

Cash is King.

Cash is the oil in your business engine. Without it your ‘engine’ will cease up and die.

Your ability to maintain cash flow is best when based upon

  • Relationship,
  • Systems and
  • Processes

that are bound by trust backed up by paper (written agreements made while relationships are good)

1.  Relationships

Informal – Identify and recognise alignment with corporate and individual values with customers, suppliers and stakeholders.  Your ‘gut’ instinct is often a very good guide that could save you money in the long run.  This also paves the way to understand how the other people and organisations really operate so that you can navigate through tough times – yours or theirs.

Formal – Ranging from profile tools to credit checks. Set thresholds for putting various ‘checks’ in place commensurate to the level of financial risk associated with the relationship.  This can then be formalised in a written agreement or be used to ensure if ‘standard’ terms and conditions fit the situation.

2.  Systems

Systems, particularly electronic systems, don’t sleep and can keep you aware of where you are and, ideally, where you’re headed.  Systems ranging from accounting packages to sales systems provide an early warning prior to cash flow problems OR can highlight opportunities to invest your surplus more wisely.

3.  Processes

Control and Predictability (most of the time).  You can’t control people, but you can control activities. Setting clear DOCUMENTED processes (based upon best practice for your industry) and exercising the discipline to follow them EVERY time will ensure ongoing success.

“Cash is King”

I say all of that to say this….

Economics is more about people and their behaviours that it is mathematics.  When one person starts to hold on to their cash, it brings about fear.  The fear spreads and soon enough, lots more people are holding on to their cash. 

It takes a strong level of self belief to break out of the cycle of fear, but if you don’t the money you are holding on to is the VERY REASON you may find that you’re not getting paid. 

They (you) too have forgotten their value, let go of their values and are causing someone else (you) to be more fearful.  In the process they (you) are damaging their (your) credibility, credit rating and self esteem. 

When you step into a world and mindset of abundance and, better yet, into communities where people don’t listen to or subscribe to the messages of fear, you’ll find that you’ll let go and see an abundant flow (including cash).

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that…..

Are you holding on to cash that you promised (with a PO, a verbal agreement, a contract) to pay someone?  Are you holding off on making an investment into yourself or your business that you know (or are guaranteed) that it will give a return but you are still are waiting?

If so, you’re participating in the fearful behavior that is keeping THE (and your) economy from recovering faster.

My call to action:

“Keep your word pay what you can from what you have…. MORE will come

Invest in yourself and your business.  When the rest of the country and the world gets out of ‘fear mode’ you’ll be ready to serve and grow like never before.