The tips keep getting more and more simple. The ideas are simple but implementing them is another story. The time is now. The hardest part is taking the first step.
Here are 8 basic principles every business owner should be reminded of often.
Don’t Chase Money: I’ve known dealers to chase jobs hours away from their home base only to learn the hard way they aren’t really making any money. In fact, they are losing money because they did not charge extra for the amount of time they and their crew spent on the road. If you do good work money will come to you. If you do good work and no one see’s it… What I mean is, post your work on social media. It’s called social selling. Your work will get noticed and soon people will begin seeking you out. If your business is not on social media, you will constantly be chasing dollars and making calls always trying to make a quick buck. Please read my Beginners Guide to Social Media.
Charge What You’re Worth And Nothing Less: Your knowledge is worth something. Do not be afraid to charge your customers for the services you provide. My Dad always told me, “Charge them more than it’s worth and give them more than they expect”. Put that to work in your own business today.
Keep Up on Your Paperwork: Invoice your customers immediately after the service is provided. The best way I know how to do that is with the Quickbooks Online APP. This should have been #1. It is the only way to guarantee cash flow in your business. If you are waiting weeks or even months to invoice a customer your bank account will quickly be depleted and you will have no money to pay yourself, your employees, your upkeep on trucks and equipment or your bills. Expenses never stop. So many people have their hands out for money when you own a business. Manage your expenses but you must have money coming in to pay the bills. Click Here if you want to know how to eliminate the stresses of money management.
Consider having a credit card swipe attached to your phone to take payments on site when a service is completed. Even your service guys can be trained to take payments. Add a link to your email invoice that will allow your customers to pay online. Add a, Pay Your Invoice link on your website. Make it easy for your customer to pay you directly.
Hire a good accountant: I have mentioned this several times in recent blog posts. Asking for help isn’t a weakness. It is actually a pretty smart business move. A good accountant can help you manage your cash flow freeing you up to get the important work done – creating the cash flow. A good accountant can pay your bills on time, including your taxes, as well as pay your employees, manage your bookkeeping, provide the necessary reporting using your QuickBooks software, and providing year-end tax preparation.
Meet with your accountant regularly. It sucks when you find out in April you owe the IRS but… had you purchased a vehicle or equipment back in November & December… Which leads to the next tip…
Know Your Numbers: Pay attention to your profit & loss statement. Have your accountant review it with you periodically if needed. Look at each job you complete. Are you making money or are your labor & materials costs out of control. Keep every receipt from each job in a job folder. Track how much you spent on payroll with each job. Look how much you spent on materials to complete each job down to the Teflon tape and caulking. How much profit are you making on each job? Know your numbers. This one alone will keep your business in business.
Give Back: Give back to your community. Help you tribe. You were a newbie once. More on this in future posts.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say No: Walking away from a customer or job can be a humbling experience. I can only tell you, trust your gut. Sometimes it will tell you when something just doesn’t seem right. Most of all, I can tell you when a customer complains about paying you up front, they will be slow payers forever. Don’t waste your time unless all you want to do when you get home at the end of a hard day is make calls, send collection letters or emails to get paid for jobs you completed months ago.
Don’t be the cheapest in town: If everyone is saying yes, your prices are too low. My favorite quote is, “The fundamental, albeit harsh rule of business in a capitalistic economy is that if you cannot produce a profit, then you cannot survive”. The cheapest in town will be the first to fail. You cannot afford to stay in business if you aren’t making any money and with no working capital you will not be able to repair equipment or purchase anything new to expand your business. You will most likely go down in flames losing more than just your good name.