Living paycheck to paycheck gets really old really fast. The stress of wondering whether or not you can pay your bills or invest in your business to get it to where you want it to grow is taxing. It’s time to change that!
And the first thing to do? Manage your cash flow (at least in my experience it was).
I’m no financial expert and this should not be taken as financial advice. Instead, it’s a retelling of my personal experience going from massive amounts of debt to being able to invest in my life and my business.
Once I got really serious about managing money, I learned pretty early on that managing what you currently have is the first step, not hustling to make more. You have to use what you’ve already got in the bank, in the here and now, wisely.
And in this post, I’ll show you a few ways I did just that.
If I could say one single thing on this list was the most important thing, it would be this. Once I learned how to financial forecast with my business, it changed my life.
A cash flow forecast is a projection of your future income and expenses, which can help you identify potential cash shortfalls and surpluses. You can use a forecast to make more informed decisions about your cash management strategies instead of going at it with a guess.
It gave me a more accurate picture of what I had. Not just what I thought I had. Because the truth is, running a business requires a lot of different expenses — software, contractors, etc…it all adds up! And you need to be aware of what you’re spending.
Along those same lines, you need to Identify and reduce unnecessary expenses. That could mean negotiating better deals with your suppliers, optimizing your inventory management, and reducing non-essential costs (like that subscription you signed up for a year and a half ago and totally forgot about because you never used it…whoops).
When you sit down to do a cash flow forecast, this is going to be one of the first things you need to look at.
And looking at your money this way can help you determine whether or not that thing is something actually worth dishing out the $$ for (yes, even if it’s just $5 a month!).
Word to the wise — some expenses can wait. I know there are a lot of people out there saying you “need to” spend money on things like ads or coaching RIGHT NOW, but the truth is, a lot of stuff can actually wait. Don’t buy things before you’re ready.
That was something I wish I had a grasp on earlier in my business. Because it’s just going to either eat up all your cash or rack up debt, with no results.
Instead, focus on what is the top priority. What do you need help the most with now? Do you have automation set up? Are your contracts clear enough to get paid on time? Are your clients and customers happy?
Build the foundation before you go with the frills.
This one may be a little controversial to say, but you *may* want to consider using credit depending on your situation. And only when absolutely necessary, and with short-term cash flow gaps.
I wouldn’t recommend doing this with new ideas or businesses either. If all that’s not fully fleshed out, go back and take care of this first. Then, when you’re in expansion mode, you could consider credit.
But use credit wisely and only when necessary, like when you have more concrete proof that you can pay it back.
For example, an annual sale you want to run ads for. It’ll cost you, but you know you always make a certain amount from it each year, and at worst, you break even. Basically, you know you have the money to pay it off.
Remember — credit should be used as a tool, not a crutch. Speaking from personal experience, you should only use it if you can pay it back. Otherwise, you’re robbing future you of money (and a lot more than you spent initially because of interest and all that).
I don’t just mean things like your car breaking down. I’m talking about business emergencies, like unexpected expenses or months when revenue is down. This can help you avoid having to dip into your cash reserves or resort to high-interest loans.
And it really gives you the freedom and flexibility to work with the clients or contracts you want. When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you’re always going to be inclined to take whatever offers you can get because you need the money.
But having those “just in case” funds mean you can take on only the work you want to do — and let me tell you, it’s a freeing feeling! And one that your audience will notice too. Because when you’re doing what lights you up, it’s hard not to be attractive to potential clients/customers.
And on top of it all, I’d definitely say that offering digital products helped me tremendously when it came to bringing in more moolah. I wasn’t constantly worried about the time crunch of 1:1 client work or having to pour all my time into creating products. I just created them once and they basically ran on autopilot!
If digital products are something you’ve considered but never really knew where to start, I’ve got something for you!
If you’re stuck and unsure what that first step is, Perfect Product Recommendations can help! This 26-page guidebook will walk you through 90+ show-stopping digital product ideas, which you can adapt to any industry or niche.