“If I only had the money to…………………my business would be growing and profitable.” I do not accept that excuse as a reason for failure or for a business to remain a low paying job for its owner. There are a variety of ways that this situation can be rectified:
Marketing: most businesses don’t have a defined marketing plan. Years ago marketing was equated to advertising. Today, technology has changed that concept and marketing has become an issue of education and effort on the part of the business owner, not necessarily the amount of money allocated to it. The use of e-mail, e-newsletters, blogs, websites and social media are all available at virtually no cost yet they can provide a very powerful marketing system. We are still in the “people business” and a good data management system is another powerful marketing tool.
Financial issues: don’t keep putting money, either yours or borrowed money, into a business unless you have a plan in which progress can be measured in defined time intervals. A strategic focus plan that is well developed is a great tool to use as a presentation when asking for money. There are many sources for obtaining cash: equity in your home, small business administration, friends, as well as investors to name a few. Having a realistic working budget is critical; many small business owners work out of a check book and don’t forecast income and expenses. If you don’t know how much you need and how your business will earn it, then you will never achieve sustainability and profitability.
Putting your business on “pause”: If you are not making money, it may be time to put your business on “hold”, stop working in your business and work on your business. Analyze each segment of the business starting with the products or services you offer, the target market you are after, the competition, finances required to make it all happen, and the overall feasibility of success. Several things will happen as a result of this “pause”: you may decide to close your business, take it in another direction, find a partner, or continue with the original goal, but with a business and marketing plan.
Once a commitment has been made to own a business, the “ I don’t have enough money” excuse is just that, a poor excuse to explain both to yourself and to others, the reason for not having a successful operation.
We must not sit down and wait for miracles. Up, and be going! John Eliot, 17th century missionary
Nick J. Petra CFP