One of the reasons we started this podcast was to help dispel many of the myths we’ve seen in the small business world. One of those chief myths is the idea that if “you’re not growing you’re dying.” This has become so popular in the small business world that folks seem to think it must be true. Not so fast my friend.
One of the dirtiest of little secrets we’ve discussed related to business ownership on this show over the years is that as a small business owner you’re also running a bank. With all the talk of recessions and tough times ahead, if you haven’t had this issue before, chances are you’ll be dealing with some slow paying customers over the next year or so. Today’s show is to help make sure you stay on top of your cash flow, particularly as it relates to those folks who are extending their credit with you.
One of the things nobody tells you about when starting a business is that you’ve unknowingly signed up to play the bank. Every time you provide credit to a customer you always risk having someone like Wimpy from Popeye who will promise you the world for that hamburger today! So knowing how it feels to have some customers ask you to play the bank, is it OK for you to do the same thing to them?
Today we were joined on the show by business owner and former MVP business coaching client Terry Walkerly. Terry is the owner of Filta Environmental NEO, a leading provider of cooking oil micro filtration services to restaurants and other food establishments. Over his career Terry has owned several business including ones he’s both started as well as purchased. Although he barely made it through high school, Terry describes himself as a lifelong learner who has read just about every business book out there. Combining that with the school of hard knocks and Terry has a lot of wisdom and insights to share.
Most business owners can relate to what it feels like to have debt in your business. Unfortunately, not too many owners are aware of how to get all that debt paid off. In fact, it seems too many business owners have come to the conclusion that it’s just the way things are when it comes to having debt. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Did you ever wonder why most people look forward to tax day in the U.S. while business owners rarely look forward to April 15th? Most folks pine for tax day because they are going to get a refund on that day. It’s like a shot of dopamine to get you all excited with that extra “paycheck” or two. For business owners, they are usually writing a check on April 15th. But this should be viewed as a positive.
People have always had side hustles. For instance, can you name a plumber, electrician, or mason who doesn’t do some sort of side jobs for friends and family? How about that person doing “the books” for several small business owners on nights and weekends or that salesperson also contracting with a start up to help get their sales off the ground?
Cash is one of those things that whether you have it or not it’s usually top of mind. If you don’t have cash you’re thinking about how you’re going to get it. If you have cash you might be worrying if it’s enough or if you will run out. Either way, chances are you’re going to be aware of it and thinking about it.
A phrase that can often strike fear in the hearts of even the bravest of business owners is, “Your banker is on the phone and would like to speak with you.” Oh no, you think, what could she possibly want? Does she know about my key employee who is threatening to leave? Did that upset customer call her to complain? Will she be pulling our line of credit?