3 Ways to Increase and Stabilize Your Cash Flow

Every business owner knows that cash flow is king. Without it, no amount of zeros on your top line revenue matters. Yet cash flow is the stormiest and most unsettling parts of being self-employed. After all, you can’t make your mortgage payment without it.

I find I am particularly sensitive to cash flow, especially when compared to many entrepreneurs. My mother got it right when I was young when she bought me a sign that says: “Happiness is a positive cash flow”. While I deeply believe happiness is much more than a positive cash flow… it sure does help!

One of the best ways to sustainability and sanity is to temper wild cash fluctuations and stabilize cash flow. Here are 3 ways to do that.

How to increase & stabilize your cash flow

Change Payment Terms

Review payment terms you have with clients. Are you leaving significant portions of your cash flow up to the whims of your clients and hopeful projections of project milestones? This move is not about making it be “all about you” or shortchanging the client by any means. It simply more accurately aligns cash flow with the work you do and value you provide. If you always collected 50% at start and 50% at completion, how might your cash flow change if you collected 50% up front, 25% at a midpoint milestone and 25% at the end? This is just one example so play with the numbers and percentages. Consider adjusting your payment terms (due on receipt, 15 days, 30 days, etc.) as well.

Need a confidence boost that this line of thinking is acceptable? Consider the construction industry where they get paid 90% before work is complete (with only a 10% holdback). Some service providers require 100% up front. [Read more…]

Do You Know Your Numbers? (No Apologies)

Do you know your numbers?  I don’t mean your bust, waist, and pant size either.  Your business numbers.  One of the major reasons businesses fail is not because they don’t have a great idea or aren’t great at what they do – it’s because they run out of the runway of cash. I hear from my clients and prospects all the time – “I don’t know what to charge!  I’m afraid it’ll be too much!”

Let this video guide you to what you need to know so you don’t become one of those struggling or failed businesses.

So many self-employed business owners do not know their numbers. What do you need to earn to break even? How do you need to price your services so you are profitable AND have a life?  What are you earning, where is your money going, and what does it all mean?

This isn’t some thinly veiled pep rally about raising your rates. Yes, you may need to raise your rates but that is not the only factor. In some cases you might need to lower your rates, serve a different audience, or diversify your offerings. Let me help you  build the confidence and the practical tools to get at the bottom of what is really going on in your business so you can stop selling yourself short and get paid what you’re worth.

It’s time to understand what is really going on where your numbers meet your mindset, visit http://www.pricewithconfidence.com to learn more.

Do You Find Yourself Working More But Earning Less?: 3 Reasons You Fall into this Trap and How to Break Free

Have you ever found yourself working extra but not getting paid for it?

I don’t mean over delivering by adding extra value and delighting your clients. I’m ALL for that.  In fact I highly recommend frequently delighting your clients!

What I’m talking about is the dreaded… (Cue the spooky music)

Scope Creep…

Or the

Over-needy client who wants “just one more little thing”.

Ever happen to you?

The Trap of Working More and Earning LessIf you’re in business – of course it has!  Scope creep can be a natural byproduct of many different kinds of projects (think: design, tech projects, and construction just to name a few).  Wanting “one more thing” can be a sign of someone who is thinking through their requirements as they go.

Neither of these things is inherently bad.  It’s what you do with them that set you up for success or a spiral of resentment, misery, and lack of cash.

Here are the top 3 reasons why you may find yourself working like a dog but earning less and less and what to do about it.

Wanting to Be “Nice”

Oh the “good girl”/”good boy” syndrome.  I can’t tell you how many people I’ve worked with who tell me they can’t possibly charge for the additionally requested work because they don’t want to be “not nice”.    Except when you move to this place of servitude, the only person you’re being “not nice” to is yourself and your business.

There is a huge difference between being nice, accommodating, and going “above and beyond” vs. being a doormat.   By all means you should always be pleasant, kind, and respectful with everyone you deal with.  You should aim to give your clients all the value you possibly can.  And, you also need to be able to discern the difference between a little something extra and a change in scope of work.  The former should be a joy to deliver and the latter constitutes an additional fee.

Lack of Clear Terms and Boundaries

You have no right to whine about “needy” clients who don’t respect your boundaries if you’ve never set or enforced any.  Every time you come to an agreement to work with someone there should be clear terms, conditions, and expectations of that partnership.  Ideally in written form, this should spell out what the scope of work is, what you’re delivering, and when you’re delivering it. It should also address what happens if the scope expands.  Then it is up to you to enforce the boundaries you’ve set.  You may need to put your “big girl panties” on to do so, but the responsibility lies with you. If you aren’t willing to do that, review the doormat description above.

Afraid of Conflict or Losing the Business

It’s so much easier to seethe and vent to your friends about how needy a client is and how little you’re earning from a project than it is to do something about it. However, this does nothing to move your business forward.  Let’s face it, no one likes to have difficult conversations or walk into a potential conflict.  Yet, done right, the difficult conversations do not have to be adversarial ones.  Don’t let frustrations mount. Instead, have clear communications every step of the way. If a client requests expanded work, have a conversation and set the expectation based on the terms and boundaries you set forth at the beginning.  It might sound like “I would love to help you do X.  This represents additional work from what we originally agreed to.  It will cost Y. When shall we get started?”  This is not rocket science. Think of the last time you went to the car mechanic – did he apologize for the added cost of fixing a part that was broken? I didn’t think so.

It’s natural to be afraid of losing the business.  Here’s the truth – if you’re working only with your ideal clients, you will be able to have productive conversations about your work together.  Demonstrate and articulate the value you bring every step of the way (not just when a sticking point arises) and they will gladly pay you what you’re worth.


Ready to Stop Selling Yourself Short so you can Price with Confidence and Get Paid What You’re Worth? Paula Gregorowicz an expert at plucking women off the hamster wheel of overwhelm, struggle, and self-doubt will help guide you to a purposeful path of building an authentic and successful business.

Grab the Self-Study Program that will help you earn more while working less. It’s not just a pep talk about raising your fees – it’s about business fundamentals! Get your copy here: http://www.pricewithconfidence.com.

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