I mentioned in my last post that we have had some challenges recently in our quest for business success, and I promised to explain them in more detail.
The challenges we’ve been experiencing are nothing new to any business, I guess, but they can be crippling. Mostly, they come down to uneven cashflow and late payers.
When I started on my journey to build a business I hadn’t expected quite how emotional it would be – or how extreme those emotions would be. On the good side there are feelings of empowerment and elation. And then there are the not-so-good feelings of isolation and fear.
Isolation because, when you are owed money but you’re scraping your bank account to pay your suppliers or your employee, I don’t think there is any loneliness that can match it.
Fear because, well, the thought of not being able to pay your employee or your suppliers, not to mention yourselves, is frankly pretty terrifying.
Everyone knows the statistic that most businesses don’t last more than five years, and I bet many of those that go down, do so because of a lack of cashflow.
There has to be a way around this. The biggest owers at the moment are two insurance companies. Everyone we work with signs a Terms of Business form in which they agree our payment terms of three days (but ideally on completion of the job). It’s harder with insurance companies, and certainly their employees won’t have any idea of what it is like to wait for a cheque while everything falls to pieces all around you (ok, slight melodrama there!)
One of them received our invoice over six weeks ago. I know that is a fraction of the time some companies will expect to be paid in, but for us, it is potentially catastrophic. And yet we can’t start grilling insurance companies on their terms before we agree to work for them… or maybe we can, and should, the next time we get one in. But then will they hire us? Probably not.
The biggest problem is we’ve just started another job this week (for another insurance company, groan!) and have had to pay thousands up front for materials and scaffolding. It’s the first time we’ve worked with several of the suppliers, so payment upfront was a fair enough demand. And because I am new to business and finance I haven’t felt confident in opening and handling credit accounts – that’s something I will have to grow into. Right now, I like to pay what we owe when we owe it, not carry things over several weeks and risk forgetting about it or not allocating the right funds.
Now, this insurance company has agreed that interim payments “are possible” (their words, not mine), but refused to be drawn on their payment terms. Maybe I could/should have pushed, and maybe next time I will do. But, once again, every barrel is pretty much empty and we just need to keep our heads down and keep on keeping on. D is working on another job tomorrow to bring some extra cash in, and I have editing to do and hopefully some more sales will come through Foxy Loves.
Until things change I am listening to mindset-changing affirmations, mostly about building wealth, in the hope that some magic gets in there!
Here’s my vlog about all these fun and games:
Onwards and upwards! xx
Project Life Success – changing my life in my 40s and aiming for business success