Is a cash flow crunch casting a shadow over your sunny outlook as a small business owner? Managing cash flow can be a big headache until you know how to tackle the problem. But there are ways to get extra dough by tweaking old routines, adopting new habits that can make you more efficient, or simply by cleaning out the stockpile of junk in your back room. Tweet This Here are some tips to consider:
1. Cash in your clutter
Have old office furniture, display racks, or odds and ends collecting dust in your storeroom? Consider ditching the unwanted items on a website like OfferUp, which matches you with local buyers. (While you’re at it, if you’re in the market for something for your shop, consider a used item and you might be able to save big bucks.) Or make friends with other small business owners and swap unwanted goods.
2. Sell the stockpile
Stop hoarding inventory and get those items moving to help fatten your checkbook. If you’re in the retail business, consider holding a clearance sale and assign colored stickers to different products to coincide with a different discount. Find a wacky holiday and theme your promotion to one that matches your business. Hand out scavenger hunt cards to customers and have them find items around the store to score a percent off. If you’re B2B or are in a service industry, consider holding a similar limited-time sale during slow periods that advertises such “limited-time” deals.
3. Go green
Go paperless to help save time, money and free up valuable storage space. Need to update your software? Check out Download.com for free trials, freeware and limited versions of software. There are several services and tools that can help your company go green, so shop around for the right option for your business. Make your brick-and-mortar space more energy efficient by doing something simple starting with changing your lightbulbs to compact fluorescent to save on utility bills.
4. Get social
Use social media to create buzz with promotions and contests. Email coupons to your customers to keep them coming back. Make friends with neighboring businesses and hold a joint promotion, such as a sidewalk sale or a package deal. Join a trade association to take advantage of discounts on everything from insurance to phone service to travel.
Make It Easier On Yourself: Get professional advice for free
Check out Dun & Bradstreet’s free tips on how small business owners can help manage cash flow issues, with strategies on how to cope with business credit problems, slow inventory turnover, accounting nightmares and more.
In general, having a flash sale or going green might help with minor, temporary cash flow issues, but getting a handle on your cash flow long-term can help increase productivity, make you more efficient and get you back on the right track.
Photo Credit: caitlinspaulding, Twenty20