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Written by Andrew Bordeaux on Wednesday, August 6, 2008
By now, most entrepreneurs have heard the old saying, "Businesses don't fail -- they just run out of money." While that saying often holds the most salience for fledgling ventures, it can and does apply to most small businesses and growing companies as well. The steps you take to deftly allocate your company's capital today can help ensure that you'll still have that company six months, six years, or six decades down the line.
The New York Times and AllBusiness recently provided a list of tips for the best ways to manage cash flow. Most of the solutions that suggest frugality and thriftiness are somewhat intuitive -- limiting spending, avoiding wastefulness, keeping your inventory at practical levels and, for the austerity-minded, foregoing a salary. The most compelling suggestions on the list, however, are those rooted in strategic planning.
A strategic assessment of your business and some clever maneuvering can put your company in line to truly maximize each dollar. Crafting financial projections that anticipate your expenses and revenues for the next 12 months can help you determine if and when you'll need more capital. The formation of contingency plans that account for the worst case scenarios can prepare you for the unexpected.
One mistake many business owners make is purchasing equipment when it can be leased instead. While a cursory look at leasing vs. buying will reveal that leasing is usually more expensive over time, the leasing process prevents you from needing to shell out large sums of upfront capital, which then frees that capital to be allocated towards other important areas.
Lastly, effective cash flow management entails knowing what areas require patience, and which need to be expedited. When it comes to bringing on new employees, try to wait as long as you can. As permanent hires are a serious commitment of resources, it's recommended that you first strive to increase current employee productivity, investigate independent contractors, or even outsource some of the less essential aspects of your enterprise. On the other hand, when it comes to receiving customer payments, it behooves you to make these exchanges happen as soon as possible. Incentivize or reward early/timely payments, and don't shy away from penalizing late payments.
Written by Growthink on Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Growthink is happy to announce our upcoming work with Safari Air, the world's first carbon-neutral luxury private airline. As a strategic advisor to the airline, Growthink will assist with business development, growth strategy and marketing initiatives.
Written by Andrew Bordeaux on Wednesday, July 30, 2008
As individuals and businesses alike struggle to deal with a wayward economy, one of the first things we can do is look outward for tools and techniques to help weather the worst of the storm. Fast Company founder Bill Taylor recently examined three companies that seem impervious to market fluctuations and the economic turmoil faced by their respective competitors, and the lessons we can draw from their successes.
Written by Andrew Bordeaux on Wednesday, July 23, 2008
For the growing business, the implementation of carefully targeted, high-quality marketing initiatives can make all the difference. The world of marketing, however, consists of a broad amalgamation of techniques and sub-disciplines that should, ideally, work harmoniously to convey what people need to know about your business. How does a company ensure that they’ve maximized the variety of options that marketing can provide?
Written by Andrew Bordeaux on Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Imagine you are at a job interview. Right before the interviewer offers you a position he states, "Unfortunately, I cannot tell you the details of our project. You will have the opportunity to make mistakes and struggle, but eventually we may do something that we'll remember the rest of our lives." Would you eagerly jump at this project or would you stand up and walk out?
Written by Growthink on Wednesday, July 9, 2008
In addition to our work with Twiistup on July 17, we are also promoting Mashable's US Summer Tour 2008.
Mashable.com is the leading social networking and social media blog, and has spotted important trends in digital media over the past several years. To get your web startup reviewed favorably in Mashable is to have arrived as a digital media entrepreneur.
The purpose of Mashable's tour is to engage and unite the Social Media community of Founders, Developers, Bloggers, Influencers, Journalists, Venture Capitalists and Social Networking Users themselves.
Each event will have approximately 500 to 900 attendees, and will include networking, “Drink Tickets”, music, light appetizers, and Pete Cashmore himself. Needless to say, we are very excited to be involved.
The "SummerMash" events will be held in 7 cities: New York, Boston, Austin, LA, Seattle, SF and Miami.
Seattle: Saturday, July 12th
Buy Tickets Here
San Fransisco: Tuesday, July 15th
Buy Tickets Here
Los Angeles: Friday, JUly 18th
Buy Tickets Here
Austin, TX: Wednesday, July 30th
Buy Tickets Here
Miami: Saturday, August 2nd
Buy Tickets Here
Boston: Tuesday, August 5th
Buy Tickets Here
New York City: Thursday, August 7th
Buy Tickets Here
You can read more about the Summer Tour here.
Written by Andrew Bordeaux on Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Before the ink has dried on newspapers reporting the impending close of 600 Starbucks locations nationwide, news has surfaced that clothing retailer Steve & Barry's is preparing to file for bankruptcy. For many years, both the coffee giant and the clothing chain have been two of the most-discussed, high-growth companies. So what has gone wrong?
Written by Growthink on Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Growthink is very excited to announce our
sponsorship of Twiistup 4, a networking conference that will take place on July
17th at the Viceroy in Santa Monica, CA.
Twiistup 4, which sold out immediately, will feature presentations from 11 exciting startups, 7 of whom are Southern California locals, plus 4 "crashers" from Texas, Vancouver and the San Francisco Bay Area. Read more about the "Show Offs" here.
For more information, visit the Twiistup site here.
Written by Andrew Bordeaux on Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Most entrepreneurs have a strong aversion to the word random. The word, which is defined as “without definite aim, purpose, method, or adherence to a prior arrangement,” is the antithesis of what is typically perceived as good business practice. Oddly enough, one author believes randomness, and how we deal with it, can be the greatest indicator of whether enterprises will succeed or fail.
In his book The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, Leonard Miodinow discusses in great detail how the laws of randomness are a driving factor in our successes, and how this is counter to the widely-held belief that success is directly derivative of talent or intelligence. Research from the last decade suggests there might be some merit to this line of thinking, and supports the idea that “the ability to persist in the face of obstacles is at least as important a factor in success as talent.” When faced with miscellaneous setbacks, it is the persistent one, rather than the genius, who will prevail.
For entrepreneurs, persistence is a must. At the end of the day, it isn’t just the philosophical prowess needed to envision the perfect solutions to problems, but the resolution and doggedness to actually get in there and solve them.
When it comes to your business, are you relying on your brains to get you through, or are you rolling up your sleeves and using some old-fashioned elbow grease to get you to the next level?
Written by Andrew Bordeaux on Wednesday, June 25, 2008
The Today Show recently featured a segment on entrepreneurship -- specifically, how many individuals are beginning to start businesses in response to a fragile economy and job market. As unemployment rises (currently up to 5.5%), many driven individuals find themselves without jobs and are forced to find creative solutions to their economic pressures.
Presented in the clip below is the
story of Tracy Huges, founder of The Rum Cake Fairy Dessert Company.
The segment provides much highly useful information to new entrepreneurs, including the importance of having a good credit history, building trusting relationships with potential investors and creditors, and most importantly, carefully constructing a formal business plan. Business plans are a crucial step in the funding process, and are required documentation before pursuing capital from an SBA affiliate or micro lending institutions. While the segment places less focus on angel investors or venture capitalists, it’s important to note that such documentation is also a prerequisite for seeking equity funding as well.
Special attention is given to the personal loan management company Virgin Money (www.virginmoneyus.com). Such companies allow their users to formally structure loans between friends and family, which can be a fantastic way to manage early stage debt.