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A Money Story

Metro Bank launch - magic money machine
Creative Commons License photo credit: EG Focus

Magic Thinking

This is a little story about a business owner, let’s call her Silly Sally, who’s running a business that is doing just OK but not growing and thriving like she wants. The reason, you see, is that Sally has some funny ideas about money. She has magic thinking about money. She thinks that money is the same as intangible attributes like respect, self worth and even security. Continue reading A Money Story

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Customer Service: Penny Wise or Pound Foolish?

O Canada
Creative Commons License photo credit: Michael Scheltgen

True Story – Jacaranda Designs

This is the first of a periodic series of the business experiences of real people. Today, we’ll hear from Jane of Jacaranda Designs on Etsy. Jane sells one of a kind vintage inspired beaded and metal jewelry with a sharp eye on customer service. Continue reading Customer Service: Penny Wise or Pound Foolish?

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The Surprising Truth about Numbers

Paying attention to detail
Creative Commons License photo credit: Unhindered by Talent

In the last post we touched on fear of numbers. Not in a panic stricken phobic kind of way, but more like an avoiding them until they’re way past their expiration date kind of way. Taylor Lindstrom had a great guest post at Copyblogger on asking for help where she admits to her fear of finances so you’re not alone.

One Good Thing

The one thing I want you to know about your business numbers is that they’re information. Precious and useful information that, when decoded, will lead you to the path of profitability and peace of mind with sparkles of light spinning about you. (Well, not really on that last bit, but it’s fun to imagine.)

Murder by Numbers

Here’s a bonus secret about numbers that they don’t like to let out because it destroys their dangerous reputation. A number never killed anyone. Sure, there are plenty of stories of people keeling over from heart attacks in boardrooms and I’ve seen grown men cry at the sight of an ugly P & L (that’s number whisperer talk for Profit and Loss statement) but the numbers themselves have no power. They’re just like those rogue playing cards * in Alice’s dream.

Now What?

First, face those squishy uneasy feelings about money and finances. Next, wave a sparkly wand (you do have one, right?) to ward off the bad number juju. Then, take Taylor’s advice and go for help!

Text a friend, get a book, go online or call me – whatever it takes, start squeezing the information juice out of your numbers.  You can’t afford not to.

What’s your next step and how do you feel about it? Let me know in a note or the comments, your thoughts are important to me.

* Amazon affiliate link to a really neat illustrated deck of cards
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Do You Feel Rich?

Piggy Bank
Creative Commons License photo credit: alancleaver_2000

It’s pretty exciting stuff being in business. You’ve put your work out there and – Yay! –other people like it. They like it enough to buy it. You feel validated, you feel wonderful, talented, even. But, do you feel rich?

Too often, the work is exciting and you’re busy with sales and making your fantastic one of a kind product. Then, things start to take off – more sales and a real sense of success. Only, the underlying business records and supporting systems weren’t developed. Then, somewhere between placing your supply order and paying the Etsy fees, you think “Where’s my money?”

Scary, huh?

Don’t panic, if you’re there, you can get out. If you’re on your way there, you can change course. It’s not impossible to change but it’s not a fast and easy fix either. If it was, I would’ve made that the headline.

Cash Flow, Cash Flow, Cash Flow

If it wasn’t annoying to you and exhausting to me, I would have written it a hundred times because it’s that important. The first thing to learn to keep track of is your business cash flow. There are a zillion different definitions and some insanely complicated accounting statements but it comes down to money in/money out and is that positive or negative.

Simple, huh?

You can get a good idea of that by checking your bank balance from month to month. If it’s growing – positive cash flow – good! If it’s shrinking – negative cash flow – bad! Once you’ve got an idea of where you are, we’ll start analyzing that to see where to improve.

Right Now

Get your last six months (or as many as you can find) bank statements and a piece of paper. Write down the ending balance for each month, in order. Is it getting bigger or smaller?

What did you find and how do you feel about it? Let me know in a note or the comments, I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Hear the audio version of this post:

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