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Monica Smiley

Monica Smiley is editor and publisher of Enterprising Women. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW). To learn more about how you can become a mentor in the Peace Through Business program or donate to the organization, visit www.ieew.org. Contact her at msmiley@enterprisingwomen.com.

8 Steps to Jump Start Cash Flow by Allison Maslan

Cash flow. These two words strike fear into the heart of many business owners, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Allison Maslan explains:

“First and foremost, you must believe that everything will come together with your business. There will be down periods, but they won’t stay that way as long as you remain focused on your big picture vision. The cash flow will funnel in if you follow one or more of these eight tips.”

1. Open a line of credit: At first this may seem counter-intuitive, but borrow money when you don’t need it. It’s a lot easier to get a loan when you’re not in a desperate situation. Having the cash to draw from during a slow period takes off a ton of pressure. You’ll pay it back once you are busy again. Debt is not a bad thing when you’re using it to grow.

2. Tap your existing customer base: On average, existing clients account for 41% of small business income. They are apt to spend five times more than new clients because the relationship already exists. They trust you and know what you can do. Many customers love the idea of a “one-stop shop” where they can have all of their needs provided by one vendor. Wherever possible, upsell additional products to your customer base and become that one-stop shop.

3. Use the Product Pyramid: The Product Pyramid is a multi-tiered approach to bringing in customers at every level. Presently, you may be hitting on only one or two levels, but you have the potential to establish relationships with customers in every single one of them. For example, if you manufacture run-of-the-mill coffee makers for $79, you could also produce machines at every tier for every level of connoisseur — all the way up to the garish $2,999 model.

4. Try licensing: A great way to expand a business without stretching yourself too thin is through licensing. Some business owners feel that licensing their brands, products, or services is the equivalent of giving away their children — but it’s not. If anything, it’s a less taxing way to make more children (i.e., products, services, etc.) without having to do any of the work. Once an agreement is done, licensing becomes a bookkeeping function that brings in regular income.

5. Establish retainers: Retainers are an excellent way to generate recurring revenue. Think about what you might be able to provide to your clients on a regular (i.e., monthly) basis. Rather than getting paid per project or by the hour, you are receiving a standard payment every month ($2,500, $5,000, etc.). It could be in the form of a marketing retainer, a public relations retainer, a consulting retainer, etc.

6. Start franchising: Once you have your business model down, you can sell your concept, systems, and marketing to others to create franchises. All you need to do in this case is develop a “business-in-a-box” that franchisees can step into and run and then help them find prime locations.

7. Offer certification programs: Perhaps your business lends itself to creating a certification program. If you and your team have expertise in an area, you can build a program that trains others to become experts as well. This is a terrific way to scale because you are getting people to sign up for a number of sessions so they may fulfill the certification obligation, which means consistent cash flow with people paying up front.

8. Consider raising prices: While I’m an advocate of promotional discounts and other marketing incentives, I am opposed to pricing models that undervalue your products and services. Some business owners are afraid that customers won’t buy from them unless they are priced lower than their competitors. The truth is, you may get a customer through a lower price offering — but you won’t keep a customer this way. You want to attract customers who truly value what you offer. If you drop your prices too low, you are projecting to the marketplace that you don’t believe that your product is worth that much.

“While scaling your business,” Allison says, “always monitor cash flow and prepare for ‘inclement weather,’ but never allow low ebbs in cash flow to dictate decisions that will impact your long-term success.”

About Allison: Allison Maslan is the CEO and founder of Pinnacle Global Network, offering business mentorship and mastermind programs to established business owners who want to accelerate their growth, capitalize on their success, and balance it all with a meaningful life. She is also the author of two books: Amazon #1 bestseller “Blast Off!: The Surefire Success Plan to Launch Your Dreams into Reality” and her newest book “Scale or Fail: How to Build Your Dream Team, Explode Your Growth, and Let Your Business Soar” (October 2018, Wiley), which hit #1 on Amazon even before its release. Learn more at www.AllisonMaslan.com, and for further high-impact support, watch Allison's free video series for business owners, “The Scale Blueprint” for Established Companies That Want to Multiply Their Growth.

For more information, visit Allison’s online press kit at www.allisonmaslan.onlinepresskit247.com or her public websites, www.AllisonMaslan.com and www.ScaleOrFail.com.

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