January 4, 2023
All of those “let's circle back in the new year” messages will see you now.
Hot off the SMB press this week:
But first, here are some headlines that caught our attention this week.
BRACE FOR IMPACT
There’s a recession on the horizon.
And experts are saying that it’s coming our way. The head of the International Monetary Fund warns of a recession hitting a third of the world economy. In a recent survey of CFOs, 80% of respondents expect a recession in 2023.
Many small businesses have already been feeling the effects of a recession — the news that there’s more to come can leave business leaders a little anxious and unsure.
But there’s good news.
We’ve got time to prepare. And to help us, we caught up with serial entrepreneur Candy Valentino, who has forged through the uncertainty of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 2008 real estate crash to build prosperous businesses.
She has five key pieces of advice for any business owner looking to weather the looming recession ahead:
1. Focus on profitability.
“Nothing happens in the country's economy that will ever be more important than what's going on in your personal economy,” Candy shared.
To work on your personal economy, you have to go back to the basics: namely, profit. You need profits to sustain your business — that means either increasing sales or decreasing costs. Focusing on building a better profit will help you barrel through any problems the recession sends your way.
2. Know your numbers.
According to Candy, it’s impossible to find profitability during hard times if you don’t know your financial standing. So, she recommends holding a regular “state of the union” meeting — where you review and reconcile your profit and loss statement, balance statement, and cash flow statement.
When you deeply understand your finances, you can proactively find ways to spend less, decrease expenses, and improve profits (that will keep you going when times get rough).
SPEAKING OF PROFITABILITY...
“Cash rules everything around me.”
Wu-Tang knew what was up. And this year, it’s time to make that your business mantra. After all, cash is king, right? And while that’s always been true, cash flow is especially important to think about as we (potentially) head into another uncertain financial year.
Maybe you’re relying on tactics like raising prices and pushing sales to boost your cash flow. But revenue doesn’t always mean an increase in cash. So, to help you brainstorm, we’re sharing some tips from Trainual CEO Chris Ronzio on how you can help increase the amount of cash your business has on hand.
1. Buy in bulk, even if you can’t buy it all now.
Let’s be honest — it isn’t always possible to pony up a large amount of cash to buy supplies and equipment in bulk. If you don’t have money for a big bulk order, try committing to buying a large amount from a vendor and see if they’ll give you the bulk price. It’s a cash win for them, too, since they’ll have a consistent revenue stream locked in.
2. Weigh owning vs. renting equipment.
If you know you have some equipment or technology that’s going to need an upgrade, consider selling it ahead of your slow periods and renting until it’s time to buy again.
3. Get money upfront.
At Trainual, we sell monthly and annual plans. Interestingly, half our sales are in annual plans because there’s a small discount tied in.
From a vendor’s perspective, this means you get 10-11 months of cash up front, which can make a huge difference when revenues are falling. On your balance sheet, this shows up as “Deferred Revenue.” But in practice, putting that cash in the bank helps you fund expenses in the short term. Essentially, it buys you time when money isn’t coming in.
4. Look for discounts.
This one seems incredibly simple, but people love coupon clipping for a reason: Discounts can help you save up to a few hundred dollars a month. That can add up to a lot of cash over a year. So, if you see a vendor offering a sale or promotion for something you need, run, don’t walk.
WE HAVE A PODCAST
You can do a lot in 10 minutes. (Think about the time your mom announced an unexpected visit to your house because she was “in the neighborhood.”) Now apply that same focus and energy to your business. That’s what Organize Chaos delivers.
Throughout the week, founder and CEO of Trainual, Chris Ronzio, offers up entrepreneurial and small business leadership advice on the podcast, covering everything from people to processes to productivity — and how to organize your life around it all. The best part? Each bite-sized episode is less than 10 minutes.
Check out some of our most recent episodes: