The oil and gas industry undoubtedly had an adventurous 2010 that left many uncertain how it would fare in 2011. Good news has already arrived courtesy a few of the largest oil and gas companies as well as smaller ones all eyeing one shale play in South Texas.
Small business loans rarely make sense. Banks will give a loan to a new business that has been in business for one day, yet they turn down a business with good personal credit and money in the bank. Another one had to wait over a year to get the loan, yet the bank provided a loan for under $50,000 without looking at the company's financial records. Stories like these are everywhere.
If your biggest client calls you today to break up, what will you do? How does it affect your business? Whether the loss has a small or large impact on your business, it's still a shock. It hurts to lose a client no matter the reason. It's OK to feel angry, upset or sad as long as you leave the yelling and head banging at home.
Someone I know had just two clients in the beginning of her small business, which was a part-time deal because she had a corporate job. One client provided steady work. The other only needed her services here and there. Nothing consistent. She was happy with her balanced workload especially since she did the work after hours. She wasn't looking to grow the business into a million dollar business.
Articles on small marketing budgets often make the following point: don't slow down marketing activities or cut its budget when things slow down. To do this means falling behind your competitors who keep pumping the marketing machine knowing it takes time to bring on new clients. If you take a break from marketing, that's lost time.
When business or the economy gets better, it'll most likely be too late for your business as you'll be in catch up mode while competitors grow their businesses.
A television show told the story of an unemployed married couple who relied on their welfare checks. Out of work for over two years and raising a toddler, they only had $37 left after paying all their bills. This happened every month and would continue unless they found jobs, or worse, the welfare checks stop coming.
For over a decade, I've used a Palm device (owned at least three models over the years) to manage my personal information. Then, two years ago, I decided it was time to upgrading Palm devices and let the latest one go when it gave out. By then, I had a BlackBerry and it was pointless to carry two gadgets. Though I dumped the hardware, I continued to use Palm's desktop software until I finally switched.
Sometimes admin tasks tie us down and take energy away from the things we love to do -- the core business. Not doing admin work means not getting paid. After all, creating invoices and chasing payments count as admin tasks. What we can do is evaluate the tasks we do and determine if we need them, delegate them or shorten them.
We blogged about how you can grow your business with cold calls. The key takeaway from that post is to make sure you're targeting the right people. Here we explore how to work with gatekeepers as you're bound to run into a few. Actually, when given the choice of gatekeeper or voice mail, cross your fingers that you reach the gatekeeper. Unlike with voice mail, you can build a rapport with gatekeepers. They can also become your insider into the company and decision-maker.
Working capital can make or break a business. Businesses that have customers lining up and stay busy can fall apart simply because it lacks cash flow. When you pay attention to your cash flow and understand how it flows in and out of the business, you can turn around cash flow problems fast.
The main principle to remember is a business needs to have more cash coming in than going out.
What Our Clients Are Saying
- George Del Toro,
We were funded [in 10 days] (the approval process was very smooth). The way I spend my time has changed dramatically since then. I can spend as much time as I need visiting with customers and out on the field... In closing I would like to tell you that Capital Solutions has made it possible for GDT Well Service, Inc. to triple (300%) its business in the last year, without any of the "growing pains".
GDT Well Service
- Brenda and Mark Neufeld,
In our very first conversation I noticed that you not only understood our situation, but also the Oil & Gas trade. Capital Solutions has been an invaluable help... We have grown our business exponentially thanks to you. I can now probably qualify for a traditional line of credit (...but I'm not sure I want to).
B.N.M. Piloting Services
- Keri Gray,
The HUGE difference I found since we are working with you... is in the day-to-day life... Since Capital Solutions is funding us there is no "fear"... when I talk to a vendor or need to make payroll. You guys have also bent over backwards... to make it work for us. I really appreciate that.