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Money / Financial management

How to stay sane when there’s no money coming in

Of all the things that keep us awake at night, financial stress is among the most common. As small business owners the problem can loom even larger, because, the buck (literally) stops with you. 

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A YouGov study from December last year revealed that 80% of small business owners are worried about cash flow. 

Talking about it doesn’t come easily either. 

A Flying Solo forum post on how to cope when money is tight has attracted a lot of views from our community, but not a lot of comment.

And in a recent Facebook poll, 70% of respondents said they worry about lack of money more than three times a week.

Reframe the question

Robert Gerrish, founder of Flying Solo says nothing kills the question (or anxiety) like making a plan.

He also advises turning the focus of the problem around. 

Eg:

“A better question would be: ‘My business is not generating revenue, can you give me some thoughts on why this might be.’ Because this helps the person reframe how they think about money and make a plan,” says Robert. 

“When you know you have got some kind of solution (even if it’s a difficult solution) to your financial problem, that I think stops you worrying so much. And you can put your effort into that. 

“If you know what your actions are, yes you don’t suddenly magically have money, you have a path forward. And if you have a path forward you worry less.”

Robert also highly recommends considering an extra revenue stream.

“Maybe you could get a side hustle, or work part-time in another business. Whatever it is this will help. Instead of sitting there worrying about money and why your business isn’t working then you are in a horrible storm.”

Aim for a positive view on life and business

Catherine Bell, director of Bell Training Group, also recommends taking a broader view. 

“It’s so easy to get caught up in the chase of the next big prize – but when we are forced to slow down (like when money is tight), we have a unique opportunity to rest, regenerate, and enjoy what we already have,” says Catherine. 

Catherine recommends taking a minute to reflect on what you do have in your business and life this working well. 

“Gratitude has a range of benefits that can’t be ignored, from increased positive emotions, to reduce stress, and even a great sense that we can achieve our goals! When times are tough, the best way to get yourself back on top of things again is to get yourself into a place of looking forward with hope – and gratitude for what you ALREADY have can help you get there.”

If the problem persists, consider professional help

If the methods suggested by Robert and Catherine above, and you’re still feeling stuck, there is no harm at all in seeking professional advice. 

“ Optimism is a wonderful way to get through a tough few weeks, but denial is a recipe for disaster where your finances are concerned. Seek the help and advice of a trusted mentor or financial professional who can give you real-life ways to ease the strain and get back on track again. Don’t leave it – early action means early recovery,” says Catherine. 

Lucy Kippist

is an experienced Australian editor with experience in writing, podcasting radio and television, with previous senior editorial roles at News Corp news.com.au, Kidspot and Kinderling Kids Radio. In her current role as editor of Flying Solo, Australia's #1 website for solo business owners she is pursuing her passion for women in the small business space. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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