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El Arish Tropical Exotics
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Paul – FS Concierge, post: 269679, member: 78928 wrote:
If I have noticed a theme amongst soloers, it is they budget very well but only enough to stay afloat and for some, maybe a bit more during “normal times”.

For the most part this works well enough, but I have always worried that a lot of people in business do not have a “buffer”.

There are a couple few things connected to a buffer that make a big difference:

1. A lot of businesses do not charge enough. Charging a fair, market price is something we should do without guilt, especially when we think oif the value we are delivering.

2. Doing things for free. All of those little things add ap and when it is all said and done, cost us very dearly. Mostly, if we ever want to have a chance to build a buffer, we have to charge for the big things of course, but also the little things that take up our time.

3. Doing 1 and 2 above well, might allow us to save. Be ob the lookout that saving some of your profits, especially in the first year might hurt some, because you pay tax on all of your profits, even if you do not pay yourself all of them.

4. Understand cashflow. When things get back to normal and we can look forward to growing again, taking on new clients often means waiting for them to set up their systems to pay you. And this can take time. So there can be quite a time before getting the money for the new shiny job you have just won. If you have to buy stuff and pay suppliers before you get that money, you will need cash in the bank to do so.

And the best way to have cash in the bank is to take steps to build….A Buffer.

I can’t speak for everyone but I know in my experience it took work to change our strategy from “do everything, take everything, claw like a dog to make money, make sure the business survives and grow as much as possible” to “Hmm, I’m working my butt off and my quality of life sucks, how do I make the same amount of business more profitable” particularly when you are married to the other half of your business and they are a price dropper and stock expander. Some people never seem to come out of that initial strategy.

When I was last active I was and am working on that. Surprisingly, I haven’t seen any drop in turnover even though I have an order minimum and pass credit card/paypal fees along to the customer. I’m targeting more high end stuff and all of this has given me more time to work on newsletters sales, fb, descriptions, etc and most importantly go fishing! It’s taken my other half a fit of time to come around but he’s finally seeing that the type of business we do makes a big difference, not just doing business.

I don’t know what is going to happen in the future but I’m thankful that we don’t have a “big” little business and that we can downsize our expenses quickly if we have to. Being smaller gives you the ability to adjust faster so I feel as secure as I can at this point.

Bert, I love your strategy, I’m scramble quarterly every time.

Greg, love your new avatar :)

Ann