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  • #1235149
    luminar
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1
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    Hi guys

    I’m new here hoping for some guidance at probably rock bottom of my life and business.

    I just don’t know what to do anymore, at this point even questioning my own life. I run a food manufacturing company, 4 years in. The whole 4 years we have struggled with cash flow. Now we have lost half our customers due to a dodgy freight company damaging/delaying deliveries. We have a huge contract starting in a month that we can’t even get raw materials for due to a lack of cash flow.

    It’s been the same problem for years. No cash flow to hire more staff > not enough staff to make stock > not enough stock to service customers. It is a vicious cycle. I just don’t know how to get out of it. I know we have a good product, there is demand. Because of the cash flow issue im stuck doing a lot of things myself and cannot focus on sales and marketing activities. I am already working 7 days a week 14 hours.

    I am at the point where i am questioning whether or not to just shut down. If anyone has been through this how do you get out? I feel so isolated and depressed.

    #1235188
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,488
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    Hi And Welcome to Flying Solo It is great to have you!

    Thank you for joining our community and posting.

    I am so sorry to hear of your situation.

    You do need to make some decisions and have a plan moving forward.

    Having a plan will relieve a lot of the stress because you only have to do one thing at a time to realise the plan. This is opposite to what you are feeling now – pure overwhelm.

    Some suggestions include hitting up family and friends for dollars – in the form of a loan or equity.

    Or bringing on a partner – silent or active.

    Please stay in touch – update us.

    Cheers
    ~Paul

    #1235198
    Cec Busby
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 25
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    Hi there.
    This sounds like a very stressful situation and I am so sorry to hear you are feeling so overwhelmed. It’s important to reach out for support. Do you have someone you can talk to? A family member or friend? It’s really important to look after your mental well-being. If you feel uncomfortable speaking to someone you know there is a lot of free mental health support available for small business owners through beyondblue and the new access for small business owners mental health support service.
    https://business.gov.au/news/supporting-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-of-small-business-owners
    The office of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman might also be a good place to start as there are a lot of resources available to guide you through cash flow issues – such as what funding (such as small business grants or SME recovery scheme loans – might be available. The my business health section could be a good place to start.
    https://www.asbfeo.gov.au/my-business-health/home
    Please keep in touch and let us know how you go.
    Take care
    Cec

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Cec Busby.
    Cec Busby Editor Flying Solo
    #1235202
    DianaPorta
    Participant
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    Hi Luminar,

    Thank you so much for sharing – it’s such a tough situation you are in, but you are not alone in this. Reaching out to the community is a first great step!

    It really sounds that the cash flow issue is your main problem at the moment, is that right?

    If that is the case, I have listed below some things you could look at (which you may have thought of already)
    – what is your biggest expense (except wages)? If it is rent, can you negotiate with your landlord to pay your rent later on, when your cash flow is better? Normally, for a landlord ,it is not very convenient to change tenant due to the costs involved in changing tenant, so they may agree to collect the rent later on. Or perhaps you could ask your suppliers of materials better terms – for example you could ask them to pay in 3 months time due to your current situation. Maybe change terms in 1 year’s time? If you do not want to make the negotiations yourself, you may want to ask someone else (a loyal employee or family member?) to negotiate on behalf of the business
    – If you have a very good product that others do not have, you may ask for an advance or deposit from your customers, to secure the materials
    – what is causing your cash flow issue? are your customers not paying on time? are you not charging enough for your products?
    – ask advice from a financial counsellor to help with your cash flow. Here’s a link for that: https://ndh.org.au/financial-counselling/what-is-financial-counselling/
    – bring together 10 people you know (or more!) that are quite switched on, and have a brainstorming session on how to solve your cash flow problem, you never know what they may come up with
    – contact your bank (or another bank, or a business broker?) and set up an overdraft account that may help with swing in cash- i know that’s now easy nowadays

    I would like to know how you feel about your business. If your cash flow was good, would you consider shutting the business down? If not, how great would that be to solve the cash flow issues and have a profitable business, if that’s possible?

    Hope any of this helps and wishing you the very best!

    Diana

    #1235242
    Paul.Skene
    Participant
    • Total posts: 2
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    Hi Luminar,

    Sorry to hear about your current situation.

    Whilst you are going through a very hard time at the moment, you have made the first step in turning things around by reaching out to ask for help.

    As Cec mentioned there is a lot of mental health support for business owners. A good programme is the New Access programme run by Beyond Blue, https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/newaccess.

    Have you spoken with your accountant to try and identify the gaps in your cashflow? A third party outside of the business may be able to see where the cashflow issues are coming from and then work out a plan to rectify them.

    There are several cashflow finance options available to small business, happy to have a conversation with you to give you some ideas.

    Please reach out to me if you would like to chat.

    Paul

    #1235241
    LeadDriveSEO
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1
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    Hi, Sorry to hear that you are having such a difficult time. We are a successful Brisbane internet marketing company and have a team of passionate staff who like to give back to the small business world when we can. We are more than just a marketing agency, we help businesses to think differently about how they promote their services and how they engage with their customers and suppliers. Over the last 6 years, our agency has transformed small businesses from barely turning over a profit into highly successful businesses that are authorities in their niche. From time to time we extend our services to business owners who are really struggling and offer some our of services at no cost to help them get back on their feet. We would like to extend this offer to you. There is no catch, we are in the fortunate position of having a stable business so we want to give back to the small business community.
    Please reach out to me directly via our website http://www.leaddriveseo.com.au and ask for Mark.

    #1236003
    Mario
    Participant
    • Total posts: 13
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    Hi Luminar

    My wife and I were in a similar situation with our design and print business. After looking for a solution for over ten years we decided to cut our losses and wind down the business. We consulted several business and financial experts and even found a partner that thought could help us. That didn’t work. We negotiated lower terms on leases and even asked a debtor to reduce our debt. That worked. But long story short… we couldn’t get out of our hole.

    In the end, I got a job after a few years of applying. (Also not an uplifting experience.) We’re still paying off our debt. The reason I bring this up is to show you that you don’t lose unless you give up. You may not end up with the result you wanted, but you will win eventually.

    That’s not to say your situation is the same as ours. Keep looking for support. Explain your situation to your debtors. There are some great financial and mental health tips that people here have recommended, and a very generous offer from LeadDriveSEO. You need to address your cash flow and health issues to work out your situation. It’s hard to fight when you’re down.

    I wish you well.

      Cheers Mario
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