Meryl K. Evans, Content Maven, writes a variety of content and helps her clients with their content marketing needs. She's the author, co-author and contributor to books covering tech and business. A native Texan, Meryl lives a heartbeat north of Dallas in Plano, Texas with her husband and three kiddos. Y'all can visit her online home at www.meryl.net or connect with her on Twitter @merylkevans.
This post’s title sounds like a quote from one of those inspiring posters with a stunning photo and an inspirational quote. It’s true that it’s better to flop than to avoid something or play it safe in fear of failure. Do this, and it’ll be tough to grow your business.
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan
I bought a product at a store that I visit about once a year. The store is pricey, but has unique products that I can’t find anywhere else. It’s not far, but it’s not as close as its competitors. While there, I always pick up pop snacks. They’re tasty and you get a big bang for the munch in a single pop.
On this visit, I brought home a few flavors. All of them were their tasty, crunchy selves except one. Every bite lacked crunch as if it was past its sell-by date. (It wasn’t.) And both bags of the same flavor had the problem. Considering all the other flavors were good and it was the first time I had experienced this, I emailed the store.
Some clients pay within days of submitting an invoice. Others pay near the end of the 30 days. Both types have been in business for years and continue going strong. Still, those who put off payment until right before the standard 30-day deadline have a slight edge. They keep the money longer.
Occasionally, a client or two would pay late. Fortunately, some businesses have enough cushion that they aren’t affected but not everyone is in the same boat. It hurts the business when they get paid late.
Remember VHS? For those of you who don’t, it recorded TV shows before DVDs and DVRs came along. Did you know that it had a competitor known as Betamax? Many considered Beta’s technology superior to VHS’s. Yet Beta flopped and VHS soared until DVDs caught on. Beta failed because customers wanted an affordable option. VHS cost several hundred dollars less than Betamax.
It takes more than a great product or service to win over the market. Marketing plays a role. Customer needs play a role. A well-written business plan plays a role.
Business-to-business companies typically give clients 30 days to pay for their products or services. These B2B companies also need to pay their vendors within the same timeframe. And it’s standard business practice to wait until the end of the 30 days before making a payment.
It’s like having an interest-free loan for 30 days as you keep cash longer in your bank account. However, late payments can cause the company’s cash flow to snowball out of control jeopardizing other areas of the business and its relationships with vendors. (There’s a difference between being nice by paying quickly and having the needed cash flow to stay in business.)
Buying a competitor or another company gives you the opportunity to merge the two company’s strengths and reducing or eliminating weaknesses. Another option is to buy a business that has products or services that complement yours can boon business in a big way. However, the challenge lies in combining the companies’ employees, resources and cultures to turn them into a single company that operates seamlessly. No matter the scenario, owners and executives still need to think about other things before buying the company.
Businesses often think they need to borrow money when they shouldn’t. Still, there are times when it’s a good move to get working capital financing, especially when it contributes to growing the business.
A bank approving an application for a loan isn’t a sign that a business needs it. All it indicates is that the bank believes the business can pay back the line of credit or loan. That’s their main goal regardless of how it affects your business.
Many small business owners fear the thought of an audit. However, you don’t have to quake in your boots as much if you keep thorough and organized bookkeeping records. The number one rule for bookkeeping and how to avoid an audit: Have a record of everything that flows in and out of your business. You’ll be prepared to answer any auditing questions and provide the required paperwork when billed for additional tax.
Although U.S. law doesn’t require any kind of recordkeeping system, good recordkeeping ensures your company has accurate financial statements, acts as a report card on your business progress, tracks deductible expenses and helps with tax return preparation. Continue reading →
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