When a colleague first started his little business, he had two clients. One provided steady projects. The set up worked well since he could manage these projects outside of his corporate job. Yes, he worked two full-time jobs between the corporate one and his business. We’ll call him Joe. He wanted to build cash flow before quitting his corporate job.
Then the company — the steady one — went out of business. As for the other client … projects didn’t come in regularly enough to sustain business. Joe had to decide whether to resign to a life-long corporate career and keep the business as grocery money … or find more clients.
In One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, author Robert Maurer told the story of an employee who saw his metal shop coworkers throwing out scrap metal. When the company posted a suggestion box with a simple question, the worker submitted one to sell the scraps. The company implemented the idea and found an easy way to get more cash.
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.