My financial literacy mentor Robert Kiyosaki believes that money is a very powerful tool if you use it well. If you do not use it well it will make you very poor, so he says from his personal experience with this prized economic asset.
Many big time entrepreneurs began with very little cash and very few customers. They faced many seasons of out flows only, before little trickles of income begun to dropping in. For many business ideas, this lean period is a sure death bed especially when first time entrepreneurs with little faith are driving them.
The cash flow management challenge is much bigger than just the tribulations in a start-up lean period. Indeed it is easier to control the little cash being pulled in all directions by creditors demand during this season, than it is to control a lot of cash in hand when the mind has acquired peace and purchases are now being pushed by their emotions and not the mind.
Is there a reason why this path of self-renewal is common among the well to do people?
David Cote, CEO Honeywell, one man with a story to tell, advises thus that you must first recognise the importance of people and your own behaviors. Be self-aware.
All great products and services start out as a simple ideas formulated either in a boardroom, or sometimes in a meeting of one person with himself while taking a shower, or a walk or many other thought provoking situations. Ideas are seldom forced. They arrive in the least expected situations whether or not you have the cash to realise them.
All an entrepreneur needs is an idea whose desire has reached the level of enthusiasm and he or she has the persistence to wear away mountains and the self-assurance to believe they can succeed to start off. As they face the cash drought challenge, to continue working at an idea, they must learn quickly to work their idea out from other peoples’ resources.
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In the early stages, business out flows are naturally larger than inflows, one because the business is growing fast and consuming more cash into working capital and fixed assets, and most importantly because the market is still small. This business stage requires great skill to handle both the cash and partner businesses. This must be done well to gain foot space in the next acres of the market.
Every business person at this stage suffers some credibility gap with very few partner businesses willing to offer them credit terms, because they have not built a bankable cash flow and business reputation to attract other people’s resource. And while the cash is running low and reputation is stretched, they still have to foot their daily life expenses and meet the business cash needs to grow to the next level.
It is all in the mind
Take toll of people you interact with in the office, or business and you will shockingly learn that they do not come from rich families. Naturally, their socialisation and experience with big money is comparatively limited. Like Thomas Stanley and William found out in a research recorded in the book Millionaire Next Door, the affluent people typically follow a lifestyle conducive for accumulating money.
“Millionaires have learnt over time to take control of their emotions and which have resulted in a strong control of their cash flow through frugal financial behaviours; upcoming entrepreneurs have no experience with this in their early lives.
Cash flow is defined as streams of cash coming in as income and going out as expenses. Controlling your cash flow means that you first take control of the sources of your income, and then where to spend it in that order. For a small business owner, this may mean considering business expansion before considering large spending on a home in a key address or that fleet of toys.
Many small businesses have been strangled to death by their owners who divert the much needed cash flow from businesses to acquire their dream homes and other toys sooner than the business can afford alongside cash demand for growth.
Patrick Wameyo, Financial Literacy Educator and a Small Businesses consultant at Financial Academy & Technologies. #pwameyo, and [email protected]