It happens to even the most experienced of entrepreneurs: a cash crunch. Perhaps you failed to work out your break-even analysis, or maybe oil prices took a huge jump again. No matter what the reason, you need money, and now. Here are five quick tips to get you what you need right away, without too much hassle.
- Use the equity in your home or business temporarily.
- Sell extra equipment on eBay, or use a consignment shop. Look around your home and office space. I’ll bet that you’ve got more than a couple of things you or your business no longer find useful. No matter how big or small, someone else will most likely want them. Plus, collectibles are huge deal on eBay and other auction sites, so any items that you’ve kept locked away for years in the attic (or collecting dust on the wall) can easily be recycled into someone else’s treasure – for a fee. Within a week you could have anywhere from $20 to several thousand dollars in your bank account.
- Take a peek at your jewelry box – gold is worth a lot more than it used to be. Did one of your parents, ex-lovers or friends give you a bauble that you no longer wear? Go to your local jewelry shop and have it appraised. The value may make you richer than you thought you were! I remember several years back I had a financial crunch, and took a diamond promise band into a reputable shop to see if I could get anything for it – something I hadn’t worn in over 15 years. Surprisingly, it was worth ten times more than what I thought it was.
- Explore with your creditors ways of extending the terms just a bit longer until the next big check comes in – and then pay them promptly as soon as it does. By keeping those who you owe money to informed, and then following through with your promises, you will build not only better credit, but a much better business reputation as well.
- The next time you send out invoices, add a small piece of paper to every bill. Make it a reminder of sorts that all bills paid within a certain time period (say, 7 days) will get a 1-5% refund or credit of the purchase price. Not only will you get a bunch of payments all at once when you need them most, you’ll make your customers happy they could save a couple of bucks in the process.
Did these tips help you? Do you have other suggestions or real-world advice to help other cash-strapped entrepreneurs? Share with us in our discussion group, or send me an email with your results. Once you are back on track, make sure to take a peek at our record keeping and financial management sections of Entrepreneurs to make sure business-related financial crises are a thing of the past.