Being low on Cashflow is probably the highest stress point when running a startup or SME. If your business is selling a physical product ‘ production is expensive and logistic can be an issue. If you need staff support ‘ salaries must be paid. Until sales become stable, managing cashflow may be the thing that keeps you awake at night so I have put together my 3 survival tips on how to keep moving until sales keep you moving.
In my experience, crowdfunding is a LOT of work; there is so much more to it than uploading a video and your proposal and hoping people will believe in you. You have to galvanise people first and keep them informed and motivated to support your cause. We went through this process a few years ago, and although we managed to achieve our target in record time with a bit of research first and a supportive group around us, it was a crowdfunding project we learnt a lot from. My top tips for Crowdfunding are:
- Have a solid network around you who will assist with driving traffic and excitement.
- Make your target realistic enough that you can get there quickly ‘ you do not want to sit there for long and appear not to be an attractive proposition.
- Reach out to experienced people to learn from their mistakes before you start.
Grant applications are onerous but can be a lifeline to a cash-poor business. It is worth spending some time looking for those that could be applicable to you and accepting that you will not win them all. You will also only learn on getting better at writing grant proposals, by simply doing it and learning from your mistakes. Those few grants you do achieve will add kudos to your product or service and offer valuable financial support when you most need it.
One example is the Government’s KickStart Placement Scheme that has just ended, but like it, others will no doubt follow so it is worth having on the radar. In essence, this last Government Scheme paid for businesses to offer employment and training to young people out of work. From experience, with some care and nurture, these people are a wonderful asset to your team, allowing you to achieve more with the extra person-power and also to have fresh and energetic eyes on your projects. While this sort of option is not directly an income generator, it is worth mentioning because of the extra person hours within your business which could be enough to push you closer to that sacred place of financial certainty.
Have a look around. There are more ways to carry your business through a difficult period and if you are determined, you will sail through in time.