Do you feel safe in business and your life in general? By safe, I don’t mean having a body guard to protect you from life’s dangers; I mean do you have stability?
This week, I had a client tell me that the trust he and I have built, over the past 6 years together, has earned me an ongoing contract between our two businesses. This got me thinking, is it only the trust he values or does it go much deeper than that? So, I asked the question; “What makes you feel safe in our business partnership”?
He responded by saying that, together, we have been able to form trust and been able to grow our businesses. He also loves the honesty in my approach and values my commitment to his business and staff. He said the one word to describe what it means to be partnering with me is….stability!
This got me thinking – do I feel stable in my own business? Do I feel stable with my business practices and do I feel I have an edge over other Virtual Assistant companies…absolutely! I offer excellent services and aim to build profound business relationships with my clients. The services I offer and the partnerships I create with my clients give me stability not only in my business but also in the marketplace against my competitors. Unfortunately, these practices don’t necessarily make me financially stable nor do they make me safe from losing clients and losing income.
Knowing this, while I continue to grow my business I continually work on key areas to reach financial stability and feel intense safety. Here are a few tips:
- Track your current spending and income information down to the fine details. Keep this information in an accounting software package or even something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet. Continually analyse your spending vs. income – if your spending is greater than your actual income you need to look at changing this straight away.
- Be sure to create a budget, whether weekly or monthly. Ensure you stick to your budget and determine where costs can be cut, if necessary. For example, you may be able to cuts costs by outsourcing parts of your work, downgrading online software you are using, changing suppliers or even something as simple as changing the quality of paper that’s used in the office.
- Ensure all bills are paid on time. These days, the majority of suppliers charge a late fee if invoices are not paid on time.
- Determine if you can use new suppliers to not only cut your own costs but to also forward some of those savings to your customers. This is a win-win; you save money on services/products and your customers get a more cost effective deal, which they will love you for.
- Offer referral discounts. I do these two ways. I always offer a referral finders’ fee to anyone who refers clients to me and I also offer the potential new client a discount as a referred client. This not only means that the referrer keeps referrals coming my way, it also helps potential clients make the decision to employ me as, straight up, I offer them a discount that my competitors, more than likely, will not offer.
The above are just some ways I like to ensure my business in on the right path to financial stability. I would love to hear what you think is important to create stability in your business.