It is unwise to purposefully do harmful things to your business if you ever want it to succeed
Hey, you! Yeah… YOU. The one that just made the poor life decision that was opening this business coach blog post. I need to have a serious discussion with you. It’s not going to be easy or fun, but regardless, it is most definitely a discussion that you and I need to have. I’m sure that you’re a likable chap or gal that has at least one good friend, right? Let’s just go ahead and assume that part is true. And let’s say that your very good friend’s name is Pete. When it comes to having great friends like Pete, it is important to do things that will move the needle forward within the friendship in order to keep the bond strong and ever-growing. You want to ensure that you are both fulfilled by the friendship and that you both end up growing in a positive direction as a direct result of it. Now I don’t know about you, but deliberately harming your best friend Pete by way of sucker punching him in the groin or surprise attacking him with a water balloon filled with cat pee might not result in positive outcomes for this friendship. In fact, either of those actions could very well result in the immediate end of the friendship as well as a black eye courtesy of our boy Pete.
Long example short, you should never deliberately do things to harm Pete if you want to keep him around. Well, the same goes for your business. It is unwise to purposefully do harmful things to your business if you ever want it to succeed, however, I see one harmful act that many business owners engage in that could bring upon the absolutely nuclear destruction of their businesses. Invoicing… The tried and true method of going bankrupt within a year of opening your doors. Unless you have enough business and payment being thrown at you that you could wait for the cycle of accounts receivable to make a full rotation, invoicing will slowly bleed you of your profits and savings and leave you with a mile-high stack of I.O.U’s.
For the small business owner, the act of invoicing has always confused me as a business coach. Why take the time to follow up on leads, spend the money necessary to acquire the items needed to complete the job, and pay the additional money needed to employ someone to proceed with the job, just to ask for your justified payment in 30 to 90 days? I’ve learned that we all have an inherent belief that people are good and will make due on their promises in a swift fashion, or that customers will be so thankful for our services that they will rapidly pay for a service without us having to get involved at all. I’m sorry to stand on your diving board and take an Incredible Hulk-sized leak in your pool… but that my friends is not the case. So many businesses struggle with invoicing because it allows for customers to put off payment for as long as they can. It also takes an additional toll on your business by sucking up valuably time by way of constant follow up and payment chasing.
Start collecting for services rendered or products provided
In order to take care of your business, it’s time to finally learn from the time-honored tradition of invoice fueled bankruptcy and start collecting for services rendered or products provided. Most people are a slave to “industry standards” which claim that invoicing is all that their industry has ever known, customers won’t want to pay that much all at once, or that they’ll be the only ones not invoicing if they choose the path of success. News flash, you’ll also be the only person in your business coach industry that’s getting paid.
So treat your business like our dear friend Pete. Do the things that you know will make you both successful and stay away from harmful behavior. Put down the cat pee water balloons and think twice before you sucker punch your business with another invoice.