Running a business or a nonprofit can often feel like you’re in a movie.
And depending on where you are in the process, you may be starring in a drama, a comedy, or a downright horror picture. 😨
Maybe that’s why I’ve always enjoyed business.
It’s a blend of all these things.
There are ups and downs, but it’s never boring!
Especially when it comes to the bottom line for all businesses: generating profit.
We can argue that last sentence. For example, I’ve always practiced business with something like a triple bottom line: profits, people, and posterity.
That means beyond the dollars my businesses generate, I’m concerned with the people I impact and about the eternal legacy I leave behind.
But here’s an uncomfortable truth (for some) …
None of that is possible without cashflow. Even if you are a church, or your mission is to feed the poor, you will be out of “business” without cashflow.
And at times you can feel like Tom Cruise in the hit movie, Jerry Maguire, screaming at the top of your lungs …
While we can all identify with that primal scream for help, we know that yelling into the phone, or into space won’t bring in the cash.
So, what do you do?
How can you get your business, investors, banks, partners, donors, or financial institutions to show you the money?
That’s a HUGE question.
I will begin to answer it for you here.
Let me illustrate it with a couple of personal experiences.
On September 11, 2001, our nation was attacked by terrorists. This was a shock to everyone’s psyche, and business (for a season) ground to a halt.
I had been four years in business at that point, and I was cruising. See what I did there? (Worked in a Tom Cruise reference 😁) …
My firm was doing well. Over the previous 24 months, I had doubled my annual revenue to roughly $1 million dollars by organic growth–no loans or investors involved.
Then came 9/11, and business dried up. 😲
Without my regular cashflow, I could see clearly that my cash runway (the amount of cash I had to pay bills into the future) was shorter than I needed to survive the national economic meltdown.
I had some choices.
I could sit there while my runway disappeared and become another failed business statistic.
Or I could find someone or some institution who would show me some money.
I think you’ve guessed what I did.
In this instance, I sought assistance from the US Small Business Administration or the SBA as it’s commonly known.
And the SBA came through like gangbusters!
I know some of you may have issues with government waste, but the SBA is not one of those agencies.
In my case, it provided my business with a $250,000.00 working capital loan, with excellent payment terms.
That loan saved my business and catapulted me to my next round of business growth. Within 24 months, I had paid that loan back in full through a strategic business merger.
Roughly 10 years later, the SBA came to bat once again, and backed a loan for me to purchase an office building for my firm.
This post is not a commercial for the SBA.
I assure you they’re not paying me any endorsement fee for this article.
What I hope this article will be for you, is an encouragement.
That, regardless of where you may be in your venture (startup phase, middle build, or mature company) there’s money available to grow your business.
There are investors, institutions, and individuals waiting excitedly to SHOW YOU THE MONEY.
They are out there.
I’ve owned businesses for thirty years.
I’ve never seen a time where more money is available for entrepreneurs–even social entrepreneurs on the nonprofit side.
Small businesses. Veteran-owned businesses. Minority-owned businesses. Women-owned businesses. People with disabilities in business.
There are funds available to fund your ambitions and dreams.
The key is that in order to access the funds, it will require:
✅ Preparation and research. You won’t get something for nothing. If that’s your plan, then I think you may want to reconsider being in business.