When you work for yourself you can go through periods of feast and famine: times when you’re busy and the cash is flowing, and times when there’s no work to be had. As an entrepreneur, it’s best to plan for the hard times and set money aside. Unfortunately, saving isn’t always possible.
During the tough times, when your income ebbs, you need to find money to get you through until the cash is flowing. Here are a few ways to find extra money as an entrepreneur.
Get a Short-Term Loan
While taking on debt is the bane of any entrepreneur’s existence, getting a short-term loan can help fill the gaps when times are tough. Also known as payday loans, these offerings have extremely short terms attached (sometimes as little as two weeks) and are meant to act as a bridge when you need some money and know more is coming shortly.
One of the benefits of short-term loans is that you don’t necessarily need to go to a bank to get them. FastCash.org is one option for increasing your cash flow until your next client pays or you can secure new business. Be a responsible borrower and make sure that you use this type of loan as a stopgap measure, planning your spending accordingly until your influx of cash comes in.
A Flash Sale
Depending on your line of work, offering a flash sale is a great way to increase your cash flow when times are tough. While you ultimately sacrifice some of the margin on your product or service offering, you are rewarded for your efforts by having cash now.
There are a couple of things to consider when offering a flash sale. If you have a service-based business, how much work can you currently take on to optimize this offering? Consider adding a sales cap, offering the sale to the first five or ten customers that bite. Not only does this ensure you have time to get the work done, but it also adds a sense of scarcity, which is a powerful marketing tactic.
Another thing to consider is how much product you have available and if you can afford to let some of it go at a discounted price. If you have an inventory, consider offering a product that will soon be on its way out or that works well when combined with something available at full price.
Scaled Down Services
Scaling down your services to create something more approachable is another way to make money immediately, especially when combined with a flash sale. The benefits are twofold: not only do you get cash-in-hand, but you also give new customers a taste of your offering at a manageable cost. It’s much easier to get a customer to spend $20 with your company before making a larger investment than convincing them to make a big investment right away.
Many services can be scaled down to create bite-sized offerings. For example, a life coach can offer a 30-minute goal setting call and craft an action plan, rather than having someone commit to long-term coaching. A landscaper could offer one-time lawn mowing available during a certain time period as a type of impulse buy.
Use a Tripwire
If you offer a scaled down service or flash sale, use them as an opportunity to create a tripwire. It’s time to put your sales skills to the test, offering an upsell to a larger service with a discount as a reward for purchasing the initial product or service. Again, this is a marketing tactic that uses psychology to encourage people to make a purchase. Online entrepreneurs can even trigger this effect in their website.
Owning a business has its ebbs and flows– times when you’ll feel successful and times when you’ll question yourself. Stay true to the course and use these effective ways to bridge the cash gaps until things improve.