I celebrate 5 years of self-employment today … and there are a number of tips and hints that I can supply that I have picked up over the last 5 years.
I was corporate for almost 25 years and we don’t realise how much the corporate world protects us from the daily grind of keeping tabs of our cash flow.
Some lessons learnt:
- A quote is not guaranteed income.
- An order is not guaranteed income until a deposit is paid (I ask 50% before I spend any time on a project)
- Final payment is not guaranteed until payment is actually received.
I have received a 50% deposit, done between 75% and 100% of the project and then never received final payment.
At one stage I was spending money and time based on my quotes … a path to disaster if ever there was one.
So the secret to managing your money is knowing that there is no secret.
Sound business principles of not spending money you don’t have, or money that isn’t yours, will go a long way to improving your cash flow.
I spent ages trying to figure out how to make more money and then finally realised that spending less and managing my money are actually solutions too.
A great and cost effective online money management resource is Billy the Billing Engine.
I use http://billy.co.za for my quotes and invoices and it works like a dream. On a recent trip to Gauteng I was able to go into an internet cafe and do all my month end invoicing.
No bucks, no Buck Rogers – quote from The Right Stuff movie