How small business owners can survive hard times

Money management is critical for small businesses. Here are three financial tips to help small businesses stay afloat and in the black. 1. Focus on what you can control 2. Create a budget 3. Stay resourceful 4. Hire an experienced coach

Let’s first define what money management is for a small business

Money management for a small business concerns the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual management of finances. This includes income, overhead, expenses, cash flow, assets, etc.

Of course, there is so much more, but for this article, I’m keeping a small targeted focus so my readers can leave with ideas to implement ASAP. Quick implementation leads to quick wins, which also opens up creativity in solving problems.

If you’re in survival mode, the last thing you want me to write about is the extensive picture business school definition of money management.

Focus on what cash you can control in the short term

Small business owners need to focus on cutting costs, saving time on processes, and contacting current customers for more orders. This will help them stay afloat during difficult times.

Money management decisions can be rough for business owners who are frustrated and stressed out. When you’re in this space, I recommend that you step back and brain dump all of the ways you can call in cash. Once you do, look back at the list and grade your findings as net 30, 60, and 90.

First, for net 90, consider these as long-range cash in options such as applying for a grant, tax credit, or loan. It’s important to seed these cash opportunities now (net 30) with an expectation that you could receive this cash net 90 or more.

Second, for net 60, look at your order history and reach out to customers who typically place orders around this time. If you’re a service provider, know your client’s trends. When does their fiscal year-end? Who has a budget to hire you now?

Third, focus on calling in the cash you can bring in within the next 30 days. A couple of examples are calling up customers that owe you money. Or talk to customers about those orders they keep pushing off.

Save time because time is money.

Making small changes to save time is another way small business owners can cut costs. They should consider automating processes, switching to online order forms, updating money management software, and using templates to save hours of labor each week. A small investment of time now will save small business owners time and money later.

You don’t always need a lean expert to help you streamline processes. You’re natural and don’t even know it! Think of making a sandwich in your kitchen at home. How annoying is it to zig-zag from cabinet to drawers to the fridge when you can’t find what you need when you’re hangry? A small business office is the same. Think of the small daily annoyances and tweak the system to get more work done in less time.

Budgeting and Money Management

The number one issue in creating budgets is that you need to be realistic about how much you spend and bring in. Then, complete the budget from there. Create small stretch goals to reduce expenses by 10% and increase sales by 10%. Install these goals into your realistic budget. Please make it so that your monthly budget within your money management system is a reasonable SMART goal to attain. It’s a feel-good win when you cut expenses or call in more sales by 10%.

Invest in a financial coach

Small business owners need to consider investing in a small business financial coach who is experienced and encouraging. This coach should have survived hard times in the past and can share their war stories with you.

The goal is for small business owners to gain the knowledge necessary to make successful decisions about their small businesses’ money management strategies and daily operations rather than paying professionals to do it for the long run.

Build that money muscle! The next time you’re in a crunch, you’ve exercised your creative money skills and resourcefulness, which means you’ll be ready.

As a coach, I believe in teaching my clients what to look for. We analyze their financial statements together to brainstorm opportunities to make and save money. We do this each month to find the money story. Then, we pinpoint short-term goals to achieve, create an action plan, take charge, and reevaluate. What worked well? What didn’t? How can we do better the next time?

Need help? Plenty of resources teach money management

Think of your resources in the same way you think of cash control. Net 30, 60, and 90.

Net 90 Resources that Pay Off Over Time.

There are many free small business resources for small business owners to research and improve their small businesses. Small business magazines, blogs, and articles are other small business resources small business owners can use to find financial training.

Net 60 Resources

Small business associations offer information, classes, and seminars which are often free or low cost. Check out your local Women’s Business Development Center, the Small Business Administration, and your local college small business school. Usually, these schools are well connected and well resourced.

Find my book, My Money Pivot: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finding & Making More Money. And read my articles about increasing sales and decreasing expenses. I give plenty of free strategies in my writing.

Net 30 Resource

Connect with me and apply for a complimentary consultation. If you share your latest profit and loss statement, I’ll talk through it with you, and together, we’ll see if we’d be a good working fit. We’ll also talk about your business situation and what’s eating at you. This is a no-pressure conversation.


Small business owner faces an uphill battle when it comes to money management. Fortunately, there are many resources available that can help you stay afloat and in the black. If your small business is struggling with cash flow due to market changes or other unforeseen circumstances, reach out today for more information on how we can provide a customized solution tailored specifically to your company’s needs!

Published by Janet Johnson, MBA | Business Advisor

Janet Johnson is a small business advisor and author of My Money Pivot: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Finding & Making More Money and this educational blog. All views expressed belong solely to Ms. Johnson and do not represent the views of her employer. The website,, is currently managed by Luz Marcos, Virtual Assistant.

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