Ed’s Top Tips – Tip 3 – Managing your cash flow

Ed Goodman, business mentor, author and co-founder of Cambridge Business Lounge, presents Ed’s Top Tips – a series of short and useful guides for starting and running a business.

Tip 3 – Managing your cash flow. It’s all about the money, money money…

One of the main reasons why a business fails is its mismanagement of its cash flow. In fact, according to a U.S. Bank study, as many as 82% of business failures are due to poor cash management.

Watch this video where Ed talks about the importance of managing your cash flow.

How do you track your finances? What lessons have you learnt in ensure your cash flow is managed effectively?

Let us know in the comments or Tweet us using the hashtag #EdsTopTips.

Welcome to St Ives Business Lounge

In May 2015, we expanded our coworking community and launched the St Ives Business Lounge – a monthly, pop-up co-working event which provides a place for the c.8,000 Hunts based business professionals to meet and work.

Here is Ed Goodman‘s welcome speech at the launch, which talks about the benefits of co-working and the value of networking events and why we brought Cambridge Business Lounge to St Ives…

You can see photos and comments from the event on the Cambridge Business Lounge Meetup Group.

To book your place the next St Ives Business Lounge, whether it’s for networking, coworking or both, visit here, email info@cambridgebusinesslounge.com or call 01223 324040.

The Secrets of Self-Employment

ShhhhGoing from a ‘secure’ job to self employment is, for many, a tough decision, especially when it affects so many things, such as your lifestyle, family and friends.

Yet, the first question many ask themselves is ‘do I have the skills? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a valid question, especially as it could mean going from the role of a Web Developer, Accountant or Hairdresser to now adding Head of Finance, Sales and Marketing amongst others.

We asked a number of our co-working community to help you by answering the question: “What are the secrets that no-one tells you about going self-employed?” These are their answers:

  • It’s more secure than a ‘job’.
  • You sometimes miss having a boss. (It’s worth noting that this point was largely disputed)
  • It’s lonelier than you imagine it to be while you’re longing to be rid of your annoying boss/co-workers. So plan for it.
  • Businesses (even large) are just as close to no money as you, they just have a department to worry about it.
  • There’s nowhere to hide in your own business.
    • (although, if you work at home, your TV set will tell you otherwise)
  • Removing the safety net of your salary is far outweighed by the removal of the upper limit of your potential earnings.
  • Failure is positive because it means you’re actually trying to achieve something.
  • Your partner/family will feel it so prepare the ground.

What about you? What have you learnt about running a business that you didn’t know before you started? And, if you did know, would it have made a difference?

Email us at info@cambridgebusinesslounge.com or on twitter @CamBizLounge. We’d love to hear from you.

How Social Media Brings The CBL Community Together

CBL TwitterSocial networks are a fantastic opportunity for small businesses to communicate and is considerably more than a sales tool. 

It also allows each business to listen to their audience, to learn from their peers, to help others and underpin their expertise, monitor their reputation and humanise their brand through engagement. There are things that we’ve got right on out social media channels, and things we’ve learnt from.

Hashtags

Our community often comes together on Twitter before, during and after key events with #CBLLive, #CBLBBQ, #StartUpCambs and more, and the hashtags allow participants to tweet before they meet, and build on many of the conversations that happen at the event.

Biscuits

More recently, our Ultimate Biscuit Challenge has brought out the passion in our community by finding the most popular biscuit in Cambridge. What’s the point? To create activity around our brand and to create awareness about our personality.  The result of which has been Cambridgeshire professionals (aka. our audience) walking through our doors to take part. Not only that, but a local training company came to view our facilities as a direct result of the #UltimateBiscuit hashtag on twitter.

Book

Late 2013, Ed was approached by Pearson Publishing to write a book. As a result, New Business: Next Steps, written with Ann Hawkins, will be published early in 2015. How did they find Ed? As a result of searching on LinkedIn.

 

Now, we’re not Social Media Consultants and there are better people to guide you through setting out your social media strategy and helping you to measure your ROI, which by the way is vital before embarking on your own social media journey. But there are many things that we’ve learnt that have worked for us. This is why Ed was asked to appear on the weekly Business Hub on Star Radio in Cambridge.

The show is available on Cambridgeshire’s Star Radio and downloadable as podcast at: http://www.starradioonline.com/podcasts/the-business-hub/

On the show with Ed, hosted BY Steve Elsom, Area Director of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking and Ann Hawkins, Business Mentor and creator of The Inspired Group, is blogging expert, Yasmin Chopin.

Listen in and tell us what you think @CamBizLounge, @edagoodman and on our Facebook page.

Naughty Networking

The following is a guest post by Communication Coach, and friend of Cambridge Business Lounge, Jon Torrens:

Networking events can be joy or pain:

  1. Meeting real people, who you’d happily spend time with in any almost scenario.

Or:

  1. Soul-destroying encounters with people who you’d happily never speak to again.  

SONY DSCIt doesn’t have to be like that. For Genuinely Enjoyable Networking TM, I adopt the mindset of a rebellious troublemaker. Here’s an example:

On Wednesday at a networking event in Cambridge I met a couple of people who I often see at this kind of event. Because we know each other’s businesses fairly well, we started chatting about, well… stuff: clothes, how long we were going to stay, what we were going to eat that evening. None of which were really anything to do with ‘business’. We weren’t meeting new people, we weren’t making connections, we weren’t networking. We were undermining the whole process and missing precious opportunities, right? But we were having a good time.

Someone we didn’t know joined our rebel base and told us that they were quite nervous about networking (which impressed me – I think declaring your fear to a group of strangers is rather heroic). Immediately I felt that we were like the naughty kids, sitting at the back of the bus and reading comics – we were along for the ride, but we weren’t playing by the rules, and were very happy to take the new kid under our wing to remove all the fear from the situation for them and show that it’s possible to just have fun. It wasn’t deliberate, it happened naturally, and it felt pretty good to be helping someone and to encourage them. For me that’s the whole point.

Don’t make ‘connections’.

Disregard convention. Have fun. Meet people.

You can learn about how to succeed at networking at Network Academy, hosted by Jon Torrens and Ed Goodman. To book your place, click here.

Starting a Business? Never Be Afraid To Ask For Help