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Am I Going to Run Out of Money?

Conversations about Money Series

As someone who is deeply passionate about helping business owners understand how to make their money work for them, I have learned the incredible value of open, honest dialogue. We need to have the often difficult, sometimes embarrassing, and hopefully always empowering conversations about money to truly get to the heart of the matter. But this can be challenging for several reasons.

The first obstacle is that the more difficult the situation, the more unlikely you are to have these conversations. And unfortunately, these are the times when you need them the most. The second is that even if you decide to talk about it, you often don’t have anyone to talk to. You may have an in-house team but that doesn’t mean you’re going to have these difficult financial conversations with them. So, you begin to wonder—Who else do I have that I can trust will give me the information and advice I need most?

It’s important to understand that these concerns are extremely normal and even more significantly that you don’t have to face them alone. It’s about having a supportive network that allows for honest conversations and collaborative problem-solving. To get started, we’ve decided to develop this “Conversations about Money” series, where we are going to answer some of the questions you may be thinking about right now. Our hope is that while this is not an actual conversation, it will spark a light for you to see the benefits of talking it all through with someone who truly understands.

Oftentimes, you may not even know what the problem is. To that end, let’s get this first conversation started by thinking about what’s keeping you up at night.

What’s Keeping Me Up at Night?

Chances are that if (1) you own a business and (2) you have found yourself awake at night, the following thoughts have plagued you at some point:

  • I am going to run out of money.
  • I am not going to be able to make payroll.
  • I am not going to be able to pay the bills.

Sound familiar? If so, the reason is because the emotional impact of financial concerns for business owners, particularly when they have employees, is daunting. There is a complex combination of responsibility, pressure, personal investment, uncertainty, and influences on relationships and even your own identity. With both personal and business impacts (with the line between the two increasingly blurred), it’s not surprising that you’re up at night. So, let’s dive in …

Why is it affecting me personally?

Often, this starts with your own internal pressure to succeed. Business owners face immense pressure to keep their businesses profitable and sustainable. You may have invested your own savings, time, and energy into building the company, and the fear of financial failure can be overwhelming. Did you personally guarantee loans or invest your own personal finances? Did you use your savings, assets, or even put another mortgage on your home? This pressure is only further intensified when the livelihoods of employees depend on the success of the business.

For many, this also impacts their sense of identity and worth. Businesses are rarely mere sources of income, but instead, are also reflections of your identity, passion, and hard work. Financial struggles can challenge this, leading to feelings of failure, shame, and embarrassment.

What about my employees?

If you have employees, you likely feel incredibly responsible for them. Business owners often feel a deep sense of responsibility toward those who show up to work for them each day. They understand that their decisions directly impact the livelihoods and wellbeing not only of their workers, but also of their families. Your fear of not being able to meet payroll or provide stable employment can weigh heavily on you, leading to increased stress and anxiety. In extreme cases, you may also be dealing with the prospect of considering layoffs or even closure. These decisions are undoubtedly agonizing.

Oftentimes, other relationships are also impacted by the constant worry about financial challenges, creating chronic stress and anxiety and straining relationships with family, friends, and business partners. You may feel isolated and reluctant to share your concerns. You may fear judgment or appearing vulnerable, which only exacerbates feelings of loneliness and despair.

What Can I Do About It?

Each business owner, and each business, is invariably different. That’s why it’s so important to have detailed conversations and express what is going on in your particular situation. However, there are a few actionable steps you may consider taking:

1. Review and Adjust Your Budget

Identify areas where you can reduce expenses or reallocate resources. You may want to look for non-essential expenses that can be cut temporarily, renegotiate contracts with vendors for better terms, and prioritize spending on essential items that directly contribute to revenue generation or operational efficiency.

2. Explore Financing Options

Investigate various financing options available to businesses, such as loans, lines of credit, or grants. You can also research government assistance programs or small business grants that may provide financial relief or support during challenging times. Additionally, you may want to consider alternative funding sources like crowdfunding or seeking investments from angel investors or venture capitalists.

3. Diversify Revenue Streams

Look for opportunities to diversify your revenue streams and generate additional income sources to supplement your existing business revenue. You may want to explore new product or service offerings that align with your target market needs or consider expanding your customer base by tapping into new markets or exploring partnerships with complementary businesses.

Again, whether any one of these will work for you will largely depend on your own circumstances. That’s where these conversations come in. That’s why a connection with someone who understands and is familiar with these solutions is so important. You don’t have to figure it out alone.

When it comes to money, it’s not just business, it’s personal. I understand that it takes an enormous amount of emotional bandwidth to deal with concerns like these and want to learn about the experiences you are having. I want to work with you to change your narrative around money and let you get some rest at night. So, please pick up the phone or send me an email and let’s talk about it. Let’s have the conversations you need to have—no judgment, no embarrassment; just support and guidance.

At Agile Planners, we provide strategic guidance and outsourced CFO services to companies of all sizes. We can help provide the strategy your organization needs for the growth you want. We understand that no two organizations are the same. And with our experience and financial knowledge, we can help develop the right strategic plan for your business to grow and reach its goals. Simply, we’ll be your trusted partner, so you can focus on running your organization. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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