What are your best quick, cash-flow strategies?

clockI’m working on a new product called the meantime: 36 Short Term Solutions for Entrepreneurs To Deal With a Tight Times (While You’re Working on the Long Term Fix).
 
I started working on it after so many clients came to me saying things like,
 
‘I need to fill my workshop that’s coming up in two weeks and no one’s signed up yet!’
 
‘My coaching program that I was counting on to pay rent for the next six months is a total bust. Only one person has signed up!’
 
‘That ebook I just launched… no one is buying it. I was counting on that for money.’
 
‘I just graduated from coaching/holistic school and I quit my job. I thought I’d be making enough money to get by by now but I’m totally broke. I’m so embarrassed. I don’t want to move back in with my parents.’
 
‘My partner has been paying all the bills while I worked on building up my career and they’re getting impatient and needing me to bring in money soon but I have no idea how that’s going to happen.’
And the truth is that there is no strategy to fill up workshops last minutes (outside of a crazy amount of hustle). There’s no answer for filling your coaching program next week. There’s no short term fix for a long term problem. The real answer is to develop a strategy that works. Panic is not a sustainable strategy. 
 
But, when you’re in that moment of crisis, hearing, ‘You need to think long term!’ isn’t the most helpful advice. The Slow Marketing approach isn’t what you need. What you’re craving in that moment is something you can do right now, to make things better in the meantime, while you’re working on a more sustainable solution.
 
So, here’s my ask: will share a story of a time when you needed a lot of money fast and you made it happen? What are the best short term, cash flow tactics you’ve ever used or heard of. We’re not looking for theory, we’re looking for real stories. 
 
We all know that the real answer is to clarify your platform, develop a solid business model and work on becoming a hub. But, sometimes you’ve got to fight fires and I’d love to come up with a resource that could help people in those moments.
 
Please share you story in a comment below. 
 
 

About Tad

  • Shell Mendelson

    I am currently coordinating a Summit and connecting with amazing entrepreneurs in my niche. I’ve had to focus all my attention on this to make it work. So I rented out two rooms in my home to travelling nurses for the next couple of months. It pays my mortgage plus a few bills and my coach. Best thing ever. They are already background checked and have assignments that are at least two months. Great folks so far.

  • of course! what a great idea! what service did you use to find them? this is such a great idea.

  • I actually had something on Craigslist, and it attracted the nurses because of the temporary nature of the contract. However, my last renter came from Medical Solutions. I currently have an amazing guy from Nigeria who is getting married in August. Love to hear about his traditions and culture. I feel blessed. Would love to speak with you re the Summit. I will pm you.

  • Kwan Yin Healing

    The best short term strategy I know is the free sessions offer (thanks to Mark Silver and Christian Michelson for this one!). The key points are (1) a compelling name and purpose focused on a specific problem, (2) a clear agenda for the session with clear take-aways, (3) a screening mechanism (even if you’re going to talk to everyone, as it lets you know what you’re getting into), (4) clarity that the session is an assessment tool, not your process (the assessment is the benefit), (5) clarity that this is NOT an on-going offer, and (6) an honest, sincere desire to help move people forward whether they become your client or not (and with this strategy, only 1 in 5 are likely to become clients, even if you’re good at sessions). [There’s a Step 7 — see it at the bottom of this response]

    ALSO AT THE END — I HAVE FIVE OTHER SHORT TERM STRATEGIES

    But FIRST, let’s take a look at this one. Because it’s the best one.

    For example, it’s the slow summer months, and here’s one I launched yesterday:
    –> you can also read the formatted version at https://madmimi.com/s/7da4f4

    TITLE:
    Raise Your Vibration, Find Your Life Path, and Live Your Dream—in 45 minutes

    OFFER:
    OK, you won’t really do all that in 45 minutes. But you WILL find out why
    not and what to do about it. So if your energy drain needs unclogging,
    if your vibrations aren’t as good as you’d like, if you’re gonna need
    more light before you can live life lightly, this free session
    one-on-one is for you.

    Did you read that right? You did—it’s a free 45 minute session. A private
    phone session, just you and me. And we WILL get you unstuck and moving
    forward again. Honest—you’ll feel the energy shift. You really will.

    In these 45 minutes, you will:

    1) Gain clarity around your path moving into the next year

    2) Identify your key milestones and the essential building blocks to reach them

    3) Uncover the hidden challenges and blind spots that might sabotaging your success

    4) Create a Three Stage long term plan and a Next Step Action Plan

    5) Leave the session feeling renewed, inspired, and re-energized about
    your path, your vision for the future, and what exactly to do next to
    make it real.

    Not a bad day’s work for 45 minutes!

    So what’s the catch?

    This one’s kind of sneaky . . . I get to help people. Seriously — that’s
    what I do when I don’t know what else to do. It makes me feel good. And
    it helps folks who could use a hand right now.

    There’s a possibility, sure, that we’ll talk shop. If you’re a good fit
    for some of my work, and we both see it that way, we’ll talk about it.
    And if so, we’ll get you started. And if not — we’ll still get you
    started on whatever other path you need to travel next. That’s the key
    point–to get you going again.

    Life’s too short to let ourselves be weighed down. Let’s replace problems with
    passions — and that, we can do in 45 minutes. One on one. For free.
    Right from your phone.

    CALL TO ACTION:
    Here’s how to get started . . .

    Just take a few moments to answer and email me these questions:
    [with mailto link — timKwan Yin Healing .com ]

    1) Please tell me about what’s going on for you – what compelled you to respond?

    2) What are the concerns you have at this time about your situation? How is it impacting your daily life?

    3) What approaches have you tried already to address the situation?

    4) How did those approaches work? What were the results?

    5) How do you feel about your journey so far?

    6) What results are you hoping to accomplish in working together?

    7) What would a breakthrough look like for you?

    When I receive your responses, I’ll send you the link to schedule your session, and we’ll get to work!

    ASK FOR REFERRALS:
    And by the way – you’re welcome to invite your friends to take advantage of this offer as well.

    No one knows better than you which of your friends would benefit from this session.

    So if you’re thinking of someone who could really use this, please feel
    free to forward it to them with a note telling them why you’re sending
    it. You’ll be helping us both. We both appreciate it.

    –> AND YES FOLKS, I’D APPRECIATE YOU SHARING THIS AS WELL!
    Not to your email list (though that would be great), because I don’t know as that would be a good fit for your tribe.

    BUT — you certainly DO know folks who are struggling with their life path or health.
    After all, they know what to do, right? They’ve read the books, attended the
    seminars, practiced the yoga and T’ai Chi. They meditate, eat the right
    granola, visualize the life they want, work hard, think positive
    thoughts… but yet these steps aren’t working for them, despite their best
    efforts. They’re creative, insightful, intuitive – so why not?

    Life should be easier than this, right? That nagging back pain, those chronically
    aching knees, that constant coughing. That empty feeling while your mind
    races, those inner hurts that seem to have set up permanent camp. That
    desire to do more, to live a life of passion and purpose, if only you
    could step out of the current circumstances. What to do? How to do it?
    Why aren’t there better options?

    AND THAT’S THE FINAL STEP 7 — ASK YOUR NETWORK FOR HELP
    …as I’m now asking you. Please send this on to the people who need the help, life path or healing, so they can get moving forward — whether they continue on to work with me or not. They will be grateful, as will I, even if this session is the end of our time together. But they WILL move forward and see results.

    Send them here: https://madmimi.com/s/7da4f4

    Or for general information about Kwan Yin Healing: http://kwanyinhealing.com

    And that’s my best short term strategy!

    HERE ARE THE OTHER FIVE SHORT TERM STRATEGIES

    And I owe Christian Michelson for these!

    1) What’s working best for you? Do more of it.
    2) What worked in the past that you haven’t done for a while? Do it again
    3) Have a 24 hour sale.
    4) Re-engage past clients.
    5) Raise your prices.

    I HOPE ALL THAT IS HELPFUL!

    And I THANK YOU ALL for YOUR help as well.

    Peace!

    Tim Emerson
    Kwan Yin Healing
    http://kwanyinhealing.com

  • Guest

    Disqus mangled the email link. If you’d like to reach me, it’s tim at kwanyinhealing dot com. Thanks.

  • Diana van Eyk

    Hello from Nelson, BC, Tad. Many people who live here have similar strategies to mine, which is developing multiple ways of making money. For me these include collecting rental income, blogging for others, and working part time.

    When a number of consecutive initiatives that I thought would bring in an income didn’t pan out for one reason or another, I found a part time job which is in alignment with my deeper values. Not that I’m making a fortune, but I now have enough time and money to write my first novel, a project that’s deeply meaningful to me, and support myself.

    The failed initiatives developed skills, though, and elements of the experiences contributed to my path to writing my novel. Part of the story I’m writing deals with people collaborating and using their creativity and ingenuity to get by together in tough times.

    I have an enthusiastic supporter at Balboa Press, and she’s advised me to create an indiegogo account so I can get crowd funding for expenses related to publishing my novel. Depending on what your readers are doing, crowd funding could be part of their strategy.

    I hope this information is useful to you and others, Tad, and I look forward to reading what other people come up with.

  • brilliant! thanks for all of this tim! really good stuff.

  • thanks so much diana!

  • Diana van Eyk

    my pleasure, Tad.

  • Tracey Tief

    A spiritual community I hung with in my teens had a saying that stuck with me: “The last way you should pay someone is with money.” So in my present growth-cash crunch state, I am exploring using Gift, sliding scale rentals, barter, volunteering, Work Exchange and Apprenticeship http://www.anarreshealth.ca/content/apprenticeship-and-work-exchange-application.

    Because I am connected to a communal organic farm, because I am an aromatherapy practice using lots of organically farmed botanicals, and intensively organically farm my back yard, I am able to have WWOOFers volunteer 6 hours/5 days a week in exchange for room & board in my home. http://www.wwoof.ca/hosts/listing?region=6&words=romatherapy&smoking=Any&meals%5Bvegan%5D=0&meals%5Blacto_vegetarian%5D=0&meals%5Bovo_vegetarian%5D=0&meals%5Bovo_lacto_vegetarian%5D=0&meals%5Bnon_vegetarian%5D=0&winter_wwoofing=0&children=0&host_type%5B1%5D=0&host_type%5B2%5D=0&host_type%5B3%5D=0&host_type%5B4%5D=0&host_type%5B5%5D=0&host_type%5B6%5D=0&host_type%5B7%5D=0&host_type%5B8%5D=0&host_type%5B9%5D=0&host_type_other=

    Because I have space that is unused when my shop is not open, it’s no skin off my back to offer sliding scale event space. (Okay, so it does involve cleaning before and after, but I do that work.)

    Instead of placing ads, I use Facebook, Craigslist, referral incentives and Google Ads, which cost but never more than the business gained for me and are paid after I’ve earned.

    When I needed tables for my space, I put out a call for them in exchange for a two-hour Workshop. http://www.anarreshealth.ca/content/wanted-card-tables-rehabilitation

    I’ve had Time Exchange cards made up in business card format to make these exchanges easier and feel more valuable.

  • Kwan Yin Healing

    Thanks Tad. Of the others, I’ve done doing more of what I’ve done before (more on that when I write the tracking blog piece you asked for a month or so ago) and raising my prices (the reason I have a business now). This summer I’m working on re-engaging past clients (my best ones, and a new offer for them) and trying a 48 hour sale. In the past, I’ve used teleseminars successfully to create short term rushes of clients and cash, but I used primarily Facebook to promote them, and FB policy changes make that unfeasible now (plus FB will never get another dime from me, as their business practices are flatly unethical and dishonest).

    A teleseminar isn’t really short term, though — it takes a few months to promote properly.

  • As for a story, this makes me think back to the 2010 Green Living Show which you were so kind in helping me with. Three weeks before the show I decided I wanted a booth. Without a penny in my pocket the $2000 booth seemed far fetched but I was determined. With some skirting around the rules of the show, I was permitted to promote on behalf of green businesses as my core business was marketing. I think that was one of the first times I emailed you, and asked if you would be willing to throw it out to your mailing list. Between that, and a bit of my own networking, I secured five business owners who assisted in covering the cost. I was still coming up short but a couple friends who had been hearing about my idea and wanted to encourage it to fruition supplemented the rest of what I needed to pay for the booth. Then came furnishing the booth. I went around my neighbourhood and secured a nice desk from an antique shop, five school desks from a school, a few nice dresses from a second hand clothing store, a 10×10 patch of grass and green roof foundation for the floor, and entirely furnished the booth for less than $50. My little “School for Green Business” was a HUGE success, pulling in support from not only the businesses themselves but nearly a dozen friends who volunteered to help for the weekend. We were by far the most “grassroots” booth in the show and got many compliments and lots of attention.
    I suppose the lessons in this were:
    1. Don’t be too stubborn/afraid/ashamed to ask for help when you need it.
    2. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It took being resourceful in several different ways to pull this off.
    3. Look for ways to support others while also supporting yourself.
    4. Be creative…money is a means to an end and sometimes it’s easier to negotiate for the “end” than the money.
    5. Sometimes you have to bend the rules to suit you.
    6. Be very very very grateful for the people who believe in you.

  • I have a pretty good list and a load of products so I would do a sale or re-launch a timely and seasonal product.
    Reaching out to existing or past clients with new/add-on programs is also effective.
    I have also tried digging up past content, compiling them and create an info product.

  • Kwan Yin Healing

    Thank you for this. I especially needed to hear lesson #1 . . .

  • tracey! this is all so resourceful and amazing! i love it!

  • you are one of the most resourceful people I’ve ever met.

  • These are great ideas. solid.

  • Kwan Yin Healing

    Good idea about compiling past content. Thanks!

  • Amongst a bunch of other things, I run a choir that singing songs from the Republic of Georgia. We were hosting a visiting teacher from New York who was doing a workshop tour of the UK here. A lot was going on in my life – we were building our home, and I was working and on top of that have two kids to look after with all their comings and goings with school and so forth. One week away from the teacher arriving, we had 1 person signed up for the workshop. Things really weren’t looking good. The solution really landed in my lap, but not until I decided, by hook or buy crook, I was going to make the workshop a success – meaning it was going to be well attended and was going to brig in some good money. The solution came from the fact that I was running a choir residential that weekend that culminated in a performance and a feast afterwards with about 80 local people. I mentioned the workshop in public and to everyone I spoke to. People were somewhat buzzing from the experience and I think they were a lot more open to other possibilities as a result. When we hosted the workshop, we had 19 people, who all materialised in the last 6 days. I was amazed and everyone, including our American guest was very happy. The thing that turned it around for me was:

    1. DECIDING that it was going to go ahead and that it would earn the money. Check in with yourself, because you may not REALLY have decided you’re going to do it. If you really have decided, ideas will start to flow.

    2. The concert was lucky, we could use the buzz and the energy of that experience to enthuse people and promote something related. Not everyone’s products are going to be easy to showcase as obviously as a bunch of people singing, but there may be some local gathering, an event, a fair that you could check to see if there is any way of going along to, to do your thing, to speak at, to perform at, or even just to hand out info out at.

    3. To bounce ideas off a friend or a coach, someone who is rooting for you and on your side can help a lot.

    4. Don’t be too freaked out, be confident – however you do that – but being timid or afraid isn’t good at attracting people, being over pushy isn’t either. It comes back to that making the decision thing – where you’re totally sure you know you can get to the top of the mountain you know you’ll do it, before you even put one foot on the track!

  • Hi Tad,

    Just a few things that help me in cash flow problems that actually did/do end up in spiritual lessons as well. I sold quite some ‘stuff’ from my house in the past year. I started with a lot of resistance to the idea of having to let go of some of my belongings, but now (after a year) I feel it’s getting easier and easier, every time again. So, I let go of a lot of books, a lot of clothes, a lot of ‘stuff’ that represented ‘fear’ (because all this ‘clinging on to belongings is just a metaphor, really). Every time I catch myself thinking: “now this was the hardest thing ever” something else needs to be released. Just now I am selling my car and I am really okay with it. It frees up my mind, in the end and it fills my wallet just enough. I am amazed the feeling of freedom it gives me.

    And if I need a professional service myself (like a website make-over) I do barter deals. And every now and then I rent(ed) my house through airBNB.

    The biggest gain I am feeling is that I am able to live with much less. That itself is so worthwhile.

    warm regards, Carolien

  • Alisoun Mackenzie

    I always start with the question – how could I raise $XXX? I find this opens my mind to the possibility that I’ll be able to work out a solution and raise the cash. I’ve done all sorts of things from selling DVDs etc. on ebay and old gold jewellery. From a business perspective when I ask that question today what comes up is that I’d send personal emails to contacts to book a free discovery session with me (these usually convert into 1-1 clients) and I’d offer a half price deal on one of my digital products (e.g. through Facebook or my list).

  • Nic Cornell

    One of the methods that has worked best for me is going through all the people who have contacted me for estimates and inquiries in the past year and following up with those that I’ve not heard back from or who expressed an interest in going ahead with the project at a later point in time.
    – nic

  • I recommend taking a chunk of a big project and selling it in advance, rather than waiting for the big project to be finished. For instance, I was working on a 95 hour kids yoga teacher training course and started selling shorter, digital pieces of the training before the launch of the big course. It was really helpful because it helped me get feedback as I was in development rather than waiting for the end.

    It also brought in some money.

    I recently re purposed some of that material to create a freebie, that ended up selling some product for me.

    It helps that i have a list to promote to.

    Before i had a list, I would work for other people in my field, on a part time basis. For me that was teaching kids yoga class in a daycare, I even did supply as a daycare staff at the beginning. It was steady income and I just had to show up to work.

    It paid the bills and gave me skills and experience in my field.

    It also meant I could keep working on my other ideas for the other part of the time.

  • what a great story! thank you.

  • so simple but so good!

  • cece

    I will sometimes offer a special package of my work which is deeply discounted if folks pay in advance. I also recommend barter and trades to get basic needs met.

  • Dana Da Ponte

    In the past, finding my girl balls really helped me when I needed to attract business. I’m older now and feel I’ve lost a lot of this fearlessness but I remember how courage helped to attract clients in my start up days. At the time, I was giving angel readings and when Edmonton was having an art walk on Whyte Ave (where my shop was located), I dressed up as an angel and greeted people on the street. This was effective and surprisingly fun (even though this was way out of my comfort zone). I also called my local newspaper and asked one of the writers if they would like to do a story on a FREE workshop I was offering. This was extremely effective. The writer came out to interview me within the week. The story she wrote was posted the following week and the workshop was held the week after that. More people than I expected showed up and at the end of the evening, people signed up to work one on one with me. If I had been in an extreme pinch, I would have taken deposits that evening but at the time I was okay to wait the extra couple weeks. It takes a few weeks from start to end on this idea but it can be well worth it. Plus, in my experience, local newspaper writers want to hear about potential story ideas. Not saying they’ll like it and feature it but they are always open to hearing about what’s going on locally and you and your business are local news (even if you are an online business. You’re still local to them.)

  • such a great story! thank you dana!

  • Michaelle Dvornik

    I loved your response and your resourcefulness. Ironic timing, because I just had a booth (my first one) for my new company, Grin For Life. We had lots of interest, but not lots of buyers, at least for the custom videos that we love creating for folks. Most wanted to go to our website to learn more, but our website is a work-in-progress. I’m swapping services with a friend, writing and editing her content so she can help build the site. To get the money for marketing supplies, signs, etc. for our booth this weekend, I took a transcription job that allowed us to buy what we needed, and borrow what we could. Great post, thank you.