Have you ever had a week like this?
- • Your client’s “hopeful” horse in training is
parked for being chronically lame
- • 4 lesson cancellations in one day
- • Hot sale prospect flickers into a
Each situation results in another clog in your cash
flow pipeline and starts your mind racing on how you
can replace the “lost” income.
For the self-employed person, sales are
everything. Lost sales are lost opportunity for
revenue. It’s common for all small businesses, not
just horse businesses, to be stretched thin and
operating with tight margins.
As the expense meter is constantly running in your
business, naturally you always want the
revenue meter to be flowing at a faster rate than
expenses all of the time. But, wanting and
getting are two different things.
So how do you deal with “lost revenue” like the
disappointments mentioned above?
- Accept the fact that perfect efficiency
for sales and income generation is
- Understand the circumstances of why the revenue
was lost and create better systems to prevent
or reduce the possibility of losing more sales for the
- Resist the temptation to dwell on the "loss" or
assign blame and just move on to the next
In your desire to create more “billable hours” in your
work day, you may find yourself in an exhausting cycle
teaching more lessons or training more horses than
should be attempted. The result of exhaustion is
always miserable attitudes, poor performance and
often in the horse business, injury. Doing anything
and everything in pursuit of a buck is a flawed
strategic plan. You will be as busy as a puppy
chasing its tail and twice as dizzy.
My friend Len, self employed in the computer industry,
told me recently that he volunteers time for good
causes, takes people to lunch to share ideas and
gambles his time on prospective customers that may
never spend a dime
with him. He does these things and loses billable
hours because he understands that the growth of his
business is dependent on knowing more people to
make it easier to get to know even more
people. He volunteers time because he enjoys it and
knows that working on “work” twelve hours a day
erodes the greatest reward of self employment -
freedom of choice on how to allocate his time.
Expect to have days or weeks when your anticipated
cash flow dries up to a trickle. Keep in mind that all
business owners experience these frustrating
periods. Learn from the experience and develop
solutions to help reduce the chance of the revenue
loss happening again.
If you need the stability of a fixed weekly paycheck, self
employment is not for you; a time clock card is the