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Show Me the Money!

(August 2007) posted on Tue Aug 07, 2007

Roberts explains how to establish and manage cash flow in order to keep your business successful, profitable, and growing.

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A friend of mine recently decided to pay a very expensive accountant to do a complete analysis of his business. He felt obliged to do this because he wanted to see whether something was going on in his business that he was completely missing. For years he had struggled, working 18-hour days, skipping vacations, and taking out second mortgages. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, it seemed everything began to pay off. His profits were up 20% over the previous year, job orders were piling up, and all the new efficiencies that he had wrangled his employees to adopt over the past few years were finally allowing him to go home on time.

For most of us it would have been the excuse to kick back, buy a bass boat and a six pack, and start to enjoy the fruits of all our hard work. My friend, however, found himself lying awake at night, worrying that things were running too well, and spending his days in the office expecting that the one variable he had overlooked would sooner or later bring it all crashing down around him. So, he finally decided to hire a professional to tell him what his unsettled mind would not allow him to believe—that he really had built a successful business.

The audit was exhausting and meticulous, and the accountant was a nuisance for several days. The accountant then announced that he would retreat back to his office to crunch the numbers and write the final, definitive report. Days passed with no news. Then, late one Friday afternoon, my friend got the call he had been waiting for. The report was finished, and he and the accountant carved out several hours early in the next week to go over the report in detail. A few more sleepless nights and he would have his answer.


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