A note from April: This post contains an affiliate link to Stacy’s new book, Is Your Business Worth Saving?: A Step-by-Step Guide to Rescuing Your Business and Your Sanity which I’m currently reading and loving! If you do decide to make a purchase through my link, I will be paid commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help keep this blog running. Thank you very much for supporting this site!
By Stacy Tuschl, contributing writer.
Debt just isn’t something I do. Spend for fun? Sure. Invest in my business? You’d better believe it. But debt? No way.
Maybe it’s indicative of my Midwest, Wisconsin conservative side, but I was raised with parents that didn’t have any debt. My dad works in construction and my mom was a stay-at-home mom.
(It’s really important that you know that because I don’t want you thinking we grew up really well off.)
From what I remember, we were frugal about things that didn’t seem to matter or we bought things in bulk to save money.
But, that said, my parents paid for us to go to private school, took us on nice vacations and put more money into memories versus material things.
I laugh about it now a bit, but I really respect how my parents taught my sisters and I about money. I know that has had a lasting impact on me as an adult—and it definitely affected how I built and how I run my businesses.
When I started my first business, I was so young and naïve (18!), but that helped me out in some ways. It never even occurred to me that I could put expenses on a credit card without paying it off. And loans? Not even on my radar.
So I just had to focus on generating revenue so I could invest it right back into the business and level up when the time was right. It made me get creative and keep up the hustle.
My first business was a dance studio. And because I didn’t have any money to start my business, I decided I would start teaching dance in my parents’ backyard.
Now, wait—before you roll your eyes and think, “Well, of course she didn’t need any money! This isn’t a real business,” let me assure you that my dance studio is still around 14 years later, grosses over a million dollars per year, and has even moved out of the backyard. In fact, I have two locations; both commercial buildings that I own.
So how did I get from the backyard to the big time? Well, I wasn’t too good for anything that needed to be done. I found a company that gave you 10,000 door hangers for $100 and, for a local business like mine, I knew that was worth the investment. Finding people to hang them wasn’t quite as easy, so I did most of it on my own, pounding the subdivision pavement.
Any time someone offered a place for me to hang flyers or any way to promote the business, I was there. I started with very inexpensive marketing and, as we started to grow, I took that money and invested in more expensive options, such as direct mailings.
And, luckily, because I never bit off more than I can chew, I was never forced to act from a desperate place. When many of my business coaching clients start working with me, they’re spending more than they’re making and it’s hard for them to get out of that snowball. Often, these poor decisions lead to more poor decisions because they’re being driven by fear.
Whether or not they’re spending more than they’re making is one of the first things we address—if they are, we need to stop the bleeding immediately.
One of my favorite analogies is that of a man mopping up the floor while it’s raining and there’s a hole in the roof. He’s so busy mopping and so focused on his task, that he never goes up to the roof to stop the source of the problem. You can’t do that in your business if you want it to survive. You’ve got to face the true problem head on, and then you can start to repair it.
I’ve been in business for 14 years and even though my business brings in seven figures, please understand we spend close to seven figures, too!
There are so many expenses, especially when you own a brick and mortar business, and it’s so important to be constantly keeping an eye on your budget, both tracking what you’re spending and preparing for what’s coming up.
And don’t think your worries are over once you’re out of the startup stage! Finances are so important and they’re something you need to have your eye on monthly—sometimes daily for some companies.
I’m aware that some people think that they don’t need to keep a close on eye on their finances because they aren’t making any money yet. No true at all!
Even when you’re not making any money, you’re spending somehow and that’s the first thing you need to watch. Second, time passes faster than you’d think; if you don’t start out tracking your finances correctly, there will never be a right (or easy) time to start doing it in the future.
Expansion is another time when finances really come into play—whether than means adding a new location, starting a new business, or even just growing what you’ve got.
Here’s a little tip: no matter how much time and money the contractor quotes you, it will take much longer and be way more expensive! I like to over-arrange for what I’ll need to pay; if I think I need $20,000, I want to have $30,000 available. Hope for the best…but prepare for the worst.
Way back when I decided to start an online coaching business, I was excited because I really believed the brick and mortar was just so much more expensive and the online arena was going to be a breeze. Oh, how wrong I was!
I’ve found all kinds of new places where I needed to spend money. But that also means that I’m always reevaluating my financial picture to assess whether I’m spending too much in the wrong places and too little in the right.
I’ve been in business for more than 14 years, but I’ve also spent more than $150,000 on coaches, mastermind groups, and other areas of my professional development. Coaching is crucial! When you don’t know how to fix what’s going wrong or how to go to the next level, you need to find someone who does. Those aren’t things you can figure out by guessing or hoping.
Once my first business was established and growing steadily, I knew I wanted to help others grow their businesses and avoid wasting money. That’s actually why I created the Mompreneur’s Money Map download and mini series—and I made it free, so that anyone can access it. (You can check it out here if you’re interested: https://mompreneursmoneymap.com/free-download)
In it, I talk about the five key metrics that take your business to the next level, the biggest problems moms have when building a business from home, as well as the five most common mistakes they’re making! It was a lot of fun to put together, but I also packed it full of information. If you check it out, I hope you enjoy it; it’s my goal to save you time, headaches, and a lot of money!
And if you think of it, visit my site, www.StacyTuschl.com, and drop me a line. I’d love to hear how your business journey is going.
This post contains affiliate links. If you do decide to make a purchase through my link, I will be paid commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help keep this blog running. Thank you very much for supporting this site!
Stacy Tuschl is an Entrepreneur and Business Performance Strategist. She started her first business in her parents’ backyard at the age of 18 and turned that company into a 7 figure business. She is the author of the book Is Your Business Worth Saving?: A Step-by-Step Guide to Rescuing Your Business and Your Sanity where she reveals proven strategies for pulling entrepreneurs out of a rut and launching them toward business success and the host of the top rated podcast Business Rescue Road Map.