“If you’ll just tell me what I owe, I’ll pay you…”
I’ve never forgotten that embarrassing moment. One of my favorite clients called months after we’d completed great work together. I’d never sent her an invoice for my time, and she knew she owed me something. She just didn’t know what.
To this day, I don’t know how much it was, because I never did figure it out. And because I was so embarrassed, I never sent her that bill either. I know it was somewhere near $1,000.
That was years ago, long before I had an effective system for tracking client accounts, and long before I had a team in place to help. I cringe even now to think about how much money I lost back then by failing to collect what I’d already earned.
That was money on the table, just waiting for me to pick it up – and I left it there.
Truth is, there are many ways we lose money in our businesses. It’s not always as obvious as that call from my client. Sometimes, it’s in the opportunity we didn’t take or the offer we didn’t make.
But that also means there are lots of ways to FIND money in your business. So if your cash flow has slowed to a trickle, or your revenues have flattened out, just take a closer look.
I’ll bet you too have got money on the table, just waiting for you to pick it up.
Here are a few places to look.
- UNPAID INVOICES.
What income have you already earned, but not yet collected? Do you have unsent invoices that need to be sent, or – like I did – messy accounts that need cleaning up?
Are there outstanding invoices that someone hasn’t paid? How about giving them a call to see what can be done.
- FORGOTTEN FAVORITES.
Do you ever reach out to former clients and customers? If they loved you once, there’s a good chance they’ll love working with you again. Develop a system for keeping in touch. Remind them that you’re still here if there’s anything they need. Often just a quick “how are you?” email is enough to bring them back in.
- UNTAPPED PROSPECTS.
Are there people who’ve expressed an interest in your work but never quite took the leap? Maybe it’s time to check back in to see how they’re doing. Send something useful in the mail and let them know you’ve been thinking about them. Better yet, let them know you’ll be calling them in the next few weeks just to say hello – then do that.
- UN-FOLLOWED FOLLOW-UPS.
What did you do with those business cards you collected at that last networking meeting? How did you follow up after your talk? Not everyone is a potential client, but some are.
Reach out to those who seem like a good fit, but don’t do it from a needy, grabby place. That’s an immediate turn off and no one wants that. Do it from a place of service. What you send out will come back to you, every time.
- UNDEVELOPED CONTENT.
What have you already created, that you could use again? It could be a new launch of an existing program. It could be taking content that you’ve used for one program, changing a few things, and launching it in a new way.
Rather than starting from scratch, and creating something entirely new, dust off something you’ve already done, and give it new life.
- UNANSWERED REQUESTS.
And finally, what products or programs are people begging you for? I get so many requests for a particular kind of program for therapists, that I can’t ignore it any longer. So I’m working on that now, and expect to have it ready to launch later this year.
Think about the problems that come up over and over again for your clients and customers. What could you create that would meet their needs, and increase your income? Sometimes, it’s easier than you think.
In fact, all of these are easier than you think, and every single one of them could boost your bottom line.
Need a little cash? Ready to grow your income?
Go get the money that’s already on the table.
Photo Credit: Ken Teergardin on Flickr