I felt I had to write about debt as it’s a real concern for most small businesses, particularly in the current economic climate.
Debt whether personal or business can be very frustrating and mentally crippling for a lot of small business owners.
So how can you still invest in yourself and your business growth when you feel you already have so much debt and don’t want to get any further into it?
Below are some ideas that well help you start to put things right.
Please note that this article is not intended to replace professional and independent personal financial advice. Always seek independent financial advice, as there are many factors that may only come to light when you see a professional.
Below is the first part of a 7 step plan that can get you started in the right direction for both business and personal debt.
Step 1: You are not alone
First of all, you have to understand that you are not alone and its not unheard of to have little or no money when attempting to start or grow a business. Most success stories started with no money or negative cash-flow. The important thing is that you have a hunger to do something about your current situation. Where you are now is not where you’ll be in future if you commit to doing something about improving your financial situation. I’ve read a lot of entrepreneur biographies and there is almost always a rugs to riches story. Normally its a very inspiring story of how an entrepreneur found the courage then the money and resources to make their dreams come true despite not having any money to start with. Read some of these books yourself to be inspired to turn things around and not let debt stop you from chasing your dreams.
Step 2: Understand where you are and face your dragons
What are you spending your money on and why are you in debt?
Ramit Sethi, the Author of the New York Times bestseller of I Will Teach You to be Rich: No Guilt, No Excuses – Just a 6-week Programme That Works did a survery and found out that Most people in debt don’t even know how much they owe. I’m not really surprised by that because it feels better to bury your head in the sand than to face up to the pain of debt. You cannot start any debt recovery plan without knowing where you stand. There is always going to be trouble if you keep spending more than you make. For that reason, it’s very important that you face up to any habits that have gotten you where you are now. If you don’t, you may well find yourself in a deeper hole than where you started. Our spending habits are very powerful and need to be addressed to effect lasting change. You can start off by listing all your debts and total them up to get a true picture of your situation. You also need to go through your bank statements and understand your income and expenditure on a month by month, day by day basis. List everything so you know how much you need to budget for your personal life and what the business needs to keep growing.
Step 3: Put a repayment plan in place
Once you have an accurate picture of the current situation, then you need to put a plan in place to start repaying it. You can start with the smallest balances to keep your feeling good about the progress you are making or you could start with the balances with the greatest interest rate! It depends on what motivates you best. Debt takes a long time to accumulate and you need to be single minded about repaying over a period of time if you are to be debt free.
“So, I made a very conscious decision to get rid of my debt and just work my butt off; do whatever I had to do to just clear everything out. Marie Forleo’s interview on Theinnerentrepreneur.com
If you cannot deal with the presence of debt then work hard to get rid of it. Empower yourself by putting a plan in place so you can feel free to pursue other opportunities.
Come back for the next half of the article to see how you can still pursue your dreams despite the debt.
Let me know by leaving a comment, what ONE thing are you going to do differently to manage your money better.