Photo: Manisha Thakor
Yoga and The Business of Life
The practice of personal financial empowerment, part 2
BY MAGAZINE EDITOR SUSAN MAIER-MOUL
We all want to make a contribution, we all have a dream of doing something that counts. For some of us that dream includes starting our own business or non-profit.
Success can be achieved with integrity and stewardship. The number one task in any business is to stay in the game. You can’t succeed if you aren’t still there when the opportunities arise or the seeds you planted begin to grow.
According to Manisha Thankor, staying in the game and thriving require cash flow. It’s not about having a bankroll – it’s about literacy in the bottom line.
No matter how good the idea is or how well funded, business success depends on the clarity of absolute financial satya.
Be optimistic about life, not about money
Susan Maier-Moul What is the one mistake that every woman who wants to own a business or start a yoga studio should avoid at all costs? How can she recognize this misstep, choose differently and succeed?
Manisha Thakor The classic new business mistake is “not tracking your cash.” I put this phrase in quotes because I mean this both literally and figuratively.
Susan Do business owners get into difficulty because they’re over confident or naive?
Manisha The vast majority of new businesses fail within five years of opening. One of the top causes is what finance types call a cash crunch.
A cash crunch means you hit a point where you do not have enough cash to pay for your essential expenses (e.g. rent, utilities, payroll) and have to shut your doors.
Susan Wow – no cash flow is the fast track from “things are slow but growing” to “out of business!” Could a yoga studio get in so deep so quickly?
Could it happen to a popular business or studio?
Manisha A cash crunch can occur for a wide range of reasons:
- You enter into a lease for a space that can easily accommodate a class size of 50 but you are currently averaging attendance of 25
- You purchase inventory to have a wide range of innovative, stylish yoga accessories… that no one buys because the economy is tight
- There is a freak storm, you get water damage, and have to pay the deductible before insurance kicks in.
- You underestimate what you’ll owe on taxes and spend that money on renovations, resulting in having to scramble at tax time.
- Your insurance premiums unexpectedly double at the same time your class size dwindles.
Susan I get it! It’s not really just being optimistic to think we won’t have to deal with the unexpected – it’s being downright unrealistic. So when we think of things going normally, we should factor in a little chaos and even plan for it.
Manisha Yes. This is just a small sampling of the myriad of “normal” business that can cause even the best studios to get financial cramps.
Cash flow is your business lifeblood, respect it
Susan Keeping an informed and realistic view of your cash – not what you hope for but what you can actually use to pay bills, today – that’s a Real Life perspective for success.
Manisha The best way to keep your business in good financial shape is to put in place a strong foundation from a legal, financial, and tax standpoint. Cash is the lifeblood of any business and you want to make sure there are no unexpected blockages.
Susan We’ve given our readers links to your great web site and blog. Any other resources you recommend?
Manisha If you need help getting started identifying potential clots, SCORE and the Small Business Administration offer an array of options for you to both teach yourself and get outside advice and guidance.
Susan Thanks, Manisha!
Sharpen your skills with Manisha in person
Women and Power 2010: Our Time to Lead
Omega Institute, September 24th – 26th
Want more financial love? You can follow Manisha on Twitter at @ManishaThakor and sign up for her email updates here. Manisha Thakor, personal finance expert for women, can be reached via her website www.ManishaThakor.com.
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Name may be withheld by request.
© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.