How many times have you heard variations on ‘Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, but cash is reality’?
Which in business is almost as hackneyed as ‘keep calm and carry on’ is everywhere else. But as this issue’s interviewee Julian Marsh highlights, there are few sayings that are more relevant to print.
Sadly though, as he admits, most people don’t realise it until it’s too late.
Logic states that if a business is growing and profitable, then all is right with the world – but an unexpected strain on cashflow for even the most profitable business can have dire consequences.
And that’s why it’s no coincidence that most leaders of successful businesses regard keeping a close eye on cash in the bank as their single most important task. In fact, anecdotally at least, it seems for many it’s the first thing they do when they arrive in the office and the last thing they do before they leave.
But when was the last time you checked?
At PrintWeekLive! in March, Grant Thornton’s Helen Dale presented a session titled ‘Growing pains and how to avoid them’ and its basic premise was that growth is a good thing, but it’s also one of the most vulnerable times for a small business because it puts a strain on cash and can all too easily divert the management team’s attention from the business basics.
And when that team is a team of one, as is the case with many SMEs, then it’s easy to see how a lack of cash can sneak up and bite you seemingly from nowhere.
So perhaps it’s time to ditch the ‘Keep calm and carry on’ office mug, and get one printed with a phrase that’s more pertinent to your business.