Archive for November, 2012

Bill Gibson – Market Your Community…Even More Effectively

Friday, November 9th, 2012

A community, town, city, region or country is just like a business…it must be marketed and developed from the inside out. How often have we heard or seen great advertising slogans describing a business, community or city, only to arrive there to find out that the “real life experience” falls far short of the expectations set by the advertising.

Media Marketing has value, although we believe it has to be “backed up” from the inside out. Following is the Marketing Your Community From The Inside-Out Model along with a few quick Inside Out Community Marketing Ideas.

 PowerPoint #1 – Attitudinal Marketing: The backbone and real power of a community starts deep on the inside of the community…it starts with having a marketing and servicing attitude. It is the attitude that politicians, municipal management, municipal employees and even citizens in general have towards business, each other, their services, their community and life itself.

Try the following community attitudinal adjustment ideas:

  • Eliminate Us vs. Them – find ways to work together, have a shared vision and look for similarities and respect the differences. Don’t get even…get ahead!
  • Incentives Through Wandering – have a person or small committee who wanders through the community giving recognition for positive things people and businesses are doing for the community. Feature a business or social group of the month through the local media.
  • Learn From The Winners – utilise local successful people to tell their story to others and demonstrate the possibilities.
  • Shop Your Community – engage credible people to give monthly positive and not-so-positive feedback and then act on it, utilise focus groups for the same purpose.
  • People and Businesses Go Where They Are Invited and Stay Where They Are Appreciated – have special weeks to create excitement and show appreciation. For example…teacher’s week, nurse’s week, civic worker’s week, construction worker’s week, Petro S.A. week, tourism industry week, small business week…the list goes on!
  • Be A Tourist In Your Own Hometown – the month before tourist season encourage local people to be a tourist in their own hometown or community. Sightseeing tours, special local hotel rates, tourist information and contests that promote tourism knowledge are part of the initiative.
  • Have the Media run programs on “Know Your Community”.
  • Respect Your Community – make a list and promote the positives of your community. I’m originally from Canada and I’ve personally got a list of Great Things About South Africa that most South Africans don’t talk about.

Here’s a few of them:

  • People are being educated in record numbers
  • In the top countries for least expensive electricity and drinkable water
  • Longest Wine Route in the world…stops at my house in Gauteng! LOL!
  • Only country bidding for the  World Cup with 3 Nobel Peace Prize Winners on the team…wow, what a country!


PowerPoint #2 – Face To Face Marketing: This is the telephonic and face to face interaction we have with the public and with each other and how well we interact.

  • Set up a Community Marketing Team (could be volunteer) that supports and works with the Community Economic Development Department. The wisest people, the most energetic entrepreneur, the best employer, the most innovative business person, the most community conscious individuals should be on this team. Target them and invite them to help.
  • Categorise potential businesses and projects needed in your community under AAA, AA, A, B and C categories utilising criteria. Decide on a few “Most Wanted” and get several people involved in going after the “Most Wanted” businesses and projects.
  • Select a group of high profile and frequent traveller individuals who love your community and make them Official Community Ambassadors and give them business cards that confirms this. Conduct a training session or guide on how and where to use the cards.
  • Have a community “SWAT Team” that can help businesses in trouble with free advice on how to “turn the business around”.
  • Run customer care programs for municipal personnel and the community at large…sponsored by local government. Give certificates and “pins” they can wear that say “Hospitality Graduate”.
  • Have “Format Touring” when potential citizens and potential business owners and investors come to town so they see the community in its “best light”. Without a doubt, they will discover the negatives so make sure they see the positives. Part of “Format Touring” would be the introduction to “positive”, “optimistic”, “successful” business leaders and community minded citizens. Also tour them to impressive landmarks, historical areas and exceptional facilities.

PowerPoint #3 – Environmental Marketing: How clean our community is, the signage, our buildings, the landscape, our promotional materials, our offices, our municipal vehicles, and the appearance of our “point-of-contact people” are all part of Environmental Marketing. Try these ideas:

  • Have an annual community “Trash Bash” that lasts two weeks to a month. This is where government, business and citizens alike pool all their resources to tow away old broken vehicles, repair fences, cut the grass, pick up trash and junk, paint or knock down eye sore buildings and instil pride in the community with clean up incentives. (We did this in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada)
  • Amplify your community – create a community mascot that goes on all your advertising or visit trade shows, events and other large gatherings (Person in a costume).
  • Erect the World’s Largest – in Canada one community has the World’s Largest Fly Rod and Reel (the idea came out of a brainstorm session I facilitated), another has the World’s Largest Ice Hockey Stick and another has the World’s Largest Moose. How about the World’s Largest Surf Board, the World’s Largest Elephant, the World’s Largest Trout or the World’s Largest Grape. Small replicas, restaurants, post cards and many other revenue generating ideas could result from your “World’s Largest”.

PowerPoint #4: Extended Personal Marketing: It is still personal but it is where you look for ways to extend your contact with many people at one time still through the “personal touch”. This includes sms, Facebook, Twitter, a Blog, direct mail, e-mail, trade shows, workshops and community events. Here are a few more:

  • Develop “Speaker Packages” that can help Community Ambassadors and enthusiastic citizens speak on and present the great things about your community and the opportunities available. Also consider a “Community Public Speaking Team”. (This strategy was used with great success to promote the World Fair in Vancouver, Canada in 1986).
  • Promote and Advertise “Potential Opportunities” in your community on a monthly basis.
  • Conduct Workshops and publish “how to” pamphlets on such topics as becoming a supplier to government and effectively interacting with government.
  • Identify the Types of Franchisees you need in your community and then direct mail or e-mail an “invitation” to the appropriate S.A. Franchiser to investigate the opportunity.

PowerPoint #5 – Media Marketing: By Maximising the first four PowerPoints the experience people will have with your community will more closely match the advertising messages created by your advertising professionals.

  • With Media Marketing understand that it is better to reach 5000 of the right people 20 times with an effective message than 100 000 people only once with a message. Think frequency (repetition) first. Reach comes with the amount of money you have to spend.

Remember, communities need lots of successful businesses contributing to the tax base to support the infrastructure and community services that help communities grow and prosper. This is a big reason for attracting, developing and keeping good businesses in your community through effective marketing from the inside-out.


About Bill Gibson

Not only does Bill Gibson focus on sales and marketing within corporations. He has also spoken to dozens of communities in Canada on the people side of economic development (Marketing A Community From The Inside-Out), spoken at economic development conferences, spearheaded “Strong Communities for The 90’s” in Canada, Co-authored “Communicating Economic Development” with Neil Godin, was declared Canada’s #1 Business Speaker by The Chamber of Commerce Executives of Canada, and over 5 years his company graduated over 5000 Business Owners in Canada from his in-depth 6-10 Month Business Owner Development Programs. He can be reached at +27-11-784-1720 or

Bill Gibson – How To Raise Money Without Your Bank – Even In These Times

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

(With Ryan Gibson and Wessel Ebersohn)

Growing businesses need money continually. The owner of a growing business is forever running into costs, both planned for and unforeseen. The business owner may need cash to survive in tough times when something unforeseen strikes. When times are good the business owner will always need cash to build and grow the business.

Right now, going to your bank is not necessarily the best option. They were careful before the current economic downturn hit. They are even more careful now. Remember that they too are working with the money of investors. Like you, the bank cannot afford to be reckless.

This is not to say that there is no money available for entrepreneurs. There is less of it, but it is there. You have to find a way to get your share of it.


A good place to start is with your current investors, if you have any. If you do have investors you need to look after them in every possible way. Nurture a relationship based on openness. Be aware of their need for information. Share with them the challenges the business faces. Seek their advice on difficult issues. Above all, never cut them out. If you invested in someone else’s business, you would want to know exactly what was going on in the business. Treat them the same way.

Family and friends

If you have no current investors, the next best bet is your family and friends. Today loans from family and friends are an immense industry. Virgin Loans, operating in North America, does nothing but facilitate such loans. They supply the documentation and give the entire transaction a solid legal basis. According to their figures, some US$170 million was lent to entrepreneurs worldwide by family and friends in the last quarter of 2008. The fact that Virgin Loans has been successful is an indication that family members are more comfortable with lending a substantial sum if the loan is properly formalised. The lender will need that extra security. When approaching a family member make it clear that a formal contract will be drawn up by an attorney. If you are lucky enough to come from a business family, you may not only get the capital you need, but you may also receive good advice that in the long run may be more valuable than money.

But remember that even your closest family and dearest friends have to look after their interests. You may need to enter a deal in which the business repays the loan eventually and the investor still retains a minority shareholding in the business. The main effect this will have on your business is that when the day comes to sell it, your investor will receive his or her share of the proceeds. A major advantage of borrowing from those close to you is that usually no collateral is required.

Every prospective investor has to be treated with respect. And that includes family and friends. The same way that you need to do your homework for any other investor, so you must prepare your approach to family and friends too. You cannot expect people to hand over money blindly just because they know you well.

Honesty is the best policy

Above all, no matter who you are dealing with, always tell the absolute, unvarnished truth. If you are in mining, the investor needs to know if you are actually digging up the metal or if you are still just at the exploration stage. The same applies to any business. Tell your prospective investor if you are still developing the product or if it is actually on the market.

Better still, show them exactly where you are. Misleading them in the smallest detail is bound to have serious repercussions later. It is vital to keep investors and prospective investors as close to the action as you can. Treat them like board members, show them where the money is going, make it clear that their money is being used carefully. Then be sure that you use it very, very carefully. Under such circumstances investors, of any kind, feel more comfortable.

Don’t play games

Also make quite clear from the beginning what you are prepared to give up. In a recent case the writers of the article were involved with a young entrepreneur who needed an equity investment of R600 000, but he was so unclear about, or unwilling to discuss, the actual percentage of his business he was prepared to give up in exchange for the investment they lost interest in getting involved raising the money.

It is good to be cautious about how much information you give although it can backfire, especially with friends and associates, if you are too cautious with your information. They may be insulted that you don’t trust them and decide not to get involved.

Where to find investors

Many successful business people have started with a number of small investors. Raymond Ackerman started Pick ’n Pay with the help of 100 small investors, each coming in with a mixture of equity and loan finance. This divided the risk among the investors, making it easier for them to make the investment. Most investors like to have a small speculative investment that may show a really big return. A sound place to look for investors is in your own industry. People who work in your industry understand the business and know what you are trying to achieve. They believe in the industry and are therefore more likely to believe in you. If you can get a key investor, someone with a big reputation in your industry, even if he or she only comes in with one percent of the investment you need, others are likely to follow. A real leader will open doors for you.

Exhibit confidence

One absolute when dealing with any investor is not to come across as if you are fearful. No one is going to invest in someone who is afraid of the opposition. More than anything else, investors need to see that the business they are investing in is led by someone who has confidence. And there is a difference between confidence and bravado. Big talk is not going to impress anyone. With confidence comes courage. You have to be ready to accept refusals. You are certainly going to have those. If necessary, you must be ready to approach industry heavyweights and pitch your investment to them. One entrepreneur recently successfully sought investment from the boss of a major multinational. He had tried phoning him, but a solid wall of receptionists and PA’s kept him out. He could not even discover his target’s email address. So eventually he tried an email, using the man’s name @ the company’s name. He made contact that way and, after a few meetings, secured the investment. Business is not for the faint-hearted.

The most common ways for entrepreneurs to finance their companies in the early days are probably securing second, third, fourth of whatever bonds on their homes. Cashing in insurance policies is another. People do what they have to do to grow their businesses. There are many other ways of getting what you need without having to pay for it. This can be just as valuable as receiving the hard cash. Here are a few:


If the service or product you need is supplied by someone who uses what you have to offer, getting them to agree to bartering should not be difficult. Fundamentally, any agreement to barter must be in the interest of both parties. If not, it simply doesn’t work. This publication was once offered a barter deal by a sweet manufacturer. We could not imagine how we were going to consume that amount of sweets, so the deal fell through.

Negotiate no rent for the first six months

This will only work in an area in which office space is standing empty. In all such deals you need to look at things from the other party’s point of view. If their offices have been empty for a while, they may well be agreeable, but you will have to sign a long lease.

Offer discounts for upfront or COD payments

Getting money in fast is almost as good as capital. The discounts will have to be genuine, but businesses that are cash-flush may like the idea.

Seek investment in a product or project

Instead of giving away equity in your company you could seek an investor for a single product or project. This would have to be clearly defined and the investment would probably be smaller, but it could get a key part of your business off the ground. This option could be interesting to a company operating in broadly the same field as you are. In time you could either buy them out or sell them the entire product.

Pay a premium for extended credit

This may work if a major supplier to you can afford to carry you for a while. The downside will be that you will have to pay heavy interest. You will also have to persuade the supplier that you will be worth the risk in the long term.

Have someone stand surety for you with a major supplier

This publication was started that way, when Martin Dannheiser, the owner of the Springs Advertiser at the time, stood surety for our printing during our first year of operation. Your reputation is everything here. The person who stands surety must have great confidence in you. He or she also needs to be a real friend.

Trade equity for expertise, services or products

This sort of investor will only come from the companies that supply businesses like your own. A relationship with the supplier will be needed before they feel comfortable with this arrangement. How much they will have to supply before receiving the equity will be the main issue.

Return on investment of your personal assets

When searching for finance, remember that you do have assets that belong to you. First look at exploiting your own personal assets. You could minimise your needs simply by making best use of your skills. As a business owner who needs to prospect for new clients and mine your client base for opportunities, you need to consider the kind of return on investment you receive from investing your personal assets. This is, after all, what you possess. The better use you make of your personal assets, the more likely you are to be successful.

Your time: It is important that you invest your time with the right people and that you do the right things to get the best return on your time. It is your most valuable asset.

Your energy: If you have the time available, you must also have the energy. Some people give you energy and others drain it. Stay close to those who give you energy and avoid the others. Get them out of your life. Certain habits and activities invigorate you and give you energy. Other habits and activities take away your energy. It is important to value and invest this asset called energy wisely. When your energy is up, you will notice that your passion and motivation are up as well. Energy is a key ingredient to your success as an entrepreneur. Stay healthy and remember this quote. “If you don’t take care of your body then where are you going to live?” Your body is the only piece of real estate that you have from the time you are born to the time you exit this planet. Take care of it! 

Your ability: Your expertise, ideas, knowledge, skills, and general “know how” are all valuable. You can waste these vital assets on some people, but working with others may give you great returns on your investment. Ability is an asset to develop continually and always use wisely.

Your money: In the beginning the business owner is usually short of money. You always need to invest what you have wisely. In the early days of your business this need is more intense. Consider carefully for whom you buy coffee or lunch. Some people over lunch will give a great return on investment in referrals, business and even personal motivation and support. Others may add no value whatsoever. An investment in new clothes, joining the right association, attending the right conference, eating at the right restaurant and buying personal development tapes may be a better investment than a night on the town with old friends. To build your business, you must invest these assets wisely.

Your reputation: Successful, experienced businesspeople get most of their new business from present clients and their network of business and personal associates. This is possible if you network and associate with people who enhance your credibility. Positive word of mouth is powerful and in time it becomes your biggest asset. Select carefully the places you frequent and those people you socialise and do business with. Your name is your future. You are a brand. Invest in it wisely…

The 6 Personal C’s that interest an investor or creditor

With input from Sibongiseni Ngundze, the Managing Director of Nedbank Small Business Services, the writers came up with the following six Cs that investors, lenders and creditors carefully look at before getting involved. 


You must have a good concept, something that sets you apart from the herd. If you are in retail, it may be something as simple as being close to easy parking or being located in the centre of the clientèle you serve. In other industries it may be something more complex, but simple improvements often make a decisive difference. An extra element of service or a practical improvement of a product may make you top of the class.


This goes way beyond personality. Character is the combination of qualities you possess that makes people trust you. Honesty, perseverance, dependability, reliability, supportive qualities, loyalty, enthusiasm: these are the sort of character aspects that make people interested in doing business with you.


Do not attempt something for which you do not have the capacity. If you are trying to go beyond your abilities or the capacity of your business, investors are likely to see this and be frightened off. On the other hand, should an investor not understand that you have gone beyond your capacity and invests in your business anyway, the results could be disastrous.


When banks talk about collateral, they usually mean fixed assets like property. Completely different collateral arrangements can sometimes be arranged with a private investor. For instance, the investor may be willing to take a percentage of your business as collateral. Or they may be satisfied with your character, concept and commitment and ignore collateral. 


A bank or an investor wants to see what your contribution to the venture is. This could be the amount of money you have or will invest. It may be in the form of intellectual capital, equipment, property or just good old hard work and expertise. Be prepared to show your level of contribution.


Nothing is more important than commitment. Seeing that you are truly committed gives any investor great confidence in the undertaking. You need to be able to demonstrate to the investor that, for you, the business in which the investment is being made is a life and death matter.


The 5 Stages of building a relationship with an investor

If you want someone to invest in your business, you need to build a relationship with that person. Here are the five stages of building a relationship:

1. Attraction

Demonstrate your uniqueness. If you and your business are the same as all others, why should they be interested in you or even consider investing in you. Respect boundaries. You may be outgoing and extroverted, but you may be dealing with someone who is not. Do a lot of listening. You need to understand the other person’s needs and wants. Make contact frequently. You need to work on the relationship. Lunch and dinner meetings, family dates: such contact builds a relationship.

2. Exploration

At this stage you need to give outstanding service. Go the extra mile. The rule is to under-promise and over-deliver. You must keep every commitment, even the smallest ones. Consciously or unconsciously, the other person is testing you. Being innovative and resourceful will help to show that you are different. Do not let up on making frequent contact. It will help you move to the next stage.

3. Development

By this time you need to be proving your abilities and, above all, you must be seen to be keeping your promises. Your relationship with the investor should be moving to a personal level. You should by now be networking with those who surround the investor. Keep up the frequent contact, but do not be a nuisance.

4. Commitment

By now you should understand the investor’s decision-making process. Try to anticipate the investors’ needs before they know. By now you must also understand the politics surrounding the investor. Both sides should now be committed to the relationship. Continue the frequent meanings to strengthen the relationship.

5. Unity

At this point you should be leading the process to get the job done. You are now seen as a close associate of the investor. You are involved now, a member of the inner circle, so tread lightly. The investor is on your team now.

“If you have found this blog article to be valuable for you, I would be grateful if you “shared” it with your Social Media Networks. Also feel free to circulate it by e-mail or other means internally within your organization or externally to your clients, suppliers and personal and business network. Thank-you!”    – Bill Gibson

Bill Gibson is a Canadian who is living in South Africa. He is an international speaker and author and a developer of sales, service, marketing, collecting, employee morale building, personal development and entrepreneurial training programs and systems. His blog is and his website is He can be reached at or phone +27-11-784-1720 in South Africa. You can follow Bill Gibson on Twitter: @billgibson1, connect on LinkedIn: or Knowledge Brokers International SA Pty Ltd Facebook Page:


Bill Gibson – Goal Setting: The First Step To Business Ownership

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Succeed Magazine – – December 2009

Owning a business is a potentially life-changing experience that can lead to a financially secure future. Unfortunately, many people who would excel as entrepreneurs or franchise owners never achieve this status because they are unable to take the first step and make money available to realise their dreams.

Of course, when we work daily to pay bills and do not have a cent left at the end of the month, this dream seems far away indeed. However, saving towards a new future can be a reality through setting goals and finding ways to achieve them.

Setting the goal

Because owning a business takes commitment and sacrifice, those who want to achieve it have to know exactly why they want to do it to make it all worthwhile. The end goal of a successful business and financial independence should never be forgotten. “The clearer the intent, the greater the emotional desire becomes to get what you want, and the sooner it becomes a reality,” says top business speaker and chairman of Knowledge Brokers International SA, Bill Gibson. “Goals have to be smart. Smart is an acronym for: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-limited.”

Although this first step sounds blatantly obvious, it is vital. Research shows that only 4% of people actually write down their goals. Of those who write them down, 95% achieve these goals. Once the larger goal has been set, achieving it depends on breaking it down into smaller, manageable pieces.

For instance, let us say that you have set yourself the goal to save up your own contribution to a franchise of R240 000 in two years,” says Gibson. “You break it down into 24 months – which means you have to save R10 000 a month – although it would probably be somewhat less as you earn interest on the money you put away.

“It would be very hard to put away this amount from the start if you have not been able to save up to this point. Therefore, it is better to build up the amount you want to put away over time. For instance, set a goal of putting away R5 000 for the first six months, then R7 500 for the next six, R12 500 for the next six, and R15 000 a month for the last six as you near your goal.” This money has to be invested at the beginning of each month, as if it were a debit order. These forced savings ensure that achieving the goal is on track and that the budget is adjusted to include these savings.

Save on your expenses

Once the decision has been made to put the money away, the money has to come from somewhere. By paying themselves first, people are obliged to look closer at their expenditure to ensure that their phone bills or insurance debit orders do not bounce due to insufficient funds. “Let us assume your monthly disposable income is R20 000.

If your bond is R8 000, your car is R3 000, groceries R5 000 and other expenses come to R4 000, that means you spend R20 000 and you have no money left at the end of the month.

“Starting a business takes sacrifices and expenses have to be limited,” says Gibson. “You would have to look at things like eating out, clothing accounts, belonging to clubs and going to sporting events. Instead of trading in on a new car, rather hang on to the one you have.

“In the process, you are coaching yourself and your family to live leaner for a while, because that is what it takes to achieve your goal. Once you start your franchise, there is a good possibility that you are going to be earning a lot less than what you are earning on your present job for the first few months.” By making these sacrifices, it could be possible to drop expenditure to R17 000 a month on the aforementioned monthly income of R20 000. This saving of R3 000 comes to R72 000 over two years and puts a large dent into the goal of saving R240 000 in two years.

Find an extra source of income

In the end, only so much can be done to save on current expenses and an additional source of income has to be found, such as a weekend or part-time job.

If the example of R20 000 of disposable income is earned over a normal 160-hour working month, it would mean after-tax earnings of R125 per hour.

If additional employment could be found at R80 per hour, most people would turn it down because it is R45 an hour less than they earn at their day job. However, there is another way to look at the offer. Twenty hours of part-time work a week at this rate means R6 400 a month of discretionary income. This amounts to R153 600 over the two years.

“That is how the wealthy become wealthy,” says Gibson. “They do not mind doing things beyond the break-even point that are less than they earn now, because that money could turn into more money.”

Taking on extra work should be viewed as a learning curve, because 90-hour weeks for the first year are extremely likely when a new business is opened. Extending the normal working week from 40 to 60 hours will not only provide extra income, but also valuable time management experience.

Achieving the goal of owning one’s own business will not come without sacrifices, but biting the bullet for a short time is a necessary step towards owning that franchise and taking control of one’s financial future.

Bill Gibson – Getting Out Of A Cash Flow Crisis In A Hurry

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Succeed Magazine – – February 2008

If you have hit a cash flow crisis do not say, “I do not believe it.” While you are saying this you are in denial and valuable time is passing by. Rather face reality. “If it walks like a duck, and it talks like a duck, it is not an eagle,” says Bill Gibson, director of Knowledge Brokers International (KBI). Succeed asked how he would get out of a cash flow crisis:

Act immediately

Do not waste time and energy on trying to figure out how it happened or who is to blame. You can do that later. Focus all your resources on correcting the short-term cash flow problem.

Be proactive with your creditors

Visit or call them and explain your situation. Ask for a specific payment or non-payment plan over the next 60 to 90 days. It is simply a matter of scheduling payments that both you and the creditors can live with. Get the payments as low as possible with a commitment to increase the payments if things get better. Find out the minimum payments your creditors can accept. Perhaps you can even just pay interest. Tell them you will phone at the end of the month to inform them what you can pay. Ask them to not phone you in the first three weeks. That way you can devote all your time and energy to bringing in the cash, rather than handling calls from creditors which depletes your time and energy. I am not suggesting that you misuse your creditors, but facts are facts. If you owe a large amount of money to creditors it is not just your problem, it is also theirs. They want to see you stay afloat.

Swallow your pride and invite them to help. You will be surprised at the solutions with which they may come up.

Be proactive with your debtors

Sit down face-to-face with all clients who owe you money. Offer a discount of 10% to those who can pay much faster than normal Negotiate payment advances Ask for advances of 30% to 100% on jobs that you are doing. This could carry you through the tough period.

The last two months before year end large companies, parastatals and government departments often have budgets they have not spent. If they do not spend the money, it is not carried over to the next financial year and so they often pay in advance. Be sales oriented. Every single person who works for the company has to be sales oriented. Reg Wightman, the owner of a building supply dealership, one day accompanied his truck driver on a delivery. He walked around the site and talked to various people working on the job.

When he left the site he had a bigger order than when he arrived. It made him realise that the person doing the delivery is also really a salesperson, so he rearranged his whole operation. He delegated a lot of his responsibilities as manager to other employees so he could be on the delivery truck a lot more. His sales increased markedly.

Find innovative ways to sell

Terry Stalker is the owner of a bed company. He decided to place lamps, comforters and sheets in his delivery trucks so that his delivery people could sell them when doing deliveries. Installers were also trained to look around the house and report any needs they noted in terms of furniture. A few days later, one of the salespeople would give the client a call saying, “Well, our driver was at your home and he noticed you seemed to need…”

They got a lot of add-on sales that way. When you have a cash crisis you need to find innovative ways to sell.

Last resort moves

• Take your short–term debts, such as lines of credit, promissory notes, credit card balances, income tax and supplier balances, and try and get a consolidation loan. Spread the payments over three years. This frees up monthly capital and lowers your monthly overheads. It might cost more in terms of interest in the long run, but it could be the short term fix needed to get you out of trouble.

• Consider offering shares in your company to major creditors to wipe out all or part of the balance you owe. Have a good buyback clause.

• Sell your receivables at a discount to the company that buys receivables.

• Use equity in your home with a second bond to pay off some of the debts.

• Consider a financially sound co-signer for a large consolidation loan. In return, you could put that person on your payroll for an agreed amount until the debt is paid.

• Seek advice from business owners who survived cash flow problems.

“If you have found this blog article to be valuable for you, I would be grateful if you “shared” it with your Social Media Networks. Also feel free to circulate it by e-mail or other means internally within your organization or externally to your clients, suppliers and personal and business network. Thank-you!”    – Bill Gibson

Bill Gibson is a Canadian who is living in South Africa. He is an international speaker and author and a developer of sales, service, marketing, collecting, employee morale building, personal development and entrepreneurial training programs and systems. His blog is and his website is He can be reached at or phone +27-11-784-1720 in South Africa. You can follow Bill Gibson on Twitter: @billgibson1, connect on LinkedIn: or Knowledge Brokers International SA Pty Ltd Facebook Page: