4 Money Smart Tips to Save Your Business from Failing

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” Henry David Thoreau

Driven by progressive social and business enterprises, the City of Oakland is in the midst of an exciting renaissance and the Impact Hub Oakland is a fertile ground to support the change makers impacting the community. ‘Business Start-Up Strategies’, taught this summer by whip smart business guru Michael C. Bush, is ideal for creatives, entrepreneurs, and self-starters developing and growing a business.

Michael, an Oakland native, is electric and engaging as he shares the 8 Factors of success for any new business. Woven through his academic teachings are hilarious anecdotes, practical steps, and executable advice that demystify the road to success. Here are four money smart tips from the class to save a new business from failing:

1) Master your value proposition – Why should a customer choose you? What problem do you solve? It is critical for a business know and use this to target and maintain customers. How do you know if your value proposition is connecting with your audience? a) people pay for your goods/services, b) they come back for more, c) they recommend you to others

2) Prioritize based on maximizing the money flow – When targeting customer segments, give weight to those that will spend the most and are easiest to convince to use your product and service. Allocate funds to resources based on their importance to your value proposition.

3) Know the exact dollar amount that must come in each month – “You can’t pay the light bill with good intentions.” Michael continuously underscores the importance of cash to sustain a business and advises constant flexibility to reach that amount – ie, alternative income streams, collaborations, or special events to generate funds when you need them.

4) Imagine the worst possible scenario – Imagine you lose your biggest client – how can you shuffle funds or generate income to offset this loss and still stay in business? What can you do today to soften the blow if this scenario comes true next month? By forecasting the worst, middle, and best case scenarios of your income statement 3 months ahead of time, you can refine and protect your business today.

Michael C. Bush’s words carry the promise that it is possible to pursue your passions, change the world, and make a living at the same time. The packed room is enthralled as he unfolds his wisdom each alternate Monday. There’s an undeniable magic in the room and I’m grateful to be a member of the IHO community and a student in this powerful series. We’re all looking to create a better community and a better world and by following Michael’s advice, we’re on the way to living the life we’ve imagined.

Story by Yodassa Williams and Simka Alisa Kostenko

Michael Bush Teaching 2Michael Bush Teaching