Big Scary Bills: A Nightmare Story

Whether we are talking business or personal, there is nothing that can incite more fear and dread than BILLS!  Let’s just face the truth. Bills scare us to death; they can destroy our motivation, and halt us dead in our tracks. But why? We all know that bills will come; no one denies that they are a fact of life. So what really is the big deal?

I suppose I could give the age-old adage that bill-paying anxiety can be eliminated with a good budget. But, that is too predictable, and frankly, not true. Yes, budgeting is a necessity; however, we need to dive deeper than just surface budgeting tricks.  Budgeting will help make the fear more predictable, but it does not eliminate it. It simply tells you what days of the month you should be afraid of.

As a business development consultant, I have seen passionate, strong and confident adults buckle the moment their new business’s first bills arrive.  I see it all the time, their training, their planning, their excitement, all out the window as they curl up in the fetal position. Their eyes wide, their bodies trembling, “I can’t pay this bill”, they protest.  The funny thing is that a business without bills is like a ship stranded in the middle of the ocean with no sails. It does not matter how hard the wind blows, you aren’t going anywhere. Despite this, so many business owners’ first reaction to a bill is to figure out how to avoid getting another one. They end up stranding themselves in deep waters before they even had a chance.

Before you get too excited I am not suggesting that the more bills you have the faster you will get to your goals. Just like a ship’s sails, bills have to be used with a purpose.  What I am suggesting is that avoiding bills, trying to eliminate them is never a good plan. Before you can create a sound budget and start looking for ways to effectively cut costs you have to understand the nature of what a bill is.

I often have conversations with business owners who complain about all their bills. I see marketing firms who won’t market their services and then complain about a lack of new clients. I see small business retail and food and beverage providers with half stocked shelves or lower quality products and ingredients. Their reason; it was their new business plan to cut costs. Unfortunately, they also cut their sales. It happens every time a business owner wants to cut costs without fully understanding the cost’s purpose. They find ways to “cheat”, but cheaters never win.

A bill is not a bad thing. Say it with me. A bill is not a bad thing. Bills pay for the products that we sell at a profit, they pay for our employees that produce our services, and they pay for the energy and rent that allow us to operate our business. Bills are tools to help us make money. If you are not making money it is not the bills fault. It is the way that the bills are being used to move your company forward.

This is a big topic for businesses; we are in the realm of success versus failure. Bills are scary because they can make or break our business.

For more on the cause and effect of bills and how to utilize them to bring success to your business read:  I Forgot to Feed my Business