This is an excerpt from my earlier article on exclusive advice to managing startup finances.

Don’t run before you can walk. If your business is ticking over nicely and you’re given the opportunity to bid for a big new contract, stop! Think first.

It can be tempting to “punch above your weight” and go for the prestige associated with a big contract. But that might not be the right choice for you.

Ask yourself some questions before you bid.

  • Do I have the staff to fulfill the contract if I win it? If not, will I have to hire new staff or use contractors?
  • Do I have the funds to pay for any new equipment required?
  • What effect will the new contract have on my current business: am I likely to neglect my existing clients?
  • What happens when the contract ends, or if it’s terminated early?
  • What happens if the new client takes a long time to pay?

Sometimes it’s preferable to build up a number of smaller clients instead of trying to sign up one or two larger ones. Your cash flow is likely to be more predictable that way. And if one contract ends suddenly, or you experience payment problems, it’s less likely to ruin your business.

While starting and running your own business can be exciting, it can also be nerve-wracking, especially when it comes to handling finances in a lucrative manner. Don’t let your business suffer due to poor money management. Keep the above tips in mind and give your venture a bright future.

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