In the last few months, I have been working in, not on our business. It is the opposite to what business advisors say to do. They promote working ON your business. What does that mean exactly? Well, they say you should work on promoting and developing your business. They recommend you stimulate sales and marketing, develop a brand, encourage staff or improve your accounting.
After working on DrivenByQ for more than fifteen years, our niche in the travel market is defined: Our back-end systems are highly evolved; The DrivenByQ brand value among the business community is exceptional; Our accounting systems are refined; The procedures we use to manage bookings have evolved and continue to improve through working on the business over time. There comes a point however when you recognise funds are depleted and need rebuilding.
With the damage caused by Coronavirus, we have a smaller team. When business travel started to increase back in September 2021 it was time to graft – just like a start-up. In addition, customers who pay on 30 and 60-day credit were travelling more than other customers, so it placed strain on our cash flow. The answer was to work in the business as a driver and get behind the wheel to generate as much cash (or revenue) as possible.
With Omicron seeing another slow-down over Christmas, the decision to work in, not on the business was proven correct. It was demanding because job numbers were lower than pre-pandemic levels and it meant fewer journeys linked together. In effect, we lost efficiency or economies of scale and that meant my jobs each day were stretched further apart. It translates to more hours and less turnover but with fewer drivers to pay, one fundamental result is different!
Without paying so many subcontractors, working in, not on the business helps increase the revenue we retain. It provides the working capital to help build up the volume again. This is crucial for paying the sub-contract drivers who help us provide the capacity for volume to ramp up. As we prepare for further increases in job numbers, the old accountant’s saying rings true: Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity and cash, is king!