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Say Goodbye to Cash Flow Woes: Expert Tips for Managing Your Training Business Income

In this article, the experts at dogbiz share tips for managing cash flow for your training business.

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Q: Hi dogbiz,

I’ve recently started my own dog training business (woot woot!), but I’m finding it challenging to feel safe about the money part. It feels like a big adjustment after having a regular paycheck for most of my career, and my income is now up and down every month. Any tips on how to navigate this aspect of the business and avoid getting cold feet?



A: Hi Ryan,

Congratulations on launching your dog training business! Woot woot, indeed! Managing cash flow is a crucial—and initially stressful—aspect of running your own business. Here are some tried-and-true tips we hope will help.

  • Create a detailed budget: Begin by outlining a comprehensive budget that includes all your business expenses, from training materials and equipment costs to marketing and administrative expenses. And don’t forget to calculate your personal budget, too, including day-to-day living costs. How much income do you actually need to generate to safely make ends meet? Having a clear understanding of your financial obligations allows you to plan for them effectively.
  • Set clear payment terms: Transparent payment terms with clients helps you keep your income flow steady and reduces the risk of delayed payments. Clearly communicate when payments are due and what methods of payment you accept. Consider requiring an upfront payment for your services, especially for longer-term training packages, and don’t schedule any sessions until everything is paid for. We suggest policies that require clients to book within a certain time frame—not only is this better for training outcomes, it also prevents long periods of time without income flowing in.
  • Invoice promptly: If you don’t require upfront payment, be sure to send out invoices promptly after any training. The sooner you bill your clients, the sooner you can expect to receive payments. Implementing an invoicing system, whether manually or through accounting software, can streamline this process.
  • Build an emergency fund: As you grow your business, aim to set aside a portion of your earnings into an emergency fund. You could start this process by setting aside anything over budget during strong months, creating a surplus to cover slower periods. As you progressively get ahead, consider transforming this surplus into a dedicated emergency fund to safeguard against unexpected expenses, periods of illness, and vacation time. This not only protects your business against unforeseen challenges, but also helps you enjoy some well-deserved time off.

Managing your business income is an ongoing process that can feel daunting at first. By implementing these strategies and seeking guidance when needed, you’ll soon be facing those spreadsheets and invoices with confidence.

Here’s to fewer valleys between the peaks, Ryan!

Warm regards,

The dogbiz Team


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