The phone rang.....I answered.....was it Virgin Credit Card services wondering when I can make a full payment on my monthly bill, or anyone of my other creditors "concerned" about my inability to pay what I had originally agreed to pay them when they lent me all that money? No! It was a potential customer.
"I'm selling my house but I don't have time to tidy the garden & there is a viewing in three days, can you help?"
Too right I can and did. Our first job of 2010 and I also had an enquiry from another potential (still to hear back) so figured that maybe people are starting to thing about their gardens. Therefore decided to contact our existing customers and thank god (well as a fully paid up atheist I thank the cosmos) they said yes...let's garden. At last, an income.
This is where I impart my hard earned experience - "you need savings to survive at least 3 months without work". And another - "no work, no cash, no advertising, no work, no cash".
We didn't have. As a newbie business ( and yes we will continue to be as far as I am concerned until we have completed a year trading) we knew Christmas and Winter would be quiet. Quiet? Oh no...dead, void, vacuum, deep sea quiet, outer space quiet. Trouble was the credit cards, the loans, the mortgage, the bills still needed feeding but there was a drought in my account with no sign of rain. Talk about underestimating and lack of forward planning! We were really busy in our first 6 months and the bills got paid...just, but as soon as the work dried up.............
On a positive note I know exactly how much per hour over the year I need to charge to pay each outgoing costs we have and I'm all clued up on IVA's, Debt Management and Bankruptcy. We are also far wiser. We will be saving hard all year so we don't go through this next year. But let's be clear here we are in financial meltdown not because we have no work but because we have had a "have now pay later" mentality for the last 34 years (hands up who had an Access Card at 16?) and all those decision have come home to roost.
There is a bank I can recommend to anyone who has access to it. Bank of Dad. The best, most loving, no strings attached bank there is. The fact is I'm 48 and I feel totally ashamed that I still bank there. I can't tell him I love him to his face but I do.
Well a massive year for Jan's Gardening coming up. If we can pay the bills, save for rainy & snowy days, have money for our first tax bill then we will be successful. Profits can wait. If not then it's back to the commute. I'm a professional and I hear the streets of Kings Cross are always looking for pro's.