By Ryan Velez
Cash flow is something that is easy to explain but difficult to manage. One of the best ways to handle this complex issue is to learn from others. Nav has done just that by interviewing Hope Oriabure-King, a single mother of four and the entrepreneur owner of Black Tie Babysitting, Inc. Black Tie Babysitting provides onsite childcare special occasions and events like weddings and corporate functions.
Oriabure-King shares how while this wasn’t her original plan, circumstances forced her hand. “I graduated from college with an undergraduate degree in journalism with a concentration in public relations. I had a young son at the time. Most of the jobs that were out there for PR were $28,000/year. I was like, “Wow, this isn’t going to be much of a life for me and my son.” So, I was offered a sales job at IBM for $38,500,” she shared.
While sales wasn’t her original plan, she managed to do well in this capacity. But after moving to a different company, she found her numbers were dropping, and it was the IBM name that was really selling.
“Now, I have four children. My children have special needs. It just became very hard to give full attention to their needs as they became school-age and to balance that corporate career. So, I decided to become an entrepreneur. I had my business for a couple of years running on the sideline. In 2014, I quit my corporate job, moved in with my parents, and started my business full-time,” she explains.
While she is currently quite successful, Oriabure-King names cash flow as the single biggest challenge she had to face, especially early on. “Cash flow was one of the biggest mistakes I made. I would pay people the day of our events in cash. I wasn’t actually tracking what I was paying them. They didn’t have 1099s. I couldn’t track my costs. I would let people pay me the day of the event. My dad has been an entrepreneur for 32 years and he said, ‘Hope, this is not how you run a business! Nobody does a job and gets paid that day. Everybody is used to waiting for a paycheck. This affects your cash flow – You are giving your money away when you get it!’”
Her advice for newcomer entrepreneurs is to do something that they are passionate about, as opposed to doing it for the money. “. If you’re only doing it for money, you’ll get burnt out. And, invest into yourself the same as what you invest into that business. As a small business owner, you are everything to that business. If you fall down or get sick, your business will suffer and you won’t be able to recover from that,” she shares.