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Total Days to Cash (TDTC) is the amount of time that elapses between your being paid and the signed proposal or agreement. If it’s “net, 30 days,” your TDTC is 30. But if the client takes an additional 30, then it becomes 60. There are some silicon valley firms which put “vendors” on 120-day waits for payment, which is unethical and dreadful, and some consultants aren’t paid in full until the engagement is completed. (These people have never read my books.)

I’m paid in advance, at the time the proposal is accepted, no matter when I actually begin the project, or advisory work, or make the speech. Hence, I have a negative TDTC.

You can’t spend money until you collect it, and the longer that takes, the more the value of your money is diluted. Even lawyers demand retainers to begin a relationship. Try to get into your doctor’s office without your insurance card having been processed.

Stop congratulating yourself for merely obtaining business, because you can’t buy that bottle of champagne until you’ve obtained the money to buy it.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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