Cash flow is an important metric of how much money gets in and out of your company over a given period.
Your company’s cash flow is its lifeline. When there’s no right movement in your cash flow, your business activities might come to a standstill.
There are two ways of determining your financial health through your cash flow.
- Positive cash flow- When the amount of money coming into your business from sales, accounts receivable, and other sources exceeds the amount of money leaving your firm through accounts payable, monthly expenses, staff wages, and other sources.
- Negative cash flow- When your cash outflow exceeds your cash inflow, you have a cash flow problem. This usually spells problems for a company, but there are steps you can take to correct the problem and go back into the black.
It all comes down to maintaining your Working Capital. Working capital is the concept of having “sufficient money to cover your financial commitments.”
But don’t mistake your cash flow with making a profit. Profit is the amount of money flowing into your organization, whereas cash flow considers both the amount of money coming in and going out. It considers 3 activities:
- Operating activities
- Investing activities
- Financing activities
Accounts receivable, inventory, accounts payable, capital expenditures, and taxation are just a few of the financial variables that go into factoring in your cash flow.
In addition to your profit or loss, effective cash-flow management necessitates a heavy emphasis on each of these cash generators. Profit is simply revenue minus expenses, according to accounting rules.
A wise business owner, on the other hand, recognizes that knowing whether or not you made a profit is not the same as understanding what happened to your money.
Cash flow management refers to all those activities of tracking, analyzing, and improving your company’s financials. The goal of cash flow management is to keep you in the green zone or the positive cash flow, where more money comes in than goes out.
While you can anticipate the positive and negative influx through your accountants, accounting software online makes the cash flow management process much easier.
Here are top tips for better cash flow management
1. Be mindful about your spending
Excessive spending of funds can occur as a result of paying for expenses at inopportune periods or covering unnecessary expenses.
While you check your recurring, monthly and quarterly, or even annual expenses, make sure to check if there’s insurance, subscriptions, or services we no longer need. See if you can bargain on your outstanding dues. Cut back on rent, utilities, or payroll if you need to.
Consider minimizing employee overtime and cutting overhead costs. Make your brand more eco-friendly, and you may be able to save money on things like paper, power, and water bills as well as reduce waste.
There are many ways to cut your costs. It only requires you to monitor and track them closely.
2. Find avenues for more income
Stop relying on your credit card or line of credit to make ends meet. Sale is a good generator of cash, so working on driving more sales.
Promotions are a terrific approach to swiftly and efficiently increase sales. You may organize a contest, launch a client loyalty and referral program, or use clever social media posting to generate buzz. You can also find ways to improve customer service and implement them.
Apart from this, consider keeping your funds in interest-bearing accounts, which can be found at most banks.
3. Focus on the break-even point
Having a clear vision of when your business is going to be profitable helps you in creating a sitemap to achieve short-term and long-term goals.
Before you can move toward a positive cash flow, you must first determine how much money you need to break even.
Negative cash flow combined with negative profitability is a bad combination. Concentrate your efforts on managing your cash flow to reach the point where you make your first profit.
So, gather information on our income and expenses and begin the breakeven analysis process.
You’re doing something right if you go above the break-even mark. If you frequently fall back, then there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.
4. Prepare for risks
Risks are inevitable. So having a clear picture of how you’ll handle a crisis becomes important. When you are creating a budget or recording cash inflows, factor in a hypothetical situation like -what if that big order doesn’t go through as planned? Or what if your client becomes a bad debt?; add or subtract inflows according to that scenario. You’ll be ready to handle the repercussions of those risks.
5. Have buffers and reserves for emergencies
Having a safety net is essential. Just like you have buffer stock to cover shortages of supply, create reserves of buffer money to help you glide through the unforeseen economic turndowns. It is advisable to have enough cash to cover you for at least 3 to 6 months in your emergency reserves.
6. Clarity on payment terms
Before taking on a new client or supplier, it’s critical to establish extremely explicit payment conditions in writing. Make sure to specify when invoice payments are due, whether they are due immediately or within 15, 30, or 60 days.
You can request a deposit when you place the order, and then a percentage of the payment as per agreement.
It’s all too easy to lose sight of time and then fail to follow up on a past-due account. The longer you go without communicating with a consumer, the less likely you are to recover the money you owe. You might even try giving consumers who pay their bills quickly discounts.
Also, make paying you as simple as possible for your customers. Use payment solutions that are convenient and quick.
7. Liquidate your assets
Idle and outdated equipment eats up space and capital that may be put to better use. They are not productive and cost unnecessary expenses. This might generate quick cash when needed.
Also, when it comes to equipment, leasing is a better choice than making a hefty investment by buying them.
8. Track inventory
Analyze inventory movement to see which goods are selling and which are clunkers that are draining your cash flow. Keep inventory levels low to avoid tying up your working capital in inefficient and unprofitable ways.
9. Delay payments if possible
This doesn’t sound like an ideal solution of course. Unless you have a compelling reason to pay early, determine how late you can pay your vendors without incurring late fees or jeopardizing your relationship.
Check to see if you can get a payment extension if you have a payment due soon. Delay as long as you can, but even a few weeks or days might have a huge influence on your cash flow.
10. Upgrade to cloud accounting
Using spreadsheets for your accounting seems simple but it’s obnoxious and prone to mistakes. You need to upgrade to cloud accounting software for better cash flow management.
It’s a worthwhile investment since it has many amazing benefits that make the accounting process, a breeze. You can stay on top of various reports, generate e-invoices compliant with VAT and GST, check profit and cost centers, track inventory, and much more. You can seamlessly execute the aforementioned tips with cloud accounting software and manage your cash better.
You can use the above strategies as they are or combine them according to your needs, but use them for sure! They say ‘Cash is king!’ and for business owners, especially small business owners, having cash for various operations is vital since your hands are full of it. You can hire a bookkeeper or an accountant but that would add to your expense and robust online accounting software can be a lifesaver for effective cash flow management.