Cashflow (or lack of it) is a constant challenge for all business owners. I often refer to ‘cash’ as the oxygen a business needs to survive day to day. It is a critical factor which leads to the success or demise of your business.
If it’s this important, why don’t we have better tools and processes in place to manage it? Cashflow management is time consuming but it’s also critical to your business operations. There are many articles on the internet featuring textbook answer to cashflow management and links to resources, however these are often ineffective and confusing.
So, here are some of ‘real world’ tips:
Keep it simple!
Are you searching for an amazing, fully automated tool that will manage your cashflow, forecast your cash position daily and tell you when the business will need more cash to meet daily operational requirements? Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist (yet!). I have reviewed most cashflow management tools on the market and in my opinion, the products that pitch this are not there (yet). They will help you map cashflow but they are totally dependent on the information entered into your accounting system. Often this is where the problem starts.
I feel a simple spreadsheet is the best tool to manage cashflow forecasting. If you are struggling with cashflow management, email me for a copy of our template to get you started.
Forecast your position
Cashflow management is about looking forward. You need to understand the business’ daily and weekly payment commitments (and when they fall due). You need to project when income will be received. It’s also about constantly updating for your current bank balance. By forecasting your cash position on a weekly basis, you gain a much greater control over cashflow. I suggest you forecast 12 weeks in advance to identify any potential cash shortages and put strategies in place to manage these.
Stretch it out
How many times have you had to put money into your business to pay bills or wages? What would happen if you didn’t have any money to put in? If you know in advance there is likely to be a cashflow shortage (by using our cashflow template), then you can put a plan in place to overcome it. Call people who owe you money, contact creditors and stretch out payments or make a payment arrangement with the people you owe money to. By ‘managing’ your cashflow in this way, it’s amazing how far you can stretch it – without the need to put your personal funds into the business.
Understand your cash conversion cycle
A key part of cashflow is understanding your business cycle. How many days does it take for you to convert your time or stock into cash? How many days does it take you to collect money owed to the business? On average how many days do you take to pay your bills? This is known as the ‘cash conversion cycle’. You can calculate and track these numbers. This is a great way to understand the efficiency of your business cycle and start putting strategies in place to improve it. If you can reduce your cash conversion cycle by a few days, you can increase your business cashflow by thousands of dollars!!
Managing cashflow is a challenge for all business regardless of turnover.
Business Development Specialist - Ceebeks Business Solutions for GOOD
I love business and the ability to change people’s lives through them!
At Ceebeks Business Solutions for GOOD, we get up every morning to positively impact young families in business by making their businesses REALLY work so that we all make an even bigger impact together. The rewards that bring allow our team ('the fantastic five') to make small but powerful contributions to impact our local community, our country and the lives of those less fortunate around the world.
You see, something quite remarkable happens when we work together, for example, the gift of water is made when we prepare a tax return, the gift of a goat is provided when we help a new business start-up, the gift of shelter is forwarded when we organise a home loan. When we work together, we actually change the world!
I am a business development specialist with nearly 40 years’ experience, a CPA, an authorised representative of Avana Financial Solutions Ltd (Authorised Representative no. 231937) and a credit representative of Outsource Financial Pty Ltd (Authorised Representative no 396061). I have recently co-authored an International Best-Selling Book 'Legacy - The Sustainable Development Goals in Action' and in 2020 published my first book - 'Chasing the Dream! - How to Grow a Business in these Amazing Times', host a daily blog/vlog on our small business Facebook community group page 'Chasing the Dream, and with our Team run a monthly event for small business owners called 'The Chasers Meet-Up', where a guest speaker presents a topic and tips and strategies are openly shared.
In 2015, our business won the Change GPS International Member Firm of the Year and in that same year, I was a founding member of the Global Accounting Movement - Accountants for Good. We were recognised in 2016 by Steve Pipe in his international publication - The World's Most Inspiring Accountants and Featured in "The LinkedIn PlayBook" by world-renowned social media strategist and consultant, Adam Houlahan. In 2017, we were in the Top 25 Most Popular Accounting and Tax Services Award for search4accountants, B1G1 Business for Good Top 100 Giving Businesses in the World and a Semi-Finalist in the 2017 Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards. In 2018, we were an Australian Accounting Awards Finalist in "Community Engagement Program of the Year", a Semi-Finalist in the Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards 'South West TAFE & Deakin University South West Regional Achiever Award', a Nominee in the Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards 'Regional Development Victoria Business Achiever Award', and featured in the Top 25 Most Popular Accounting and Tax Services Award by search4accountants.