Do you know what this means?
Positive cash flow finance is essential to any business and as you start your small business, forecasting and analysing your business cash flow is essential. The free financial model download on www.buildyourbusinesses.com is an easy to use tool to help you in this continuing process.
We are living in a business world where every business owner’s financial dream is to start a ‘game changing’ business or become an industry leader – and quickly too. That will however only happen for an extremely limited number of businesses. For the rest of us paying very close attention to generating and managing our cash flow is crucial. So what are some key issues business owners should be considering to ensure they have a positive cash flow finance position?
- Growing sales is not the same as generating cash
Most businesses need to act like an Uber driver, who needs to get paid for a journey quickly, rather than Uber itself which needs vast amounts of cash to support its’ business growth. Of course investing in a business is essential but you must be convinced that investments will generate cash and that your business has sufficient ongoing sources of cash and liquidity.
- Generating profits is not the same as generating cash
It may take time to collect money owing to your business or investment needs are offsetting positive operating cash flows?
- Selling your products and/or services to customers who can’t or won’t pay will place a strain on your cash flow
Strong credit controls and collection processes are required.
- A strong business can be ruined by poor financing decisions
Debt needs servicing. A large debt makes your business vulnerable to downturns in trading conditions. Small businesses are especially at risk from risk management policies of lenders. Banks and other financial institutions are generally less supportive of small businesses.
- Watch the costs
High sales growth and low profit margins aren’t a good recipe for a sustainable business.
- Small savings on costs and small increases in profit margins can make a big difference to cash flows
This is especially true of businesses with low profit margins.
- Is your business flexible?
The world changes rapidly. Businesses with high “fixed” costs will be sensitive to changes in sales volumes which impacts cash flow.
- Is your cash flow relatively predictable and cash generative?
If not, how are you going to finance periods when cash flow is negative?
- Relying on external finance for growth, rather than cash from operations, adds uncertainty
Crowd Funding, Business Angels and Seed Capital may be available for some businesses. Don’t assume it will be.
- Is your cash flow concentrated?
It’s great to have strong customer relationships but concentrating on a limited number of customers and suppliers exposes your business to changes in their environment.
- Are you investing enough in your business?
Investments need cash. It’s therefore easy to conclude that it’s better to conserve cash rather than invest. But, this is often a short term view. Continually, every business needs to invest to maintain and improve its products. If not, there’s a risk that a lack of investment will result in weaker operating cash flows.
Producing cash flow forecasts is essential so please use the FREE financial model download on www.buildyourbusinesses.com. If you would like to discuss the financial model, or want assistance on developing a financial model that is tailored to your specific business needs, please do not hesitate to contact Alan Brooke at www.aquipu.co.uk