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I’ve always said “it’s not the amount of sales that you turn over but the amount of profit that you bank that matters”.
Another way of putting it is “turnover is vanity, profit is sanity and cash flow is king”
There are a number of areas in the business that effect cash flow;
· Declining sales
· Fluctuations in sales both up and down
· Marketing and sales strategies that are not executed consistently, that consequently generate inconsistent sales
· The trading terms that you, your creditors and debtors are enjoying
· Aged debtors
· Delinquent payers
· Stock levels
· Stock turns
· Margins both gross and net
· Expenses as a percentage of sales
· The list goes on and on….
It is often not just the one thing that causes us not to sleep at night, but an accumulation of many things that add up to the amount of money going out exceeding what we require to come in so here is a list of things that you can do that in isolation can make a profound impact on the state of your cash flow but done in totality can dramatically change the fortunes of your business!
Cash Flow Tips
Profit and cash flow are not the same thing. A business can still go broke whilst making a healthy profit just by not having enough financial reserves to meet its commitments.
Cash flow management is the fundamental and essential responsibility of the Business Owner or General Manager. A good cash flow manager reviews cash flow needs for the next week, next month, next quarter and the next financial year and plans for any large cash need before it becomes a crisis.
Remember that cash flow management is more than just what’s happening with accounts receivable and payable. It also includes sales, raising finance through loans/overdrafts or sale of assets, controlling stock…
Initial Start-up Phase
- Delay taking a salary until your business is generating cash flow from sales
Sales and Marketing
- A regular and dependable volume of sales is a major help to cash flow planning. So systemise your sales and marketing as far as practical to ensure you have a regular level of enquiries and a strong conversion rate.
- Require payment in advance. If that’s not possible invoice quickly on shipment of goods or services.
- Negotiate favourable payment schedules in your terms and conditions – make sure you increase the price to allow for any increased risk and costs.
- Establish late payment penalties as part of your terms and conditions – and enforce them
- Offer rewards for early payment
- Only provide credit after a credit history has been established. Require credit applications and check references
- Have a minimum dollar amount for orders before granting credit
- Have your customers pay by credit card or get authority to debit their bank account. That way you can process payments immediately and you do not have to wait for customers to send the cheque
- Stop extending credit to slow payers – you are not a bank
- Make use of credit insurance
- Update your credit control and accounts receivable processes and ensure your team are trained to utilise them. Review your 30/60/90 accounts payable reports at least monthly.
- Stop training your customers to be slow payers – if they are late on paying in accord with agreed terms and conditions then initiate recovery procedures.
Expenses and Accounts Payable
- Pay your bills promptly. After you build a history of payment negotiate extended payment terms – a supplier will often give a good customer 30 to 90 day terms
- Keep overheads to a minimum. Before purchasing something set increased sales goals to justify and fund the expense.
General Cash Management
- Review your cash position at least weekly.
- Review your P&L at least monthly. Get your accountant and financial advisor or business mentor to show you how to interpret it
- Invest your cash on hand to maximise its earning potential
- Establish a ‘line of credit’ with your bank before you need it
- To make sure you can move quickly to borrow if needed, keep an eye on your current ratio (assets over liabilities – at least 2:1 is good) and quick ratios (liquid assets divided by current liabilities – should be over 1:1)
- Establish good internal controls for handling cash. Use different people to reconcile then you use to deposit cheques or cash.
If you would like help in creating a cash flow management plan that works, but you don’t know where to start, we can help!
At ABC Business Improvement we have or are assisting builders, tradesmen, retailers, restaurants, wholesalers, manufacturers, professional service providers like accountants, lawyers, pharmacists, dentists, importers/ exporters and we can assist you too!
At ABC Business Improvement we will organise a meeting where you will;
– Uncover the challenges you are facing
– Define a path to overcome them
– Create a first step plan to move forward
– Gain a sense of excitement and relief, knowing where you are going
Be one of the first 5 to contact us this week and we will organise a complementary ‘cash flow management plan that works’ strategy session and provide you with at least 21 strategies that work, call us today…