Cash flow is one of the most important elements in any business. Having cash in the bank not only provides you with peace of mind, but ensures you have cash in the bank to grow your business to the next level.
Capital management is essential for any business owner and there are certain factors you have to take into consideration to ensure your bank balance continues to grow, giving you cash when you need it, whether it’s to invest in new equipment or expand your business moving forward.
The first step you have to take is to put together your cash flow forecasts. Cash flow forecasts are an important step to your capital management to help you have some idea on money coming in. Cash flow forecasts include invoices sent and products sold where you are still awaiting payment. It is a good idea to set up a plan for this to ensure that you receive payments on time to reduce the risk of running short in the bank with lots of outstanding payments still due.
This is where many companies fall short. Without having a good collections plan for outstanding funds, you may find your bank balance lowering as you pay all the bills you have to pay, but your customers aren’t making payments. Set deadlines for payments coming in, give due dates on your invoices and don’t be shy to send reminders. Remember this is money due to you, money you have worked for.
Always keep some cash in the bank for emergencies. There are always times when something can go wrong, this is usually when you least expect it. A bad month, a computer stops working or an important part of equipment breaks down. Having cash flow enables you to replace or repair the item or pay for the quiet month without too much struggle. Without effective capital management, you could find yourself at the bank asking for a loan to keep your doors open, or worse, you could find yourself closing the doors for good.
Ensure that you always pay your accounts on time. While this may sound obvious, most of your suppliers will charge interest on outstanding amounts so even leaving an account outstanding for a week or two past the due date, could see you paying more, which in turn lowers your profit margins.
As a business owner you need to know what to expect moving forward. Forecasting is an important part of being a business owner and helps you stay one step ahead to ensure success. Always analyze any changes you experience in terms of your capital management. If you find you are struggling to stay on track, don’t be shy to get assistance from an expert in the field to help you manage your capital effectively and help your business grow to the next level moving forward.
There are three important elements you need to pay close attention when it comes to capital management. You need to know how much raw materials you have in stock. Stock is cash and once sold it is cash in the bank. Knowing your stock levels and the worth of the stock is a very important aspect to help you forecast any cash flow.
Have a good handle on your expenses. Set up monthly budgets and forecasts to help you manage this effectively. Your final step is to have a grasp on the income you have coming in.
While you may have some customers who are excellent payers, you will have those that tend to delay payment until the last minute. All of this should be taken into consideration when developing your capital management plan, helping you control your business at all times.