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Cash Flow Management for Small Businesses

    Understanding Proper or Healthy Cash Flow Management for Small Businesses


    Any company’s cash flow is a major factor in determining its financial viability. Do you want to make wise judgments, understand your financial situation, or determine whether a particular project is feasible? What is the financial flow, to which all responses lead? The Cash Flow gives us a rapid snapshot of our financial situation and sheds light on our short-, medium-, and long-term goals. Because of the low visibility of this data, it is crucial to evaluate and understand it to ensure that your business grows steadily and sustainably over time. 

    What is Cash Flow?

    The entrance and outflow of cash and its equivalents are referred to as cash flow. Business operations, investments, and financing all provide cash flow. It establishes the status and availability of a company’s cash.

    Cash flow analysis can provide important details about a company’s finances, operations, and reported profitability. The analysis is used to estimate future cash flows. As a result, financial analysts prepare plans for short-term objectives, long-term objectives, working capital, and the ideal cash level needed for operations.

    What is a Cash Flow Statement?

    A cash flow statement is a financial document that details the sources and uses of a company’s cash. It’s sometimes referred to as a CFS or a statement of cash flows. A cash flow statement reveals which areas of the company made money and which ones spent it during a specific period. It demonstrates whether a company has any issues covering its costs. A CFS monitors the flow of cash into and out of the company, allowing it to determine whether the company can cover its expenses and whether cash is leaving the company more quickly than it is entering. In a cash flow statement, there are three primary sections:

    Cash from operations which includes both sales revenue and operating expenses.

    Cash flow from investments is the money used to buy and sell significant goods like real estate and equipment.

    Cash flow from financing includes funds contributed by the owner and cash received from or returned to lenders and investors.

    The majority of your income should ultimately come from operations. A company cannot continue to obtain its funding by borrowing money or selling off assets.

    Some Common Cash Flow Mistakes in Small Businesses

    Did you realize that firms occasionally spend more cash than they bring in? As such, even though they are operational and conducting transactions, the business is not producing as much money as it is spending. In such a scenario, the company has negative cash flow and is having cash flow issues. These issues plague firms frequently. Cash flow includes both money that a business makes and money it expends. When a company’s net cash flow is negative, cash flow issues arise. This indicates that there is a greater cash outflow than an increase in cash inflow (meaning more money is leaving than it is entering the company). When a company spends more cash than it brings in, this happens. A strong business concept, profitable business operations, and effective company management are essential for business success. The management of the financial aspect of the firm is equally essential for effective business management. Monitoring, managing, making decisions, and judicious use of firm funds are all parts of cash flow management. Despite the value of financial management, cash flow is frequently seen as a hypothetical, opaque aspect of the business. Strive to master this “mystery” and be in total control of managing your business to achieve excellent results.

    Below is a somewhat extensive list of common cash flow mistakes

    1. Failure to keep up with financial statements
    2. Confusing cash flow with profit
    3. Not being ready for the lean period 
    4. Ignoring payments that are past due
    5. Attempting to grow too quickly
    6. Variations brought on by the seasonal nature of the business
    7. Ineffective tax management

    Healthy Cash Flow Management Practices

    Managing cash flow may be challenging, particularly for startups and other small firms that lack the same access to funding as more established companies. Smooth financial operations frequently depend on the ability to pay suppliers as late as feasible while obtaining the quickest possible payment from clients. But that’s not always possible, and even the most well-managed company may occasionally run into cash flow problems.

    What does Small Business Cash Flow Management entail?

    The way a firm controls the money coming into and going out of the business is through cash flow management. A small business can better understand current costs and make plans for future investments with the aid of a well-designed cash flow management strategy. When a small firm manages its cash flow effectively, it will be able to spot patterns that could have a bad effect on the company and combat them before the latter is put in danger. The following cash flow management suggestions might aid companies in managing their cash flow to pay bills and make investments.

    1. Understand the importance of cash flow management
    2. Become knowledgeable about cash flow and its effects.
    3. Compare sales to cash flow
    4. Create a weekly cash flow forecast
    5. Create and continue to update your 13-week forecast
    6. Cut back on variable costs
    7. When seeking financing, use your cash forecast to choose when to do so. 
    8. Build residual revenue through diversification.
    9. Create numerous sales channels
    10. Create projections for a variety of scenarios
    11. Create your cash flow prediction tool
    12. Monitor actual expenses in comparison to your budget.
    13. Accounts payable and accounts receivable should be synced.
    14. Recognize market trends regarding receivables

    Proper cash flow management has several advantages which pay off for the small business. Some of these include maintaining a working capital, liquidity, and finances for development and expansion. Also, it helps businesses accurately anticipate future cash flows due to routine monitoring and analyses of cash flows. 


    Managing Cash Flow: An Operational Focus by John Wiley & Sons

    Contributor: Mesode Akwe