Bookkeeping, Controller and CFO Services | The Quantify Group

Managing Your Business’ Cash Flow

The NBA draft has come and gone and the Sixers ended up with the #3 overall pick.  Unfortunately, the Lakers ended up landing the #2 overall pick so that meant we weren’t able to take their draft pick this year.  In any case, the #3 pick leads to a plethora of opportunities for the Sixers.  The top two picks seem etched in stone – Markelle Fultz #1 and Lonzo Ball #2.  At #3, the Sixers could choose to take the best available player (forwards Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum) or draft for need (guards Malik Monk or De’Aaron Fox).  It’s always been my opinion that you take the best player available at all times.  I’m sure Portland is still kicking itself for taking Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan when they already had Clyde Drexler in place!  So, who is the best player available at #3?  I would personally say Josh Jackson but a case could be made for Tatum, Fox, and Monk as well.

What should the Sixers do?  If I were the general manager, I would be looking to trade down to no lower than #6.  I would be looking to swap #1 picks and try to either add another solid young guard or another draft pick in this year’s draft.  In my opinion, in the #3 through #6 slot you can’t go wrong with any of the players.  Easier said than done, but that’s how I would go about things this year.  Luckily, I am not calling the shots because this year’s draft selection could make or break “The Process”.

Running a small business or a start-up company brings on myriad of challenges.  This week I would like to discuss one of the top issues that affects all small business owners (and larger business as well in some cases) – cash flow management.  Ever hear the phrase “Cash is King”.  The phrase has been around for some time now, but became more well-known after the global financial crisis in 2008.  For small businesses, cash flow crunches can happen in a matter of days or weeks.  How can cash flow be managed effectively?  Here are some basic steps that all business owners should follow:

  • Reconcile, reconcile, reconcile! It never ceases to amaze me how many small business owners do not have grasp on their current cash balances.  The easiest way to know how much net cash you have at any given time is do a quick reconciliation of your current cash balance minus outstanding checks/debits/ACH’s and add in deposits in transit.  At a minimum, I would recommend do this once a month, but performing this on a weekly basis is optimal.
  • Cutting costs. You can’t cut out everything – you have to make sure your business can run efficiently.   On a periodic basis perform a review of all recurring and non-recurring costs.  Ask yourself – is there a way to cut down on these costs?  Write down all your thoughts and take action on the “excess fat” that is draining your cash flow.
  • Make sure you have line of credit. Make sure your business has an available line of credit at all times.  Most small businesses rely heavily on timely customer payments.  Sometimes cash payments don’t come in as quickly as they did in the past.  Think of a business line of credit this as your “life line” in times of slow revenue and decreased cash flows.
  • Regular invoicing. Start getting in the habit of invoicing customer as soon as the job finished or the deliverable is sent.  Also, consider sending invoices electronically instead of “snail mail”.
  • Send out progress bills. If you have jobs that span a long period of time or are capital intensive, consider sending out interim invoices to “match” your costs.
  • Offer payment deals. In times of low savings rates like these, offering small discounts for accelerated payments may be a bigger savings to the customer than by keeping their cash on hand.
  • Float your vendor invoices. Take a look at your vendor invoices to see if there is any reason to rush out a payment.  Most companies allow for a 30 day, interest free “float” period.

Managing your business’s cash flow is a key ingredient to long-term sustainable success.  So, take the time to know your cash flows.  An hour or two per week can be all it takes to put your over the top.

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