In the business world, much ink is spilled over profits and losses, but any experienced small business owner knows that a healthy cash flow is the true key determining factor to predict whether a business will survive and grow.
When it comes to personal wealth building, the generally accepted building blocks of wealth accumulation, such as careful saving and smart investing, are largely inaccessible to people who are living paycheck to paycheck. The same concept applies to businesses with poor cash flow management. Without a steady stream of revenue, your business simply can’t take the steps it needs to thrive. Try these tips from the Money Alignment Academy to help your business achieve a strong cash flow.
1. Get Paid Faster
Carrying a large receivables balance is a surefire way to cripple your business’s liquidity. A key factor in a lucrative cash flow is the ability to rapidly convert invoices into payments. One proven way to do this is to send invoices simultaneously with, or immediately after, delivery of goods or services. Bill as soon as possible — don’t wait to send bills out once a month. For big orders, try getting a deposit upfront or sending periodic bills at set milestones throughout the project.
Review your invoice forms and make certain that your billing is as detailed and easy to follow as possible. Your bill should clearly state when and how to pay, along with any penalties for late payments or incentives for early payments.
Stay on top of overdue accounts. Research shows that the longer an invoice remains unpaid, the less likely you are to collect. Follow up with late-paying customers. Don’t continue providing goods and services on past-due accounts. Use a third-party collection agency if necessary.
2. Optimize Your Payroll
This tip may not seem nearly as obvious, but upgrading your business’s payroll platform is an effective, if often overlooked, tool for improving cash flow. Start by evaluating your company’s payroll frequency alongside other outgoing expenses. If you’re paying every two weeks, for example, your payday dates are constantly changing, which can be problematic when other payments are always due on the same day of the month.
Next, upgrade your payroll platform to adequately complement your operations. Integrating payroll services with your software platform results in a much more organized pay structure and saves you time and money in the human resources department. Choose a platform that offers key automation features such as payroll scheduling, tax calculation and filing, same-day direct deposit, and employee benefits management.
3. Consult With a Financial Advisor
Finally, to successfully steer your business through the economic ups and downs ahead, you must have a good working knowledge of essential finance concepts and a solid understanding of your business’s specific pecuniary strengths and weaknesses.
If financial terminology tends to go over your head, consider starting with one of Money Alignment Academy’s online personal finance courses, which can improve your personal and business monetary strength. Next, consult with a financial advisor to find ways to boost your business’s efficiency, cash flow, and profit margin. Advisors have the expertise to make beneficial suggestions tailored to your business’s circumstances and goals.
A reliable stream of income and substantial liquidity are critical to achieving business success. These tips can help improve your small business’s cash flow. And for financial coaching, workshops, courses, and more resources, explore what Money Alignment Academy offers!