There are numerous factors which impact on the performance and viability of your business. It is therefore imperative that you monitor and control your financial performance. Debt control and budgeting are two elements of this, and of particular importance is your business cash flow.
Many profitable businesses have gone under due to a lack of attention to their cash flow; they have insufficient cash available to pay their bills. Thus, you must plan and control your cash flow in order to effectively manage your business.
Some strategies that may assist in this include:
* Increasing the speed of cash receipts by good debt control strategies
* Avoiding excessive stock holdings by managing stock levels and obtaining reliable, prompt suppliers
* Planning the purchase of equipment and other capital expenditure for periods when surplus funds exist
* Planning to have sufficient reserves to carry your business through the inevitable periods when unexpected expenses are incurred
* Avoiding excessive investment in plant, equipment and other fixed assets which may leave too little working capital available (particularly in periods of falling prices, declining sales or increasing interest rates)
* Avoiding over borrowing as this may place a strain on working capital, loans still have to be repaid even if revenue is decreasing
* Maintain adequate working capital to fund the growth as increasing sales also means increasing costs, your working capital requirements therefore, need to be continually reviewed
* Delaying outgoings by taking advantage of the credit terms offered by your suppliers and paying when it suits your cash flow
* Reducing outgoings by taking advantage of discounts when appropriate and working capital permits
* And most importantly, regularly comparing your actual cash flows to your budgeted cash flows, analysing the differences, and taking action based on this analysis
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