Cash-flow; it’s something many businesses often don’t think about – until they need to. However managing your cash flow efficiently is a key part of operating a successful business.
Getting on top of your cash-flow projections early is not only good practice but can be a key strategy in helping you grow your business. Below are a few pointers to help you identify your cash-flow needs:
Plan financial year to financial year The financial year runs from April every year. Within this there are key deadlines for tax and VAT payments. Make sure you know when these are and what you need to pay.
Record loans and grants If you have money coming in from loans or grants it is important to log this – these are often big sums. Don’t forget to add repayments into your plan.
Identify key out-goings Do you have staff? When is the payroll deadline each month? What are your payroll costs? If you hire subcontractors or temporary staff remember to factor this in.
Get paid Make sure you know how much you should be getting paid by clients, and by when. Invoice clearly, early, and often. This is especially important if you’re concerned about late payments – there’s some useful guidance on late payments available at gov.uk.
Keep a spreadsheet Business Wales have produced a helpful spreadsheet template for businesses to use. Add your payments in and out on a month-by-month basis across the financial year – it will then calculate your cash-flow.
Concerns? Seek advice If you think you’ve spotted a cash-flow hole – seek advice. The earlier you identify a potential issue, the easier it is to resolve. You may be able to get funding, or payment holidays – especially if you can show healthy cash-flow throughout the rest of the year.
Once you have visibility of your cash-flow it is much easier to understand how your business is performing and any areas that need attention.
However, getting extra help with your cash-flow doesn’t mean your finances are in trouble. Whether you’re a seasonal business or your clients are just slow to invoice you, it’s normal for a business’ cash-flow to fluctuate throughout the financial year. Plus if you are looking to invest in a potential opportunity for growth boosting your cash-flow can give your business the breathing space it needs. In which case having a clear view of your annual projections will make securing finance from lenders much easier.
Therefore remember the importance of good cash-flow management. It is the lifeblood of your business and can give you the platform you need to effectively manage and develop your company’s future.