Hands down, this is the biggest challenge I see entrepreneurs facing. Cash can be tricky to get your head round.
What you see in your reports doesn’t always match up to what’s actually happening in your bank account.
There are 2 golden rules I want you to take away from this post today:
- Cash Is Queen – The number one reason businesses fail is because they don’t have cash… and if you haven’t got cash, you haven’t got anything
- Even profitable businesses can have a cash flow problem – this one all comes down to timing.
As an example, if within the first 2 weeks of the month your business expenses come to $10000 but in that time you only bring in $5000 – straight away you don’t have the cash.
You could have a profitable month, but if your expenses at the start are higher than your revenue at that time it’s a cash flow problem! I’ve seen businesses that are profitable to the tune of millions of dollars have this exact problem.
Being able to manage your cash flow is essential to keeping your business running smoothly, so I want to share the following 15 tips to keep you afloat.
#1 – Invoice Quickly
Don’t wait to send out invoices to your clients. Get them out ASAP so you can start to see that revenue coming in! I had a client once who was signing new customers like wildfire, but she still didn’t have cash. The problem?
She wasn’t invoicing them quickly enough!
#2 – Charge clients up front
This is going to majorly help you keep on top of cash flow and avoid situations where you’ve got expenses going out before the revenue comes in!
Especially if you’re in a situation where it’s a recurring bill – for example, a business your company cleans for every month. Get into a situation where you’re invoicing them up front.
#3 – Have a process in place to send invoices
Day to day life can get in the way of even the best intentions, so make sure you’ve got something in place to either send your invoices, or remind you to send them!
#4 – Update your Invoice Terms
So many clients forget this part of business. They send invoices out on time, but if your payment terms are 30 or 60 days, your clients won’t always pay immediately.
Open one of your invoices and just check what your terms are; update them for immediate payment if you need to!
#5 – Make it easy to get paid
Everything is done at a fast pace these days, and mostly online. If you’re able to, set up a payment system that allows clients to pay your invoices immediately with just the click of a button.
You’ll find your invoices getting paid an awful lot quicker!
#6 – Collect your outstanding invoices
This slips through the net all the time. You send all your invoices out, but are they all being paid?
It’s so disheartening to see the amount of work you’re putting in if you’re not getting paid.
Take time each month to check for any outstanding invoices, and reach out to clients to remind them to pay – they’ve usually just forgotten!
#7 – Raise Your Prices!
When was the last time you looked at your prices compared to what your competitors are charging? When was the last time you put them up?
If you’re having recurring cash flow problems, it could be because your prices haven’t risen in line with costs.
COVID had a major impact on everything, so if ever there was a cultural climate of raising prices, it’s now.
#8 – Build a nest egg
As a country, we are not great at saving. We have a spend and credit mentality to ‘Keep up with the Joneses’ and we do not save! Before COVID I would tell people to have 3 months’ worth of expenses saved up for emergencies. Now I tell people to aim for 6-12 months.
Having a nest egg could be crucial to surviving the first part of the month when expenses outweigh revenue – you can always build it back up.
#9 – Cut Your Expenses
As entrepreneurs we tend to have shiny object syndrome – needing the latest software/equipment/strategies to help our business grow.
Take the last 3 months’ of business expenses, and a highlighter, and identify any outgoings that are not moving the needle towards profits. Not only will you find expenses you don’t need, you’ll also discover ones you forgot you had.
Take that highlighter and slash those expenses like Zorro!
#10 – Get a Business line of credit – BEFORE you need one!
When I ran a couple of restaurants, someone told me to set up a line of business credit, even though I didn’t need it.
Man, am I glad I did! One of my restaurants flooded, and I had to close for a while. There was no revenue coming in, but rent and utilities still had to be paid.
That line of business credit saved my butt!
Check that you don’t have to pay any fees for just having the line of credit, then it’s costing you NOTHING to have in place. You might one day really need it!
#11 – Negotiate with vendors
This one is not hugely popular because so many entrepreneurs think they can’t ask a vendor for a reduced rate.
But so much of running a business is about taking risks. If you ask and they say no, you’re in no worse position than you started.
#12 – Evaluate your team
If you’re a service provider, payroll is likely to be your biggest expense. Take time to go through every member of your staff and determine what their deliverables are.
You need to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
If you identify any staff member who’s not delivering quality work, there’s two ways it can go:
- You have a conversation and they start pulling their weight. You’ve not saved an expense, BUT you’re likely to turn more profit;
- Nothing changes and you let them go, saving you some outgoings.
Either way, it’s win-win!
#13 – Review your interest rates
A lot of debt can be consolidated to cut the amount of interest you’re paying. You’ve got 2 credit cards? See if you can pay off the higher-rate card with the lower rate card.
Give yourself a couple of hours to go through all the interest rates on your debts, and see where you can save.
#14 – Review your Personal Expenses
I hate to say it, but if you’re having a cash flow problem in your business, you might be paying yourself too much… You need to be completely honest and ask, as the business owner, if you’re putting too much financial burden on your company.
Your business should support the lifestyle you desire, absolutely, but if the company isn’t pulling in that sort of profit yet then you need to be brutal with yourself.
Cutting back on unnecessary personal expenses is going to seriously reduce the amount you need to take out of your business every month.
#15 – HAVE YOUR BOOKS IN ORDER!!
To keep cash flowing through your business, you need to know where it’s coming from, and where it’s going to.
The only way you’re able to do this is with bookkeeping. If you know what’s happening in your business, you are completely in control of your cash!
I would love to help you here:
- If you’re looking to outsource your bookkeeping, then check out the services I offer
- Not ready to outsource? Awesome! You can completely DIY your bookkeeping in just 5 weeks with my Profit Perfect course!
It will teach you everything you need to know, and there’s an amazing cash flow template ready for you!
- Just want to start looking at your numbers without committing to anything yet? My Know Your Numbers Now template is perfect. You can download your bank statements directly and automatically start tracking your business finances!
I hope you’ve found these 15 cash flow tips and strategies useful to start managing what’s going through your bank account. I go into each tip in more detail in my YouTube video, so be sure to watch for a more in-depth look at managing cash flow.
As always, I am here to help you every step of the way so if you have any questions, just let me know!