Having "enough" working funds at all times is really important, and managing business funds carefully is critical.
BEST PRACTICE TIPS FOR CASH FLOW MANAGEMENT
Have an adequately structured balance sheet with all the details, from inventory and debts to interest costs.
Know your business’ balance sheet back to front and understand the numbers. This is vital in managing cash flow and budgeting.
Review your P&L statements comprehensively, at least quarterly and preferably monthly, to identify trends and track progress against budgets and targets, whether or not times have been good.
A crucial part of managing cash flow for small businesses is knowing where every dollar and cent is being spent. Every dollar saved is a dollar straight on the bottom line, whereas a sale carries with it direct costs and overheads.
Keep a close eye on margins to ensure costs aren’t creeping up.
Construct a useful cash flow projection, which is your ‘best guess’ at the business’ cash inflows and outflows over some time.
Review and adjust your projection regularly.
Work with your accountant to learn how to manage cash flow in your business. Depending on your specific situation, they may recommend doing cash flow budgeting weekly, monthly, or quarterly and advise you on a range of issues, including which invoices you should pay and who will pay you.
Keep good records of supplier transactions. This will give you better leverage in negotiating more favorable terms and prices.
Regularly review your suppliers, such as your insurance or energy plan.
Get the payment cycle right for creditors and debtors.
Update and review your business’ cash flow budget regularly, using conservative revenue and expense estimates. This will forewarn you about potential cash shortages. It will also help build your business’ credit track record.
Don’t just focus on your business’ profit and loss statement to the exclusion of all else. Be aware that healthy profits can sometimes mask a developing cash flow crisis.
Keep your working capital and business bank account separate from your personal bank account.
Avoid giving family members credit cards on the business account.
Use purchase orders to reduce discretionary spending.
Draw a wage or salary for yourself rather than just drawing on the account for personal expenses as needed. This can be unmanageable, time-consuming, and costly.
Be aware that rapid growth can often result in a cash crunch.
If your business has a floating interest rate loan, talk to your accountant about the benefits of locking in your loan’s interest rate for a defined period to avoid the impact of increased interest rates.
Consider the benefits of protecting your bottom line profitability and minimizing the impact of additional interest costs bypassing any costs onto customers as they arise.
Check all supplier invoices carefully for accuracy.
Spread the payments of invoices over the month when payments actually fall due rather than having one day per month designated to pay invoices