Earn Your Small Business Cash Flow Diploma

Author: Justin Reynolds | September 7, 2016

The school year may be starting soon, but before you know it, graduation season will be right around the corner. Just because you may have enjoyed your share of pomp and circumstance many moons ago doesn’t mean you’ve finished your education altogether—especially when it comes to cash flow management.

Forward-thinking small business owners never stop learning. Even when a company is thoroughly established, new government regulations could come down the pike and throw a wrench into operations and force owners to adapt.

Because all companies need money to keep their doors open, cash flow management is one of the most important areas of operations for any small business owner. If you’ve not yet earned your proverbial cash flow diploma, here are five skills you need to master before donning your gown:

  1. Use cash flow forecasting

    You can’t expect your cash flow situation to be fantastic if you never pay any attention to it in the first place. The good news is that if you’re guilty of ignoring your cash flow, there’s an easy fix. Cash flow forecasting gives you a bird’s-eye view of your financials, helping you identify any potential cash flow gaps ahead of time so you can keep your business running smoothly.

  1. Shop for the best prices

    Is your rent reasonable? What about your utilities? Are you getting good deals on the materials and supplies you need to serve your customers? Shop for the best prices on a regular basis, and you should see your cash situation improve.

  1. Expedite your invoicing process

    You don’t need to wait until the end of the month to send out your invoices. Billing your customers when projects commence—or the moment they’re wrapped up—should accelerate payments, at least a bit.

  1. Familiarize yourself with relevant financial tools

    There are a number of services designed to improve your cash flow. For example, you can use an invoice-clearing service like Fundbox to advance payments on outstanding invoices. Simply select the invoices you want to clear, and funds are deposited in your bank account within one or two business days.

  1. Keep your employees happy and engaged

    The most cost-effective workforce is made up of employees who love their jobs. When your workers are happy and engaged, they produce more—it’s that simple. To improve your cash situation, make employee happiness a top priority.

This checklist is by no means comprehensive, but once you’ve mastered these five skills, you’ll be well on your way to earning your cash flow diploma—which means you should have a much easier time growing your business.

Happy studying!

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