Though it seemingly began just a few blinks of the eye ago, 2015 is rapidly drawing to a close. As such, it’s worth asking yourself whether your small business proverbially knocked it out of the park this year.
If the answer to that question isn’t as affirmative or enthusiastic as you might like, don’t worry about it quite yet. For starters, you may be gearing up for a holiday push that’ll end up succeeding beyond your wildest dreams. And even if you’re not, don’t forget that virtually every business goes through its own peaks and troughs.
The good news is that we’re just a few months away from 2016. So if it doesn’t appear that your small business will do as well this year as you’d hoped, a fresh new start is only a few short weeks away. And here’s some even better news: By making the right moves today, you’re able to ensure your business is much better positioned to start 2016 off with a bang—and ride that successes until the calendar flips to 2017 and beyond.
One of the reasons your business might not have yet generated the kinds of revenues you expected this year may be found in an extremely common yet often overlooked area of operations: your cash flow.
Maybe you’ve struggled to make payroll once or twice this year, or maybe you’ve been late paying your utility bills. Maybe you were presented with a great business opportunity but just simply didn’t have the funds available to take advantage of it.
All of these theoretical scenarios are symptoms of cash flow problems—which, believe it or not, affect as many as 60 percent of small businesses each year. But listen: As a small business owner, you can take proactive steps to solve your cash flow problems in the immediate future, thus breathing life into your company for the long haul.
By prepping your cash flow right now, you’re able to reduce the likelihood your small business will encounter crippling cash flow problems in 2016. Here’s how you can do that:
- Put together a cash flow statement. There’s no better way to see how much money has come in and how much money has gone out of your business over a certain period. Statements of cash flow help business owners see very clearly where their finances stand. They also provide insight into where a company’s finances might wind up shortly.
- Look for ways to reduce expenses and increase revenues. Is it time to shop for new suppliers and vendors? Or is it time to boost your prices a bit? If you’re having cash flow problems, figure out how you can realize better margins by reassessing your expenses and devising ways to increase your revenues.
- Utilize a cash flow optimization tool. Are you routinely waiting for your clients to pay their bills? If so, consider making use of a tool like Fundbox. For a small fee, Fundbox advances payments on outstanding invoices. You then have 12 weeks to repay what you’ve borrowed (plus the fee).
As demonstrated, cash flow problems aren’t impossible to solve. You just have to put in the effort and get a little creative.
So what are you waiting for? Start tackling your cash flow problems today! That way, when the first fantastic opportunity of 2016 materializes, you’ll be ready to respond swiftly.