Now that Tax Day is behind us, intuition might say it’s time to stop focusing as intensely on finances and instead turn even more of our attention toward our clients.
But if you had an even slightly stressful first two weeks of April, now might be the perfect time to take a good long look at your business’ financial sheets to see whether you stand to benefit from changing the way you do things.
With that in mind, here are four pieces of advice that could transform your business’ finances and cash flow to make sure you won’t worry about having to track down the money you owe Uncle Sam next year:
1. Collect a portion of fees up front
It’s certainly not uncommon for small businesses to run into cash flow problems. Should any of your clients find themselves in such a situation, well, you know what that means when it comes to getting paid for your services in a timely manner.
If such a scenario sounds all too familiar to you, it might be time to start considering asking your clients to pay a portion of their bills up front—whether that’s 10, 15, or 20 percent is up to you. After all, it’s not a completely unreasonable request. As such, you might want to think twice about doing business with prospective clients who outright refuse such arrangements altogether without agreeable reasoning.
2. Don’t overextend your business
In order for your company to expand, you’ve got to take on additional clients. While landing new accounts is certainly something to celebrate, be careful not to bite off more than your team can collectively chew. Remember, you’ve built your business on delivering a high level of service to your customers. You don’t want to grow too quickly and compromise on your ability to consistently provide that specialized touch you’ve built your reputation on.
3. Trim the fat
When you scrutinize your personal finances, chances are you’re able to identify a few ways to save money. For example, let’s say you go out to eat eight times a month; if you went out once a week and cooked more at home, your wallet would be heavier.
Your company’s finances will be noticeably healthier when you put your operations under a similar microscope, so to speak, and see exactly how you’re spending your money. Are you sure you’re getting the most competitive communications prices? How much are you paying for insurance? Is your underutilized office really necessary? These are some of the questions you might want to ask yourself.
4. Utilize an invoice-clearing service
If you’re running into cash flow problems and have invoices that haven’t yet been paid, it might be time to think about whether your business would benefit from using a service like Fundbox to advance payments on outstanding invoices. For a small fee that’s repaid over 12 weeks, Fundbox gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have access to the cash you need to help your business grow.
There’s a reason we’ve all heard the early bird catches the worm: It’s true. Those who are proactive often are the ones who get ahead. Is it time to reexamine your business’ cash flow?