As a small business owner, using your business credit or debit card for daily coffee runs or dining out is something you may feel entitled to. Let’s be real: You worked hard to launch your business, and it’s perfectly legal to write off these types of expenditures on your business taxes. You probably don’t expect it to affect your business’s cash flow statement.
Nonetheless, lunches at the local taqueria, iced mochas, and other non-essential expenses are not mission-critical to the survival of your business. If you don’t watch it, those daily runs for $10 designer burritos can add up and eventually negatively impact your cash flow statement. While this may not seem important at the time, keeping an eye on your extraneous expenses will help you generate more cash than you spend, leading to a positive cash flow statement. This, in turn, means you’ll have more money available to pay your bills, cover your overhead, and invest in your future growth.
How Can I Improve My Cash Flow Statement?
If you must have your daily burritos, you might want to consider transferring a set monthly amount from your business checking account to your personal bank account. This way, you can use funds from your personal bank account to buy lunches while keeping a more realistic pulse on your business cash flow. If you find it challenging to separate your business and personal expenses or can’t easily kick your burrito habit, take a look at our top four tips for improving your cash flow statement:
Create and stick to a budget
Your budget should take into account all of your business costs, including big-ticket items like a lease and payroll as well as smaller expenses like dining out. Figure out how much money you’ll need to cover your essential business expenses and then come up with a reasonable amount to spend on non-essential costs. Most importantly, stick to your budget.
Check your business bank account daily
By doing this, you’ll get a real sense of how much money you have—which means you can make a concerted effort to stick to your budget and only spend money when you have the available cash. This is especially important as spending money when you don’t have it can be a costly mistake. For example, if you buy that $10 burrito with non-sufficient funds (NSFs), you could end up with a $40 overcharge fee, bringing the cost of that burrito up to $50.
Take a long-term view
When you have a small business and money is flowing in, it’s easy to live in the moment and spend your cash frivolously while you’ve got it. However, things can change, and next year, you may want to hire a new employee or lease more office space. For this reason, it’s a good idea to create a cash flow cushion so that you can cover any planned or unexpected major costs while still paying for your daily expenses and overhead.
Make sure you keep the cash flowing
To help your company stay cash-flow positive, it’s important that your clients pay their bills on time. This isn’t always so easy, which is why you may want to consider working with an invoice financing company like Fundbox. By using Fundbox to clear your unpaid invoices with immediate advances, you can better maintain a predictable and strong cash flow statement. To get started, all you need to do is set up a Fundbox account, select your bookkeeping app and choose the invoices that you would like to pay. Fundbox advances the full value of your invoices to your bank account. You’ll then repay Fundbox by making 12 or 24 weekly payments, including a small fee. In the meantime, while you wait for your clients to pay their invoices, you can use the cash generated by the Fundbox invoice advances to help cover your overhead and other daily costs—or even use it to fund faster growth!