Surviving a Slow Season and Increasing your Cash Flow

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

Maintaining and managing healthy cash flow is key for small businesses, particularly if your business is seasonal in nature, like a construction or landscaping business. Remember, work tends to wax and wane with the seasons and you will need to consider the slow times during more prosperous times of year in order to survive. Without adequate cash flow, you won’t be able to pay vendors, payroll, or rent during the off-season.

Create a Statement

The first thing to do is create your cash flow statement to track money coming in and going out of your business. The aim is a positive cash flow year-round, to meet your financial commitments and responsibilities.  

Forecast your Cash Flow

Once you have constructed your cash flow statements, you can develop a cash flow forecast for the next year. This will demonstrate the highs and lows of the company due to the season which helps you better predict and prepare. This also identifies if you need to figure out a plan to gain additional capital to supplement the slower seasons in order to survive.  If you spot a potential issue, begin to apply for help and financing before it becomes an emergency; a cash flow forecast helps you do this.

Collect What is Due

To increase your cash flow, become more assertive about collecting what is owed to you. Have a payment policy in place that rewards prompt payment for service. Make payment arrangements short-term and aggressively go after outstanding debts. Be persistent with patrons that are slow to pay and request deposits on scheduled projects or products to generate more incoming cash.

Play with Payments

Play around a little bit with creditors in terms of extending payments a bit longer during the slower months. Stretch out payments during the off-season if the creditor is open to this to give you more time to collect from those that owe you, too.  

Cut for a Cushion

Cut back and create a cushion for your business. Reduce what is going out and increase what is coming in to prepare for the slower season; it is as simple as that. Come up with creative ways to increase offerings during these times, while cutting down on services, subscriptions, and payments that you are making to help build your nest egg.

Get with a Program

Invest in an accounting software program, like QuickBooks, that is user-friendly and inexpensive. This software will help you create cash flow statements that allow you to monitor and assess your fiscal situation at a glance. This allows you to adjust and identify issues before they become financial crises.

Talk to a Professional Today

Remember that hiring a financial planner and accounting professional is the most prudent and practical way of sustaining and surviving during all seasons. Work now to preserve cash flow and build reserves for later. Don’t wait until times are tough to reach out for help; plan ahead and talk to the industry experts at BMH Accounting today.

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Why a Cash Flow Analysis is Crucial for Your Small Business

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

Cash Flow essentially determines the health and solvency of your business. Poor management of cash flow is to blame for the downfall of over 80% of all businesses, according to one study. Cash flow is how money comes in and goes out of your business, and it is imperative to monitor.

Cash flow analysis takes a closer look at this movement:

Cash Flow Analysis

Cash flow analysis takes a closer examination of different things that could be impacting your cash flow; some of the things involved may be inventory, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and lines of credit. By looking at each of these components, you will find ways to curb costs as well as improve cash flow ideally.

Simple Equation

For a simple equation to conduct a cash flow analysis, compare unpaid purchases at the end of your month with your total sales for that same month. This will reveal if you will need to spend more money in the coming month than you have, which points to a possible cash flow issue. If your total unpaid purchases are more than the sales that you have due, you could face a money problem.

Identify Lags

Another benefit of conducting a cash flow analysis of your account receivables is that you will be able to pinpoint lags in prompt payment. In other words, the assessment should identify any customers that are slow to pay their bill with you.

Small Business

Small businesses should be particularly concerned with conducting regular cash flow analysis. This is key for companies that could grow quickly or that pay more for labor due to a smaller workforce. It is also key when you need to invest in equipment, inventory, or supplies to get off the ground.

This is very prudent for seasonal companies and businesses, also, like landscapers or holiday-themed stores and establishments. It is important to track expenses, revenues, and cash flow for these companies that depend on small spurts of patronage to thrive year-round.

Falling Behind?

It is not uncommon for cash flow issues to be the result of poor bookkeeping. Many business owners or entrepreneurs are simply too busy to keep their books, invoices, and accounts in order. Accounting software and services offer a solution to cash flow systems and analysis. Consider hiring a bookkeeper or service that will take care of cash flow statements on your behalf.

Want to learn more about cash flow statements and systems? Talk to the professionals at BMH Accounting; they will take care of bookkeeping to ensure small businesses, self-employed contractors, and entrepreneurs keep their books up to date and don’t fall behind in areas like accounts payable, invoicing, and collections- all that impact the overall health and success of any company.

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Tracking your Finances? Try QuickBooks

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

If you own a small business, you know the importance of tracking your finances and expenditures. This provides a clear view of your cash flow, while also increasing your ability to make efficient and cost-effective business decisions. One way to do this is with QuickBooks; QuickBooks is the most common accounting software program among small businesses for several reasons:

Time

QuickBooks is a program that connects and syncs with your bank and business accounts to help track the flow of money in – and out – of your company. It eliminates the rigorous job of entering data and updating ledgers that can take time away from other important tasks, like managing your business. QuickBooks provides the ability to itemize and categorize, making it easy to use and implement.

Intuition

It is fascinating how intuitive QuickBooks is; the program gleans which categories are most used and automatically categorizes your popular entries. Pay your bills, compile mileage, manage any contractors from the comfort of your keyboard with the QuickBooks accounting program. You may also be able to garner ways to save money by assessing where your revenues are going, which can put more money back in your company.

Reports

What good is the information gained when tracking if you can’t read or understand it? Don’t worry; QuickBooks offers various reports for businesses to gain a new insight and garner control over their finances. You will be able to review profit and loss statements, customer history and invoices, outstanding bills or accounts, stock and inventory reports. This puts you back in control of your company’s money, which can prove invaluable as you prepare and plan your operating budget and project your business revenues. Even better, you have the option of readable, summarized reports with as much detail, graphics, and information as you choose, which may help when comprehending the information that you see.

Taxes

Stressed about trying to complete your company’s taxes? QuickBooks can make this necessary process a whole lot simpler and more streamlined. Since you are tracking daily sales, invoices, and expenses, it is easy to transfer this information to tax forms and vital documentation. QuickBooks offers options and products that serve to solve tax time dilemmas for consumers, from small businesses that are struggling to gain traction to established brands with a loyal consumer audience and following.

The most important data in a new company is likely the flow of finances; make sure that you are tracking these expenditures accurately, using a program that is user-friendly. Regardless of what you do, your revenues and profits are paramount in daily operations as well as in long-term growth and success.

Ready to start tracking your company’s finances? Start with QuickBooks and reach out to BMH Accounting if you find yourself in need of any of our extensive QuickBooks services!

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