Can you spot (or have you spotted already) business cash flow problems inside your firm? A better question might be – have you got some solutions to those problems! We’ve got some insights into both today.
Business failure, temporarily, (or otherwise!) often comes back to cash flow and working capital. In some cases it’s an ongoing situation that saps management strength – at other times it’s a time bomb inside your firm, seeming ready to explode at any time as you hit the proverbial cash flow shortage wall!
Your ability to perceive this challenge and correct it is of course critical.
Let’s get to the meat of the matter… jumping right into the matter. Here are 2 key areas or reasons why you might be ‘ going broke , and maybe not know why. The term going broke is a bit unsophisticated .. but anyway
Your ongoing challenges might involve one of these, or both . We’ll let you make the call.
Sign # 1- your cash flow cycle. Simply speaking its the relationship around the ‘ ins and outs’ of your business. It’s the time cycle between collections and payables. We met with a CEO yesterday of a larger firm who commented that in his cash flow cycle they typically get paid by clients before suppliers are paid. They are in the food industry – and that would be typical. When that issue is reversed, i.e. suppliers needing to be paid before clients pay you face a cash flow cycle problem.
And by the way, you need the right mix of those ‘ current assets ‘ when it comes to turnover. When your a/r or inventories become ‘ bloated ‘ that’s a sign of ‘ going broke ‘.
Sign # 2- Leverage. It’s a common term that the business financial folks use. It’s essentially the fixed costs in comparison to the profits you can earn from selling more. As you look to buying more assets, or even buying a competitor that leverage issue becomes critical. Buying more assets and taking on more fixed costs just puts more pressure on you to breakeven, let alone make a profit.
Too much leverage ultimately will lead to business failure.
Remember also that one of the biggest misconceptions in business is that profits aren’t cash. Lenders in Canada generally aren’t impressed by romantic, slick company names, high ambitions and future profits. They focus on cash flow and the quality of earnings – when you track income and cash flow over time they should gradually come together.
Our final advice – seek out the ‘ bad news ‘ in your cash flow problems – and understand where they are coming from.
Solutions in Canada are abundant – depending on where you are in the business maturity cycle – i.e. start up, growth, mature, etc. Those solutions include solid banking support, receivable and contract finance, inventory and P.O. finance solutions, and asset based lending and equipment finance.
Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor on how you can utilize these to… dare we say it… not go broke!