Many Canadian business owners and financial managers find out the hard way that business success is almost always also tied to having, and improving their operating cash flow. It’s when sales and profits don’t match cash and working capital that the problem begins. Bottom line, getting rich on paper only is not all that fun!
In order to avoid cash flow problems we can quite simply say that it’s a ‘ matter of time ‘. When we say ‘ time ‘ we mean it in the context of how your firm operates, in essence it’s operating cycle. Many new or inexperienced business owners often find out painfully that the cycle of time from getting an order to collecting the sale can be significant!
In a perfect world, (and we know it’s not) your business wants to have the flexibility to allow your business bank account to fluctuate in a constant manner, from surpluses to positive balances.
One fallacy often missed by the entrepreneur is that deficit cash flows are a sign of weakness. In reality, if you are selling, and growing, it’s simply a case of the ‘ timing ‘ we have spoken of. You have built up an investment in receivables and inventories, and are waiting to get paid, converting those into operating business cash flow.
But, if you don’t fail to recognize and manage how to improve asset management business cash flow problems occur. It’s at these times that your bank or other lenders you might be dealing with may attempt to rein in your business, in essence cutting off future working capital requirements.
One of the most obvious ways to effectively manage your cash cycle is to ensure you have a Canadian chartered bank operating line of credit. This facility in effect is in a position to totally manage your time horizon when it comes to getting an order, shipping or delivering a product or service, and then waiting 30… 60… well… you know what we are talking about!
Many businesses , particularly those that are either small, or start up in nature quite frankly don’t qualify for business cash flow lines of credit in the manner that they might wish . Can this challenge be solved?
Yes, it can. In order to improve your cash position you can do one of two things. First, you can manage more effectively, and secondly you can access alternative financing vehicles.
Are we saying you can actually fix your own problems via management? Absolutely. You can tighten terms and credit policies, take discounts when available, and enforce stricter collections from clients. For whatever reason many clients we talk to can’t or are reluctant to manage as above. We’ll never know why.
The solution then? Enter alternative financing . By using such methods as receivable financing outside the bank, inventory financing, merchant advances, tax credit monetization, etc you can still be successful .
In fact some of these financing vehicles, even if more costly can make your business more successful if properly managed . For instance you can incrase sales by providing longer payment terms to clients, something your competitor might not be able to do . Additionally you could take trade discounts with the funds you receive from receivable financing, increasing profits if the discount is more than the cost of financing .
Tuition is often high in the school of business operating cash flow . Mistakes can be costly if you dont take measures to improve and recognize cash flow problems. Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor on business cash flow challenges that can be fixed .. properly.