Who’s The Boss? Are Cash Flow Financing Challenges Managing You? Business Working Capital Management

Valid question, right? When it comes to your business working capital and cash flow financing who’s running the show, you, or are those two culprits seemingly running your company?

We’re remind of one of Yogi Berra’s (many) great lines – ‘ when you come to a fork in the road, take it ‘! That’s probably where you are now in many cases. Determining who will win the ongoing cash flow battle for supremacy.

The reality is that you can probably be forgiven for feeling ‘ Who’s the boss ‘ as statistics show that 82% of business owner don’t feel in control or comfortable about their cash flows. So how in fact do you regain that feeling of control that every business owner treasures.

A good start is to know what you’re talking about. We’ve repeatedly said that cash flow is such an over used and misunderstood concept or term. We can get really technical (net income plus deprecation plus or minus changes in working capital components) but unless we’re at an accounting trade show/convention that’s not really what we’re looking for here!

To make things more complex we can make a case that your ‘ cash flow ‘ has to do with historical, present, and future needs, making it even tougher to get a handle on.

There are some great tools and also solutions to manage your cash flow financing needs. And again, we’re talking about real cash, not income statement profits. That frankly though is a good place to make a very important comment – if your cash flow statement ( it’s component # 3 of every financial statement ) differs significantly from your income statement over time you probably will never really regain cash flow control/supremacy.

So lets examine some solid ways to make sure you feel good about that ‘ WHO’S THE BOSS’ question we posed earlier.

First of all, keep your financials up to date and understand them. A small handful of key ratios or relationships you can easily, and we mean very easily monitor over time will allow you to feel ‘ in control ‘. Simple things like receivable days turnover, inventory turns, sales to fixed assets, etc.

It sure doesn’t hurt to do some methodical cash flow planning. Also, take a look at your overall capital structure from a viewpoint of debt and equity. This allows you to properly take advantage of market growth opportunities, even an acquisition perhaps.

We know we sound like a broken record sometimes, but understand your operating cycle; it’s the amount of time it takes for a dollar to flow thru your company. Match a financing solution to that selling cycle.

Hottest tip today on cash flow generation? It’s dont pay anyone! But seriously, managing your payables and disbursements is critical, but we’re the first to recognize the importance of supplier relationships. If you have a sales force you might consider paying them commissions when sales are paid, not made. Talk about incenting the collection focus!

If your assets aren’t turning over quickly focus on that. You can also monetize your current assets via bank lines, asset based lines of credit, working capital lines, receivable financing, inventory financing, and supply chain finance.

Who’s the Boss when it comes to cash flow? Hopefully you. Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor on cash flow financing and business working capital analytics and solutions.