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Why a good cash flow can be more important than a big profit

 

There's a saying in business, "You can go broke making a profit." And another, "Cash is king. Profit is theory." 

As you know only too well, you don't pay rent, meet payroll or pay your bills with profit.

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What you need to know before starting a business

Starting a business is part science, part art, and a large part hard work! It can get lost in all the excitement but you need to get the balance right.

Approximately 20 percent of all small businesses fail in their first year; and your chances of your business making it to five years are around 50/50. 

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Managing your business cashflow over the holiday period

                                                                                                                                                                         

 Managing your business cash flow over the holiday period

 

December is usually the busiest time of the year for retail and hospitality businesses. But businesses in other sectors often find that their sales slowdown and their customers stop paying them for a few months. So cash flow dries up.

Whether your business is large or small, well-established or in start-up mode, you need to take a planned approach to managing cashflow during the holiday season. Here are few tips for keeping on top of cashflow management during the Christmas/New Year holiday period.

1. KEEP INVOICING IN THE LEAD UP TO CHRISTMAS

Don't let your business admin slip in the rushed lead-up to Christmas. This is the most important time of the year to stay on top of your invoicing. You may find that many customers will be slow to pay because their businesses are closed over the Christmas period.

2. SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS

Be clear with your customers that you expect them to pay within the pre-arranged credit terms over the Christmas period. Phone regular slow payers a few days before payment is due to confirm that they'll be paying on time. The phone is always a more effective method than email. If you're not comfortable having this conversation with your customers, your accountant or bookkeeper may be able to assist.

3. SERVICE BUSINESS – OFFER A DISCOUNT FOR THE "QUIET TIME"

If your business is usually quiet in January, why not offer your clients a 10% discount if they book you in for January? Why not offer them a 15% discount if they also refer a neighbour or a friend? Set whatever discount amounts work for you. This is the thing: A strategy like this will keep your business busy and some cash coming through during the usually quiet period.

4. USE THE QUIET TIME TO WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS

If sales are a little slow in the lead-up to Christmas, use the time wisely to hit the ground running in the new year.

The pre-Christmas slowdown is a great time to work through the to-do list you've been compiling all year. This might include taking a thorough inventory, searching for more suitable lending alternatives, completing a comprehensive competitor analysis or researching the market for new products and suppliers.

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Still using spreadsheets for rosters, timesheets, and payroll?

The administrative load involved in efficiently rostering staff, preparing accurate timesheets, and ensuring that everyone is paid correctly can be a huge burden on a small business – especially if you are doing it all manually.

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As much as you try to share skills, knowledge and information in your company, you probably have some people who are key to your business' success.

It might be a Director or the CEO, whose vision made it a success in the first place. It might be your star salesperson, or someone in your IT area who knows the system backwards. It could even be someone who doesn't create any revenue but does a fantastic job of boosting your company's reputation or perhaps running your admin and back office systems.

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