It has been said that cash flow is the life blood of your business. It’s not enough to make a sale. You need to get paid too! But if you don’t keep track of who owes you money and how old the debt is, how will you get paid? One business I dealt with missed £18,000 in sales because he didn’t put checks in place with his drivers to match their time sheets to signed sales orders. By the time he realised this, it was nine months past and he had great difficulty getting paid. His drivers had been paid but the business hadn’t. Your customers won’t tell you when they owe you money!
Another aspect to cash flow is forward planning – every business needs to know what money they have coming in and how much they need to pay out to suppliers on a monthly basis. In addition, though, businesses need to be setting aside money for quarterly vat returns and yearly (or 6 monthly for sole traders and partnerships) tax bills. If you don’t know how much profit you are making, how can you plan this? Knowing and planning can make the difference between staying in business and becoming a statistic in this difficult economic situation.