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How to Improve Your Income and Cash Flow

Sep 5, 2008
You cannot have a successful business without a suitable cash flow. If this secret is so well known, why are there so many struggling businesses? When running the daily operations of a business money, or cash flow is a big challenge.

I will present you 7 tips to help you improve your income and cash flow.

1. Cash and Carry. Try to build a business based on a cash and carry system and stay far away from worries about receivables. This is the best business plan, where customers pay when they buy leaving you only with the money.

Collecting money takes a lot of your time, that is why you are almost obligated to come with new options of paying. Set your rules from the start of your business, so your partners and clients will know what you want from them.

2. Collect receivables in a very strict way. Do not let the customers pay you when they remember, go and collect your money in time. To be a good administrator of your business means to have a successful business, so create and apply a set of collecting rules. The longer you wait for receivables, the harder it becomes to collect them. You do not need a rude attitude to collect your cash; all it takes is a strong voice behind a stronger person.

A very useful thing to do is to establish a collecting date after witch you should send out a follow-up statement within 10 to 30 days from the established date. Each business has its own opinions about the perfect time. You should not send follow-up statements sooner then 10 days from the established date. Payment may be delayed by the mail, but no longer then 30 days. If you do not receive the payment within 45 or 60 days, you should notify your customer with a phone-call.

Accounts that go past a 90 day term should be taken to the next step, of collections with a method you established for this situation.

3. Receivables Funding. Apply a program that involves accounts receivable funding. Factoring of accounts receivable is a very good way to keep the cash flowing. Factoring programs are used by businesses that work with government agencies.

If your clients are small businesses or individuals you may find it more difficult to apply an accounts receivable funding program because there are more risks to assume.

4. Suppliers. Negotiate terms with your supplier to help delay the outflow of cash payments. Usually you can delay the payment until the end of the month or even up to 60 days. This allows you a little advantage of working with their money on your projects. Also this delay will end (hopefully) just when your clients pay, so you can pay forward to your vendors.

Some companies prefer the route of forwarding, giving you the opportunity increase your offers without having to invest large amounts of money in more products.

5. Deposits of customers. Have your customers pay a deposit before starting your work. This will help you cover the first costs of the project. More and more companies use this method of funding. It reduces the risks of nonpayment because you already got some upfront money.

6. Permanent credit limit. Implement a credit account through a lender to help you keep a floating line of cash.

7. Save funds. Create a hard times funding source. Most businesses have ups and downs in their activities and an efficient cash management can be quite difficult. Put some money away during your top times to help you in harsh times. We all know this sounds a little bit hard, but it is very easy, take a percentage of your monthly earnings and put it in a savings account.

You may find all of these 7 tips useful for your business, or just 1 or 2, but remember that anything you do to improve your cash flow will raise your business. The worst thing you can do is sit back and hope for the best. See all those CLOSED signs in the shop windows? They hoped and they lost. Be smart, do your best and keep your business at a pro level.
About the Author
Brad Griffin is an Accountant and CPA. After running a successful cash business in the 1990's I am now a full time options trader sharing my knowledge and success trading options at my website http://www.indexspreadoptionstrading.com.
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