You're not alone. But this is not "new" news to small business owners like you. You work hard to keep your cash flowing and fight to make sure the bottom line is out of the red each and every day.
There's never much rest for small business owners who want to make their business a success. But this time the impact is worse than we've seen for a long time. With huge companies failing and banks struggling to stay afloat, the trickle down affect could surely reach your business.
So what do you do?
It's time to get back to basics. The last thing you should be doing right now is the same old thing and expecting different results. Here's where you need to begin:
Accounts Receivable - Take a hard look at who owes you money and how long it's been pending. If all of your receivables are up to date, there's no action for you to take here.
But I suspect that's not the case.
Many small business owners let their receivables become lax because they don't want to become a collection company. But the reality is that the longer a customer takes to pay you, the less chance you will have of getting that payment. It's time to make a list of all receivables that are older than 30 days. Then contact those customers with outstanding balances and get a clear payment commitment.
Accounts Payable - What goes out of your business every month makes a huge difference in your bottom line. And if you're like most small business owners, there's probably a bit of fat in there somewhere.
Time to make another list.
Look at your financial reports, check register and credit card statements and list every single thing you are spending money on. Then get out your scalpel and start cutting. For every item on the list ask yourself how it contributes to the bottom line of your business. If it doesn't add value to the services you provide to your customers or create a return on investment for your business, it needs to go.
Once you have your incoming and outgoing financials in shape, you need to stay on top of them. There's no better way to keep track of how much cash you need flowing through your business than to create and monitor a cash flow budget. Your budget should include an outlook of at least six months that details cash on hand, projected income and expenses. Get your free Cash Flow Budget Worksheet now.
Staying on top of what your business needs to stay afloat financially will go a long way in helping you make your business a success. And it will help you sleep better at night too.
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About the Author: Denise O'Berry is a small business expert who provides tools, tips and advice to help small business owners be successful. O'Berry is the author of "Small Business Cash Flow: Strategies for Making Your Business a Financial Success." Her blog can be found at Just for Small Business.