Small Businesses Thrive On Breathing And Circulating Cash!

 

The Life Blood Of Every Business

Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business,  It’s simple as that. If your business does not generate cash and manages its circulation throughout the business properly, it will all go up in smoke. Now this “breathing” of cash is called the cash flow. This is the circulation of cash coming in and going out of your business.

Contrary to popular perception, making enough cash is not why businesses fail. Rather, it is more due to the inadequate prediction and mismanagement of cash flow.

Now, why do business owners tend to overlook their cash flow prediction and management?  There are two main reasons:

  1. Small business owners tend to be unrealistic in predicting their cash flow where they tend to overestimate income and underestimate expenses.
  2. Failure to anticipate a cash shortage and running out of funds, thereby forcing to suspend or cease operations despite having active customers.

It follows along the line that Profit is not equal to Cash. Just because you have profits, it does not mean the money you gain is equivalent to that.

This will bring problems such as lack of funds during a period. With that in mind, the importance of being able to predict the cash flow becomes more significant. Being able to estimate and prepare cash flow projections can help boost your business’s success.

Keep reserves of extra cash

With a robust cash flow forecast, you can then make informed business decisions, plan for change, and know how to implement measures to enable business growth.

 

Inversely, not predicting a business’s cash flow, would make it nearly impossible to estimate how much cash your business will have at a given time. It becomes even more complicated if you factor in wages, taxes (e.g., payroll taxes, VAT, corporation tax payments), payments for loans, other financial obligations, and overheads.

So how do you predict your cash flow? 

If you want to predict your business’ cash flow, you need to create a cash flow projection. 

A cash flow projection gives an estimate of the money you expect to come in and go out of the business, including all income and expenses. Using the data on the anticipated payments and receivables serves as a projection of a business’s future financial position.

A cash flow projection can give the following advantages:

  • The business can predict cash shortages and surpluses
  • The business can gain an overview and compare business expenses and income for a specified period.
  • The business will estimate the effects of a change like moving locations or hiring an employee.
  • The business can prove to their lenders that they can repay on time.
  • The business can determine if they need to adjust like cutting expenses.

Prepare cash flow projection report

To get started making a Cash Flow Projection, the business owner must get reports detailing their business’s income and expenses. These can be obtained from their accountant, books, or accounting software.

Depending on the time frame, additional information may have to be gathered.

Concerning the process of making a Cash Flow Projection, the general steps are outlined below:

  • Compute for Cash at the beginning of Period
    • Start by gathering determining the cash for the beginning of the period.
    • Cash at the beginning of Period = Previous Period’s Income – Previous Period’s Expenses
  • Compute for Estimated Income
    • Estimate the incoming cash for the next period.
    • Incoming cash may include revenue, sales on credit, loans, etc.
  • Compute for Net Cash Flow
    • Subtract all estimated expenses from income.
    • Net Cash Flow = Estimated Income & Funding (inflows) – Estimated Expenses and Financial Obligations (outflows)
  • Compute for Closing Balance
    • Your closing balance will carry over to act as your starting balance for the next period.
    • Closing Balance = Opening balance + Net Cash Flow
  • To create the next period’s projected cash flow, repeat the steps from above.

Once you have made the above calculations, you can start creating your Cash Flow Projection. Utilize a spreadsheet to prepare (Template here) and organize the data.

The projection should contain the following data:

  • Opening balance
  • Incoming Cash – From revenue, sale of investments or funding
  • Cash Outflows – Operational expenses, Capital expenditure, Loan repayments
  • Totals for cash in and cash out
  • Uses for the Cash
  • Total cash flow for the period
  • Closing Balance
  • Periods

Once you have laid out the above sections on your cash flow projection report, start adding the projected cash flow calculations – The template provided already have the format.

 

A good rule of thumb is to not project too far into the future. Too many variables can come into play with your business (e.g., recession) and affect the prediction.

A standard period for cash flow projections is 12 months. But Cash flow projections are not absolute and subject to adjustments. To keep things accurate, a business owner must revisit its projection from time to time to see their current standing.

It is best to review your cash flow monthly and makings adjustments to future months up to one year ahead – effectively 12 months rolling cash flow forecast.

Get in touch if you require assistance in preparing a cash flow forecast for your business.

At RACMACS we deliver solutions you desire!

Cost Effective Marketing

 

Marketing Strategies

In a competitive market, the challenge for many start-ups and small businesses is to get customers and stand out amongst their competitors. After all, customers are needed to have a sale and make a profit. This is where marketing comes into play. It is defined as a business activity of promoting and selling products or services.

A lot of small business owners do tend to believe that marketing involves a lot of funding. Namely, because they are most familiar with marketing and advertising that cost a lot. Take, for example, paying for marketing services by an advertising agency. However, that is just simply one of the ways to market.

If you are looking to market your business without breaking the bank, here are five cost-effective marketing strategies you can choose from:

Social Media Promotes Your Brand

  1. Social Media and Content Marketing 

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are so commonplace nowadays it would be shocking if you did not have an account on either one of them.

Emphasis on the “social” aspect is a great way to reach out to many people, not just limited to your vicinity but even from across the world. It can also serve as a place to engage with your audience and get quality feedback about your products or services. Start by creating profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The key here is to time the frequency of your posts.

Social Media Marketing is Content Marketing. It involves creating and sharing online material like videos, blogs, and social media posts. Try not to be upfront in promoting a brand but focusing on stimulating interest to its products or services. Making connections and posting regularly will help your business gain loyal subscribers who can become your customers.

  1. Highly Targeted Paid Marketing

This may not be the exact type of marketing you would expect to find in a cost-effective list but knowing when you can invest your money to launch a precisely targeted inbound marketing campaign and get your brand in front of the right people to generate a high turnout.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind when doing Paid Marketing.

  • Improving your quality score To Improve ad relevance and lower your campaign costs.
  • Launch remarketing campaigns by segmenting visitors to your website or by creating a custom/tailored audience.
  • Try opting for smaller niche networks where you can gain a terrific ROI rather than prominent but expensive advertising networks.

Build your list

  1. Email Marketing   

Email marketing is a marketing strategy that utilizes sending emails to prospects and customers to develop relationships. Email is the #1 communication channel with most consumers checking their emails every day. The advantage of this over social media is that you own the list without the risk of it being suspended by an administrator. What is more, emails tend to convert better.

Here are the steps to get started with Email Marketing:

  1. Select email marketing service provider
  2. Start building your email list with lead gen/ free gifts
  3. After the first two steps, it is just a matter of refining your lists and your messages, so you reach out to your audience and connect with them.

 

  1. Referrals Programs & Partnership Marketing

Though it may not work for every business, having a referral program or affiliate program might be worth trying. Create an affiliate program that turns your customers into a pseudo-marketing team. And the best part is that you do not spend marketing money unless they first make a sale on your behalf.

Partnership marketing involves the collaboration between two or more businesses within an industry aiming to create a mutually beneficial marketing campaign that helps both parties meet their business objectives. This is especially helpful for small businesses struggling on their own, and this method can help a business grow cost-effective wise. Take time to plan, investigate and converse with potential partners and see if you both can come up with a mutual agreement.

Manage Customer Relationships

  1. Customer Retention Marketing

The traditional idea of marketing is often thought of as the focus of gaining new customers. In truth, some of the best marketing happens with current customers. Marketing back at your own customers is quite easy and low budget with other great benefits. This is what is known as

Customer retention is a set of activities a business utilizes to increase the number of repeat customers and each existing customer’s profitability. Allow you to provide and gain more value from an existing customer base.

This is in line with other marketing strategies already mentioned above.

  • Listen to your customers’ needs.
  • Offer a rewards program.
  • Consider SMS and email marketing.
  • Engage and make time with your clients. …
  • Keep offering added value services to your customers…

If you are looking for support in growing your business send us an email at Roy@racmacs.com, or book a  Free 30 minutes Business Consultation call

Five Ways to Steadily Improve Cash Flow in Your Business!

 

How many profitable companies can you think of that had suffered considerable damage because of cash flow problems?

 

 

 

 

Many businesses are struggling to survive or went bankrupt due to poor financial management – I am sure you can name a few!!

Sometimes, business owners, entrepreneurs and managers neglect the things that really matter – cashflow.

Whenever many people see signs of business success, they often drop the guards down, believing that finance and income streams are secure.

But the harsh reality is that at any given point in time, your business operations can suddenly stop functioning and steer towards a negative outcome.

If you’re thinking of ways to improve and steadily increase your cash flow, take note, and start implementing the strategies below.

1.Perform Accurate Financial Forecasts and Scenario planning

 

 

 

 

There are more business owners than you’d think who are vague about what it takes to grow their business. When entrepreneurs usually think of terms such as scaling or business growth, sometimes many fail to think about all the costs and expenses that are likely to arise and tends to focus mostly on the likely increase in revenue profits.

One way to improve your cash flow is to improve the accuracy of your financial forecasts. But a big mistake is being unrealistic  – you want to be an optimistic pessimist.

By this, I mean you should create multiple realistic and possible scenarios that could occur. Usually, entrepreneurs tend to be overly optimistic when calculating all the potential outcomes. However, it would be best if you were ruthless about the possible results – good and bad.

Analyse and use past data instead of using a brand-new model. Recorded data and information from the past is far more accurate to base your financial forecasting and assumptions off and tends to more realistic than just guessing.

However, it is also important to take into consideration the latest developments in your industry and whats going on in the economy – up to date information.

Look at the different expenses and see where you have the most control. It’s way easier to measure and calculate the volume of your costs than it is to calculate your revenue growth, so start there.

You forecast also need to be updated using the actual results. Please don’t leave it to catch dust once after you create it, but reassess your methods and practices to see how close you are to what you initially forecasted. Then, adjust those areas in your business frameworks with any new data.

Accurate financial forecasts ultimately lead to better business planning,  financial thinking, and improved decision making that’s more strategic and rewarding for your cash flow.

2.Cut Down on Operating Expenses

Are you keeping an eye on how you can cut down on some of your operating expenses?

Track your financial records and statements and look at where your money is going ( manage the cash outflows as well as the cash inflows). I can bet that there’s at least one service or subscription you’re paying for that isn’t really adding much value to your business.

To stay safe, double-check with an accountant or financial advisor with what you might decide to stop paying for. This prevents any significant repercussions that could harm your business revenue or profits.

3. Practise Early Payments

Not only should you pay early to avoid penalty costs and get overcharged with future suppliers, but you should also promote the concept of getting your customers to not pay you later than when they really should be.

One good way to do this is by using incentives such as discounts, or even by upselling them on special offers if they pay early.

If you haven’t already, take the time to outline or update on your financial plan for your business to reduce cash output.

But, always be on time and don’t miss deadlines. You should also be sending invoices earlier so you can get paid faster. If you’re not already, consider using invoice software so that your customer payments aren’t overdue.

4.Experiment With Different Pricing Strategies

Don’t be afraid to test out different pricing strategies and structures to see which works best.

One way to improve your cash flow is to increase your prices. Most business owners are afraid to do so, but it would only be bad if you miscommunicated or if it’s an unreasonable, drastic change. E.g. increasing your product from £50 to £1000.

One example of a good pricing model is monthly subscriptions. Instead of having a one-time charging price for a high-ticket product, you could change it to a subscription model, which is great for recurring income.

Subscriptions are also effective for customer retention. It also makes your product more affordable and easier to pay for those customers who might not have been able to pay for your product in the first place.

Take the chance to find out how far your audience is willing to go. And don’t forget to seek feedback and reviews when you’re changing the pricing structure of your business.

5. Manage The Different Sections That Influence Your Cash Flow

Often, people believe that making more money will resolve their issues, but that’s far from the truth. The other half of the answer lies behind how you manage your money.

Different sections influence your cash flow, including:

  • Inventory and Stock Control (Product base business)
  • Revenue generation strategies
  • Expenses Management Policy
  • Cost of Goods/ Services Sold
  • Accounts receivable/ Debtors
  • Accounts payable/ Creditors

Sometimes, you’ll find items in your inventory that are slower than some of the other items you already have.

When you’re tracking your metrics, you might also notice that there are certain features or products that a very small percentage or even no customers at all are paying for. If that’s the case, cut that out your inventory – what’s the point of buying more of something that’s not going to make you profit?

Conclusion

It is vital to monitor your cash flow and to pinpoint where the financial gaps are in your business consistently.

Whenever you notice a problem, the right answer may not always be to dispose of the source completely. Instead, it might just need to be looked at a different perspective so you can take on a new approach that works better.

If you’re looking for a proven blueprint to curtail expenses, and maximise your business profits and maintain positive cash flow, grab my free e-book right here.

You can also get in touch if you are looking for proven strategies and techniques to improve your cash flow – Use the link here or email us at admin@racmacs.com.

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