How to Solve Cash Flow Problems: 24 Experts Reveal Top Tips for Fixing Small Business Cash Flow Issues

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In a world of credit cards, e-payments, and Paypal, it is easy to forget the importance of cash.

From payroll and taxes, insurance, costs of sales and services, supply costs, ans growth plans, there are so many factors that might influence a small business’ finances, and ultimately, that business’s cash flow.

As a company that works with many small businesses and entrepreneurs who are in various stages of financial health, we wanted to find out more about developing a healthy business cash flow strategy, and specifically, what business owners can do to effectively manage cash flow problems and issues. To do that, we asked 24 small business finance experts the following question:

“What’s your #1 tip for how small businesses should deal with cash flow problems/issues?”

We’ve collected and compiled their expert advice into this comprehensive guide to how to deal with cash flow problems that are impacting your business. See what our experts said below:

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Meet Our Panel of Small Business Finance Experts:

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Jared SiegelJared Siegel

Jared Siegel is a Consulting Partner at Delap, one of Portland’s largest local accounting firms. His practice is focused around financial mentoring for rapidly growing small businesses.

My #1 tip for small businesses dealing with cash flow problems/issues is…

Address the causes of sluggish cash flow, not just the symptoms.

Cash flow is like oxygen for your business, without it the business will die. A profitable business can still easily run out of cash. Far too many entrepreneurs spend time and energy focused on business symptoms rather than the causes of the symptoms. Often the underlying cause of a cash flow issue is an underdeveloped accounting and finance infrastructure.

By embracing many of the same fundamentals of lean manufacturing, the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of an accounting and finance infrastructure can radically improve. A lean accounting culture can accelerate cash. One example would be to eliminate wasted motion. By reengineering Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable workflow, activities that once took 12-13 different “touches” can be redesigned to 4-5 “touches”. The result is a more efficient workflow that produces fewer errors and eliminates waiting.

Technology today enables small businesses an opportunity to reevaluate previous workflows to produce a more timely and accurate finance infrastructure.


Krista MorganKrista Morgan

Krista Morgan is the President and Co-Founder of P2Binvestor, a crowd-funding platform for commercial lending. P2Binvestor combined technology with crowd funding to relax lending, offer a better business loan to businesses underserved by traditional financial institutions, and provide investors with a new investment vehicle. Growing businesses can acquire $150,000 to $5MM in working capital from P2Binvestor and its crowd, and each line of credit is generally secured with receivables.

At my firm, our top tip for small businesses dealing with cash-flow issues to…

Get to the root of the cause.

Step back and take a holistic look at your company’s finances and operations to determine what changes must be made to address the issue. Review how you are managing your flows of goods, funds, and information. Look at your supply chain and shore up any weak or ineffectual areas. Consider working capital financing to deal with seasonal fluctuations, help manage cash flow, and facilitate growth.


Nigel DaviesNigel Davies

Nigel Davies is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Claromentis, a 15-year-old intranet software development company. Nigel’s financial and business management knowledge has resulted in a financially-strong international business that reported successful trading results during both the dot-com bubble and the global economic downturn. Due to effective cash flow management, Claromentis has never required an overdraft, loan or financial support of any kind in its entire trading history.

My number one tip for small businesses to avoid cash flow issues is to…

Develop well defined targets of working capital reserves as a percentage of overheads, and to always ensure that your target is considered before making significant purchases.

This works extremely well for us as a software company because we have no significant direct costs of sales – however, if your business does, then establishing a benchmark for working capital as a percent of sales will be more suitable than overheads.

All you need to do – and this is the tricky part – is to incorporate your target percentage into your purchase decisions when everything is going well – and to try and get out of that mindset of focusing on cash management only when funds are scarce.

For small businesses, prevention management is a much easier problem to solve than attempting to rectify a cash flow issue when you’re faced with it. A numerical foundation to cash flow protection is fundamental to the survival and growth of your small business.


Liz LemesevskiLiz Lemesevski

Liz Lemesevski is the Founder of Money Native, a website that strives to teach, coach and collaborate with others to actively attract money to live healthy lives and in healthy communities. Liz spent over twenty years as a professional investment analyst and portfolio manager and she understands not only financial statements and investments but also, what can help people and businesses succeed or cause them to fail. In the end humans created money and it’s a mix of science and human emotion. Liz has her MBA in Finance from Fordham University and her BS in Finance and French from Rutgers University.

My number one tip for small businesses dealing with cash flow issues is to…

Be PREPARED to ask for financial support.

If your business has a solid reason for why it needs to exist then temporary cash flow from operations problems can be helped by asking for financial support.

For a small business I’d approach friends and family for cash that would be either equity in the business or a line of credit – a working capital facility. *This is only an opportunity if the cash flow problem is due to a growing business.*

Prepare a 1-3 page plan including financial statements and projections and write out what the upside opportunity is and what the downside risks are, this will serve as a mini-prospectus.


james-goodJames Good

James Good Assistant General Manager of Small Business Payments Company., a Danville, California-based firm that provides online tools to banks and small business owners. Small Business Payments Company, which was just written about in Forbes, recently launched a new product called the Small Business Workbench, which is an app that is currently being offered to banks to help their small business customers improve cash forecasting and working capital management.

The best way to deal with cash flow problems is…

To avoid them altogether. By taking just a few minutes each day to maintain a cash forecast, small business owners can anticipate the possibility of future cash shortages and usually take steps to avoid them.

This is common sense yet our research shows that many small businesses don’t maintain a formal cash forecast, opting instead to rely on a mental checklist of cash “ins” and “outs”. This informal method comes with endless worrying about the accuracy of one’s intuition, and inevitably leads to a surprise cash crisis.

So why don’t more small businesses maintain a cash forecast? First, there is a lack of suitable tools designed specifically for small businesses – most free or low-cost tools are too basic to be of much value. Second, there is a belief among some small business owners that maintaining a cash forecast takes too much of their already scarce time.

The Small Business Workbench provides a low-cost cash forecasting solution designed specifically for the needs of small businesses and takes only minutes a day (or every other day) to maintain. It can also use data from accounting packages and online banking in order to minimize the need for manual data entry.

Small Business Workbench also offers products through its App Center that help with paying and getting paid. For example, the e-Invoicing App lets small businesses send invoices to their customers via e-mail and provides an online payment option that can speed up payments. What’s more, all Apps share data with the cash forecast to make it more accurate and more automated.

But whether or not a business with cash flow issues uses Small Business Workbench, cash forecasting is a highly effective way for a business to avoid cash flow issues altogether.


Dawn FotoulosDawn Fotopulos

Dawn Fotopulos is an Associate Professor at The King’s College and Author of “Accounting for the Numberphobic: A Survival Guide for Small Business Owners”. As an experienced entrepreneur and small-business turnaround expert, she has rescued hundreds of small business from financial disaster. Dawn has led an accomplished 20-year career in business, working as a serial entrepreneur, vice-president at Citigroup and Wall Street trader. An expert in her field, she has been featured on MSNBC’s “Your Business,” at the New York Times Small Business Summit and in Forbes. Learn more about Dawn’s work at Best Small Biz Help.

My #1 tip for small businesses who are dealing with cash flow problems/issues is…

Invoice your clients on time.

The day you complete the project or ship the goods, you should send the invoice out. Do not wait a day, week, or year to do it. No I’m not kidding. You should send invoices out before you go to sleep that night. The clock doesn’t start ticking on payment until you do.

Now with all the electronic invoicing capabilities like PayPal or Quickbooks, there are no excuses left to snood this simple task which is your key to cash flow. If you don’t think getting paid is a priority why would your clients think any differently? Make like the famous sneaker commercial. If you’re running a real business and not just an expensive hobby, you need to be professional about getting paid.


Gregg-SchoenbergGregg Schoenberg

Gregg Schoenberg is Chairman of the Board for Peerform, a peer-to-peer lender in New York, NY, which he joined in 2012. Gregg is also the Founder of Wescott Capital, an investment and advisory firm based in New York. He was previously head of equities and a member of the executive committee for Natixis North America. Prior to that, he worked in the capital markets department of SG Cowen in New York and served in the Washington DC offices of Senator Bill Bradley and the Atlantic Richfield Corporation.

To paraphrase the old cliché, an ounce of liquidity is worth a pound of cure once a business becomes distressed. As such, in order to address cash flow problems from the start companies should strive to…

Maintain a cash cushion, even if that means taking on some debt such as a peer-to-peer (P2P) loan.

Possessing extra ammunition can also serve as a secret weapon that enables forward planning businesses to go on offense when competitors are running for cover.


Kathy FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick

Kathleen Fitzpatrick is the Founder and Owner of Padgett Business Services of Princeton, a small business firm that offers tax, payroll and accounting services to owner operated businesses in the retail and service sectors. Before founding Padgett Business Services, Kathy worked for a Fortune 50 company and has extensive experience in Accounting, Tax, Finance, Human Resources and Project Management.

As a small business owner myself and a consultant to small business on accounting, tax, and payroll issues, the number one advice I offer to small business owners who are looking to enhance their profitability and cash flow is…

To understand the monthly charges/hidden costs of running their business.

If the small business owner has not shopped around for better merchant service fees and customer service in 2-3 years they need to do this and could save themselves easily $500/month based upon the amount of credit card sales they make.

There are a lot of hidden fees with the merchant services provider and this area of financial services is not regulated yet so there are some unscrupulous providers who tack on charges/fees that the owner may not even be aware of or overwhelmed by what appears on their merchant statement. Even if you have a lease for equipment you may still be able to negotiate with a new provider to get yourself better rates.


Ryan-cormierRyan Cormier

Ryan Cormier is Founder and President of Forward Digital, a digital marketing agency based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He’s also Co-Founder and VP of Interactive Marketing for a fantasy football startup, Dumpster Fire.

My #1 tip for small businesses who are dealing with cash flow problems/issues is…

Three words: accept credit cards.

For businesses that deal with individual consumers, this is a no-brainer. For businesses that deal with other businesses, however, it’s fairly uncommon. So why don’t more small businesses in the B2B space accept credit card payments from their customers? I think it’s because of the per-transaction processing fees.

Most payment processors take around 3% off the top, in addition to a per-transaction fee of roughly $0.30. That means that for every $1,000 credit card payment you accept from a customer, you’re paying out $30.30. Most businesses can afford to part with $30, but those fees add up over time; process $100,000 in credit card payments and you’ll be out well over $3,000.

Frankly, I’d be shocked if a small business owner looked at those numbers and didn’t object to taking credit cards from customers. Why give up over 3% of your gross revenue when you don’t have to? After all, most businesses are used to writing checks to pay suppliers and vendors.

The answer is convenience, both for your customers and for you.

Your customers will be happy because, more than likely, they’ll be charging their payment to you on a card that offers cash back, travel rewards or other benefits. One of my customers even told me he booked an entire trip using miles he racked up paying my invoices!

You will be happy because your customers will pay you faster. Much faster. When I send invoices to my customers who pay me by check, I’m blown away if I receive payment in less than 15 days. Want to know how long, on average, my customers who pay by credit card pay me? 2 days.

To me, the benefits of a healthy cash flow far outweigh the cost of credit card processing fees.


Louisa-buckinghamLouisa Buckingham

Louisa Buckingham is a Marketing Executive at First Capital Cashflow, a leading UK-based Bacs-approved Direct Debit service provider. First Capital Cashflow serves a broad client base which includes startups, SMEs, corporate entities, the public sector, charities and not-for-profit organizations, all of whom they’ve helped on improving their cashflow.

In my experience, the best way to maintain strong cash flow is to…

Ensure your business is using the very latest payment technology.

In the UK, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are losing out on an eye-watering £7.5 billion a year because they do not offer credit or debit card payment options. This is according to a recent study by Barclays, which also showed that just 42 per cent of SMEs across the country currently offer card payment provisions to their customers.

Globally, we’re increasingly becoming a cashless society and it’s imperative that businesses free themselves from the antiquated payment systems that are currently holding them back. Around one in four SMEs that don’t use the latest technology admitted that this has resulted in lost sales opportunities.

Earlier this year, First Capital Cashflow reported that SMEs are now being forced to wait more than two months on average before they receive payment from other companies. Research by the Asset Based Finance Association found that small firms had to wait 23 days longer than larger organizations, which obviously has a negative impact on cash flow.

With this in mind, it’s even more important that businesses are using modern solutions that enable them to receive payments instantaneously, as too many long delays can result in serious financial difficulties.


Christopher MarkChristopher Mark

Christopher Mark the General Manager for Geotronics Consulting Inc., a mining exploration company located in Vancouver, B.C., which has been in business for over 45 years. While most of their work takes place within Canada, Geotronics has worked in the rest of North America, South America, Central America, and Southeast Asia. Given the company’s extensive experience in the mining industry, they also do a considerable amount of consulting to other businesses in the mining industry.

For cash flow problems, my number #1 tip is…

EASY: Identify the problem and cut it’s head off.

At my company, the biggest problem we had was attempting to fix our cash flow without plugging the leak. For us the fix this meant taking much larger sums in advance from clients and billing regularly and aggressively. Now our outlays weren’t so high and cash flow was much improved.

It’s unfortunate but cash flow rarely has a single solution. For example, in our case it meant educating our clients and in some cases finding better clients. The jump from “cash flow problem” to “need better clients” isn’t obvious. That is why it took us time to identify the problem because it wasn’t, under all the muck, a cash flow problem. It was a client targeting problem.

Which leads to an extra tip I have: plan far ahead. Have weekly, monthly, yearly, and 5-year financial goals. Then when cash flow problems first start it’s plain because you are missing your targets.


Chandra WinfordChandra Winford

Chandra Winford is a Finance Expert and CEO for Winford Financial, LLC. Her prior position was Chief Financial Officer for World Changers Church International in College Park, Georgia where she served for over 6 years. Under her direction, the ministry overcame a $10 million dollar deficit in a little over a year. Chandra also boasts more than 15 years experience as a Senior Financial Analyst with numerous Fortune 100 Corporations including, Hewlett Packard, Delta Airlines, IBM and McGraw-Hill Companies. She is also Author of her first book “Money Does Matter and So Does How you Handle It”. Learn more about Chandra’s work at Money Matters.

My #1 tip for small businesses dealing with cash flow problems is…

To find creative ways to reduce your expenses and to pay your expenses.

An example would be to identify your top 20 vendors that you spent money with last year. Give the vendors a call and let them know how much money you spent with them and tell them that you need to reduce your expenses. Ask for lower rates, if they are not willing look for alternative vendors who will give you a lower price for the business.

On the payment side, you can ask for extended terms or a line of credit with your vendors. You can also identify areas where you may be overspending. Do you purchase more inventory or items than you need? If so, look at prior history and create a forecast with a small cushion to reduce your spending.


Josh NickellJosh Nickell

Josh Nickell is a Rental Industry Expert and is currently the Vice President of the American Rental Association of Georgia. He officially began his career in rental washing equipment in 1998 and started full time in management after graduating with Summa Cum Laude in Business Management from Drexel University. He is frequently published in Rental Management Magazine and was recognized as one of the “10 to watch under 40” in the Rental Industry.

During our 16 years in business, I have worked with customers have run into cash flow issues and struggled to pay their bills. Until the recent recession, our equipment rental business had never knowingly paid a bill late, but like many small businesses in our industry cash flow became very tight during the recession. So, I can speak from experience on both sides. The most important aspect of dealing with a cash flow issue is…

Communication.

Most vendors and finance companies understand that financing a small business is a partnership. The worst thing you can do when struggling to pay a bill is stop communicating.

If you are open and honest with a vendor and work diligently to get them paid, they will typically be very accommodating. In addition, once the issue has passed you will likely have a loyal vendor that is happy to continue the business relationship, because they know you have integrity.


Carrie SmithCarrie Smith

Carrie Smith is a Financial Writer, Money Maverick and Founder of Careful Cents, a private newsletter and group where over 300 members collaborate to find answers to their creative ideas, productivity and financial issues. She helps creative entrepreneurs and freelancers overcome financial mountains so they can make a living off their passion.

My #1 tip for small businesses dealing with cash flow issues is to…

Go on a cash-only spending challenge.

I did this recently with my own small business and it was a great experiment! I learned a lot about where money was being spent, which transactions were a waste of money, and ended the month with a small surplus of revenue.

There really is no downside to the challenge and since it’s just an experiment a business owner doesn’t have to continue doing it long-term –unless they want to of course!

A cash-only spending challenge makes it easy to prioritize spending habits, run a business more efficiently and ensure funds that are approved for expenses are being spent in the best ways possible. Then if the owner needs to take out a business loan, for inventory or other operating needs, they won’t waste any of the funds, and will have a fresh idea of the company’s financial standing.


Abraham-Benhayoun-Esq.Abraham Benhayoun

Abraham Benhayoun is a Business Attorney and Owner of his own law firm, The Florida Business Law Firm, a boutique business law firm located in Miami, Florida. Abraham is a previous owner of several successful businesses in the past and now advises his clients in operating their businesses. He provides advice in how to avoid potential legal issues, or how to mitigate legal issues that already exist.

My #1 tip to avoid cashflow issues is this:

Have a detailed business plan, and make the business plan as realistic as possible – especially the expense projections.

In the business plan, set a reasonable salary for yourself (err on the side of a lower salary), and have the company pay dividends no more often than quarterly, and follow your business plan. Then, when you are able, try to leave 3-6 months’ worth of expenses in the business account (but not more than that because a company is all about limiting liability after all).


Sharon_WeaverSharon K. Weaver

Sharon K. Weaver is the Owner of Mission Financial Planning, Inc., a financial planning firm that mainly provides fee-only financial planning to dentists and their families. Sharon has worked in the investment industry for over 25 years and has been a Certified Financial Planner for 20 years, involved with individuals and institutions in various aspects of investing, management, financial planning and marketing.

My #1 tip for small businesses dealing with cash flow issues is to…

Move to zero-based budgeting – where every line item is budgeted at ZERO, and every purchase or expense requires approval/scrutiny.

Examine how many employees are licensed to use cloud-based software, do you really need that many? Have you shopped merchant fees lately? Negotiated phone service?

My favorite thing to suggest is to fire any “guys” you have — Coffee “guy”, plant “guy”, copier “guy”, for example. Staff – and owners – may need to chip in like they did in the early days of the company and DIY.

The most important thing to do during a cash flow crisis is to exhibit strength, enthusiasm and dedication as a leader – don’t let financial stress impact staff morale or the excellence you provide your customers.


Jeremy CodiroliJeremy Codiroli

Jeremy Codiroli is the CEO of Sensum Consulting, a small consulting firm based out of Richmond, Virginia. Sensum specializes in working with small to medium companies and developing custom metrics coupled with analysis that transforms data into insight.

The #1 tip for getting your cash flow where it needs to be is to…

Have correct and frequent metrics that measure critical points in your business.

Many times, having targeted and complete awareness of cash flow can instantly reveal certain process breakdowns and can greatly assist in developing a solution.


Michelle-DunnMichelle Dunn

Michelle Dunn is an Author, Columnist and Credit Expert who has worked in the credit and debt collection industry for over 27 years. She is the Author of several books on credit and finance including the “Credit Policy workbook”, and she has appeared in various media outlets including Forbes.com, Smart Money Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, NPR, CNN and MSNBC, among others. She was named one of the Top 5 Women in Collections in 2007 and 2008 and among the Top 50 Most Influential Collection Professionals of 2007. Learn more about Michelle at her blog, http://www.credit-and-collections.com/ or website, MichelleDunn.com.

My #1 tip for how small businesses should deal with cash flow problems/issues is…

To be pro-active.

Have each customer fill out a credit application so you can check their credit worthiness before you extend credit, this will cut your risk tremendously.

There will always be customers who pay late or don’t pay, but you can help control that by having policies and procedures in place to protect your cash. If you have customers that are already past due the best thing you can do it call them immediately, phone calls are the top way to get paid (other than a personal visit, which isn’t always possible).

If you don’t get anywhere with a phone call send a collection letter in a priority mail envelope. I know this sounds like it is a waste of time or money but my clients have had an 90% success rate with receiving payments on past due accounts by sending the notice in a (free) big red, white and blue priority mail envelope. Try it with a few accounts and if you get results, try it again with other accounts.


Jason BiddleJason Biddle

Jason Biddle is a Product Data Manager and Writer for US Imprints, a provider of creative and customized promotional products for all size businesses. Some of Jason’s passions include marketing, sales, and consumer behavior.

My number one tip for addressing cash flow problems is…

To properly diagnose what exactly is sucking up the most cash. The quickest way to do this is with cash flow projection tool that reveals the key triggers (or variables) that have the biggest impact on cash flow.

I’ve actually created a cash flow forecasting sheet that gives a lot of insight into what’s really restricting cash flow. Take a look at the template and tinker with the inputs to see how the variables impact cash flow:

https://docs.zoho.com/sheet/published.do?rid=z1v906c0c230a734745748e5f5734f718c03e

Many cash flow projection templates available for free don’t allow for such detailed projections that automatically calculate discount rates, delinquent collections, etc. Once users understand which factors influence cash flow, they can create a concrete goal (e.g. decrease delinquent accounts by 10%) and know that once they reach the target they will have successfully addressed their cash flow concerns.


Mike WhaitesMike Whaites

Mike Whaites is the Founder & Creative Digitizer of MJW Embroidery based in Sweden. He has a background in working within small businesses and as a production manager for a large promotional clothing company in the U.K. In January 2014, Mike moved to Sweden and started his own business providing embroidery programs internationally.

My number one tip for small businesses dealing with cash flow issues is…

To look at the systems you have in place for your business and review them!

Talking from experience running a small business means your head can be in a lot of places and it’s always good to do a review now and then. This will ensure that your inventory has been counted and suppliers’ invoices are being checked for inaccuracies.

Check the terms of payment and ensure you are using the full time you have until payment is expected. Your system for invoicing clients must be up to date and fast acting so your client can pay you quickly and easily. If something is taking up too much time or causing problems then deal with it straight away so that the end result is utilizing your time efficiently and money is not being held up at any stage.


Liz RecchiaLiz Recchia

Liz Recchia is the Owner and Broker of We Sell Real Estate, LLC, We Sell Real Estate School of Real Estate, and the Author of “HELP! I Can’t Make My House Payment!” At various times in her career she has experienced real estate as an owner, investor and an agent. She has helped clients design transactions that span years and use tools other than traditional bank loans. Recently, she created a simple agent budget form to help clients survey their financial status, TheKitchenTableAdvisor.com.

Real Estate agents and investors are some of the smallest small businesses. Most financial problems these business owners encounter are because they have not taken the time to accurately track their income or expenses. So my number one tip for small businesses dealing with cash flow issues is…

To use a budget planner that highlights common categories of expenses and makes allowances for savings. Planned savings will help smooth out the affect of natural market fluctuations on the business and one’s personal life.

Knowing how much money you make, how much money you keep, how much money you need in order to meet your obligations and when you need that money, allows agents and investors to say “no” to unreasonable risks and “yes” to real opportunity.


Jeff HaydockJeff Haydock

Jeff Haydock is the President & CEO of ecoCFO, the only financial and strategic consulting company that focuses exclusively on energy and environmental businesses. ecoCFO works with businesses of all sizes in many different capacities.

My number one tip for small businesses dealing with cash flow issues is…

To have accurate data, an easy to read, understand and modify cash flow model, and the ability to act quickly based on the information at hand.

In many cases, those that are in Cash Flow trouble are struggling because they don’t have the proper tools in place to track past cash flows and predict future cash flows. I find that astute business owners and their teams have accurate (within 1-5% depending on size) records and projections that match up. If projections aren’t looking so optimistic, that’s when corrective actions are taken. Faking your projections may help you feel better at that moment, but only delays the inevitable.

Ultimately, an accurate and dynamic model must be built, fine-tuned, and updated at least weekly with future cash inflows and outflows, as well as beginning and ending cash balances. All of the finance and accounting functions are based on this information.

When do we cut checks? Do we need to start doing daily collection calls on old outstanding invoices? The model and projection is the foundation on which to build. You can’t fix a problem that hasn’t been diagnosed. You wouldn’t go to your doctor and say, “my body hurts” and then decide that knee surgery is the answer.


Carrie WinansCarrie Winans

Carrie Winans is a Public Relations Officer at MyAssetTag.com, a provider of asset tags and labels to help businesses better track their inventory.

Working for an asset tag company, we know how difficult it can be to manage tangible assets. Managing intangible assets can start to feel a bit impossible. I think the key component to tracking cash flow is…

Successfully managing your inventory. While ordering inventory appears easy, many additional are often hidden in the delivery process.

For example, shop owners should keep in mind the cost of storage, insurance, taxes, and the additional money that may be tied up in inventory orders. A clear notes section should be made to indicate the frequency of orders on certain items. Items in high demand or perishable will need special consideration. Noting the time of the year is also critical when managing inventory. Candy for Halloween, napkin and utensils for Thanksgiving, and ornaments for the Holidays are all variables that may impact a store.

A mistake shop owners frequently make is planning their cash flow only by the listed price of the item or depending on results from the previous month. Shop owners should take care to think of seasonality, popularity, and trend pieces when preparing their stores.

Finally, storeowners should note when vendors’ pricing changes. A price raise of 50 cents on a few items could add up to hundreds of dollars very quickly. It is important to have a good working relationship with all vendors and to understand how their pricing system works.


Blake JanoverBlake Janover

Blake Janover is the Owner of Trusted Nutrients, a small business that provides all natural vitamins and supplements, backed by certified nutritionist and quality customer care.

My number one rule of dealing with business cash flow issues for small businesses is actually a rule of what not to do, which is…

DO NOT take out short-term amortization loans, even if the interest rates are low.

There are a lot of lenders out there that offer the promise of quick cash, but a loan that you have to pay off in 6 months, which may help your cash flow for a day, can cripple you in the months to come. If you can avoid debt that’s best, if you can’t deal with low interest, traditional bank capital. If the bank money is off the table, start cutting costs.


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5 Comments

  1. I like many of the tips, and Sharon’s tip I wanted to ask, if you get rid of the “copier guy” how do you suggest people fix and maintain their copier? (I’m not saying a copier lease is right for everyone either) But If a copier company will provide maintenance on your copier for $35/mo flat unlimited calls, would that not be better than paying $165/hr for out of contract repair plus parts? (if your NOT cash strapped, then I would say sure, take your changes, but its easier to budget for $35/mo and not need it, then have a $600 repair and no cash)

    p.s. I’m clearly bias, but at the same time always looking for alternative ways to help people.

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