Add cash management to your list of business goals for 2016. Commitment to effective practices and techniques can be the key to keeping your business operating on a sound footing. Some tips:
Reduce lag time. Reducing the time between sending out invoices and receiving payment may take the form of giving incentive discounts to customers who pay early. On the expense side, aim for just-in-time inventory to reduce holding costs.
Establish a line of credit. To cover shortfalls resulting from excessive lag time, unforeseen business disruptions, or weakening in your particular market, set up a line of credit with your local financial institution. What to watch out for: The tendency to let short-term credit develop into a crutch that props up poor cash management.
Check out new customers. Assess whether new clients are likely to pay on time before extending credit. Deadbeat clients can squeeze your firm’s cash flow quickly.
Grow with caution. Expanding into new markets can bring momentum and additional sources of income. But developing new product lines, expanding facilities, hiring employees, and ramping up your marketing budget all consume cash. Be sure your cash forecasts are accurate. Review and update them on a regular basis.