How to use our cash flow improvements checklist
The importance of managing your cash flow
You’re in business to make money, and improving your cash flow is one of the best ways to do this. Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business, and the aim of all business owners is to have more money coming in than going out. From shortening your cash cycles to managing debt, there are several methods for getting on top of your cash flow.
Here at ANZ we’ve combined our knowledge and experience, as well as suggestions from successful business owners, to develop this checklist designed to help you improve your cash flow.
Working your way through it is a great first step before putting in place an action plan for your business. We’re looking at three main areas:
- Internal sources
What you’re looking to do is to review everything in your business that could affect your cash flow internally. Some typical examples include reducing stock levels through sales, making use of regular cash flow forecasts, re-negotiating finance with your bank or looking at ways to reduce overheads.
The aim here is to look at your business through a magnifying glass and be creative with anything that could help improve your cash flow. The checklist offers several suggestions, but you might think of other ways that aren’t on the list. If you do come up with other ideas, add them to the checklist so you can refer back to them later.
Consider your customers and ways that your relationships with them could improve your cash flow. Price increases can be effective if you’re able to justify them to your customers. Giving customers alternate, faster and easier ways to pay their bills or for their purchases is also a good option. Internet banking, credit cards and on-the-spot solutions like ANZ FastPay are all good ways to encourage your customers to pay more quickly.
You also need to look at those customers who have outstanding debts. These can be a real drain on a business’s cash flow, so start getting tougher on those who have outstanding invoices.
Developing great relationships with your suppliers is the best way to getting great deals. If you’ve established a good rapport with your suppliers, they’re more likely to let you know about upcoming discounts or even create some especially for you.
Additionally, a good supplier relationship means they’ll be more likely to re-negotiate your terms of payment. This is an important option to consider, as it’s a great means of freeing up more cash for your business. It also means that if you do run into trouble, they’re more likely to extend your credit terms.
The completed checklist
Once you’ve worked your way through the checklist, review it again and add in any options that you might not have previously thought of. The idea with the checklist is to give you suggestions, but also to encourage you to review your business closely for anything you can do to improve your cash flow.
So it could be that some suggestions on the checklist may lead to others. Once you’ve completed it, added to it and reviewed it, use it to put together an action plan for improving your cash flow.