Struggling to grow your business or keep on top of your finances? Running a great business all starts with managing your cash flow.
The current pandemic has highlighted the importance of managing cash flow more than ever. By keeping on top of the numbers, you can ensure you have extra cash to draw on if you ever need to respond to unexpected problems, like temporarily closing your premises or halting business operations. It also gives you a failsafe action plan for going forward and adapting to the new normal.
But cash flow planning shouldn’t just be left for emergencies. It’s a crucial part of your overall business strategy. With regular cash flow planning, you can get a holistic view of the health of your business, estimate the impact of future plans, and grow in line with your goals and ambitions.
What is cash flow forecasting?
Cash flow forecasts are future projections of money in and out, allowing you to make accurate assumptions about the financial health of your business in the coming weeks or months.
One of the biggest reasons businesses fail is due to lack of cash. But this can be avoided by taking a proactive approach to cash flow and financial planning. It’s all about being able to spot cash problems in advance and then taking the right action to curb them.
So, cash flow is about so much more than money in and out. With accurate and regular cash flow forecasts, you can make the right decisions for the future of your business.
Making the time to manage cash flow is one of the best things you can do for your business. By staying on top of cash flow, you can:
- Take back control
- Have peace of mind that there’s money in the bank
- Spend more time focusing on what you love
- Make confident decisions about the future of your business.
So, how does it work?
There are two types of cash flow forecasts you should be doing:
Short-term cash flow forecasts of up to ninety days. These are daily, weekly and monthly predictions which focus on the cash required to fund working capital.
Long-term cash flow forecasts. These are high level, strategic forecasts of up to five years, helping you shape longer term growth strategies and grow your business in line with your ambitions. Both types of forecasting are equally important for helping you achieve your longer-term and shorter-term goals.
If you’re new to the world of cash flow forecasting, a basic spreadsheet can be a good place to start. You can download a copy of our free cash flow planning tool here. Use it to keep on top of your incoming sales and your regular outgoings for each month.
Cash flow forecasting tools
When it comes to cash flow, your output is only ever as effective as your input. So, you need to ensure your financial information is always accurate and up to date in order to get the most reliable, precise and trustworthy forecasts. It’s really all about planning! This is where software comes in.
Float is cash flow forecasting software offering precise, detailed and up-to-date cash flow forecasts. It pulls data from your accounting solution and visualises it in real-time, ensuring that your forecasts are always up-to-date, so you can make the right decisions for the future of your business.
With Float’s scenario planning feature, you can see the impact of any situation, generating daily and monthly reports to model any ‘what if?’ situation, such as hiring a new employee or visualising the impact of a new project. You can also treat the software like a spreadsheet by copying and pasting in figures and creating new budgets for future campaigns.
Getting access to funding
Once you’ve done a cash flow forecast and you’ve spotted a dip in your cash, it’s time to take action and secure some funding. Almost all businesses will need funding at some point in their lifecycle, so this doesn’t mean that you’re failing. In fact, if you’ve got big plans for growth, an injection of cash can be just what you need to take your business to the next level.
Nowadays, there are more funding options to choose from than ever before, so if you don’t meet the criteria for lending from a traditional bank, there are plenty of alternative options you can turn to.
At Complete, we’ve partnered with Capitalise to make it easy for businesses to access funding, whatever your situation. With Capitalise, you can compare business loans from over a hundred lenders with their online marketplace, choose the ones who specialise in your industry and lenders who are most likely to give you an offer. You can choose from long term loans, short term loans, and gain access to funding from a range of high street banks and alternative lenders.
But funding success requires more than just completing an application. You’ll need to provide information that is easily understood and attractive to lenders. A proactive accountant can support you in all stages of the funding process and position your company in the best possible light for securing finance.
Need more help with managing cash flow or raising finance?
We can help! We’ll take the time to learn about your goals and what it is that really matters to you. Then we’ll help you plan for them, working with you to make them a reality.
As business owners ourselves, we know the importance of running a profitable and successful business, and it's our mission to help our clients get to where they want to be. That's why we use intuitive forecasting software like Float and platforms like Capitalise to help our clients take control of their finances, secure the right funding and expand their business.
So, if you have a question, big or small, just fire us a message and our team will be happy to help!