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3 Cash Flow Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs The long-term success of a business hinges on more money coming in than going out. Follow these tips to help make sure your business stays in the black.
As a business grows, so does the list of responsibilities on an entrepreneur's list. Letting cash-flow management slip to the bottom of that list can spell disaster for small businesses.
Having a solid cash-flow management strategy is crucial to keeping your business's growth and financials on track, but sometimes it can be difficult to identify problem areas before they can affect that strategy. Here are three common cash-flow mistakes for small-business owners to avoid so that they can keep growth at the forefront of their operations.
1. Neglecting budgets and finances.
A small-business budget needs constant attention, according to Nadine Seivert, Chief Administrative Manager and VP at U.S. Bank. Owners must keep accurate and timely records of accounts payable and receivable, sales, profit margins, expenses, and other key financial metrics to stay on top of their budgets.
Your budget should also take timing into account, for example, at what time of the month your expenses—such as rent, mortgage payments, or equipment fees—need to be paid. If your budget isn't structured around managing outgoing payments when you have money in the bank, your business might be at risk of dipping into a negative cash flow. Maintaining your budget and finances can allow you to keep a positive cash flow and keep your focus on the growth of the business.
2. Taking on unnecessary debt.
While a loan or line of credit might seem like a good idea for a cash-flow infusion to your business, it might add unnecessary risk or extra expenses. "There's never a good time to take on unnecessary expenses, and it's important to prioritize your needs to make the most out of a potential loan," Seivert says.
If you do need to take out a loan, consider the terms, payments, and interest of the loan to make sure it aligns with your budget and current cash-flow management strategy so that payments won't leave you in the negative.
3. Not seeking financial guidance.
Even the smartest, most ambitious business owners don't know everything about running a business. Trying to run operations with a lack of knowledge in certain areas might cost you in the long run.
"Business owners can seek advice from mentors and advisors, classes, workshops, books, and articles. These resources can all provide valuable advice and help with navigating uncharted waters," Seivert says. Plus, most financial institutions can provide professional guidance around cash-flow management strategies or offer tools or insights to help you understand how cash moves through your business to keep your growth and goals on track.
Seeking guidance from a financial institution like your business bank can provide you with valuable knowledge and resources regarding a cash-flow management strategy. U.S. Bank, for example, provides one-on-one coaching to support your business today and help develop your future business goals. They can help you create a financial timeline and connect you with the right people, resources, and solutions to keep your business going in the right direction.
These comprehensive resources, coupled with competitive, flexible lending rates, can help you structure your cash-flow management strategy while taking your business to the next level.
Click here to learn more about how U.S. Bank can help your business manage cash flow and chart a path toward financial success.