Many small online businesses have serious cash flow issues. They will often comment that it’s either raining money or it’s a drought.
When a new business starts, it’s hard to know when and how the money will flow, and if it’ll slow down during certain times of the year or remain steady. No matter what type of business you have, though, you can fix your cash flow problems with a little bit of thought and planning.
* Break It Down – When you have enough data to look at your cash flow, break it down by month, week, and day. Set a goal of how much you want to earn each day instead of a month. That way you can focus on doing enough actions to ensure you earn that amount each day. If you earn more on Thursday, don’t add it to Friday’s goal for example.
* Learn to Budget – Budgeting is an important skill to learn for a household but also for business. When you have a firm budget, you will learn not to say yes to anything last minute, and all your purchases will become planned and thought out. Part of this budget should also include paying yourself. Some business owners only pay themselves at the end of the year for the entire year, while others pay themselves a certain salary every week or month.
* Start a Continuity Program – If you really want to be able to project your income, it’s imperative that you have regular income coming in. A great way to do that is to start some form of a program where people must pay for it each month. That way, you can project at least next month’s income.
* Use Financial Software – It’s a good idea to have software that shows you a breakdown of where your income is coming from and where your expenses are going, as well as helps you project your income. You can use a spreadsheet but today there are a lot of cloud-based programs, from QuickBooks to GoDaddy Bookkeeping, that can help you with the numbers.
* Pay Monthly Fees Yearly – At first, this may be hard to do. But start making it a habit at the end of the year in December or on the first of January to audit everything you pay monthly. If you really need it, pay for it for the entire year. You’ll save money and it will help your monthly budget as well.
* Don’t Buy Last Minute – When you have a budget this should not be an issue. Sure, you may want to put aside some savings just for buying at sales that you didn’t know were going to happen, but only for things you have thought about previously. But otherwise, don’t buy things at the last minute without giving it thought.
* Run Lean – If you don’t use it, don’t buy it. Use outsourced labor that can expand and contract, and software in the cloud that can also grow and shrink compared to what you need right now.
* Use Credit Strategically – One way to even out your budget every month is to use credit strategically to pay for business expenses and equipment. However, only do this if you’re going to pay it off before you are charged any interest.
Running a lean business will help you avoid a lot of the cash flow problems that many other business owners have. Plus, if you can run that way successfully, it’ll pay off in good times too because you’ll have a steady business with a steady income that you know how to use in a steady way.