The COVID-19 pandemic has had a drastic impact on the economy as the gross domestic product dropped nearly 33%. For small and medium-sized businesses, it created unprecedented cash flow challenges, as many struggled to maintain a steady stream of revenue.
But now, as the pandemic continues to ease, businesses should revisit their working capital plan to bolster their cash flow for the future.
Key drivers of healthy cash flow
By understanding all the ways you can increase your organization’s working capital and improve cash flow, you can best set your business up for long-term success. The following techniques can help:
- Carefully manage debt. Another side effect of the pandemic? High corporate debt. You can enhance your working capital by meeting your debt obligations in a timely manner, avoiding additional interest, fees and penalties. Find out if your organization qualifies for a more favorable interest rate to settle debt faster.
- Receive sufficient financing. Don’t let the fear of healthy debt keep you from making smart financing Short-term business loans can help supply enough liquidity to finance current operations without excessive risk. Take the time to determine your working capital needs, as well as your forecasted needs, before selecting any financing.
- Issue invoices on time. Limiting the time between your operating cycle (when you begin spending money on a project) and your capital cycle (when you finally collect money for a project) can help you earn a profit quicker and improve liquidity.
- Make sure you’re not overspending. Examine your budget, breaking down each component to see where you’re spending and what you’re spending. Are there areas of overspending or spending unnecessarily? Are business trips essential? By curbing the extras, you can improve your working capital.
- Take control of your inventory. Did you know that well-managed inventory is arguably the most powerful way to drive working capital increases? Avoid stockpiling product, improve turnover cycles and reduce slow-moving inventory.
- Grow your sales revenue. While this one may seem obvious, think about how you can generate more sales to earn higher profits. For example, examine your profit margin to determine if your prices are up to date. And explore new marketing channels to reach more customers.
The lifeblood of your business
Working capital is essential to your business — especially small and medium-sized businesses that often can’t raise funds as easily as large corporations. Reach out to the CPAs at Magone & Company to learn how we can help you maintain a healthy cash flow.