Cash Flow Budget Essentials for Small Businesses

prepare a cash flow budget

Setting up a home-based business can be the road that leads to early retirement, or it can be the road that leads to financial ruin. Often the number one stumbling block for any small business owner is the lack of cash flow. This often happens when a cash flow budget is either not in place or underestimated.

Your cash flow situation can be better managed and sub-standard budgeting can be avoided by doing proper research. You need to list anything that is a likely expense for your business, as it is easy to miss various costs when doing your first budget. A business owner only tends to look at the mark-up of his product as profit. Profit should only be calculated once the expenses have been taken into consideration.

Things to bear in mind when creating a cash flow budget for a small business

In the case of a home-based business an example might be starting a business that bakes cakes for cafes and coffee shops. You will need to include the following:

    • You need to include the cost of the ingredients under cost of sales
    • Delivery costs such as any fuel used to deliver the good to the customers
    • Electricity and gas will need to be included in Utilities
    • Don’t forget the packaging costs
    • Any printing and stationery you use in your business
    • Telephone and website costs
    • Hiring costs for the assistance you need
    • Maintenance costs for the fridge, oven, computers, etc.
    • Advertising and marketing costs

Important reasons why your cash flow budget may be inefficient

  • The main reason is not giving adequate consideration to all the costs you are likely to expect. Add an amount for contingencies and whatever number you think of, double it as you are sure to have forgotten something.
  • Unfortunately, creating a cash flow budget can turn into a nightmare for some business owners as they suddenly become aware that money is tight. It is often hard to face the realism that the numbers just don’t add up. But this is opportunity. If you’re not making a profit, it might means that your marketing is ineffective, or your production costs are too high or maybe your selling price of the product needs to be increased. Working on your budget diligently will help you discover items that might otherwise becoming very costly.
  • Small things add up: Small purchases that do not directly relate to the business can be damaging particularly when getting the business off the ground. The business will ultimately fail if your budget is not in surplus. Lack of cash flow is a major cause of small business failure.
  • Too much income from too few customers: If most of your income comes from one or two customers, you stand the risk of major loss if something goes awry. You simply cannot afford bad debts in the start-up phase of any business, particularly yours.

Managing a Small Business – What Does It Take?

managing a small business is different to ownershipMany people often wonder what is so hard about running a small company. Well actually, running a small company is not unlike managing a large business enterprise.

However, because a small company is usually started by the owners, who have everything on the line, it can cause a lot more stress, long working hours and a good deal of the local business proprietor’s own finances.

Distinction between management and ownership

There is a distinction between the ownership of an organization and the management of its operations.

The tasks are varied and, to get the business to progress, a business needs a manager that is a distinct function from the ownership. Now this may be the business owner in the early times although is a vital to know the difference.

If an employee is going to undertake this particular task, it is necessary that the owner has oversight to make certain the firm is performing properly. For example, an essential area for the proprietor to maintain a close control over is the money. In my view, the business owner has to retain oversight of the check-book and have good practices to eliminate any temptation for fraudulent activity by employees working with money.

Training in managing a small business

Taking care of a business is a difficult process so it is essential for the business proprietor and manager to have appropriate training.

The good news is that pretty much every city has courses for people planning to commence a local business. These lessons are usually free or at least economical due to the fact that cities desire local businesses to open as they are very positive for the economics of the community.

The greatest error local business owner make is thinking they do not need to have training. There is usually something for everyone to learn at these types of courses and a lot of entrepreneurs who ignore the need for training end up failing at their business. This is why it is crucial not to have too much ego and always be open to learning and education when it relates to the small business environment.

Why is this so important?

Unsatisfactory management is a large contributor to the small business failure statistics, so it is extremely important to perform this undertaking well.

It is incredibly easy for an entrepreneur to get so overloaded carrying out the daily grind of the job that the administration of the organization suffers.

Cash flow management is a great example. What is the point of doing the job if you invoicing and receiving the payment?

Then again, it is no good generating sales if you are incapable of satisfying the project demands. I have seen examples of this for both products and services. Having said that, it is no good possessing the capabilities to do the work if there are no sales.

All of these things come down to the quality of business management.

You may have the capacity to do this yourself when you start but as your organization progresses you will need to take on employees in this purpose.

Obviously, taking on workers brings in a whole fresh lot of challenges to the administration system as there are a large number of laws and requirements in relation to employees.

So take our guidance and make sure you get some assistance in the form of a mentor, a discussion group, or a business coach.

To assist further, here is a video on the Business Management Framework that is taught world wide.



Small Business Accounting Software Advantages

small business accounting softwarePurchasing an accounting software application that can aid with bookkeeping operations of a small business and make the managing of accounts a lot easier.

Otherwise, accounting can often be both a frustrating and time consuming job for a small business owner.

Below we list some of the benefits that a small company can obtain making use of these software programs.

Better control of the business

An accounting software application that gives timely information will certainly assist tracking everything that is occurring in the financial side of the business including profits, losses, and trends, etc.

Accounting sofware ensures accuracy

Mistakes made when doing accounts by hand can cause substantial losses for a company or other adverse issues. Accuracy is quite important for any kind of business, and a software program helps makes certain that records are accurate.

Assists the business to save money

Managing cash flow is essential and the software could be utilized to do this without the requirement of working with an expert accounting professional that can be very costly. With this software, an entrepreneur or manager can easily check profits, losses and also cash flow. Keeping on top of your accounts in this way an also assist in dealing with your bank and taking advantage of vendor discounts.

Accounting software boosts performance

Utilizing an accounting software application reduces the workload on employees. As a lot of the work is processed by the computer, there can be a boost in the productivity of the staff members and helps a business increase its profits. Understanding the best ways to make use of the software program calls for the personnel to discover a new ability, and this could make them feel motivated to provide far better results.

Distant accessibility

With the modern day emphasis on the cloud, a person does not have to be at the place of business to do the bookkeeping details. With the right security, a company owner could take advantage of the cloud to make it quite simple to access bank information, invoice customers, as well as examine the monetary status of business anytime anywhere without any issues.

With so many small business woners not understanding accounting, the good news is that there is no requirement of worrying about ithis when using this kind of software program. Typically it is basic to understand and once it has been established, all the accounts can easily be kept up to date.

10 Management Tips for Small Business Owners

management tips for small business ownersOwning a small business comes with challenges that are unique to the function and the size of the business. Owners have to handle all the challenges of delivering, selling, managing, financing and growing the business sometimes with no or little staff. What is most important is to retain the interest of stakeholders such as vendors, customers and the team so as to build a momentum within a short period of time. Learning new ways to manage the business can make the business owner’s life easier and the business itself to become more productive.

With that in mind, here are 10 small business management tips.

Understand your customers

It’s important for business owners to understand their customers, the products and services they need, how they need them and when they need them. They should then develop strategies to make sure that they fully meet their customers’ needs.

Manage aggressively

It pays to be aggressive in small business management especially if there is a consistent competition. The business manager needs to learn how to work outside personal comfort zones and be prepared to take risks that he or she would not normally take. However, to minimize potential risks, he or she should take into account the effects of what the business does and anticipate the consequences if things go wrong. A manager needs to have confidence in the decision making process and avoid second-guessing him or herself on the big questions, so that once he or she makes a decision, they can move forward and reap the benefits that follow.

Develop employee loyalty

Employee management should be more than performance evaluation and responsibility delegation. Employees are much more productive if they feel a sense of loyalty. The loyalty can come from the things the business does for them, things they do or a combination of the two. There are many areas to consider that include financial, family, stress and grief where the actions of the manager can help in solving employees’ problems making them more productive at work.

Employee qualifications

When recruiting employees it’s important to employ only those who are qualified for the job. Small businesses sometimes tend to employ people who are not qualified in an attempt to save on expenses but forget that they are also lowering the quality of their production. By having qualified, skilled employees, you increase clients’ confidence towards your businesses.

Know the business

Small businesses are vulnerable to being drummed out of market easily by competition. To prevent this, business owners should stay on top of what is trendy or new in their business industry. They should stay informed all the time about current events in their small business’ industry so as to remain competitive all the time.

Keep communication channels open

Apple Inc, one of the world’s most admired companies thrives on culture that promotes debate and encourages workers to confront each others’ views. The same applies to congratulating and awarding workers who have gone beyond and above their job description. This is even more important in a small business.

Keep personal and business expenses separate

One common mistake small business managers make, is mixing business and personal expenses together. By mixing the two, they often have accounting problems that can subsequently result in tax problems. The desire to blend the two is often influenced by insufficient money. Keep a personal budget and make it equally important to your business budget. Transfer your regular ‘pay’ from the business and then use a private account for personal expenses.

Pay taxes

Paying taxes can be a big challenge that small business owner’s face. They fail to pay the taxes because it is not as easy as having them deducted from a pay-check. You should estimate your tax payments as early as possible and set the money aside so it is available when due. Tax planning can be very complicated and we recommend small business owners seek the advice of a good tax professional.

Know basic accounting

Knowledge on basic accounting can be the difference between a successful and failed business. Owners should take active interest in the accounting and bookkeeping even if they have trusted professionals doing their financial paper work. Understanding the financial aspects of business they are running is as important as the products they sell. They should be aware of movement of cash out and in their businesses. They should also have knowledge on how to review or develop their business balance sheets so as to know their businesses financial condition at a specific point of time.

Use an accounting program you can understand

Many small business owners do their own accounting because of the cost of hiring a specialist. It is very important in this case to use an accounting program you can understand. Many, if not most, accounting programs require specialist knowledge of accounting with debits and credits. However, there is easy small business accounting software available that most small business owners can understand without any need for additional training.

I hope these tips will help you manage your business. By the way, if you are starting a business here is additional information to help you.