November is officially National Entrepreneurship Month, which is a good time to remember that small businesses employ 61.7 million Americans and account for 46% of private sector jobs.
These businesses are a huge part of the country’s economic activity, and when they’re doing well, the broader economy is likely doing well.
But nearly every small business owner will readily admit that running their own business is no easy feat. Elevated inflation, rising costs, finding good workers, and managing all the financial responsibilities of a business can make the job stressful.
If you need some extra help managing your business’s cash flow right now, here are a few tips.
1. Create a forecast calendar
You can’t predict what will happen, but you can put your expected expenses and earnings into a calendar to better manage your cash flow in the coming months.
Many business owners are rightly focused on what’s happening in the day-to-day operations of their business, but creating a calendar of upcoming bills, payroll, inventory expenses, etc., can help you stay on top of what’s coming around the corner.
Additionally, doing a little forecasting of your earnings will allow you to see where your cash flow gaps may be. Calculating the difference between your earnings and expenses in the next few months may feel like something you don’t have time for, but the next time you’re making a daily decision you planned out months in advance, you’ll be glad you did.
2. Get back to budgeting basics
Budgeting isn’t the fun part of a business, but you can do some simple things to make it easier. Leaning on the right expense management software can make mundane tasks like tracking your cash flow a breeze.
Pick an app that you (almost) enjoy using so you don’t avoid opening it when you need to track where your money is going. Take some time to test out a few apps beforehand to ensure you find one that works for your specific needs. For example, evaluating your accounting software beforehand could save you time later by keeping you from switching to another app during tax time.
3. Make your money move faster
It’s not fun waiting for money to come in. Speeding up the process by getting organized with invoicing software can help. Not only will you be able to keep track of what cash flows are coming in, but you’ll also be able to understand the ups and downs of your cash flow by looking at the historical data from your customers’ spending.
And while you’re speeding up your cash flow process, you might as well evaluate how your employees are getting their pay. Payroll can be a headache, but apps make it easier. You can usually scale your payroll software options so you’re only using and paying for what you really need.
It’s a good time to evaluate your business’ financial needs
Before the new year begins, it may be a good time to evaluate whether your business has the right financial resources. For example, is your business credit card working well for the company? With interest rates still elevated, you may want to look closer at your card and how your business uses it.
Additionally, you may want to revisit your business bank accounts as well. Does your current bank provide you with the customer service, software, and account features you need? Comparing a few business checking accounts could help you answer these questions quickly.
Spending a little time to go through your financial needs could help you get organized for the upcoming year, and can be especially beneficial when you’re thinking about your cash flow management.
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