If you start committing these business financing mistakes too often, you will greatly reduce any chance you have for longer term business success.
The key is to understand the causes and significance of each so that you’re in a position to make better decisions.
No Monthly Bookkeeping
Regardless of the size of your business, inaccurate record keeping creates all sorts of issues relating to cash flow, planning, and business decision making.
While everything has a cost, bookkeeping services are dirt cheap compared to most other costs a business will incur.
And once a bookkeeping process gets established, the cost usually goes down or becomes more cost effective as there is no wasted effort in recording all the business activity.
By itself, this one mistake tends to lead to all the others in one way or another and should be avoided at all costs.
No Projected Cash Flow
No meaningful bookkeeping creates a lack of knowing where you’ve been. No projected cash flow creates a lack of knowing where you’re going.
Without keeping score, businesses tend to stray further and further away from their targets and wait for a crisis that forces a change in monthly spending habits.
Even if you have a projected cash flow, it needs to be realistic.
A certain level of conservatism needs to be present, or it will become meaningless in very short order.
Inadequate Working Capital
No amount of record keeping will help you if you don’t have enough working capital to properly operate the business.
That’s why its important to accurately create a cash flow forecast before you even start up, acquire, or expand a business.
Too often the working capital component is completely ignored with the primary focus going towards capital asset investments.
When this happens, the cash flow crunch is usually felt quickly as there is insufficient funds to properly manage through the normal sales cycle.
Poor Payment Management
Unless you have meaningful working capital, forecasting, and bookkeeping in place, you’re likely going to have cash management problems.
The result is the need to stretch out and defer payments that have come due.
This can be the very edge of the slippery slope.
I mean, if you don’t find out what’s causing the cash flow problem in the first place, stretching out payments may only help you dig a deeper hole.
The primary targets are government remittances, trade payables, and credit card payments.