The lifeblood of any business is its ability to collect cash and pay bills, as well as pay its employees, particularly its owners. Far too often small businesses are profitable, but they do not have enough operating capital to meet their current needs. Consequently, they may be forced to sell out to a stronger competitor, sell a portion of the company to investors at an undesirable price, or close the doors and put the company out of business. None of these alternatives is typically what the owners expected when starting the business. To try and compensate for this it is important that all business owners have a plan for their cash by preparing a cash forecast.
Cash flow projections can be very slow, time consuming, and tedious to undertake. It is often very tempting to hire someone else to prepare the projections for you. There are a variety of individuals who can help you do this, but the critical factor is that they only help.
You, as the owner and operator of the business, are the only one truly qualified to develop your cash flow projections. You know what it takes to open and operate your business. Certainly a trained professional can offer guidance and ask pointed questions to be sure you are considering all of the necessary and sometimes hidden costs of operating a business. However, the more effort you put into developing the cash flow projections, the more accurate they will tend to be. This exercise may also help you to pinpoint areas of potential cash savings that you had not otherwise considered.