Without a doubt, maintaining a healthy cash flow is one of the most important factors in the success or failure of any small business. It’s a good idea, but how do business owners ensure the money coming in and the money going out lead to a positive bank balance at the end of each week, month or quarter? Easy. With a bit of planning – in the form of a cash flow forecast.
Cash flow forecasting is a simple way of predicting where your cash flow will be down the track – without using a crystal ball. It is an estimate of the amount of money you expect to flow in and out of your business and usually covers the coming 12 months, but it can also cover shorter periods like a week or a month.
A valuable planning tool for a business‘s financial management, cash flow forecasts will help you manage your cash flow because they are the key indicator of the future cash position of a business’s balance sheet.
The main goal of a cash flow forecast is to make sure the business has enough cash to meet its obligations and avoid funding issues over the short to medium term. But it can also form part of a long term plan and cash flow budget. Effectively, cash flow forecasts are a way to ensure improved management of working capital.
Predict a cash shortage/surplus
Compare income and expenses for different periods
Estimate the financial effects of particular events, such as adding a new employee
Demonstrate to lenders the health of your business
It’s not difficult to do a cash flow forecast report. You just need to have access to your bank accounts, accounting spreadsheets or software, and invoicing.
Now, with today’s situation in mind let’s look at an analysis of cash flow forecasting for your business for the next quarter. Ask yourself the following:
If you have a positive figure, you’ll have enough cash flow to take you through to the next quarter. However, if sales forecasts are down due to seasonality, meaning cash flow is looking a bit close to the wire, then you could think about applying for a small business loan or a business line of credit with Prospa to support your cash flow until it picks up again.
Quick and easy cash flow forecasting for immediate results.
Select from multiple payment types in drop-down menus.
Set up coloured alerts for when cash balances fall below a minimum threshold.
Get monthly insights on your incomings and outgoings with as much detail as you want.
Combine the results into a ‘living’ business plan that changes as you grow.
The best way to measure your company’s health and performance is through cash flow, so if you’d like some more hints and tips about staying on top of your cash flow forecast, our handy cash flow guide is just what you need.
For small business owners who are either starting up or perhaps struggling to stay in the black, focusing on organisation and planning could be the key to unlocking your true potential.
In this handy guide you’ll learn the 8 best reasons why you should invest in a better cash flow strategy. And it’s absolutely free.
Cash flow forecasting is easy once you are familiar with the concepts. You simply need to know your current cash situation, your expected income and expenses, and you can work out an estimated cash flow forecast. Read the article above, then download our free Cash Flow Forecasting Template.
Cash flow forecasting is really just a prediction of the balance of your income and expenses at a point in the future. You need to know your current cash situation, then use expected income and expenses to determine the figure.
A cash flow forecast can give you an indication of the anticipated health of your business at a time in the future. It can help you prepare for a cash flow shortage in advance. You can use it to predict the financial effects of particular events, such as adding a new staff member. It’s also a fantastic way you can demonstrate to lenders your ability to repay a loan.