Are you struggling to make payroll?
Are your vendors going unpaid and threatening to cut off your supplies?
Are your subcontractors refusing to work unless you pay them up front, worsening your already precarious cash situation?
Are your company credit cards and lines of credit maxed out, with no hope of borrowing more?
Are your employees getting irritable because you’ve reduced their benefits, and it’s been years since they’ve had a raise?
Are you getting irritable because you’re constantly worried about money?
Are you racking up interest and late fees on your debts, making it impossible for you to ever catch up?
Do you find yourself thinking, “I know we would be fine if only we could only get out of this hole!”
If so, the Managing Cash When You Haven’t Got Any series is for you!
You’ll find no abstract theory here, no conceptual finance; instead YOU WILL LEARN PRACTICAL, REAL-WORLD STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING CASH WHEN YOU HAVE NEXT-TO-NO-CASH TO MANAGE. I honed these strategies myself over ten years of handling the finances of multiple companies that were at serious risk of going under during the recession. The failing businesses survived, the borderline ones thrived, and the reason was clear to us all – it’s because careful cash flow management really can turn around a desperate business, even when it isn’t making enough money to pay its own bills and those of its owners.
In this first volume of the series, I address the issue of Dealing with Vendors. I’m not talking about setting up Notes Payable, or about figuring out how to borrow money at a low interest rate so that you can pay your suppliers, because if you’re reading this guide, chances are good that your credit cards are already maxed out and you’ll be able to wangle another bank loan when dinosaurs come back to life. No, I’ll tell you HOW TO TALK TO YOUR VENDORS, what they really want to hear to keep your account going, how to ensure that you pay them just enough to keep them from cutting you off. I’ll tell you how to schedule outgoing payments so that they better fit with your incoming cash, and how to compromise with your vendors so that your payment schedule meshes better with theirs. I’ll explain the CRUCIAL IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A CASH MANAGEMENT PLAN and how having such a plan will ease the fears of your creditors even when you’re unable to pay them in full or on time. Finally, I’ll address how “BIG PICTURE” STRATEGIZING of your expenses and Accounts Payable can improve your cash flow, drastically reduce collection calls, and decrease strain on company personnel, making your business run more pleasantly as well as more successfully.
In Volume 2, Managing Personnel, I discuss how to make the best use of your personnel in maintaining good cash flow. I will tell you:
How employing strict separation of duties between management and financial personnel will help to keep you out of trouble with your vendors.
Why one person should act as the official contact person for matters regarding your company’s finances, and why it should not be the firm’s owner.
How financial personnel and management can cooperate in making sound financial decisions.
How to bridge the gap between operational and financial personnel, and how good communication between these departments is absolutely vital for companies struggling with cash flow.
The pros and cons of telling your employees about your financial situation.
The risks and costs of employee turnover: how to hold on to your employees during bad times, and how to handle it when you can’t.
The benefits of assembling a team with a variety of strengths and weaknesses, and how to leverage these in managing your cash situation.
How to turn losing your bookkeeper or other Accounts Payable person to your advantage.
What to look for when hiring new employees for your cash-poor firm, and why the candidates who are best qualified on paper won’t necessarily meet your company’s needs.
Practical measures for protecting your company against the sudden departure of a difficult-to-replace employee.
In Volume 3, Managing Your Accounts Receivable and Payroll I discuss how best to manage your Accounts Receivable and Payroll with the aim of maintaining good cash flow. I will tell you:
The importance of accurately predicting your inflows in creating a manageable cash flow plan.
How to use calculate how much money you’ll have coming in and when you can reasonably expect it.
Setting monthly Accounts Receivable and cash projections and goals and how doing so can both create incentives for your employees and help you to predict how your month is going to go.
Suggestions for tweaking an Accounts Receivable schedule that always leaves you cash-poor.
The pros and cons of various methods for encouraging your customers to pay you early or on time – accepting credit card payments, offering cash discounts, etc.
How and why you should turn maintaining cash inflows into a cooperative company-wide endeavor.
Why you should empower as many people in your firm to collect payments as you safely can and how to do so without sacrificing security.
The “No, we’re not desperate” plea for money and why you need to master it.
How properly setting payment expectations with your customers from the start will help to ensure that you get paid in full and on time.
How to approach collecting from private individuals versus collecting from businesses.
When to bring in the “big guns” in collections – and how using their ammunition sparingly can make it more effective.
How to make employees who are uncomfortable with the collections process more at ease when it comes to asking for money.
Lies I’ve heard collection people tell – which ones worked and which ones didn’t.
How to select a payroll schedule that works best for your firm.
How changing your current payroll schedule may solve some of your company’s cash flow problems – and possibly create others.
The differential cost of having more frequent or less frequent payrolls.
How payroll services are robbing you of control over your cash flow, and when it’s time to take it back.
Tips for minimizing your worker’s compensation expense and making sure you don’t get hit with a giant bill when your policy ends.
Understanding payroll taxes – the comparatively small expense that can have a disproportionately large impact on your cash flow.
Why not paying your payroll taxes is a really bad idea – and what to do if you haven’t.
How to deal with the IRS and other government agencies if you haven’t fulfilled your payroll or other tax obligations.
Have questions about the series? Please feel free to email me at lorilschafer(at)outlook(dot)com. And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter! Volume 4, Creating a Cash Flow Plan, is coming soon.
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