Well-managed cash flow is a positive indicator of a business’s financial health writes Daniel Goldberg. File Image: IOL
Well-managed cash flow is a positive indicator of a business’s financial health. 

Small businesses can survive a cash-flow crunch, but one wrong move could sink them. A well-crafted plan of action to get through tough times is a necessity. Salaries and bills need to be paid at month-end - even if your clients haven’t paid yet.

Here is sound advice for SME owners to manage their cash flow effectively:

  • Nurture good business relationships - be on good payment terms with your suppliers and try negotiating a 30 to 60-day repayment to help offset your slow-paying clients. Even better, negotiate upfront payment terms with clients.
  • Take control - use discounts to incentivise early settlements from clients and offer alternative payment methods like credit cards, instead of relying on EFTs. Studies show that you’re likely to get paid 10 days sooner when you offer clients the option to pay by credit card. With cloud accounting apps this is easier than ever to implement.
  • Use best accounting practices - manage client information effectively with accounting software packages that are integrated with your bank account. Cloud accounting software and apps improve debtor management by automatically sending clients reminders to pay outstanding invoices - even charging interest when they’re late.
  • Take out a small business loan - a short-term loan that is quick and easy to access will help your business take on a new profitable project or cover unexpected expenses.
  • Have a rainy day fund - always maintain a cash reserve of at least three months’ worth of expenses. This will help you get through the quieter months and to deal with unforeseen large expenses, such as equipment breakages.

Daniel Goldberg is the co-founder of Bridgement, a fintech company offering invoice financing and revolving credit facilities to SMEs.