Understand your current position
It is important to demonstrate that you have an accurate understanding of your current cash position and how it might change in the future. This involves cash flow forecasting – you need to know exactly how much cash you will have left at the end of each month and every inflow and outflow of cash for the coming months.
This is particularly important if you’ve chosen to defer payments such as tax or rent and if you intend to apply for funding – you need to know exactly when these larger payments will need to be made, and plan for them accordingly.
Plan for the worst case scenario
If you’re fully aware of what could happen to your business in the best and worst case scenarios, and you adopt the right mindset, you’ll be able to react to any changes that occur.
Be cautious with your forecast – optimism is important but it’s far better to work on a more challenged view and then end up with a more positive result.
Cash is Key
Identify any orders/projects which can be converted to cash in the quickest timeframe, prioritising those with the highest value. Be realistic about what can be fulfilled and what can’t be.
Keep a close eye on your sales book and be realistic about which are likely to be fulfilled and which are not.
Generate cash by selling any assets or stock which you don’t require.
Stay close to customers, suppliers and creditors
Take clear and positive steps to ensure you can meet existing commitments or agree finance plans and have open and honest conversations with your creditors.
Keeping in touch with your suppliers and customers will give you better visibility of how the bank balance might look in three months’ time, whilst helping to maintain positive working relationships.
Review your cash position on a regular basis
Crisis situations can evolve quickly and business owners have to make fast, well-informed decisions. To ensure they are able to do this, it is important to review cash flow forecasts regularly and ensure you have appropriate reactive plans ready.