Aviston travel from O'Hare ... Chicago Drug testing

7 Cash Flow Secrets Your Accountant Never Told You

Looking for ways to boost your cash flow? As a small business consultant, I make these recommendations to my cash strapped small business clients:

1. Shoeboxes are for shoes, not business records.

Pardon my candor but, you will never have a successful business if you don't systematically track your income and expenses, who owes you money, and who you owe money to. This is absolutely crucial. You don't have to have a big expensive computerized system, although a computer program like QuickBooks certainly does a beautiful job. You can keep track of everything with a pencil and paper if you like. But, you've got to track basic information in a systematic manner. Without this vital information your business cannot flourish and your cash flow will always keep you up at night.

2. Getting your customers to "show you the money".

The best way to get your customers to pay what is owed is to remove every possible excuse for nonpayment. Don't extend credit unless it's absolutely necessary. Establish credit policies to help determine who will get credit. Get an invoice into the bill payer's hand as quickly as possible after the work is done or the product is delivered. Don't be afraid to send a letter or statement or make a phone call reminding your customer his bill is due. Never be rude. Always be firm. Focus on preserving the relationship. If a customer has a legitimate gripe about your business do whatever you can to fix the problem.

3. Budget is not a four letter word.

Repeat after me, "Budgets are our friends." Seriously! A budget is a plan. It helps you stay focused on what you need to achieve. For example, you can use your budget to help you achieve sales goals, determine how much you need to spend on advertising, how much you'll need for materials, and if you can afford to pay overtime. Having a budget for your business is the difference between piloting a plane with instruments or flying blind in a fog.

4. A customer in the hand is worth two in the bush.

My very first customer is still with me. Over the life time of our relationship, she will be worth at least tens of thousands of dollars. Actually, she's worth far more than that because she refers business to me regularly. It's easy to get caught up in the search for new customers. But, never forget the ones you already have. What other services or products can you offer to them? How can you get them to refer their friends and colleagues to you? You can build a successful business around a small number of customers by providing them with excellent customer care and a range of solutions. Loyal customers are money in the bank, they're easier to work with, and it's less expensive to keep them happy than it is to find new customers.

5. The most powerful number in your business.

If you know only one number in your business it ought to be your Breakeven Point. Your breakeven point is the moment in time when your income equals your expenses. If your income is higher than your expenses, you have a profit. If your expenses are higher than your income you have a loss.

Why is this such a critical number? First of all, to find your breakeven point you need to know what all of your expenses are. How much does it cost you to produce your product or deliver your service? That includes how much you need to pay yourself. If your business isn't able to support you, you're not breaking even. Once you have your total expenses, you have a place to start. What do you need to do to achieve a level of sales high enough to cover your expenses? How many customers do you need to serve? How many products do you need to sell? If you can't reach that income level, what can you do to cut your expenses?

Your whole business plan can flow from that one number. You can use your break even point as a powerful business tool to make decisions about marketing, strategy, plans for expansion, hiring a new employee, etc.

6. How to make friends and influence check cutters.

Once upon a time, I worked for a corporation-yes, me, the quintessential entrepreneur. One of my jobs was working in Accounts Payable. All day long I got calls from vendors. Not friendly social calls, mind you. Angry calls. Irritable calls. Annoying calls. Vicious calls.

And then there were the friendly vendors. The ones who took a moment to treat me like a human being. Guess who I knocked myself out for? Guess whose checks made it through the labyrinth of bureaucracy and out the door? Uh huh. The vendors who treated me with respect. Is that fair? Not at all. But, it is human nature.

Take the time to get to know the folks that cut the checks. Don't be afraid to build bridges and establish relationships. You meet lots of interesting people and your cash flow will improve. One of my friendly vendors hired me away from the Cubicle City. I spent the next three years improving his cash flow from the other side. You just never know.

7. Why paying taxes is a cause for rejoicing.

The strategic approach of many small business owners is to have as little profit as possible at the end of the year. Otherwise, you'll have to pay taxes. So year after year, small business owners make decisions in their businesses based on intentional lack of profitability.

Now, for the majority of small business owners, what the IRS considers to be profit is in actuality your paycheck. Are you working to lower your paycheck? Would you put up with that from an employer? By putting up with it from your own business, you condemn yourself to a life of poverty just to avoid having to pay taxes.

I won't tell you that writing checks to the IRS is my favorite thing to do and I make sure I take every legal deduction I can, but if I'm paying taxes, it means I'm making money. I like making money. The bottom line is this: If you're paying taxes, it means your business is making money. Go out and make more! Don't let the thought of taxes hold you back. Think about it this way, even if you're paying fifty cents of every dollar to the government, that's fifty cents more in your own pocket. That's a good thing!

A word of caution: don't boost your earnings and spend it all. Make sure you plan ahead for the tax bill!

Caroline Jordan, MBA is a small business consultant and author of Mastering Cash Flow: A How-To Guide for Solving Small Business Cash Flow Problems. For more business success tips visit http://www.TheJordanResult.com. To get in touch, call Caroline at (207) 583-2630 or send an email to TheJordanResult@adelphia.net.

C 2001-2005 Caroline Grimm Jordan & The Jordan Result LLC. All Rights Reserved.

In The News:

Your phone can do a lot more than you realize, but no one points out the countless hidden settings and features when you buy it.
It's easy to get sucked in and find it difficult to put the phone down
Cameras can exaggerate certain features and give you a different appearance than what you see in the mirror. That's why you need to be strategic when you pose.
It's a bit stomach-turning when you think about the germs, viruses, grime, and other crud covering our devices.
In a letter to CBP earlier this week, two U.S. senators called for authorities to allow Americans to opt out of facial recognition at airports.
In the world of tech, there is a slew of new features and hidden tricks hiding in your everyday devices.
It’s best to back up your photos, so they're safe and sound
Here are a few ways to boost your security, increase your productivity, and tidy up your digital life in 2022.
You won't get any official notice if someone blocks your calls — but you can make an educated guess by looking for these signs.
When it comes to finding your phone, there are better ways than shouting for someone else in the house to call you, and that's not always possible.
Social media company Grabien was banned from Twitter on Friday after posting a quote from a US representative
When it comes to the rest of your tech, it’s never too late to adjust your settings and get back just a little privacy.
We all know that prickling feeling when we see an ad online or on our phone for something we just talked about with a friend.
YouTube TV has restored access to Disney, ESPN, and other networks following an outage last week. The outage stemmed from contractual disputes that resulted in an interruption of service.
If your computer is unresponsive, slow down and follow these steps.
Before you visit the Google Play or Apple App Store again, there are a few things to keep in mind to keep nosey and dangerous downloads off your phone.
Security pros say one of the worst computer vulnerabilities they've ever seen has been exploited by state-backed Chinese and Iranian hackers, rogue cryptocurrency miners, and others.
It's nice to know if your text message went through and the person read it.
Security experts around the world raced Friday to patch one of the worst computer vulnerabilities discovered in years.
There are many things you shouldn’t do online. Some are just plain dangerous.

5 Steps To Success for Small Business Owners

Everyone wants to succeed in life. Most people want to... Read More

Challenging the Gospel of Growth -- Must Business Grow to Survive?

A cherished business doctrine is that growth must be a... Read More

7 Cash Flow Secrets Your Accountant Never Told You

Looking for ways to boost your cash flow? As a... Read More

Keeping your Business Alive

As long as you eat and breathe you will stay... Read More

Small Business - Big Business...Whats the Diff?

Small Business, Big Business ? What's the Diff?Well a lot... Read More

Employee Monitoring - Business Risks For Employers And How To Avoid Them

E-mail and Internet use are integral parts of the typical... Read More

Advertising - For Small Businesses (Part 2)

How to do itPeople skim through newspapers and magazines and... Read More

Business Debt Collection Letter Writing Secrets

Debt collection letters--an overview"Debt collection letter" in the singular may... Read More

How to Wash Mobile Homes as a Business

Washing manufactured homes, mobile homes, can be a lucrative and... Read More

Technology Community Helps SMBs Focus on Their Core Business

If you're starting your own business or currently work for... Read More

Buying a Franchise

Buying a franchise is not for everyone. This guide will... Read More

Using Holidays to Put Some Extra Cheer in Your Cash Box

No matter your age or station in life, we all... Read More

Looking for a Business to Run in the New Revitalized Downtown Area?

Looking for a place to add a Quick Lube away... Read More

Five Quick Ways to Speed Up Cash Flow

At one point or another, almost every business runs short... Read More

Successfully Adding a Service To Your Business

There will come a time in your business where you... Read More

Starting a New Business in a Small Town

Q. I am a former pastor who left the ministry... Read More

Small Businesses - Big Obstacles

Everyone is talking about small businesses. In 1993, when it... Read More

Franchise Buyers Lying On Forms

The Federal Trade Commission which governs the franchise industry thru... Read More

Trailblazer Interview with Diane J. Levin, Partnering Solutions

Today is a Red Letter Day! It's special because today... Read More

The Triple A Way to Spark Your Companys Profits

Winning small and home based businesses today must continually shake... Read More

The More you GIVE the More you GET

Why give freebies?We have all seen freebies at trade shows... Read More

Finance Your Small Business: So Much Money, So Little Time

$37.4 million funded from venture capital today. $86.4 million funded... Read More

Outsourcing ? A Positive Approach For Small Businesses

Outsourcing is the strategic use of outside resources to perform... Read More

Auto Detailers and Competitive Aspects of Automobile Detailing

There are both fixed and mobile detailers. Consumers often will... Read More

Small Business Newsletter Dilemma: Which Day Do I Send?

If you're just ramping up your small business email newsletter,... Read More

brytons bath corona kitchen remodeling elmhurst ...