Boost Your Cash-Flow: Tips for Saraland, AL Small Business Owners

Cash flow can be a stressor if it is not steady enough for your small business to get ahead. However, there are methods for regularly increasing your income. Some methods are more time-consuming, while others are simple solutions that can add up over the life of your business. 


If you are trying to boost cash flow, it pays to think about as many avenues as possible to make this happen. The Saraland Area Chamber of Commerce offers the following insights to help you strategize. 


Identify and Capitalize on Your Stand-Out Qualities


You likely started your business excited about being your own boss and had some great ideas to make your product or service stand out. When you are busy making ends meet and participating in daily tasks to stay afloat, it’s easy to let those ideas fall off the radar. One way to increase cash flow is by returning to those original ideas and establishing new ways to incentivize the use of your goods or services. 


A simple way to make your business stand out, according to Blue Kite, is to market yourself to your ideal customer. By marketing yourself in this specific way, you are increasing the odds of making a sale, versus reaching out to a wide audience and missing your mark. Solving some of the identified problems of your customers is another technique that can set you apart and increase the amount of business you bring in. Consider some of the challenges consumers experience that make your product or service worthwhile, and include those points in your marketing campaigns. 


Improve Your Spending and Billing Practices


Small Business explains that sometimes cash flow issues are related to how you bill customers and your spending methods. Automated billing, securing funds upfront prior to provision of service, and ordering only business-crucial supplies are some ways to improve company cash flow. Look closely at your incoming and outgoing expenditures to find out if you are overspending in a particular area. 


For example, outgoing expenses such as rent and utilities can cut into your profit significantly. If your business can be operated without a rental space, consider operating from home to save on these costs. Shared space and collaborative planning are some other options for saving money and can be great ways to expand your reach through exposure from another business that sells complementary services or goods. 


Also, price shop for your inventory needs, and consider establishing a regular practice wherein you reassess your expenditures to ensure that you are getting the best deals. For example, if you are paying on a loan, consider refinancing while interest rates are low to reduce your monthly payment or decrease the term of the loan. Paying additional funds toward the principal each month can also reduce your overall cost.  


Seek Professional Advice


If you feel like you’ve exhausted all of your knowledge, but you still can’t overcome some of your financial obstacles, then consult someone with more experience. It may seem counterintuitive, but working with a financial consultant could be worth the investment. Or if money is really tight, seek out a mentor who could help guide you through some best practices they learned themselves. Businesses that already have a steady customer base may need to look at management practices to identify ways to improve cash flow. 


Most people who are able to help you will need to see your books, so make sure you trust the person enough to share your financial information. Then, use safe channels, like password encrypted PDFs, to pass this information through digital spaces. You can quickly edit a PDF online by adding comments, highlighting key areas, and attaching sticky notes to clarify which areas in your budget need attention or to ask specific questions. Using a free editing tool also means that you have a digital record of your drafts and comments as you revise. And encrypting the file is easy. Simply find Protect in the Tools menu. Then select Encrypt and Encrypt with Password before sending.


Rethink Your Structure


If you are grappling with ways to improve cash flow within your business, you may be surprised at the amount of money it could save to switch from a sole proprietorship to an LLC. By restructuring to an LLC, you have more flexibility with your business in addition to being able to lower your tax burden, especially if you elect an S corporation designation. Choosing to make this sort of change can be tricky, so connect with an attorney to determine whether this is the best choice and how to go about making this transition. 


Take Control of Your Budget


Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business, and finding new ways to boost it can be the injection you need to go from getting by to thriving. Look for ways to cut costs that won’t affect the quality of your product or service. And seek out expert advice when you feel stuck. Often, we need an outside perspective to see important opportunities. But be careful about who you trust with your business’s financials, and password protect any files you send to ensure safety. With some intentional steps, you can get control of your finances and increase your cash flow.


Connect with and learn from other local business leaders by joining the Saraland Area Chamber of Commerce.