As a small business owner you often wear many hats (if not all of them!). Sales, marketing, customer service, business development, social media manager, book-keeper and more.
We’ve put together a regular feature tailored to the needs of small business owners offering you a bitesize, quick-reference guide to different aspects of running a small business.
This month, just in time for the new tax year on 5th April, we have a quick cash flow guide for you from our guest author Bryony Parker (BP Finance Coach). Bryony Parker helps business owners take the fear out of finance.
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Cash Flow Explained
We have all heard of the term but what is Cash Flow? Cash flow is the flow of money in and out of your business, from your bank statement.
But don’t be confused it is not anything to do with Profit and Loss and does not show on that report.
Your profit and Loss report shows you the cost of running your business, but a when we are talking about cashflow it is more real time information.
Cash Flow Forecast
The best way to manage your cash flow, is to have a cash flow forecast. Your cash flow forecast should include the following three elements.
Revenue – Money coming in.
This is all your money coming in as sales but also includes any capital you have put into the business, grant money and loans. With your sales, you might want to divide this up into sections or enterprise e.g. Hay, Straw and Barley.
By putting the different income streams into different sections, it can help you work out what parts of your business bring in the most money.
Be realistic as much as possible, and plan for seasonality if it is relevant to your business, such as farming, tourism and produce.
Expenses – Money going out.
This is all your expenses to your business, including all your regular payments going out and monthly, yearly and one-off payments. Monthly payments would include supplier payments and utilities. Quarterly payments could be your VAT return and yearly could be things like insurance and subscriptions.
Net Cash Flow
This is the difference on a monthly basis between your total income and your total expenses. If it is a minus figure, then it would suggest that your expenses are greater than your income.
A cash flow forecast will have month by month accumulate figures which will help you plan ahead for large purchase items or just to work out if you can meet your regular payments.
Top Cashflow Tips
More about BP Finance Coach:
“Hi, I’m Bryony, your finance coach!
Throughout my career and as a finance coach, I have worked in many types of industries, including care homes, hospitality, animal feed, equine and agriculture. During this time, I have gained a wealth of knowledge and understanding of how businesses run, and on individuals’ pain points when running them. For many years I have helped turn businesses around from the brink right through to their brilliance. And I LOVE it!
Having worked in finance for over 25 years, you could say I know finance inside and out! I am also a qualified AAT accountant, and worked as a finance manager for many years before going freelance 9 years ago.
As a finance manager I gained an excellent understanding of how a business operates and was the go-to trouble shooter for messy businesses and accounts for many years. I am also a director of my family’s companies so understand the legal requirements of running a limited company.
I help businesses understand their finances and costs, and individuals understand their spending habits, finances and help both plan for the future. A typical day for me could be helping clients with their pricing, packages, mindset, goal setting, or creating budgets and cash flow forecasts.
I’m a country girl at heart and grew up in rural Leicestershire. Coming from an agricultural, equestrian and hospitality background, whilst growing up I was either bottle-feeding lambs, feeding ewes, or driving our antique little “grey Fergie” around gathering bales while haymaking, or riding my pony Sophie. This is why I specialise in supporting Rural enterprises as I understand the struggles they face.
When I am not working, I like nothing more than exploring the New Forest and Dorset with my family and cocker spaniel, Finlay. I am passionate about our native flora and fauna and am happiest outside.
I am so excited at the prospect of helping you understand your money, take the fear out of your finances and to help you have complete peace of mind around what can be a baffling subject.” – Bryony
Regional Reporter - South West England (New Forest)
As a Finance Coach I help business owners and individuals understand their spending habits, costs, money mindset and take the fear out of their finances. With an agricultural and equestrian background, I specialise in supporting the Equine and Rural sector as I understand the challenges they face. On a personal level I am passionate about the countryside and its flora and fauna. I am happiest out exploring the New Forest with my family and cocker spaniel Finlay.