2018 is FINALLY over, and we have a brand new year ahead of us … and it feels pretty great. The year ahead is full of possibilities for your Northern Virginia business, and we are so privileged to walk alongside you in the financial aspects of these possibilities.
And there’s a very good chance that we can do MORE than what we’ve been able to do in the past to help you realize the vision you have for your business future.
When we talk about your business tax return this year (or, if you’d like, beforehand: (571) 206-1807), let’s consider together if there are other ways that we can help.
One of the primary engines for WHATEVER your vision for 2019 might be is your cash. And there are plenty of our Northern Virginia clients who do a great job of forecasting this aspect of their business … and some who don’t.
Regardless, I have some thoughts for you on the subject, as I would love to see you get this component of your business handled WELL in 2019…
Strategizing Your Northern Virginia Business’s Cash Flow Plan For 2019
“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” – George Washington Carver
If I’ve learned anything by watching hundreds of businesses succeed and fail during the course of running my business, it’s this: the lifeblood of any business is its ability to collect cash and pay bills as well as pay its employees, particularly its owners.
However, many Northern Virginia small businesses are profitable on paper, but they do not have enough operating capital to meet their current needs. Consequently, they may be forced to sell out to a stronger competitor, sell a portion of the company to investors at an undesirable price, or close the doors and put the company out of business. None of these alternatives are typically what the owners intended when they started their business.
They’re working without a map, and as they say: cash is king. Not knowing how to plan for it could be killing your business.
Any cash flow plan prepared by the management of the company or an outside consultant can be no more than a guess as to when your customers will pay. It is a little easier to forecast when your business obligations are due, but many variables interfere here as well. Hopefully, the more effort that is put into cash forecasting, the better will be the educated guess and the more accurate the resulting picture of the future operations of your business.
Starting the Analysis
One of the most significant factors to be considered in your cash flow forecast is the volume of sales which you’ll generate. Your sales forecast must be as finely-tuned as possible, and the method you use is critically important.
Top-down forecasting is usually dangerous. This involves assuming that there is a certain gross sales potential, say a million dollars, for your product in your area, and guessing you will be able to capture a specified percent of it. As rough as this kind of analysis might be, it is better than not making a forecast at all.
Bottoms-up forecasting is better, but takes more work. You actually count the number of possible buyers of your product in your market area, and estimate how much of your product/service each of them is likely to purchase each year.
A sales forecast needs to be based upon specific facts as much as possible. These facts might include your own sales history, or the history of similar businesses in the area. It is also extremely valuable to determine what has been the experience of similar operations in your market niche in other parts of the country.
Other issues should be addressed: adding new product lines, deleting unprofitable operations, assigning new salespeople, getting rid of ones that aren’t producing to quota. In preparing a forecast, you must also take into consideration items such as the seasonality of your business, the relative state of the economy and the period over which you will forecast.
Obviously your ability to forecast sales for the next month is better than it is for three to five years from now. The amount of detail which must be included in the cash forecast is really a matter of preference. It can be based on per-units sales extended out by the sales price of each type of unit or an average sales volume per day, week or month.
All of this, we can help you with … if you let us. Call us ((571) 206-1807) or send me an email back through the email us button at the top of the page, and we can sit down to work this out for you.
Feel very free to forward this article to a business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way. While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for families and business owners.