A Trap That Causes Many Businesses To Go Broke, While They’re Making a Profit

A Trap That Causes Many Businesses To Go Broke, While They’re Making a Profit

There’s a saying in business, “You can go broke making a profit.” And another, “Cash is king. Profit is theory.

As you know only too well, you don’t pay rent, meet payroll or pay your bills with profit.

You pay them with cash.

A business can make a lot of sales, have a book full of orders, have delighted customers and clients, have a great reputation, be growing, and yet still go broke.

Why? Cash flow.

The business might be profitable on paper, but have no money left in the bank. They become insolvent.

A growing business is often hungry for cash … hungry for inputs so it can make the business’ outputs, be they physical products, services or a combination of both.

The tragedy in this is that cash flow crises can often be averted. They can be predicted, planned for, and then contingency measures put in place.

For example, if a business has seasonal effects where some months are busier than others, or if a business knows it has some jumps in expenses or fixed costs approaching—such as moving to a larger premises or hiring more staff to cope with growth—then these expenses can be planned for and compared with the planned income in those months.

Which would you prefer to do?

(A) Call your bank manager and ask for a short-term loan or increase in overdraft when you are urgently in need of the cash (and therefore stressed, and desperate, and not in a great frame of mind to negotiate good terms), or

(B) Call your bank manager 6 months in advance and meet with him or her to explain the coming cash crunch, the reasons behind it, and plan for the funding in a calm, relaxed, totally-in-control manner?

Not only would you get the loan, you’d impress the bank manager and strengthen the relationship for further funding, should it be needed to support your growth.

The bank manager would see you are a professional operator with a planned approach to your business, not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants operator. (They see a lot of those. They don’t like doing business with them.)

Apart from the relationship with your bank, there’s the immediate effect of sleeping better at night.

We all seek a level of certainty to comfort us. Knowing what lies ahead in business and planning your cash flow gives you a peace of mind and confidence in your day-to-day work that will rub off on those around you…

…in your workplace and at home. It’s a good feeling.

This is one of the reasons we are so passionate about helping our clients put together cash flow forecasts, to help them keep their business on track and to avoid any stressful, unpleasant surprises in the coming months.

It doesn’t matter whether a business is a one-person hairdressing or lawn mowing business, or a 10 person, 20 or 200+ person business.

Every business needs a cash flow forecast.

Running your business without a cash flow forecast is like driving a car at night along a dark country road with only your normal headlights on. It’s hard to see what lies ahead. Some wildlife might come right out in front of you, leaving no time for you to react. CRASH!

On the other hand, a cash flow forecast is like driving along that country road with high beam on. You can see so much more. You can drive with much more confidence. Less stress. And avoid the CRASH!

Another thing we often find in helping our clients build realistic cash flow forecasts, is that we can spot problems and make suggestion that help improve the business’ cash cycle. This puts money in your bank account.

For example, a combination of negotiating better terms with suppliers, tightening up or at least clarifying and enforcing your business’ own credit terms, and reducing stock holding and waste can have a powerful positive effect on your cash flow.

So, if a cash flow forecast is so crucial, why do many businesses not have one?

Simple. Business owners get busy. Busy pleasing customers or patients. Busy dealing with staff. Busy paying suppliers. Busy generating sales.

Also, it’s easy to get ‘too close’ to your own business. “You can’t see the forest for the trees,” as the saying goes.

Having an independent and fresh pair of eyes come in and look at your business—especially cash flow which is its life blood—allows opportunities for improvements to be identified. Things that are there, but difficult for the business owner to see amidst the ‘busy-ness’ of it all.

So, what should do about it? Call us. Take action. A cash flow forecast costs less than you think.

It’s time to turn those high beams on!

Your next step … Call us at 844-424-9637 or email us at info@stacbiz.com to make a time to meet and discuss your options. We’ll then outline the costs so you know exactly what lies ahead.

Preparing for 2017 Taxes: 5 Things You Can Do Now

Preparing for 2017 Taxes: 5 Things You Can Do Now

Your income tax obligation needs to be on your mind year-round. Here are some ways you can get a jump on your 2017 taxes.

Summer’s over. The kids are back in school. And soon, there’ll be only three months left in 2017. If you haven’t started thinking about how to minimize your income tax obligation for this year, there’s still time.

Whether you’re a small business or an individual taxpayer, year-round tax planning is more than just a way to make tax preparation an easier, faster process. By keeping taxes in mind as you go through every 12-month period, you’ll be able to see where you might take specific actions early that will have an impact on what you end up owing. Make it a habit, and you’ll find that it just comes naturally to consider the tax implications of purchase and sales decisions.

Create a System

Effective tax planning requires more than just saving receipts and organizing tax-related documents in physical or digital file folders – though that’s a good start. Create a system in early January that you can maintain throughout the year (of course, a lot of your information will be stored in your accounting or personal finance application, if you use one). But you should be saving statements, receipts, sales forms – anything related to your income and expenses that will eventually feed into IRS forms or schedules.

Evaluate Your Expense-Tracking

Businesses: How do you—and your employees, if you have them—keep track of daily expenses? You may have forms like purchase orders and bills for the big ones, but you probably buy things on occasion that are just documented by paper receipts. How do you categorize and organize these so you won’t miss any when it’s time to complete a Schedule C? Is there a better way?

Do any of your employees make trips on behalf of your business? You really should consider subscribing to an online service that automates the process of creating and approving expense reports. If you’re not aware of these options, ask us.

Know Your Tax Forms

Individuals and businesses file some of the same forms and schedules, but some, of course, are different. Your previous years’ tax returns can be good resources for you. Refer to them occasionally as you go through the year and do some comparing, especially if you must pay quarterly estimated taxes. You may not remember from year to year what’s deductible and what’s not. Revisiting your returns will jog your memory and remind you.

 

Consider Generosity

Are you having a good year? You’ll have an idea of how your financial health is if you’re keeping up with income and expenses. You don’t have to wait until the end of the year to do any charitable giving that you’re going to do (although it’s usually best to hold off until the fourth quarter).

Learn How Changes Will Affect Your Taxes

This is so important for individual taxpayers. Did you get married or divorced, or have a child? Did you move? Buy or sell a home? Get a raise or, conversely, lose regular income for some reason? Did you have educational expenses? All these life events—and more—can change your income tax obligation.

Businesses often experience major changes, too, and your financial state at the end of the year is way harder to predict than it is for an individual with W-2 income. Stay on top of the impact of deviations in income and expenses created by events like the introduction of new products (or the loss of existing ones), personnel fluctuations, and major acquisitions.

Comprehensive Planning

Tax planning should be an element of your overall financial planning. If you have a business or household budget, you’re way ahead of the game. You can compare your actual income and expenses every month to those you built into your budget. A budget can be a tremendous tool as you plan for the current year’s taxes. If you’ve never created one, or if you’ve never stuck to one successfully, we can help you with this.

We’d also be happy to work with you periodically throughout the year on taxes. We can get you set up with financial software if you’re not already using it and advise you on ways to work toward minimizing your 2017 obligation now.

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How Dental Industries Can Control Cash Flow During Busy Times.

How Dental Industries Can Control Cash Flow During Busy Times.

Cash flow is imperative for the growth of any business or industry. But not all professionals are fully aware of the cash flow impact on the bottom line. That is because the importance of cash flow is much easier to identify in some professions than others. Losing control of money has caused more pain for some dentists in the dental industry than temporary red numbers on the bottom line. A practical cash management system, on the other hand, can provide an efficient life-sustaining cushion during the financial ups and down that can be expected at one time or another in most practices.

Once you understand the importance of cash flow control, it will be easier to follow the rules of good cash management. Here’s how to control cash flow during a busy period.

ESTABLISH PATIENT PAYMENT POLICIES UP FRONT

Before any patient come in for their first visit, it is advisable to ensure that schedulers establish expectations, which include:

  • The Payment methods that should be accepted such as credit cards and online payments
  • How to bill the treatments that the patient will pay out of their pocket if insurance won’t cover the full claims.
  • Patient’s responsibility to confirm the extent their insurance provider will cover for simple preventive examinations and additional services that may be necessary during visits such as X-rays

When patients are held responsible for the treatment cost before entering the office, you can reduce the amount of the account (s) that you ultimately turn over to collections, have to charge off entirely or become the past due.

INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY THAT ELIMINATES THE INEFFICIENCY OF CLAIMS PROCESSING.

Your effort to reduce the inefficiencies in billing and claim process during a busy period remains an important aspect of controlling cash flow: invest in an affordable software solution that integrates with your standard EHR software to accelerate application submission.

LEVERAGE INDUSTRY EXPERTISE

It is advisable to engage a certified and professional bookkeeper. If you are currently not working with a bookkeeper specializing in dental industry practice, you’re missing out an opportunity to learn how to optimize your processes.

Also, prepare a regular cadence on cash flow reports. Furthermore, outline the major factors that are the most important contributors to challenges of cash flow. This will enable you to be ready to course-correct and regain cash flow on track.  You may want to consider:

  • Optimizing scheduling process to minimize patient no-shows, and improve the amount of time it takes to schedule patients, handle check-in, and complete cure treatment.
  • Cross training of full-time staff to manage other tasks outside their primary duties.

Problems associated with cash flow can put your dental practice at risk and those that arise unexpectedly tend to be more costly especially in a busy period. It’s best to try these methods to reduce the uncertainty and efficiently control your cash flow. This will also help you develop an action plan when faced with cash flow constraints.


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QuickBooks ProAdvisor Houston Tx

Working with a QuickBooks ProAdvisor is the best way to learn how to use QuickBooks to help your business grow and flourish. You won’t find a better way to get the support you need anywhere else.

As a small business owner, we realize that you may not have the budget to hire a QuickBooks expert. If you’re looking for a more economical way to get set up on QuickBooks, we provide cloud bookkeeping programs to match any business requirement. Here are our Quickbooks ServicesQuickBooks Setup, QuickBooks Training, and Quickbooks Review.

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If you would like to learn about all the benefits that STAC offers, just give us a call and we’ll provide you all the details. Call (844) 424-9637.

 

Controlling Cash Flow During Wedding Season

Controlling Cash Flow During Wedding Season

The month of July is considered the busiest month of the year due to weddings. If you have a salon/spa, then it is evident that you are worried about controlling the cash flow.  It is imperative that you fully understand every aspect of cash flow – it is the amount of money flowing in and out of your business at any given moment. The concept has its complexity which needs to be comprehended fully to have a firm control over your cash flow. As a salon/spa professional, you need to fathom the concept of the major impact cash management has on the bottom line of your business. Here are a few tips that can assist you in controlling the cash flow of your business in the busy month of July:

UTILIZE THE MONEY THAT YOU SAVE

It is significant that you use the cash that you have saved for bad times. In busy times, you can come across cash shortfalls. You can open a Money Market Account (MMA) that offers a decent interest rate and then link the MMA with your business checking account to account for these cash shortages.

SET TARGETS FOR CASHFLOW

The most efficient way of controlling cash flow is the preparation and implementation of ‘cash flow forecast.’ Allowing you can have a close check and balance on the cash flowing in and out of your salon/spa. It will predict the possible outcomes and shortfalls.  Prepare a cash flow forecast before busy wedding months come along, this can assist you in controlling the amount of profit that you make or the losses.

MONITOR YOUR CASH FLOW ON A REGULAR BASIS

Since the month of July will be a hectic daily routine, you need to check the cash flow regularly.  Online accounting software can help you in this aspect.  Accounting software can assist in saving time, and help with all that massive amounts of work in managing the cash flow.  Start relying on technology in today’s age. A perfect control over your cash flow even in the busiest days of the year.

MAKE THE PAYMENT PROCEDURE EASIER FOR THE CUSTOMERS

Making the payment process easier will help you since you won’t have to wait for the payment to arrive in your bank account. You should encourage the customers to pay upfront or use online payment.

HAVE A CUSHION FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Having a cash reserve for your business is crucial since good and bad days can come any time of the year. Your salon/spa might be facing the busiest days of the year in the month of July, but you need to have some cash saved in case you face cash shortfalls. The cash reserves might serve as a cushion for you in case you face harsh times.

You can use the simple tactics mentioned above to control the cash flow most efficiently.  Utilize your resources and do not let the cash shortfalls diminish your high spirits.  If you would like some assistance with your cash flow please call us for a free initial consultation.  Call today at (844) 424-9637 or email us at info@stacbiz.com

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