Business Plans & Cash Flow Forecasts

Running a business can be exciting, but can be scary too! Monthly income can be uncertain and unpredictable, while the peace of mind that you can meet all of your commitments can be elusive, and keep you awake at night. Sound familiar?

As with so much in life, arming yourself with as much knowledge around potential issues brings a confidence that is otherwise lacking, and this is where solid business plans and cash flow forecasts come into their own.

As a fairly new Business, where do I start?

At its most basic a Business Plan can come from a generic template (download our template here) designed to look at the general areas that most businesses should consider at start up. There may well be others that relate to a specific business idea but a template avoids the fear of a blank sheet of paper!

For a cash flow for a small, relatively new business, a simple spreadsheet that tracks money coming in and money going out (or committed) can be enough. Alternatively, there are a range of cash flow forecast Apps that can help, taking information straight from your accounting software and projecting it into the future. Becoming ever more flexible and accurate, if you’d like us to, we can recommend the most suitable option for your business and your software and help set them up to be most effective for you.

That’s fine, but what about an established business?

As established business needs a more detailed approach than basic templates can offer. Both the business plan and cash flow forecasts need to reflect the way in which the business works, take account of the way it has performed in the past and its goals for the future.

We can create both business plans and cash flow forecasts from scratch, to produce a completely bespoke end result, that can include and extend previous trends, and take account of evolving changes yet to be identified or implemented.

Having up to date business plan and cash flow forecasts can offer numerous benefits; here are just a few:

  • Let you see how the business will develop and know what needs to happen to reach your goals.
  • Let you be aware of potential ‘pinch-points’ before they arrive, enabling you to plan in good time to deal with them. These could include, for example, reserving the cash to cover a forthcoming lean period, or cover the cost of the additional resources needed as a result of an effective marketing campaign.
  • Let you know in good time if additional finance may be required to support expansion, and have time to search for the ideal solution, positioning the business in the right way in advance, rather than rush to accept the fastest option when an urgent need arises.
  • Give you the ability to review you pricing strategy, via an element of business modelling. Many business owners underestimate the positive impact a small increase in prices can have to the bottom line!
  • Give you the chance to consider the potential impact of Brexit on your business.

If you’d like some support to create your first Business Plan, or to formulate a process for monitoring your cash flow properly, why not get in touch? We’re here to help!

Read our related Blog posts:

Let Xero Invoice reminders improve your cashflow – We all know that getting cash into the bank account is key to success in your business. Sadly, this can take longer than we’d all like, and can feel awkward too. With Xero Invoice Reminders though, you can quickly and automatically remind your customers to pay you.

Invoicing Software & what to look for – The one shared feature of all businesses is the need to get money flowing inwards. The ideal goal is to make that money flow into your bank accounts as simply and quickly as possible! Invoicing software, also known as Billing Software, can make all the difference.

Late payments – our Top 10 Tips – In the 2018 Spring Statement a crack down on late payments was announced, citing the huge impact this can have on small businesses. Until the implications of the crack down are felt throughout the small business community though, late payments must be dealt with.

Why do I need a Cash Flow Statement? – ‘Why do I need a Cash Flow Statement?’ is a question we’ve been asked question several times in the last couple of days, after it was mentioned in a meeting with lots of business owners. We therefore thought it was worth explaining!

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