Friday, December 16, 2005

Cash Flow 101

Great post from 37signals that I picked up from Lifehacker. Great and relevant for a number of reasons. Cash flow is the killer of small business. I would say it is probably the killer of all business but I won't bog down there.

When I was running large technical support programs and developing entry level technicians into future leaders I stressed financials. I tried to explain that technical skills were nice, but if you really want to add value, learn how a business operates. In other words....follow the money.

We're still in startup/growth mode at the outsource service provider I currently run. Cash flow is key. Getting paid on time is probably THE most crucial aspect of our business. Payroll WILL be late if our clients do not pay on time. Sometimes we take daily trips down Cash Flow Lane to understand where the money is going. And believe me. It GOES.

I also use the same approach with my business development teams as I did with the technicians. In order to thirve you MUST understand your prospects' business. Understanding their cash flow, if you can get down to that level, gets you established as a trusted business advisor. See Sales and Marketing in the Third Age for more on this subject.

Great article. Read it. Know it. Live it.

For more...check out CEO Tools by Kraig Kramers. He is a TEC speaker. I met him a couple of years ago and this book provides awesome tools for helping you run your business.

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1 comment:

accounting said...

thanks for the warning: reasonable cash flow forecast is indeed important.