Situation: A company is bringing in new business, but used up its cash reserves to stay afloat during the downturn. As it increases payroll and orders for components to meet production deadlines, it struggles to meet cash flow needs while waiting for customer payments. How can you increase cash flow to fund growth?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Your customers need your product to meet their own deadlines. Have you talked to them about your needs and seen what they can offer? Offering modest early pay discounts on amounts due may help to ease your cash flow challenges.
- Among discounts offered by other businesses is, for example 2% if they pay in 10 days.
- Another option is to offer 5% off if they pay for new orders in advance.
- As you bring in new business or projects, negotiate early pay options in your contracts. For example, offer the option to prepay on milestones in exchange for discounts on the final payment.
- Factoring receivables is an option, but can be expensive. On the other hand with investors looking for good returns, it makes sense to check out options that are available on the web.
- There are now web services which combine small contributions from a large number of investors into funds which can help you to finance short-term cash needs. There are also options which may provide lines of credit which are easier to secure than bank lines.
- Look at local redevelopment options or funds which are targeted at local businesses. For example, in the San Francisco Bay area there is a organization called Working Resources which provides low interest loans local businesses to meet cash flow needs.
Key Words: Cash Flow, Payment, Discounts, Early Pay, Milestones, Prepay, Factoring, Funds