Common Cash Flow Mistakes 2023
When analyzing the reasons for failing start-ups around the globe, the main reason for their failure is poor control of cash flows. Some of the common cash flow mistakes include bad credit management, heavy investment in the early stages, disregarding late payments, and so on. An inventory buildup and a decline in sales, both of which have an immediate impact on your revenue, are the first signs of a cash flow issue.
This suggests that creating the right cash flow is crucial to the survival of an early start-up, which requires a well-planned and robust operational strategy. In contrast, inexperience with the management of cash flow could result in the death of a start-up that is just beginning to grow.
This article explains the significance of cash flow as well as the most common cash flow mistakes that new businesses make.
What is cash flow?
In simple terms, it is the amount of money that flows into and out of the business. It’s the balance between the cash flowing into and out of an organization at a certain moment in time. Cash flow may be positive or negative.
Positive cash flow implies that a company has more money coming into its business than it spends. In the reverse negative cash flow indicates that the company has less money entering the company than it is spending.
Most common cash flow mistakes committed by startups
The following are the most common cash flow mistakes made by startups:
Arrears in billing
One of the common errors made by early-age startups is to bill their customers in arrears and not solicit full or at a minimum, a portion of the payment in advance.
A majority of the vendors decide to declare bankruptcy or pay their bills slowly or don’t make any payment at all when they make the payment.
This could cause your business to go to a depressing end. It is therefore recommended to demand an upfront payment in full or request partial payments before providing your services.
Be prepared to negotiate strongly on payments
Most start-ups feel that, since they’re starting from scratch, they don’t have any leverage against vendors in negotiating favorable terms. They simply can accept what vendors demand upfront payments, like 50% or the payment in 15 days.
The most frequent cash flow error made by start-ups is that they fail to consider their payment cycles or the duration within which they receive their cash from their buyers.
In such instances, startups must first establish the date they will receive their money and then deal with their vendors about determine the payment time and disperse the payments. If, for instance, the date of getting the money is thirty days the start-up has to negotiate for 45 days of payment cycles.
Disregarding late payments
Late payments often hinder the cash flow movement in a company. It is difficult to track down clients who owe you money. Many start-ups are in problems due to the delay in receiving payments from vendors, and also for constantly making sales out of their premises that cause problems due to cash shortage.
This makes it difficult for you to make timely payments for expenditures and invoices, further endangering your own firm. To bridge that gap startups must approach lenders to get loans to cover this gap. Start-ups must always include late payment in their costs and offer vendors discounts for timely payment.
Inability to consider convertible notes as credit
A common cash flow mistake that many startups make is that when seeking funding they don’t take convertible notes into company debt. Investors are entitled to demand repayment when the date for maturity is set.
While it is not typical to see investors demand convertible notes upon the date of maturity, it can be employed as a tool to use leverage when they negotiate against the founders.
Investing too heavily in the early stages
In the quest to expand their business to the masses and invest too much money in marketing their products in the very beginning stages of business growth, rather than consolidating their businesses and maintaining cash flow.
This leads to an inability to pay and business then starts bleeding. So, it is suggested that startups begin to consolidate their business and then begin to generate positive cash flow for the company and then gradually begin investing.
This helps to identify unwise investments and keep an eye on the expenditures that are incurred on these investments.
Fundraising without the need for proof of concept
A common practice that has become popular is that founders of start-ups are trapped by intermediaries who promise a meeting with VCs to secure funding.
In this type of arrangement intermediaries require two percent while the entrepreneurs, to be able to get investment, dilution much more equity than they are required to.
Ineffective tax management
Paying taxes is a responsibility and has to be paid either monthly, quarterly, or annually when they become due. Not submitting tax returns on time or making errors could result in interest and fines by the tax authorities. It costs money, but it also consumes time that could be spent on other important tasks for your organization. Therefore, it is crucial that you maintain track of your taxes.
Bad credit management
One of the most common cash flow mistakes includes invoices that remain unpaid. Your taxes, staff salaries, or business expansion will not be aided by funds that are in your clients’ bank accounts rather than your own. Ensure that you have reliable procedures established to guarantee that clients are aware of the conditions of payment and pay you on time.
So, it is suggested that start-ups present investors with an initial proof of concept instead of directly asking investors for investment. In this way, they cannot only negotiate on advantage but also negotiate an equitable bargain.
There has been a lot of discussion about the most common cash flow mistakes made by startups, but the list isn’t at all exhaustive. To prevent these errors and to fix problems should be integrated into the internal controls of the company.
The inability to manage the flow of cash could be fatal, not only for the expansion but also for the long-term viability of the company. So, if you still have any queries regarding the common cash flow mistakes, we are ODINT Consultancy. We’re we are here to help you at each stride of your way.
The problem of cash flow arises when the amount of cash flowing from the company is greater than the cash that is coming into the company.
The primary reasons for cash flow issues are low earnings as well as (worse) losing. Insufficient investment in capacity. Too much stock.
The changes in the components that comprise those line items, including cost, sales, inventory, and accounts receivables, as well as accounts payable, can affect the flow of cash out of operations.
Examine the change in the cash figures with your increased cash or your net decrease in cash in your cash flow statement.