This month’s article on cash flow management is all about the most important relationship in your professional life: the one with your bank manager.
This is the tenth part in our ongoing series on cash flow management, you can read the previous articles here:
- Part One: Cash Flow Basics
- Part Two: Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail
- Part Three: Those Who Shout Loudest Get Paid First
- Part Four: Must Have or Lust Have
- Part Five: Working Capital – Make it Work for You
- Part Six: Shelter Your Assets
- Part Seven: You’ve Got to Innovate to Accumulate
- Part Eight: Treat Your Suppliers Like a Bank
- Part Nine: Take Stock of the Situation
Part Ten: Balance the Bank
If you’ve done everything within your power to improve your cash flow, but you need a helping hand from your bank to pay some bills in the short term, or to reconfigure some of your debts, don’t hesitate to give your bank manager a call.
You might be surprised by what your bank can do to help you when you’re in financial difficulty. It’s their job to keep their customers happy and solvent, and it’s in their best interest to help you as it could result in the bank keeping your business, where you may have otherwise taken your money elsewhere. It also means they don’t lose your custom because your business has gone into liquidation—a win, win situation if ever there was one.
Your bank should always be the first point of call when you’re looking to borrow money. The rates are likely to be much more favourable than any other source of borrowing—other than, perhaps, friends and family—and it’s a secure, trustworthy lender with access to a large pot of money.
Befriend Your Bank Manager
Having regular meetings with your bank manager is essential to maintain the connection and ensure the support you need when you need it, whether that’s more money, extended terms or even a personal referral.
Keep your bank manager informed and try to keep the news good. They might understand the pressures of running a small business and expect the odd bump in the road, but if you focus on the negatives (late paying customers, suppliers increasing their prices, etc.) then your bank manager will only see the challenges your business faces. Focus on the positives (your excellent credit control process, the handful of potential new clients you’re currently talking to) and they’ll see your business in a much better light, and may be more inclined to give you a helping hand.
Sell Your Management Team
You’ve got a hot shot management team with their own individual skillsets – put them to work! Shout about their incredible talents and the support they offer you, let your bank manager know you’ve got a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw from, and a great support network when the going gets tough. They’ll be more confident in lending to you if they know you’re not going it alone, as you’ll be less likely to throw in the towel, especially if others are relying on you for a pay cheque!
The next part in our cash flow management series, Price to Sell, will show you how you can increase sales whilst also raising your prices.
Don’t want to wait? Click here to get our guide, Happiness is a Positive Cash Flow and read all our tips and advice for achieving and maintaining a positive cash flow.
Get in touch to discuss your individual circumstances and get some independent, impartial advice on your business’s financial health.