What do you want to know about cashflow?

Discussion in 'Cashflow forum' started by Geoff T, Mar 29, 2010.

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  1. Geoff T

    Geoff T UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

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    here's the point...

    13 posts, with 2753 views, but with only 40 replies (which - on here - can 'self perpetuate' themselves...;), proved by the fact that only 6 OP's have garnered any kind of response!)

    So - "SME UK"...

    Bearing in mind that Cashflow is one of the single BIGGEST killers of business there is - and there are lot of obviously talented people around here (even more so right now)... forgetting me...

    What about "cashflow" - what does it mean to you...

    Want to know more?
    Not understand?
    Not see 'why the hype'?

    (frankly - I'm disappointed in this forum so far...thought it would elicit a much livelier debate or two...)

    Why isn't more happening here? Does the forum need to be broadened or changed? If so - how?

    Why so quiet folks?:|
    Posted: Mar 29, 2010 By: Geoff T Member since: Apr 30, 2009
  2. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

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    try the more general forums, this one is well hidden and the people who understand cashflow would be her whilst those who dont would probably look elsewhere
    Posted: Mar 29, 2010 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
  3. maxine

    maxine UKBF Legend Full Member

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    Well I for one saw this as a sponsored forum and presumed the sponsor would be participating in threads and discussions but perhaps not. In the meantime we could chat about Dso's if you REALLY want to :)
    Posted: Mar 29, 2010 By: maxine Member since: Oct 13, 2007
  4. Geoff T

    Geoff T UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

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    Thanks both, so well hidden, and sponsored - does the sponsorship thing deter freer involvement do you think?

    And thanks for the offer Max, but having sat through a 3 hour meeting with a client about DSO's improvement/ automated forecasting - I'm all topped out on the subject for now!

    I'm wondering about the more basic practical mechanics of cashflow too - having met someone last week who didn't know about clearance times for cheques - I'm wondering if a practical "payment in This way means you have money to spend on That day" example would be a useful thread for someone to put in...? i.e. - for cheques...does the "2-4-6" rule still apply?
    Posted: Mar 30, 2010 By: Geoff T Member since: Apr 30, 2009
  5. maxine

    maxine UKBF Legend Full Member

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    Posted: Mar 31, 2010 By: maxine Member since: Oct 13, 2007
  6. MiniAndrew

    MiniAndrew UKBF Contributor Free Member

    53 9
    Interesting isn't it? The Credit industry generally is a strange environment to be in. I see Credit Managers on here, but if you follow Credit Today forum which is the industry's mag and forum in the main, there seems to be only a fraction of actual participating individuals in the industry contributing, with the usual same old mouthpieces on there.

    The knowledge however is there. As I've mentioned before, I recruited Credit staff at all levels for over 30 yrs and when it comes to enthusiasm for making a difference in companies then a good Credit Manager should be a Board position as Risk management and Cash flow are the very life blood in a company no matter how big or small and they often don't even get asked for an opinion - just 'collect'.

    I was also surprised at the poor showing at Credit Exhibitions of Finance Directors and the decision makers of businesses which of course led to poor value for money for the exhibitors. Plenty of Credit managers on a freebee day out, but they didn't make the decisions most of the time.

    Forums, and I frequent a Debt forum ( consumeractiongroup )and help out there, but word spreads through word and mouth and forums such as this one needs to get known to business people through marketing more. There's also the fact that many businessmen and women don't have time to sit on the pc doing this, but as a reference tool finding out how to deal with things these kind of sites are a real gem.

    I'm no marketing guru, but I did run a business for 30yrs like so many people out there and on here, there is a vast amount of expertise available free and all it would need to get more people to contribute those skills and knowledge a little marketing either via emails to new website owners, business owners via banks etc (like your sponsor on the Cashflow sub forum) advising their customers to visit as a support line would all boost your presence.

    I've heard a few people say they were disappointed by the responses they'd received on this forum, it's not the quality of the advice, it's the variations on that advice that's needed so more contributors. Just like the CAG site - lots of wannabee lawyers on there who know it all, but losts who are just very experienced in many walks of life just like on here. The site empowers people who otherwise wouldn't know how to do things themselves using the advice as a leader to answer their questions and get things done. OF course it has it's critics, not least from the Credit Industry, but it has saved the lives and homes of thousands so it must be doing some good. The same could be happening on here if it was marketed.

    That'll bring more sponsors too probably and as a business forum that wouldn't be looked upon badly at all.

    I was watching a programme last night about a few business people who got together somewhere down in the west country I think who had got together and traded between themselves, sorted themselves a specialist market and traded ideas - that's perhaps something that could be drummed up on here too..? involve the people who visit.

    Anyway, sorry to waffle. Just a few ideas.
    Posted: Mar 31, 2010 By: MiniAndrew Member since: Oct 8, 2006
  7. maxine

    maxine UKBF Legend Full Member

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    For small businesses though, they don't know what they don't know! Considering advice is from sources such as banks (who want to sell products) or business link, fsb, chambers, (who won't go into much detail about things that can be done to reduce risk and improve cashflow) the chances are that small biz owners struggling with cashflow will simply try to sell more.

    If I think about what sticks in my mind from most threads on here regarding cashflow I would say it is things such as no formal credit account application process, credit checks, terms and conditions with dispute resolution, retention of title, Directors guarantees, written quotes, credit limits, billing frequency too long, no staged payments or pro forma invoicing they causes most problems.

    Often posts on this forum are about improving cashflow via debt collection methods rather than looking at business processes to see what can be done differently from the outset.
    Posted: Apr 1, 2010 By: maxine Member since: Oct 13, 2007
  8. MiniAndrew

    MiniAndrew UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    I tend to agree to a point Maxine and I think in my thread I started I tried to get across the fact that it's in the preparation stages with customers that things get off to a bad start. Debt collection is for accounts which are paid late, getting it right to begin with means payments on time as I pointed out in my own thread contribution a few days back.

    Small businesses do not have all that time to go around to banks, fsb, chambers of commerce etc to 'learn' how to administer their businesses. People who start on their own are, just like I was when I began mine, totally focussed on their ability to produce a product or service, the Admin tends to come later when the business actually kicks off.

    I ran some training courses in credit control techniques for small business where the bookkeeping and accounting tended to be done by the partner/wife/husband/secretary/general dogs body who helped getting the business going. No training had been had by these people in those areas you stated or actually how outdated some credit checking processes were for really checking out whether the new client was likely to be paying them - it's all done on a 'suck it and see basis' which is a very expensive way of running a business.

    It is only when a company has a reasonable amount of income they can afford to take on a trained person, but even then the focus is mainly on getting the accounts in order for the vat man or Inland Revenue -not the core risk management techniques.

    That's why I say 'Education' right from the very start is the most important thing business people should look at achieving, both for themselves and their staff and the client, involving them in the whole financial process (well the important one of no sale being a sale unless you are paid) but also in them understanding what your invoice process is all about, sales order forms, visiting wherever possible new clients just to scan their work-place to see they look bone-fide (not so easy with internet based sales of course) and ensuring every angle is covered in the sales process administratively so your invoices are not wrong before they go in the envelope.

    It only costs a few hundred pounds to take these credit control courses and they are rolled out across the country by numerous firms, you meet other businesses with similar problems and you can learn what works and what doesn't, how to litigate yourselves if necessary and how to educate your staff into getting it right to begin with. You don't need a degree to get these things right, you just need pure common sense.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
    Posted: Apr 1, 2010 By: MiniAndrew Member since: Oct 8, 2006
  9. maxine

    maxine UKBF Legend Full Member

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    But you see the view of skilled credit management being viewed as basic admin or common sense is unfortunately a very long way from reality :). In my experience firms big or small will either take a few bad debt hits or restrict sales before they figure a skilled credit manager can be one of the most profitable assets to a business.

    But enough of that (put soapbox away hehe) ... To answer Geoffs point about what cashflow means to me it is about forecasting all my costs and all my sales income by due dates with an allowance for slow pagers. I don't give credit because I don't need to :)
    Posted: Apr 2, 2010 By: maxine Member since: Oct 13, 2007
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