What is a cash flow projection?
A cash flow projection is a financial tool used by small businesses to forecast the flow of money in and out of their operations. Essentially, it utilises the concept of cash flow, which is the net total of cash and cash equivalents moving into and out of a business, to predict future business performance.
This financial movement primarily occurs through two channels: accounts payable and accounts receivable. Accounts payable represents the money flowing out of the business for various obligations and expenses. Accounts receivable signifies the money coming into the business, typically from customers or clients.
Understanding and accurately projecting this cash flow is crucial for effective financial planning and maintaining business health.
The steps to a simplified cash flow projection
Navigating the complexities of business finance, mastering your cash flow projection is paramount for maintaining a solid financial foundation. This guide, inspired by leading industry methods, offers a straightforward yet comprehensive strategy for effective cash flow forecasting.
Step 1: Laying the groundwork with historical analysis
Examine past financials:
Start by thoroughly reviewing your previous financial records. Detect trends and patterns that may impact future cash flows. This essential first step lays the foundation for accurate forecasting.
Categorise cash flow
Divide your cash flow into operational, investment, and financing activities. This breakdown provides clarity and assists in more focused forecasting.
Step 2: Crafting future income and expense projections
Develop your income projections based on historical performance, market trends, and your business's future plans. Consider factors like seasonality, economic shifts, and potential market growth.
Anticipate future expenses, encompassing both fixed and variable costs. Be mindful of potential changes due to inflation, market dynamics, and business expansion.
Step 3: Integrating adjustments and contingencies
Adjust for seasonal and market fluctuations:
Modify your projections to account for seasonal variations and possible market changes. This flexibility is crucial for businesses with fluctuating sales.
Establish contingency plans:
Set aside funds for unexpected events. This planning ensures your business is prepared for unforeseen financial challenges.
Step 4: Regular review and adaptation
Regularly compare your actual cash flow with your projections. This continuous analysis is key to identifying discrepancies and making timely adjustments.
Regularly refine your cash flow projections with the latest financial data and market insights, keeping your strategy responsive and informed.
Have you ever thought about invoice finance to help improve your cash flow?
Invoice finance allows you to release cash quickly from your unpaid invoices.
As your lender, we can release up to 90% of your invoices within 24 hours. On payment of the invoice from your customers, we will then release the final amount minus any fees and charges. There are different types of invoice financing options available to businesses depending on the situation and the level of control they require in collecting unpaid invoices.
We are an invoice financing company who offer a solution whereby payments are collected on your behalf managed by our team of expert credit controllers so you can focus on running your business. Our confidential invoice discounting solution is offered to businesses who want to maintain their own credit control processes, therefore this remains strictly confidential so your customers are unaware of our involvement.
More cash flow management advice
The benefits of invoice finance companies such as Novuna Business cash flow
Want to understand more cash flow finance terms?
Our Cash Flow Finance Resource Hub has been set up to help SME's with cash flow finance advice, tips and resources to help with their cash flow position.
We explore ways you can begin improving your cash flow situation and start getting your business on track to positive cash flow.