Businesses are always looking for ways to improve cash flow. And in a crisis, middle market businesses are hyper-focused on it. After all, cash is king, right? We hear you loud and clear. Here are a few areas of improvement you might consider.
Speed up the Cash Conversion Cycle: Establish favorable collection terms with customers; require or increase down payments to begin work; offer alternative (easier) payment methods like ACH or Credit Card; seek longer payment terms with vendors.
Creative Revenue Offerings: Consider adjusting pricing strategies around volume versus value; investigate if customers find value in extended warranties and would be willing to pay extra; redirect adjacent or complementary products to your existing customer base.
Reduce or Cut Unproductive Spending: Consider cutting expenses that do not have a clear return on investment (under-performing marketing/sales strategies or high level branding initiatives); ask for rent or lease abatement for underutilized office or retail space.
Reduce Manufacturing Time: Improve manufacturing times by reorganizing the layout of your facility; alter manufacturing processes to maximize throughput; hold less inventory or purchase only when it’s needed (just-in-time).
Reassess Capital Expenditures: Reconsider the cash flow potential for future capital spending; renegotiate contracts or payment terms on equipment purchases.
Assess Under-Preforming Segments: Investigate business segments that are lagging; assess non-core offerings for divestiture; narrow the business’s focus to improving only a few segments/products where success is probable.
Enhance Vertical Channels: Explore joint ventures with partners that enhance the supply chain; alternative, consider partnering with additional distribution channels and methods to expand towards adjacent markets.
Refinance or Restructure Obligations: Renegotiate debt terms on credit lines, term loans and other debt instruments; extend amortization periods and/or lower interest rates.
Equity Purchases: Encourage outstanding options to be exercised; seek equity purchase by executives or existing owner.
Raising Capital: There are many equity and debt investors looking to place capital regardless of the current global economic conditions; however, raising capital is generally easier to accomplish prior to the financial outlook becoming fully distressed. If you are thinking about raising capital (or divesting your business), the time may be now.
These are uncertain times and businesses demand its leaders to identify creative solutions. Maximize your company’s ability to generate more cash flow now and once this crisis passes, as they always do, your business will be in the best position to thrive.