This interesting question was emailed to me last week, and at first I thought to post a one-liner or just email back and say something like, “higher is always better“. I got thinking about this and decided the answer is not as clean cut as it may seem.
After all we are talking small business and start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer- or Personal business, like professional, contractors, freelancer, self-employed, sole-trader and virtual assistants here. So I reconsidered and decided to write about it here.
As I said, generally speaking, a higher cash-flow is desirable because you have more “scope” to develop cash-flow reserves for your small business, by using standard cash-flow planning tools, like renegotiating payment terms with your suppliers and deal with credit control better.
Here is the thing, if you are a micro business, or even a one man/woman home business, more or less cash-flow may not be as important to you as concentrating on credit-control. Let me explain, if you are a service business, you may just want to make enough money for your monthly income, there are limits to the amount of work you can do, before you start running into other problem areas, like employment issues, office rent, etc. You may not want that, you may be very happy the way things are – and contra to popular belief that is perfectly OK. However that means you do not necessarily want a higher cash-flow.
The same applies to small manufacturing businesses, higher cash-flow can also mean much higher risk for your small business, your client could go bankrupt and not pay you, what then? This is something that happened to me in the late eighties – it was a very unpleasant experience.
ANSWER: A qualified “HIGHER”, with a big “BUT” for micro-businesses. ST.
Disclaimer: As with any of my readers questions, I do not have all the answers and here on my blog I can only give you some ideas, since I know very little about your small business. If any of you can add anything here do so for the benefit of my reader, who asked the question and everybody else, leave a comment below – I’d be most grateful.