by MOBI.1

 

Cash fuel drives you in business just as jet fuel keeps a plane aloft. A pilot is very careful to accurately predict the fuel requirements. You should place the same importance on cash flow control because if, at any point in the future, you run out of fuel, like the pilot, you've got a BIG problem.

 


Cash flow control is a simple method of projecting your future needs for cash. It is an income statement covering future periods of time that has been changed to show only cash: cash coming in and cash going out and what your balance of cash is at the end of designated periods of time. This is a great tool because you can predict your future needs for cash before the needs arise.

 


In cash flow control, for each of a number of intervals of time, you make conservative estimates for your future sources of cash (IN) and future expenditures (OUT). Use low, conservative figures for IN items and use high estimates for OUT items. For the initial period, say a month, you start with the cash you now have. To this you add IN items and subtract the OUT items, which results in the cash at end of the month. The cash at the end of month becomes the starting cash for the next month.

 


The attached cash flow control spreadsheet shows that ending cash for this first period becomes the starting cash for the second period. The ending cash for the second period becomes the starting cash for the third period, and so on. Your projection should be made for an upcoming 12-month period. The projection will be a useful tool for you to arrange financing before it is required by showing your banker that you are sophisticated enough to provide for future cash in order to preserve liquidity.

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You can use this simple cash flow format to make up your own cash flow projection for the business you have in mind. It is so simple, yet can be so valuable!
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