No one quite seems to know where this phrase originated but we have all heard it before. But what does it mean exactly? The coronavirus pandemic has delivered the fastest and deepest shock to the global economy in history, with perhaps small and medium-sized businesses bearing the greatest damage and challenges of all. No matter how much revenue you have you absolutely must have sufficient cash or you will fail. Following are some of the specific advantages of superior cash management:
Positive cash flow
To survive, cash flow is the single most important financial factor. Without it you will not even be able to pay monthly expenses. You may have great revenue and income and still have negative cash flow
Survival during an economic downturn.
Maintaining strong cash reserves and a strong cash stream during a downturn allows for more flexibility in facing an economic downturn. You can be more innovative and flexible when addressing market changes. It's also possible become leaner, more cost effective, and more operationally efficient and better positioned to do well when your markets improve.
Preparing for emergencies
Be prepared for emergencies that are local or regional such as power outages or transportation disruptions. You can decide how much time and money you want to invest in increasing your resilience. You need to keep the lights on.
Capital expenditure investments
Almost all businesses require additional physical assets and upgrades and maintenance. Having cash on hand allows you to make the necessary investments at the right time to ensure company growth. Yes, perhaps you could borrow the funds, but the related cost is certainly more expensive.
Scaling your business
Your plans for scaling up will likely include investments in technology, more people, and new systems to manage it all. Readily available cash is essential to accelerating the growth of your business.
Distribution to owners
Of course you should pay yourself a market salary. But what about the return on investment for your investors, likely including yourself? Perhaps you want to buy out some investor(s)?
Acquisitions to fast track growth
One way to fast track growth is through strategic acquisitions. Targets love all-cash deals.
Improve exit options
The single biggest factor a buyer looks for is a secure and stable cash flow model. There are many factors influencing the value of your business, but the most important is a multiple of free cash flow.