Between you and me, how is your business doing financially? If you answered with something along the lines of “not great,” you are certainly not alone. Cash flow is an issue for businesses all around the world, as a recent report from Intuit makes all too clear.
Intuit QuickBooks released the results of a study performed to establish where small businesses stand as far as their cash flow is concerned. This study, entitled The State of Small Business Cash Flow, revealed that cash flow issues have had a significant impact on businesses. Having surveyed 3000 small businesses with fewer than 100 employees in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, India, and Australia, Intuit was able to identify a few major business concerns.
According to this survey, 61 percent of small businesses have regular issues with their cash flow, with 42 percent of this group having had a cash flow issue within the past year. Of these businesses, 32 percent have been short on capital - rendering them unable to pay for one of their other obligations, like loans, vendors, or even their employees. Over two-in-five small business owners have faced the prospect of being late with their employees’ payments, while 32 percent have been forced to do so.
In the United States specifically, insufficient cash flow has contributed to considerable missed opportunities. Businesses have lost an average of $43,394 by passing on projects or sales thanks to these insufficiencies, more than half having lost at least $10,000.
Clearly, there’s an issue here.
The Underlying Cause
According to the survey, small businesses in the U.S. average a total of $53,399 in outstanding receivables. That’s $53,399, owed to the business, that has yet to be paid. On average, businesses wait 29 days before their payments are received.
It is this delay that causes the major issues outlined above in businesses.
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