Cash is king-so they say. If you work for yourself or someone else, you need to be aware of ways to improve the cash flow. Budgeting and collecting are not glamorous but they are both key to having a successful business. Working in a successful business is much more fun than working for a struggling one!
1. Stick to your budget. (If you don't have one, make one now.) The budget is part of a business plan. You want to know exactly how much to spend on each large item you purchase and when you will have the cash to do it. Your cash flow projection coupled with your forecast will give you the proper timing for making purchases. The items you have budgeted for should also be part of the business plan.
2. Bill your clients regularly. Many business owners are so busy selling to new clients that they forget to invoice the clients they have already worked with. Put the task of billing your clients on your calendar and then stick to that schedule.
3. Get a retainer for your services before you begin the work. If you are going to be working with a client over a period of time, you will want to request some money up front before you begin to deliver the service.
4. Give a discount for early payment. You will be able to collect the money more quickly if you offer a discount for prompt payment.
5. Accept a credit card for payment. Although you have to pay the credit card company for this service, having the convenience of a credit card allows the client to pay immediately. Collection is now the problem of the credit card company.
6. Use your own credit card to finance purchases but do it cautiously. If the interest rate is low and you can pay the credit card company back relatively quickly, credit cards are often a good way to even out your cash flow.
7. Establish a line of credit with a bank. This is relatively easy to do so long as you have good credit and it gives you a cushion of cash when things are tight. Sometimes the bank will offer a really good rate to encourage you to become their customer for other banking services.
8. Put the cash that you have on hand in an interest bearing account. No reason to have cash sitting in an account that doesn't accrue much interest. As cash grows consider money market accounts, CDs and savings accounts.
9. Pay your outstanding bills judiciously. Notice which vendors are willing to wait for payment and which will charge you interest if you are late. Schedule payment to maximize the cash in your account.
10. Consider getting an expert to watch your cash flow. Have someone (financial advisor, accountant, bookkeeper) available to run financial reports each month so you know exactly where you stand in your business.
The pace of ice loss has increased four-fold since 2003 as enormous glaciers are depositing ever larger chunks of ice into the Atlantic ocean, where it melts, causing sea levels to rise
Greenland is melting faster than scientists previously thought, with the pace of ice loss increasing four-fold since 2003, new research has found.
Enormous glaciers in Greenland are depositing ever larger chunks of ice into the Atlantic ocean, where it melts. But scientists have found that the largest ice loss in the decade from 2003 actually occurred in the southwest region of the island, which is largely glacier-free.
Crew members jump into the sea to escape the blaze, which erupted during a fuel transfer
Ten crew members have been found dead and 14 have been rescued after two ships caught fire in the Kerch Strait near Crimea, Russiaâs transport ministry said on Monday, with a rescue operation still underway.
The ministry said earlier on Monday that crew members were jumping into the sea to escape the blaze.
PM faces a looming revolt over a no-deal Brexit as Corbyn criticises her talks as âPR shamâ
Theresa May reiterated her opposition to a second Brexit referendum on Monday night, claiming it would threaten Britainâs âsocial cohesionâ and insisting the centrepiece of her strategy remained negotiating changes to the Irish backstop.
With just 67 days to go until Britain is due by law to leave the European Union, May exasperated MPs and business groups by offering scant evidence that she was willing to change course.
Kelleth Cuthbert became famous after popping up in the background of a series of celebrity portraits at the Golden Globes
The serial photobomber who stole the show and became a meme after this yearâs Golden Globes has made a new splash with a cameo on The Bold and the Beautiful.
Canadian model Kelleth Cuthbert became known as Fiji Water Girl after popping up in the background of a series of celebrity portraits taken during the 72nd Golden Globes awards in January. She was at the event as one of a number of promotional staff for the water company, a Globes sponsor, but went viral after Twitter users noticed her face and distinctive blue dress turning up in shot after shot.
Initial footage appeared to show students, some wearing pro-Trump Maga hats, from a Kentucky high school taunting Nathan Phillips, an Omaha tribe elder
Longer video footage of a confrontation between a Native American activist and Kentucky high school students at a protest has surfaced, providing fresh insight into the controversial encounter and offering a broader view of deepening divisions in America.
Police to investigate He Jiankui after last yearâs claim to have altered the DNA of twin girls
A second woman fell pregnant during the experiment to create the worldâs first genetically edited babies, Chinese authorities have confirmed, as the researcher behind the claim faces a police investigation.
Attackers detonated car bomb inside complex in Maidan Wardak province, say officials
The Taliban have launched a major attack on an Afghan military compound in central Maidan Wardak province, officials have said, with some putting the death toll at more than 100 people.
Mondayâs incident at a campus of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) is the latest in a series of deadly attacks in recent months by the Taliban, which has seized control of about half of Afghanistan.
Government says 27 national guardsmen have been arrested and accuses âshadowy interestsâ of launching insurrection
Venezuelaâs government has claimed to have foiled what appeared to be an attempted military insurrection, blaming the mutiny on âshadowy interests of the extreme rightâ.
In a statement, Venezuela accused a small group of âassailantsâ from the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) of âbetraying their oath of loyalty to the homelandâ by kidnapping four officials in an attempt to steal weapons that began at about 2.50am local time (0650 GMT) on Monday.
Open letter says the arrests mean diplomats are more cautious about work in China
More than 140 former diplomats and leading China experts have called on Xi Jinping to release two Canadian citizens detained last month as a diplomatic stand-off between Ottawa and Beijing escalates.
In an open letter to the Chinese president, former envoys to China from Canada, the UK, the US, Australia, Germany, Sweden and Mexico described how the arrests of Michael Kovrig, a Canadian diplomat on leave, and Michael Spavor, a businessman, have sent a chill through the diplomatic community.
Avon responded to actorâs criticism: âWe realize that we missed the mark with this messaging. We have removed this messagingâ
Cosmetics giant Avon USA has apologized for an anti-cellulite product after the ad campaign was accused of âshaming womenâ.
Actor Jameela Jamil had criticized the ad, which features a seated woman in shorts and tank top with the caption âdimples are cute on your face (not on your thighs),â on Saturday afternoon on Twitter.
Archaeologists were studying site until former farm owner came forward
A stone circle thought to be thousands of years old has turned out to be a lot more modern after a former farm owner admitted building it in the 1990s.
The ârecumbent stone circleâ in the parish of Leochel-Cushnie, Aberdeenshire, was reported by the siteâs current farm and was considered unusual for its small diameter and relatively small stones.
Decree states Cairo structures require âdusty coloursâ while blue is to be used on the coast
Egyptian authorities are reaching for their paint brushes following a decree by the president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, demanding buildings across the country adhere to a unified colour scheme of âdustyâ shades in Cairo and blue on the coast.
Egyptâs prime minister, Mostafa Madbouly, told a cabinet meeting: âThe plan is to have unified colours for the buildings instead of this uncivilised scene.â He said a presidential decree targeting unpainted red-brick buildings demands local authorities paint them soon, or face punishment.
The next 15 megacities #7: More than a third of the Vietnamese cityâs historic buildings have been destroyed over the past 20 years. Can it learn from mistakes made by other fast-growing Asian cities before it is too late?
âPeople donât realise what theyâve lost,â says Candy Nguyen as she peers through the locked gates of what was until recently the historic Ba Son shipyard. âMany donât even know what was here before.â
Ho Chi Minh Cityâs oldest and most important maritime heritage site is hidden from the street by high blue hoardings peppered with slogans such as âNever stillâ and âRedefine the skylinesâ.
After Norwayâs Storelgen stole Mac the Mooseâs place as worldâs tallest, a Canadian city hopes to âstick it to Osloâ by increasing their statueâs size
For three decades, the Canadian city of Moose Jaw took pride in its status as the home of the worldâs largest moose statue.
Standing at a majestic 10 meters tall, Mac the Moose has weathered brutal winters, graffiti and even the inglorious loss of his jaw. His recognition was so great that in 2013, he was named the cityâs most popular celebrity.
Central American migrants escaping poverty and violence in their hometowns find crossing legally is a slow and difficult process
At the age of 14, Jonathan Levit was given an order by the infamously brutal Mara Salvatrucha gang in his native Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras: to kill a friend he had known throughout childhood â âlike a brother, all my lifeâ.
Jonathan had, like almost every child in the city of Telaâs terrifying barrio of Colonia 15 de Septiembre, grown up in the gangâs shadow; there was no avoiding it, especially if you were partial to a smoke, as he was. And now the time had come for him to execute âa missionâ for what is also called MS-13 â the gang which, Jonathan says, âdoesnât just run Colonia 15, they almost run Hondurasâ.
Separate incidents cause security alerts and disruption two days after car bomb in city
Masked men have hijacked two vehicles in separate incidents in Derry in Northern Ireland, causing fresh security alerts and disruption two days after a car bomb exploded outside the cityâs courthouse.
Police established cordons and evacuated homes around both scenes on Monday at a time of widespread condemnation of what appeared to be an escalating campaign by dissident republicans opposed to the peace process.
Turkish president tells Donald Trump he is ready to send troops into US-overseen areas
The threat of a growing security vacuum in Syria as a result of Donald Trumpâs decision to withdraw US troops has been underlined by an attack on a joint US-Kurdish patrol, which reportedly killed five people and injured at least two American soldiers.
The attack on Monday, in which a suicide bomber drove a car into a checkpoint, emphasised the vulnerability of American troops since the US president declared he was withdrawing 2,000 soldiers from northern Syria on the grounds that Islamic State has been defeated.
Teen pregnancies are soaring and HIV care has stalled in rural communities hit by âglobal gagâ funding cuts
It is under-fives week at Zambiaâs Nyangwena health centre and, outside in the morning sunshine, women are taking turns to weigh their babies. A noisy toddler wriggles as his mum places him into the harness of a set of scales. Measurements are taken and, afterwards, ice lollies handed out to children.
Reaching families in the surrounding rural communities is a major challenge for staff at the centre, and, after outreach services were stripped back, things are getting worse.
Human Rights Watch accuses EU institutions of sustaining network of âinhuman and degradingâ migrant detention centres
The EUâs support for Libyaâs anti-migrant policies is contributing to a cycle of âextreme abuseâ, including arbitrary detention, torture, sexual violence, extortion and forced labour.
According to a report by Human Rights Watch, who interviewed 66 migrants and asylum seekers in Libya last year, EU institutions and member states are continuing to sustain a network of detention centres characterised by âinhuman and degradingâ conditions where the risk of abuse is rife.
Salma has never even heard of the Spice Girls. Her life, hunched over a sewing machine for up to 16 hours a day, is a world away from the luxuries enjoyed by the millionaire pop band.
But while neither knows it, Salma and the Spice Girls are connected. The factory where she has worked for more than five years, off a narrow, winding road three hoursâ drive from Dhaka, is where charity T-shirts designed by the group were made.
Spice Girls T-shirts sold to raise money for Comic Reliefâs âgender justiceâ campaign were made at a factory in Bangladesh where women earn the equivalent of 35p an hour during shifts in which they claim to be verbally abused and harassed, a Guardian investigation has found.
The charity tops, bearing the message â#IWannaBeASpiceGirlâ, were produced by mostly female machinists who said they were forced to work up to 16 hours a day and called âdaughters of prostitutesâ by managers for not hitting targets.
Campaign group urges recognition for women affected by sexual violence of Korean troops and the children born as a result
Tran Thi Ngai was 24 and alone at home in her village in Vietnamâs Phu Yen province when a South Korean soldier forced his way into the house and raped her.
âHe pulled me inside the room, closed the door and raped me repeatedly. He had a gun on his body and I was terrified,â said Tran, now almost 80, and still waiting for South Korea to acknowledge sexual violence by its soldiers during the Vietnam war.
With thousands of FBI and TSA staff furloughed and critical functions hit, the shutdown is a disaster for national security
President Trump closed the US government over a fabricated border crisis, and in doing so has sparked a real national security emergency. By shutting down the government, Trump has disabled Americaâs defenses against threats to national security.
Trump decided to shut down the government over the claim that America needs a wall to deal with a crisis at the border with Mexico. But there is no crisis on the border other than the humanitarian crisis of his own making, best illustrated by the thousands of children separated from their parents and the two children who died in Customs and Border Protection custody. Trumpâs claims of more terrorists and crime flowing across the border are lies and the vast majority of hard drugs coming across the border come through official ports of entry, not between ports of entry where a wall might stand.
For all its rhetoric, the US under Donald Trump is on a clear path of disengagement in international matters
Americaâs ambivalence about engagement with the world beyond its shores is nothing new. Isolationist instincts are deeply rooted in the national psyche. Large constituencies opposed US involvement in both world wars. Donald Trumpâs âAmerica Firstâ campaign was the most recent manifestation of a longstanding desire to avoid the âforeign entanglementsâ that the first US president, George Washington, warned against in his 1796 farewell address.
Yet, as US power expanded, this yearning for separateness grew increasingly at odds with another national urge â to demonstrate Americaâs pre-eminence, and propagate its values and interests, through global leadership. This process climaxed in the early 1990s when Americaâs main rival, the Soviet Union, imploded and the US claimed the mantle of sole superpower.
The news that Karen Pence is returning to work at an anti-gay Christian school should remind us of the vice-presidentâs dangerous bigotry
Karen Pence is not just the wife of the US vice-president, sheâs an empowered career woman in her own right. While her husband works tirelessly alongside Trump to make America white again, Karen Pence, it was announced this week, is returning to her old job teaching kids art.
Loss of autonomy is a painful reality of old age â but itâs hard to let go when, like Prince Philip, you are used to being in charge
In the wake of his car crash on Thursday afternoon, in which the Duke of Edinburgh rather miraculously walked away unhurt, there has been much speculation over the manâs great age, and whether, at 97, he is now simply too old to operate so independently. Loss of autonomy becomes inevitable when you reach such a ripe vintage, but it is never easy to hand over â in both a metaphorical and literal sense â the keys you have held for so long in your grip.
My grandfather lived until he was 94. Neither he nor his wife, my grandmother (still alive at 99), looked, or acted, their age. The necessity to give up certain activities only ever came at them rudely, and they could never be told they were too old for anything; they had to learn it for themselves, the hard way.
The Democratic senator has officially launched her 2020 campaign, entering a crowded field of candidates vying to take on Donald Trump. Harris portrays herself as a fighter for justice and equality. She was the first woman of colour to become attorney general for California
In the two years since he took office, the US president has repeatedly deployed a number of tactics to try to get what he wants. We highlight five of Trump's most commonly used methods to make them easier to spot during the rest of his term
An Israeli interception of a Syrian missile was caught on a snowboarder's camera from the snowy slopes of Mount Hermon on the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Israel's military said its Iron Dome interceptor system shot down a rocket fired at the northern part of the occupied Golan Heights on the Syria frontier on Sunday.
A group of Kentucky students in Washington DC for an anti-abortion rally have been filmed harassing a Native American who was singing and drumming. The group were filmed surrounding Nathan Phillips, and one teenager wearing a Maga hat can be seen standing in front of Phillips and staring into his face while smiling
Two people have died and a dozen more injured in a fire at the French ski resort of Courchevel, according to officials. A witness who was staying at a hotel opposite the burning building captured this footage of the pre-dawn fire
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