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.
Rolling coverage of the dayâs political developments as they happen, including reaction to the Commons voting to try to take control of the Brexit process
Steve Brine, who resigned as a health minister last night to vote for the Letwin amendment, told the Today programme this morning that he thought the prospect of the Commons taking control of the Brexit process could persuade some Tory Brexiters to back Theresa Mayâs deal. He explained:
Maybe what last night will do is focus some minds ... Those on my side who donât like the deal, maybe they will realise that the House of Commons is prepared to act. And, anything from here, as far as they are concerned, gets softer in terms of Brexit.
On the Today programme this morning Hilary Benn, the Labour chair of the Commons Brexit committee and a supporter of the Letwin amendment passed last night, said that he thought the indicative votes debate tomorrow would have to be followed by another next Monday. He explained:
The first time round it will just be âhere are the propositionsâ and you vote for as many as you would like. And then we will see the results from Wednesday night.
The motion that we will move tomorrow suggests that we go through a similar process next Monday.
Ashby and Steve Dickson say they had been drinking scotch for three or four hours when recorded by undercover al-Jazeera reporter
Senior One Nation figures James Ashby and Steve Dickson claim they had been âon the sauceâ drinking scotch for âthree or four hoursâ when discussing seeking a $20m donation from the National Rifle Association to the far-right Australian party.
Ashby and Dickson faced the media on Tuesday after an al-Jazeera investigation revealed the two men had sought millions in donations from the NRA during a trip to the US last year, in a bid to seize the balance of power and weaken Australiaâs gun laws.
Drab studio backdrops are out and slick new graphics are in as KCTV goes hi-tech
While the substance may be predictable, North Koreaâs state-run broadcaster is undergoing a style makeover, as it attempts to project a more modern image befitting a country whose leader has held nuclear talks â and on equal terms â with the US president.
Changes in the way Korean Central Television (KCTV) is covering the news were in evidence last Thursday, when its main evening news bulletin had a decidedly more contemporary look.
Editorial board says Vatican tried to discredit them after they denounced abuse of nuns
The founder and all-female editorial board of the Vaticanâs womenâs magazine have quit after what they say was a Vatican campaign to discredit them and put them âunder the direct control of menâ that only increased after they denounced the sexual abuse of nuns by clergy.
The editorial committee of Women Church World, a monthly glossy published alongside the Vatican newspaper LâOsservatore Romano, made the announcement in the planned 1 April editorial and in an open letter to Pope Francis that was provided on Tuesday to the Associated Press.
House committee chairs call on attorney general William Barr to send them full Mueller report by 2 April
As Donald Trump declared victory following the conclusion of special counsel Robert Muellerâs investigation, Democrats showed no signs of backing down from the numerous legal questions encircling the president and his associates.
The completion of the highly anticipated Mueller report prompted an intense debate in Washington over how to proceed as Democrats said a summary of its findings by the attorney general, William Barr, âraises as many questions as it answersâ, even though it probably laid the issue of collusion with Russia firmly to rest.
Exclusive: chair of Elders group also says fossil fuel firms have lost their social licence
The denial of climate change is not just ignorant, but âmalign and evilâ, according to Mary Robinson, because it denies the human rights of the most vulnerable people on the planet.
The former UN high commissioner for human rights and special envoy for climate change also says fossil fuel companies have lost their social licence to explore for more coal, oil and gas and must switch to become part of the transition to clean energy.
Space agency blames shortage of outerwear after first-of-its-kind mission falls through
Nasaâs plans for an all-female spacewalk have fallen through â at least in part because the agency doesnât have enough spacesuits that fit the astronauts.
Early this month, Nasa announced that Christina Koch and Anne McClain would take part in the first-of-its kind mission on 29 March, walking outside the international space station (ISS) to install new batteries. In the past, missions have been all-male or male-female.
The flamingo population of Indiaâs largest city has tripled. Is it thanks to sewage boosting the blue-green algae they feed on?
There is an air of anxious excitement among the urban professionals and tourists on board our 24-seater motorboat as we enter Thane Creek.
A chorus of âoohsâ and âaahsâ breaks out as we spot the visions in pink we came to see â hundreds of flamingos listlessly bobbing in the murky green water â followed by the furious clicking of cameras.
A recent protest by street vendors was met with a violent crackdown â but was their eviction necessary to âorderâ the cityâs public space?
An unsettling quiet has fallen over a stretch of the usually noisy Feria de San Telmo Sunday market. Artisans should be lining these cobbled streets selling intricate macrame jewellery and Argentinian leather purses to crowds of tourists from all over the world. Deafening percussion bands, accompanied by dancers, and street vendors selling empanadas and arepas should be making their way up the road.
The market is one of the largest handicrafts and antiques fairs in Buenos Aires, popular with tourists and locals alike, and runs the length of Defensa, the main thoroughfare in the barrio of San Telmo.
Government invades modern-day gold-rush town in Amazon in its biggest ever raid on illegal gold mining
Located along a jungle highway in the Amazon around 60 miles from the nearest city, La Pampa was a place you entered at your own risk. At night it was a riot of neon lights and pulsating cumbĂa music from âprostibarâ brothels, frequented by roaming groups of men flush with cash. Neither authorities nor outsiders â and particularly not journalists â were welcome.
This modern-day gold-rush town, home to about 25,000 people, was both a hub for organised crime and people trafficking and a gateway into a treeless, lunar landscape pocked with toxic pools created by illegal gold mining, stretching far into one of the Amazonâs most treasured reserves.
As the civil war enters its fifth year, activists talk about their work to hold Yemen together
Yemen is marking a grim anniversary this week: it has been four years since a western-backed military coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened in its civil war, a move which has led to the deaths of at least 60,000 people and caused the worldâs biggest humanitarian crisis.
As the conflict enters its fifth year, diplomats are struggling to rescue a three-month-old ceasefire which has been threatened by heavy fighting in the cities of Hodeidah and Taiz between rebel Houthis and forces loyal to Yemenâs government. At the start of the rainy season, the UN has warned of a sharp spike in cholera cases.
Amid the despair and the trauma in the region, Islamic State will create a fresh narrative and spread further afield
United States-backed fighters retook the final enclave of the Islamic State âcaliphateâ on Saturday in Baghuz, eastern Syria. With thick beards and wearing kaftans, Isis militants continued to emerge from underground tunnels over the weekend, surrendering to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Unlike Donald Trump, who has already announced the downfall or imminent destruction of Islamic State many times, the SDF spokesman carefully described the â100% territorial defeat of Isisâ. Certainly, this turn of events will force a step change for Isis, but it is one that it is prepared for.
The fourth annual Bombay Beach Biennale took place last weekend on the shores of the Salton Sea in California. Artists and performers donated their time and talent to this volunteer-led event that transformed the town into a fully immersive artistic experience for 72 hours.
Penny Sharpe, who has taken over from Michael Daley, says gun laws âmust not be watered downâ
The interim leader of the New South Wales Labor party has said she would support a ban on donations from the firearms lobby following revelations One Nation sought millions of dollars in donations from the US gun group the National Rifle Association.
On Tuesday, Penny Sharpe, who took over after the former leader Michael Daley stood aside, told Guardian Australia she would support an extension of existing bans on developers and the liquor and gaming industries to include gun groups.
Stark differences revealed in five-year survival rates between rich and low- and middle-income countries
Figures reveal a striking disparity in five-year cancer survival rates for children in developing nations compared with those from rich countries.
More than 80% of children diagnosed with the disease in high-income states will live for more than five years, yet fewer than 30% of young people with cancer in low- and middle-income nations have the same chance of survival, research has shown.
Inadequate sewage systems have led to contaminated water, with 18 million people lacking access to basic sanitation
Yemen is seeing a sharp spike in the number of suspected cholera cases this year, as well as increased displacement, the UN said.
Nearly 110,000 cases have been reported, with 190 deaths in the country, which has been at war for four years this month. Almost a third of the 108,889 cases, reported between 1 January and 17 March, were children under five.
Report into police response in England and Wales found failure to handle cases sensitively hinders prosecution of traffickers
Categoric police failings are hindering the prosecution of human traffickers and barring victims of modern slavery from the support they are legally entitled to, according to a new super-complaint to the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.
The super-complaint â the first on modern slavery â has been submitted by London-based charity Hestia. It outlines how some police officers are not reporting cases of modern slavery to the Home Office and that a failure to sensitively handle cases of modern slavery is discouraging victims across England and Wales from supporting criminal investigations against their exploiters. The super-complaint system allows organisations to raise concerns on behalf of the public and confront fundamental issues.
As a funding appeal languishes, conflict, poverty and the worst drought for a decade have left millions facing desperate hunger
Shafiqa watches closely over her six-month-old niece. Lying on a bundle of fabric, Maryamâs legs jut out, thin and pale. When they arrived at hospital two weeks ago, she could hardly breathe. Her body was swollen with malnutrition, her lips and fingers were blue.
There are 24 children being treated at Mofleh paediatric hospitalâs malnutrition ward, on the outskirts of Herat city, western Afghanistan. Mothers and aunts lean next to hospital beds, some rocking tiny babies back and forth.
William Barr: Although my review is ongoing, I believe that it is in the public interest to describe the report and to summarize the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.
I know, because I teach at an elite American university â one of the oldest and best-known, which rejects about 90% of applicants each year for the small number of places it can offer to undergraduates.
The US Attorney general William Barr released a summary on Sunday of special counsel Robert Muellerâs long-awaited report into allegations that Donald Trumpâs campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential election.
Here are the main findings of the two-year investigation that the president regularly denounced as a witch hunt, before claiming vindication upon its completion:
Donald Trump has complained of a 'false narrative' promoted by people who have done 'evil ... treasonous things' after the completion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into allegations of collusion with Russia. US attorney general William Barr's summary, released on Sunday, said the report had not established that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government. 'We can never let this happen to another president again,' the US president said, promising to 'look into' those people
New footage has emerged from the Viking Sky rescue that took place on Saturday that shows passengers being airlifted to safetyas huge waves toss the ship around.
A camera mounted on a rescue worker's helmet captured the moment passengers were hoisted one by one from the cruise ship to a helicopter. The evacuations took place in extremely difficult conditions. Norwegian media reported gusts of up to 38 knots (43 mph) and waves over eight metres (26ft) in an area known for its rough, frigid waters. Twenty people were treated for injuries including broken bones, cuts and bruises, rescuers said.
Chairman of the US house of representatives judiciary committee, Jerrold Nadler, tells a news conference on Sunday that his committee plans to call on attorney general William Barr to answer questions about Robert Mueller's Russia report.
Donald Trump is claiming 'complete and total exoneration' following the release of a summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's report into collusion with Russia. The president spoke before boarding Air Force One to return to Washington from Florida on Sunday afternoon. The Justice Department said that Mueller's investigation did not find evidence that Trump's campaign 'conspired or coordinated' with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. Mueller also investigated whether Trump obstructed justice, but did not come to a definitive answer
Video from a passenger on board the stranded Viking Sky off the Norwegian coast shows chairs and other furniture sliding dangerously across the floor. About 1,300 passengers were having to be rescued by helicopter after the ship lost power
Official figures put the numbers at the people's vote Brexit march on Saturday at over 1 million. People from across the UK travelled to central London to demand a second vote on whether the UK should leave the EU
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