5 Quick and Easy Tips to Boost Your Small Business Cash Flow

boost your cash flow

Maintaining a healthy cash flow is a big challenge for many small businesses. It can be hard to balance everything so that you have enough cash on hand to pay your bills and your employees’ salaries—and if your credit is tight, coming up with the funds is even more challenging.

A solid cash flow will not only help you pay everything on time, but may also allow you to take advantage of higher-ticket, cost-efficient opportunities, fund expansions, and more. Below are some quick tips to improve the cash flow for your small business.

Boost Your Cash Flow

Earn More Cash With Your Cash

If you keep your cash balances in a personal or business checking account, upgrade to an interest-earning checking account. Most banks offer them, and if you keep a minimum balance, you won’t have to pay a monthly service charge.

The interest rates for checking accounts aren’t terribly high, but you can earn even more by placing the bulk of your funds into higher-paying options like certificates of deposit (CDs), savings accounts or money market accounts and then transferring money to the checking account a few days before you need it.

Put Your Credit to Work

You can save money on office supplies, fuel, client expenses and more—freeing up the cash you would’ve spent for other things—with a loyalty credit card. Look for one that offers rewards you can use on a day-to-day basis.

Some even offer cash rewards that can really add up toward the end of the year.

Hold Off on Paying Your Bills

Many small business owners are conscientious about paying their bills immediately to get them out of the way. However, most vendors and suppliers give you 30 or 60 days to pay bills—and it’s good to take advantage of that grace period. You’ll be able to hold onto your money longer and use it as needed (such as in the event of an emergency) before paying out for bills.

Read over your invoices and find out exactly when bills are due. You can schedule electronic transfers to pay them off on the due date or a few days ahead of time if you’re concerned about potential bank snags or late fees.

Switch to Paperless Systems

The less paper you use, the more you’ll save on printing, postage and other expenses. If you’re not already doing it, consider using electronic invoicing for customers and direct deposit to pay employees.

If you have any paper systems in place, chances are there’s an electronic alternative that will cost you less.

Encourage Faster Payments from Customers and Vendors

Speeding up your collections process can make a big difference in your cash flow. If, like many small businesses, you send out invoices at the end of the month, it’s time to change that process. Instead, invoice immediately upon delivery or completion—so even if the accounts take the 30 or 60 days you allow for payment, you’ll get your money that much faster.

Another way to speed collections is to offer incentives for early payments, like discounts or reward programs. Many people will take advantage of discounts ranging from 2 to 5 percent, especially on larger orders, by rendering immediate payment.

Taking a few easy steps to improve your small business cash flow today will help things run more smoothly and you may see an impact within the first few weeks.

Cash Flow Photo via Shutterstock


Megan Totka Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for Chamber of Commerce. Chamber specializes in helping SMB's grow their business on the Web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. Megan specializes in reporting the latest business news, helpful tips and reliable resources and provides advice through her column on the Chamber blog.

8 Reactions
  1. I wish I had enough cash in my checking account to qualify for an interest-bearing account. Most banks I’ve seen require at least $15K and for a small business that seems like quite a bit.

  2. I am all for paperless systems. With all the new technologies today (cloud, e-mail and Google Docs), I don’t see the need for printing and paper. Aside from being messy, they can also be costly. A business can really save a lot if they go paperless.

  3. Robert – try a credit union instead. They often have better accounts and lower requirements for accounts. We have one and we also have a savings account, where we transfer funds back and forth online to get a few extra dollars.

    Another way to boost cashflow – increase your turn rates via sales of dead stock.

  4. Your advice to invoice more than once a month is spectacular. I can’t tell you how many businesses we see that do not invoice fast enough and in doing so, turn their business into the bank for their customers.

  5. I think encouraging faster payments is a good method. End of month payments may seem like a standard deadline, but it’s not a necessity. And yes, if you can tend to be a little forgetful at times, scheduling electronic transfers may be a great idea for you!

  6. In the commercial world, cash is the ruler. You may expect great profits in the next 6 months, but if you don’t have sufficient cash coming in to protect your expenditures during that time, you may not get a chance to understand those wages. That’s why it’s significant for all companies to develop the correct strategies to sustain a strong business cash flow.