One of the important factors investors consider when evaluating a business plan is the amount of expected cash flow. They scrutinize the assumptions that were made in order to make a determination as to their validity. One of the lessons to be learned from investors is that you can improve your cash flow before you even have cash flow to report.
What does this mean? It means that the steps that are taken to improve cash flow for an ongoing business are the same steps that should be incorporated in the cash flow statement included in a business plan. Sound business practices can and should be used to prepare the cash flow projections. In fact, one of the first rules of cash flow is to prepare a realistic projection. Investors evaluating a business plan will carefully review the assumptions made in view of the marketplace conditions. Sometimes businesses are tempted to overstate cash flow in the belief this increases the chances of funding. However, investors have a lot of experience evaluating cash flow statements and overstatements will be spotted.
When preparing a cash flow projection, you need to consider the factors that influence cash flow during operations. The projection should assume reasonable customer terms and collection policies. The business plan should also reflect market segmentation based on products. For example, the timing of inventory purchases is influenced by the type of products sold. Cash left in the bank will earn interest that can be included in the cash flow statement, while cash invested in inventory is tied up until the inventory is sold.
These are the types of detailed analysis the entrepreneur needs to do long before a business plan is presented to investors. In other words, you want to be able to prove you know how to maximize cash flow based on realistic assumptions and best practices.
Browse www.funded.com for more advice about getting your business funded.