The Principles of Cash Flow When Scaling Up A Business

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On September 20, 2019

principles of cash flow

Money in the Bank Isn’t the Same as Solid Business Financials

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a client say, “I don’t have a cash problem; I have money in my bank account!” One of the challenges I face as a business coach is helping leaders understand that money in the bank isn’t the same thing as having solid business financials.

Cash Requirements for a Scaling Business Are Different

If you have a smaller business, keeping an eye on your cash flow is simpler. That’s particularly true if your business is “steady”. The pattern of “money in and money out” is much more predictable and manageable. But if you’re scaling up your business to achieve significant growth your cash requirements are a lot different.

The speed at which things happen escalates. You’ll head into uncharted waters with your business, so it’s harder to predict what your cash needs will be. Scaling up your business may require infrastructure improvements. That costs money as well.

How Important is it to Be Financially Astute?

Some business people make the mistake of thinking that if they “take care of the business, the money will take care of itself.” By that, they mean that if they pay attention to their products, their quality, their customers, and their employees, that the rewards (money) will follow. The problem is that your finances are just as much a part of your business as products, customers, and employees.

In Scaling Up, Verne Harnesh calls cash, “the oxygen that fuels growth.” Nothing burns through money faster than a growing company. That’s because you can’t grow if you don’t have the money. Often companies don’t “go broke,” they “grow broke.” Business history is full of examples of companies that simply couldn’t afford the expansion they had undertaken.

You Need to Transform Your Thinking About Finances

You may have enjoyed a certain level of success by repeatedly doing the same things—and doing them well. But if you’re after a different level of success, the same methods and processes aren’t going to work. Changing the way you handle your finances is essential if you want to grow. Some companies think that what they need is a big infusion of cash. But more money is only part of the equation. Borrowing money may temporarily solve your cash flow issues, but it brings other issues with it. You have to be careful that you’re not just “kicking the can down the road” and piling up debt. You need to understand the principles of cash flow. And you need to get creative with ways to improve your cash flow while scaling your company.

It’s an On-Going Process

It’s important to stay on top of your financial situation. As your company grows, your financial needs will continue to change. That’s why I stress with clients that transformation is not a one-time thing—it’s an on-going process. That applies to all areas of your business, including your finances.

Money in the Bank is Good—But It’s Not Enough

If your business is fortunate enough to have money in the bank, congratulations! That’s a good thing—but it’s not enough. If you want to grow, you have to make sure your financial house is ready to grow with your company.

“I invite you to click on the Assess Your Cash Flow button before to take a 2-minute look at whether your company’s finances are ready for you to grow your company the way you want.”