Case Study #4

How do I raise the cash flow needed to grow my business to its full potential?

Situation

My name is Christine, and I am age 38, married with two children. Five years ago, I created my business from scratch. My company specializes in office design, furnishings, and ergonomic details for professional firms such as attorneys, accountants, and architects. We help our clients create first-class office settings that are economical to operate, easy to maintain, and comfortable for employees and clients.

Problem

Our success became its own challenge. The increasing numbers of bookings stretched and nearly exceeded our capacity to deliver. Our staff and available cash barely kept up with the increasing amount of work-in-progress; and our receivables just couldn’t come in fast enough. What I drew as salary and when I drew it was wholly lacking in continuity and consistency. There just weren’t enough cash resources to keep expanding on our success and meet the demands of our market.

BSG Strategy

After consultation with the BSG professional, it was clear Christine needed to focus on three goals: 1) draw a steady salary from the business; 2) have sufficient cash resources to fund gradual expansion; and 3) develop better project management systems to improve profit margins.

The BSG professional challenged Christine in an effort to address two key questions:

  1. How much cash would she need to feel confident in achieving these goals?
  2. Is her company prepared to implement financial disciplines to increase cash flow efficiency?

The BSG professional helped Christine get organized in an effort to improve her company’s creditworthiness, with the goal of making the company more attractive to potential lenders and reducing borrowing costs. Her business is now protected and can pay off all its current debts; lump-sum, in the event a disability or death prevents her or her key employees from working in the business. Christine was also introduced to several banks and lending institutions that specialize in secured small business lending. Christine chose the one she thought to be particularly understanding of her business and its current situation. Her company’s receivables now secure a line of credit, which helps smooth out large fluctuations in month-to-month cash balances. As a result, Christine’s company is handling even more clients (and still growing) thanks to additional hires; and she is finally able to pay herself a steady monthly salary. Lastly, the BSG professional helped Christine and her company to focus on improving internal cash controls. The company organized weekly cash flow meetings attended by all employees who have spending authority. These meetings encourage discussion and idea sharing on “best practices” for operating more cost-effectively as well as for identifying new opportunities to grow efficiently.

© 2012 AXA Advisors, LLC. All rights reserved.
GE-115677d (8/16)(Exp 8/18)

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