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Managing Cash Flow During a Crisis: Tips for Small Business Owners

Cash flow management is a critical aspect of running a business, particularly during challenging times like a crisis or recession. It is essential to have a solid cash flow management plan in place to ensure your business can survive and thrive despite economic uncertainty. Here are some tips for small business owners to manage cash flow during a crisis.

Create a cash flow forecast

A cash flow forecast is a projection of your business's future cash inflows and outflows. It can help you identify potential cash shortfalls and surpluses, which can help you make informed decisions about spending and investing. According to a study by JPMorgan Chase, businesses that regularly use cash flow forecasts are more likely to be profitable and have higher growth rates than those that don't.

Keep your expenses in check

In a crisis, it's crucial to keep your expenses under control. Look for ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality. Consider negotiating with suppliers for better prices, reducing staff hours, and cutting back on non-essential expenses like travel and entertainment. According to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), 51% of small business owners reported reducing their expenses to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Communicate with your customers and suppliers

Communication is critical during a crisis. Reach out to your customers and suppliers to let them know how your business is adapting to the situation. If you're having cash flow problems, talk to your suppliers about payment plans or discounts. Consider offering discounts or other incentives to encourage customers to pay on time.

Secure additional financing if needed

If you're facing a cash flow crisis, securing additional financing can help you weather the storm. Consider options like business loans, lines of credit, or government programs.

Stay on top of your accounts receivable

Accounts receivable is the money owed to your business by customers who haven't paid yet. During a crisis, it's essential to stay on top of your accounts receivable to ensure you're getting paid on time. Consider implementing an automated invoicing system, offering discounts for early payments, and following up promptly on late payments.


In conclusion, managing cash flow during a crisis is challenging, but it's not impossible. By creating a cash flow forecast, keeping your expenses in check, communicating with your customers and suppliers, securing additional financing if needed, and staying on top of your accounts receivable, you can help your business survive and even thrive during tough economic times.

If you need help managing your cash flow during a crisis or want to learn more about our CFO services, contact us today. We specialize in providing virtual CFO services to mission-driven businesses, and we're here to help you navigate any financial challenges you may face.

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