When three graphs create four cash flow ahas, we think it’s worth sharing. It’s hard to turn financials into meaningful visuals!
This graphic is adapted from a presentation that Fintech giant OnDeck gave to investors. We’ve adapted it because the investor specific information is not as relevant to small businesses as their awesome visualization of cash flow.
We had four big “Ahas” from looking at these three graphs.
Cash Flow Aha #1
When you look at your company’s annual cash flow, you may start to see regular patterns emerge. These are patterns that will likely persist just because of the nature of your business: your type of customers, what they buy, how they pay, how revenue and expenses regularly go up and down.
Cash Flow Aha #2
As you can see from this graphic, the regular ins and outs of cash flow for familiar small businesses vary significantly from each other. Your cash flow profile is likely different from these three examples. But it’s likely that your cash flow profile is similar to other businesses in your industry.
Cash Flow Aha #3
Some cash flow challenges are just because of the type of business you’re in.
Other cash flow challenges exist because of the specifics of your business alone. These might include:
- not enough attention to making the most of collections, payables and inventory
- not yet being big enough to be profitable
- growth that is increasing the need for working capital
- ineffective or too-expensive marketing
- too high cost of goods sold
- too low pricing
- lack of product/market fit.
Cash Flow Aha #4
Understanding your industry’s cash flow profile will help you understand if your cash flow challenges are just because of the industry you are in, or because of some specifics of your business, or a mix of both.