Category Archives: From the Vault

Estimating Cash Flow

At this time of year we often reflect on the past year. We’ve taken our most popular blog and reposted it, enjoy!

In the planning stages of your small business, one of the most important things to do is estimate your cash flow and create a plan to make these goals a reality.

But how do you make sense of a cash flow forecast? You may have done your research and estimated your monthly expenses, but are not sure how to organize this on paper or present it to others.

You are not alone! Many individuals are unsure how to organize their cash flow, or may simply need a guide to follow.

Luckily, there are a number of tools available to help new and existing entrepreneurs create their cash flow forecasts and statements.

1.       Cash Flow Section of a Business Plan

As mentioned in previous posts, there are many business plan templates available online whether through banks or organizations like Canada Business Ontario (CBO). If you require guidance, simply use the cash flow section of a business plan template to help you through this process.

2.       Cash Flow Templates

There are also specific templates available online to complete your cash flow forecast or statement. Although they may be similar to the ones in the business plan templates, some are different. For example, Microsoft Word has cash flow (and many other small business) templates available for download, so you can easily input your cash flow information into Microsoft Word.

3.       Small Business Software

You may wish to purchase a computer software program to complete your small business work and cash flow forecast and statements. If you feel that you would rather not use a computer, copy the information and handwrite if necessary or desired.

A few resources to help you begin your cash flow include:

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How the Three “R’s” Can Help your Small Business Succeed

Everybody remembers the importance of school’s three “Rs”: Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic.  It is evident that these three pillars of education are important in our daily lives, but how do the three Rs relate to a successful small business?

Over the next three entries, I will discuss how the three Rs can be essential to your small business start-up.

Reading:

There is a host of reading material available on small business. Although some of it may seem overwhelming, many small business start-up questions can be answered in the following ways:

1)      Books:

  •  Many entrepreneurs and business experts have written books on their experiences and/or business topics.  The case studies found in these texts may help you find creative solutions to obstacles surrounding your small business start-up or simply give advice.

2)      Newspapers:

  • Newspapers can keep you aware of local small business events taking place in your community. In order for your community to be connected with your small business, you must be connected to them!

3)      Online Search & Documents:

  • Reading online material can be helpful and provide useful links to other small business subjects. However, be aware of the legitimacy of the websites and the relevance of the information in your province.

At the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre, we offer:

  • A resource section complete with pamphlets, booklets and information papers to take home
  • A loan library with over 100 materials for entrepreneurs to take advantage of.

Stay tuned for the next discussion on the second “R”… Writing!

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