Disruptions can happen to a business at any given time, which can turn business operations upside down. One type of business disruption is when one of your suppliers or customers files for bankruptcy.
DWH Partner, Jeremy Cosby discussed this type of business disruption in a recent interview and shared his thoughts on how businesses can navigate through this type of situation to help ensure they come out on top.
1. Proper Cash Flow Management
Cash flow is always important, even more so in times of change and transition. It is important to understand the potential scenarios that could affect the cash that you need to run your business.
Managing cash flow, whether it’s a bankruptcy, strike, pandemic, etc., and understanding the levers you can pull to control your cash flow, will help you navigate through that transition. Having good cash flow management means you have tight control over what’s going on, both in the past and the future. Doing thorough scenario planning in advance will allow you to navigate challenges when they arise.
2. Understand Different Scenarios That Could Affect Cash
A business owner needs to understand the different scenarios that could affect the cash that is needed to run the business. For example, in a supplier or customer bankruptcy, the client needs to understand how their supply chain or customer will be directly or indirectly impacted by the bankruptcy. What are the types of vehicles involved? What impact does the bankruptcy have upstream or downstream? How will I be impacted and when? How will my suppliers be impacted? Answering these questions will inform all the rest of your decisions. Typically, businesses impacted the most are the smaller suppliers (downstream) who don’t have the reserves to absorb the impact.
3. Understand the Impact of the Bankruptcy
A key element in proactively protecting your cash flow is to grasp the impact the bankruptcy will have on your business. One effective way to gain that understanding is due diligence. Due diligence must be done thoroughly and promptly. For example, if you are concerned one or more of your suppliers is financially distressed, then spend the time to develop alternative supply sources. If you are concerned a customer is financially distressed, then closely manage your outstanding accounts receivable. Doing this proactively can put you in a better position with suppliers, with customers, and leverage tools and resources.
The quicker you understand the impact, the sooner you can take action.
4. Have a Well-Prepared Strategy
Remember that managing cash flow during a significant disruption is a temporary challenge. It requires flexibility, creativity, and strong financial planning. Having a well-prepared strategy can help your business weather the storm and emerge stronger on the other side.
DWH has helped hundreds of businesses improve liquidity by helping them understand the way cash flows through the organization from invoice to invoice. We can help you too. Book a consultation to get started.
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