Shortening Your Working Capital Cycle to Free Up Cash

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Covid-19 highlighted the importance of managing your working capital cycle & reducing how long cash is tied up in the sales process. More money won’t solve your problems if you don’t manage your working capital cycle!

The reality is, even profitable businesses can go broke if they run out of cash.

Understanding and managing your working capital cycle frees up your cash and helps you build a cash war chest to get you through tougher times.

Your working capital cycle is the number of days your cash is tied up to take your goods and services through the sales process.

The formula for calculating your working capital cycle is:

Stock days + debtor days – credit days

stock days = stock / annual sales x 365

Debtor days = current debtor balance / annual sales x 365

And credit days = the number of days until you need to pay your suppliers

For example, if your stock days are 45,

debtor days are 60 and

credit days are 30,

your working capital cycle is 75 days. – that’s 45 stock days + 60 debtor days = 105 days – 30 credit days.

So what does that mean?

Let’s assume your daily sales are $5,000, the business will need either cash on hand or access to a line of credit of $375,000 to stay afloat ($5,000 x 75 days).

To shorten your working capital cycle, consider the following strategies:

  1. Reduce your stock holdings.

  2. Invoice more often.

  3. Change your payment terms.

  4. Use a debt collector or credit controller.

  5. Negotiate more favourable terms with suppliers.

There are many more ways to shorten your working capital cycle – ask us for more!

We can help you calculate your working capital cycle and identify specific ways to help you

free up more cash in your business.

“Making more money will not solve your problems if cashflow management is your problem.” – Robert Kiyosaki


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