Managing the family business, as well as the family and business relationships can feel like navigating stormy waters through the rocks. If this describes how you feel at times, you’re not alone. The usual harvest time stressors like weather, lack of sleep, breakdowns, employee issues, etc. pile on to the existing and often underlying business or family issues.
Lack of financial knowledge can erode confidence and have a negative impact on management decisions and relationships, causing increased stress levels and challenges to your mental health and overall wellness.
Cash Flow Analysis: In my last article I talked about working capital and cash flow and how to calculate the sources and uses of cash. Another useful tool to provide financial clarity, and help you navigate, is the monthly cash flow analysis. This is a worksheet outlining all the cash inflows and outflows per month.
Knowing your cash flow situation at least 12 to 18 months in advance provides you with the information you need to assess your cash situation and deal with timing issues well in advance of them occurring. It also allows you to align new or existing loan payments, create a marketing plan that aligns with your commitments, or plan to strategically deal with surplus cash flow or potential shortfalls.
Analyzing your cash flow situation should be done in conjunction with analyzing your working capital situation, your credit portfolio review and prior to any additional cash withdrawals, down payments, new loan payments, etc. Start with a whole farm historical and forecast analysis of cash inflows and outflows and then drill down into the month by month analysis. The previous year’s cash flow from your accounting program will be helpful in creating your cash flow projection.
Identifying an area of concern is the first step in working towards a solution. Although there are many similarities, every farm situation is unique and a strategy that considers the goals and vision of the farm and the family members, in addition to other financial indicators, will yield the best results and solution for your business. Taking a pro-active approach to ensuring you have sufficient cash flow will reduce the risk of cash flow shortfalls and help to strengthen relationships with creditors and suppliers.
My clients have found that having a solid understanding of their overall financial situation enables them to make decisions and manage their business with confidence and peace of mind, while significantly improving their relationships with creditors and reducing stress for themselves and their families.
Phone Coaching: In addition to consulting, meeting facilitation, and family communication coaching, FMI offers phone or virtual meeting coaching packages. Contact me to start a discovery discussion about how I can help you navigate with confidence and peace of mind.
Peer Group: We are accepting applications for peer group participants. For more information about how belonging to a group of your peers can help you manage your business and relationships more successfully, or to apply to be added to the waiting list, please contact me.
Presentations and Learning Events: I will be presenting or facilitating at the following events. If you would like me to speak at your industry or organization’s event, let me know and we can talk about how my speaking topic may fit with your group’s agenda.
Saskatoon – Nov 6 - CAFA Conference Navigating Transition Together – Managing Through The Storm
Tisdale – Dec 5 – Cumberland College Workshop - Strategic Planning and Financial Analysis of Your Farm Expansion Plan
Mental Health: It has been a very challenging year for many farm families and it is only natural that you or someone you know may be feeling additional stress this year. It takes strength and courage to recognize the increased signs of stress and ask for help or support someone who is in need of assistance. 24/7 crisis counselling is available at the numbers below.
SK Farm Stress Line & Rural Support: 1-800-667-4442 MB Farm & Rural Support Services: 1-866-367-3276
Would you like more help expanding your financial knowledge, increasing your confidence and improving your family and business relationships? Contact me to learn about my farm financial and strategic planning, intensive debt management and farm family business coaching!
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Wishing you and your family to finish harvest 2019 with good health and “no more snow”! Sincerely,