Growing pains: Managing cash flow

November 28, 2017

Most people hate to talk about money. But when you’re a small business owner, financial worries are nearly always on your mind.

Paying for rent, utilities, payroll, inventory—even in a thriving business, trying to meet expenses can be tough, and stressful. When more money is going out than coming in, it’s urgent that you find ways to generate more cash to cover temporary gaps, put controls in place to better track sales and expenses, and stop preventable leaks that can drag the business down.

Clover’s family of pre-loaded and for-purchase apps can help. Check out these options in the Clover App Market for solving even the most persistent cash flow problems.

Get quick cash infusions.

Did you know that you can apply for working capital using the Clover POS system?

For Clover customers, Clover Capital is a fast, hassle-free solution for getting your hands on capital. Rather than dealing with a bank, simply log in to your Clover station, fill out a one-page form, and hit submit.

Once approved, you’ll see cash in your account in just 5 to 7 days. Cash advance amounts are based on average monthly Visa/MasterCard processing, which means you won’t get stuck with payments you can’t support as determined by your sales history.

Not only is applying fast and easy, but it’s low risk as well. Small business owners repay the advance daily through merchant processing—turning future credit card sales into ready cash now.

Manage your money better.

Too often, cash flow problems are a result of weak oversight. Fortunately, it’s easy to improve your money-management skills using free apps you can launch from the Clover web dashboard.

Reporting, for example, automatically tracks day-to-day payments received, items sold, discounts given, and taxes paid. It keeps you on top of the finances and helps avoid tight squeezes.

Getting control of the actual cash coming into the business is another way to ease problems. Cash Log is a free app that tracks cash transactions, including all cash drawer activities such as adding or removing bills and coins.

Merchants get a clear picture of all the sales, not just credit cards transactions, including who handled each payment, refund, or bank deposit—a great tool for monitoring cash flow.

To get a bird’s-eye view of the business, Insights uses graphs and charts to tally total sales, average ticket size per guest, peak sales hours, customer trends, and more. Having accurate data lets you fine-tune the business and plan ahead for the future.

Protect against fraudulent chargebacks.

Another strategy to ensure healthy cash flow is to stop letting money escape. Take credit card chargebacks. In best-case scenarios, customers with valid complaints about shoddy goods and services or billing errors can dispute the charges—and they usually win under the terms of the federal Fair Credit Billing Act.

But for small business owners, chargebacks can be a burden. While disputes were intended to be a last resort, the process is so easy that some customers use it to get their money back and keep the merchandise—a scam known as “friendly fraud.”

Chargeback Fighter is a powerful app that helps merchants contest chargebacks. Using the customer-facing Clover Mini or Clover Mobile, the app takes a photo at the time of each credit card transaction. Transaction information and customers’ photos are sent to merchants via email or stored in the Cloud—compelling evidence to help win more claims.

Try out a free sample version, and find out how it works to keep hard-earned cash in hand.

Ramp up employee monitoring.

No one likes to think that staff is cheating them. But employee theft is a common occurrence. The US Retail Fraud Survey identified it as the single biggest cause of loss to retailers, topping paperwork errors, shoplifting, and supplier fraud as the number-one culprit behind “shrinkage.”

Cash Track adds a strong control function over the finances. Here’s how it works: At the beginning of a shift, merchants can record how much cash has been assigned to each employee and register, then monitor cash on hand as the shift progresses. At the end, you can reconcile the employee’s count and your count—an easy way to spot irregularities.

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. Protecting incoming money, improving financial management, and tapping cash to tide you over are three ways to keep the business humming…and rest easier at night.

[image: Photo by CafeCredit under CC 2.0 ]

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