1. Working Capital Cycle
Cash flows in a cycle into, around and out of a business. It is the business's life blood and every manager's primary task is to help keep it flowing and to use the cashflow to generate profits. If a business is operating profitably, then it should, in theory, generate cash surpluses. If it doesn't generate surpluses, the business will eventually run out of cash and expire. The faster a business expands, the more cash it will need for working capital and investment. The cheapest and best sources of cash exist as working capital right within business. Good management of working capital will generate cash will help improve profits and reduce risks. Bear in mind that the cost of providing credit to customers and holding stocks can represent a substantial proportion of a firm's total profits.
There are two elements in the business cycle that absorb cash - Inventory (stocks and work-in-progress) and Receivables (debtors owing you money).
The main sources of cash are Payables (your creditors) and Equity and Loans
Each component of working capital (namely inventory, receivables and payables) has two dimensions ........TIME ......... and MONEY. When it comes to managing working capital - TIME IS MONEY. If you can get money to move faster around the cycle (e.g. collect monies due from debtors more quickly) or reduce the amount of money tied up (e.g. reduce inventory levels relative to sales), the business will generate more cash or it will need to borrow less money to fund working capital. As a consequence, you could reduce the cost of bank interest or you'll have additional free money available to support additional sales growth or investment. Similarly, if you can negotiate improved terms with suppliers e.g. get longer credit or an increased credit limit, you effectively create...