skip to log on skip to main content
VoiceOver users please use the tab key when navigating expanded menus

Article | 5-minute read

Simple tips to improve business cash flow

Cash flow forecasting | Cash flow improvement

Forecasting and monitoring cash flow is vital in any small business. It helps you plan for the good times and bad. Yet it can be difficult when your business is rocked by major events like global pandemics or seasonal drop-offs in sales.

Even so, being able to predict your cash flow pays off. If you know a slower period is coming up, you can postpone some expenses and develop a plan to get you through the slump. Or, if strong results are on the horizon, you can confidently plan an expansion.

To help keep you on track with cash flow, here are key strategies from Dr Jana Matthews, Director of the ANZ Business Growth Program. As Matthews notes, “It’s not a matter of ticking off every single item underneath each of the three strategies. Rather, start with small, manageable tasks, each of which can lead to a ‘marginal gain’. The aggregation of these small gains can have a very positive impact on cash flow and the financial health of your business.”

Increase the amount of cash flowing into your business

Bringing more money into your business is a logical first step to shore up your long-term financial success. While these tips may sound obvious, small changes can really make a positive difference to your cash flow in the long term.

  • Refresh your promotional and marketing approach
  • Offer new products or services to your current customers
  • Offer product/service bundles to current and new customers
  • Regularly review the price of your products or services
  • Broaden your channels to market and find new customers who want what you are selling
  • Improve your sales skills and your sales pitch
  • Close sales faster.

Collect what’s owed to you faster

In today’s uncertain economic climate, many businesses are experiencing a slow-down in payments. Customers may lack the ability or willingness to pay on time, and businesses need to have strategies in place to cover cash short-falls. As Dr Matthews notes, a business loan or overdraft is an important tool in managing cash flow. She also recommends implementing strategies to speed up payments, such as:

  • Find out when customers pay their invoices, and send your invoice in time to get in front of a customer’s queue of payments
  • Change your pricing strategies (e.g. upfront payments, progress payments, subscription or monthly payments, auto-renewals)
  • Request progress payments and send the final invoice the day the job is completed
  • Use electronic payments and online transfers of funds.

Control the speed of cash flowing out of your business

Finding ways to save can help stablise cash flow. Look at all your business processes – from administrative to operational – and find ways to reduce your expenses. Sometimes, upfront investment in new tools or infrastructure may help you save money in the long term for example, a new piece of equipment that helps you produce more products every month; or a new packaging system to save money on postage.

Here are some common places to start:

  • Reduce the cost of the goods produced (e.g., materials, labour, production, and sales costs)
  • Improve business efficiency (e.g., reduce the numbers of steps or people involved, produce more per hour)
  • Reduce your administration costs (e.g., invoice electronically, require pre-payment, enable staff who can do so to work from home)
  • Clarify delegation and authorisation levels (e.g., clarify who can make what kinds of recommendations vs. decisions, require two signatures on expenditures above a certain level)
  • Hold staff responsible and accountable for meeting their budget - revenue and expenses.

Related articles

Managing your business' overheads

In the current environment, you may have had to take short-term reactive measures to cut your business’s expenses and monitor any overheads closely.

Keep reading

Help with cash flow

The long-term success of your business often depends on the strength of its balance sheet and managing cash flow is a fundamental step to take in making sure it’s as strong as possible.

ANZ Business Bankers are here to help with a range of finance solutions that help with different stages of your journey – whether it’s payment solutions to help you collect payments from customers faster, or flexible business overdrafts to iron out the ups and downs throughout the year.

Use our cash flow forecasting checklist to get your cash flow in order.

Get in touch

Request a call back

Have us call you back to discuss your business needs

Leave your details


Talk to someone local

Chat with one of our local business bankers

Find your local business banker


Any advice does not take into account your personal needs, financial circumstances or objectives and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you.

ANZ recommends you read the applicable Terms and Conditions and the ANZ Financial Services Guide (PDF 179kB) before acquiring the product.

Products are available to approved applicants for business purposes only. All applications for credit are subject to ANZ's normal credit approval criteria. Terms and conditionsFees and charges and eligibility criteria apply.

We recommend you obtain independent advice from a financial planner and registered tax agent if you are considering whether these products are right for you.

This page contains only general information which is subject to change and is not a substitute for commercial judgement or professional advice. This information does not take into account your personal and financial needs, particular objectives and/or circumstances, and you should seek appropriate independent advice (which may include property, legal, financial, taxation and accounting advice) before making any decisions, investing, or acting on it.

Tools, templates, checklists, and calculators (“ANZ Tools”) linked or referred to on this page, are only some of many ways to analyse a business or industry, or to assist your planning and business decision making. You should seek the assistance of your accountant, business or other advisor when either planning for or analysing your business.

To the extent permitted by law, all members of the ANZ group of companies, their employees, officers and contractors (“ANZ“), offer no warranty and disclaim liability or responsibility to any person for any actions, claims, costs, demands, liability, or direct or indirect losses or damage that may result from using or relying on the information set out in the pages or the ANZ Tools, and / or any act, omission or error, by any person in relation to them.  To the extent permitted by law, ANZ makes no warranty and has no liability in respect of your use and reliance. ANZ Tools are also subject in many cases to further specific cautionary wording and disclaimers which you should read.