As accountants, you’re talking about numbers and money all day. So why aren’t you placing as much focus on cash flow?
A company can be worth millions (or even billions) of dollars, and yet if they have poor cash flow or not enough cashflow for that quarter, they could wind up belly up. Managing cash flow properly by staggering invoices, strategically planning big purchases, and overall, remaining in the black is essential for good business.
In short, you should be talking cash flow with your clients. It’s probably one of their concerns, but they probably won’t use the term “cash flow” so you need to be able to tell when it’s the core issue at hand.
Here are a few ways you can start having the cash flow conversation with your clients:
- Focus on your clients’ core needs
- Tell your clients you offer cash flow services
- Make your intentions clear
Read on to learn our top three strategies for focusing on cash flow with your clients.
1. Focus on your clients’ core needs
Often, your clients will not get caught up in the “accountant speak” that we use so often. They probably know what cash flow is but won’t necessarily phrase it to you this way. They might say, “I’m concerned about paying all my employees this month” or “I don’t want my funds to be tied up in invoices” or something along those lines. We know this means cash flow.
If you’re offering cash flow services so you can help your clients to tackle these types of problems, you need to make it clear in terms that they will understand. You need to phrase and market your services in ways that get your clients’ problems solved.
Cash flow services will become a top priority if you explain how they can help with the following common challenges:
- Paying their employees without straining business operations
- Having enough cash on hand to pay suppliers on time (or early to get discounts)
- Getting paid by customers on time or even in advance
- Reduce the stress that comes with a low business bank account
- Living their lives and not dwelling on how they will make ends meet
- Focusing on their core business mission and not accounting (leaving that to you)!
By making these goals clear, cash flow becomes an easy conversation with clients because it’s a conversation they want to have!
2. Tell your clients you offer cash flow services
Like we said, your clients all understand what cash flow means as an accounting term, but they may not understand how cashflow services can help them. If they aren’t asking for these services, they probably don’t know what they mean for their business.
And if they don’t know that you offer them, how do you expect them to ask for these services?
Cash flow services need to be a regular part of the conversations you have with clients, and how these services could positively impact their operations. This means that each cash flow conversation will be different and needs to be well-researched in the context of each client’s business.
You can also better advertise these services through your firm’s digital marketing on your social media or your website by creating some educational tools regarding cash flow. Create a guide that explains how to improve cash flow, or how to get funding for your startup/business.
As soon as clients see you can help with these types of problems, they will start coming to you with them.
3. Make your intentions clear
When working with each client, your intentions are probably a little different as they correspond to that client’s goals and objectives of their business. However, the underlying intention is always the same: help them manage and optimize their money!
It’s great if you already have good rapport and a good working relationship with your clients, but you also need to make your intentions for each meeting clear. Tell them what exactly you’re here for and connect with all your clients on a regular basis.
You can do this through a newsletter or through social media, whatever works best for your audience. You could also create a slack or facebook group as a community forum where clients can ask questions and maybe even connect with each other over common issues.
Especially if you’ve started focusing on a certain niche, it would be beneficial in more ways than one to have all your clients in the same place online. But you need to be available to respond on these platforms, too. So it takes some work to become the “go-to” for all things cash flow.
If you implement these three practices, your clients will start seeing you as the cash flow expert and will come to you when problems arise. Before they can do that though, you need to show them you can solve their problems, tell them about your services, and make your goals clear!