5. Develop a personal relationship with your
Handling money is a banker’s job, and most are
very good at it. While many small retailers would
prefer to keep financial matters “close to the vest,”
it’s a smart idea to develop a personal relationship
with the manager of your local bank branch. Make
an appointment, discuss your financial picture
honestly, and you’ll likely get some good ideas
and a favorable ear should you ever need a little
6. Let your computer help you manage your cash
Whether you use one of those heavyweight software packages designed for retailers or you use
Quicken or Money on a desktop PC, trust every
aspect of your business affairs, including business
and personal investments, to your computer. The
financial reports and analyses that modern software can produce at the touch of a button can be
vitally important management tools for improving cash flow and bottom-line profits.
The most popular software packages designed
for small business are infinitely easier to use than
they were as recently as a few years ago. More important, they will teach you in dramatic fashion
how much you can benefit from a sensible cash
7. Consider leasing.
“The nature of business accounting is such
8. Consider firing your bank.
that leasing can be the most sensible approach
to many types of capital investment,” said Jay
Blumenthal, an accountant in Abington, Pa. “It
usually makes sense to lease if you will be able
to use the cash in your business activities or in
your investments to earn a better return than the
cost of leasing.”
Any time you have a capital expenditure, it
might pay to consider leasing instead of buying.
Talk to your tax advisor about this the next time
you’re considering any capital purchase.
Chances are that you have been a victim of merg-
er mania at least once. That’s when you wake up
one day to find out that the bank you have grown
comfortable with is no longer around. It has
merged with a strange new bank that promptly
laid claim to your business. Will this new bank,
which is larger than the gross national product of
some countries, treat you better? Will it exercise
economies of scale in order to bring you better and
Not likely. Experience is showing that some of
the huge megabanks resulting from merger mania
are raising inefficiency and customer alienation to
This isn’t the work of charlatans intent on
robbing you blind; it’s simply the classic symptom of unwieldy bureaucracies grown to a size
that defies the best of management intentions.
Now, with new laws blurring the line between
banks and other financial institutions such as
insurance companies and stock brokerages, financial behemoths can only grow even larger.
Fortunately, solving this frustrating problem is
relatively painless. Just search out the smallest
FDIC member bank in your area and give it a
They’ll be delighted to welcome you and your
business. They need you, and they will appreciate
you. You’ll receive more personal attention from
a small neighborhood bank than you will ever get
from a financial goliath, with exactly the same
insurance protection you receive from the largest
Taken individually, these cash management
techniques might seem obvious or even inconsequential. However, when you blend them together in a consistent manner, they will form a
significant and permanent contributor to your net
income and your economic well-being.
William J. Lynott is a veteran freelance writer who specializes in business management as well as personal and
business finance. His work appears regularly in leading
trade publications and newspapers as well as consumer
magazines including Reader’s Digest, AARP Bulletin
and Family Circle.
Financial strategies can vary depending on the specifics
of your situation. You should consult with a professional to determine what might be best for your individual
It’s a smart idea to develop a personal relationship
with the manager of your local bank branch.
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