2016 is proving to be advantageous for many business owners, with continued growth and strong returns. However, as the year rounds out into what is typically known as Australia's downtime - January - business owners (especially those in the Agricultural industry) should be assessing their risks and options now, to guarantee a smooth run into the new year.


There are three primary financial hurdles that often present themselves in the months October - February:

1. Cyclical Cash Flow

2. Weather

3. Movements in the Beef Price

Cyclical Cash Flow

Cash is the lifeblood of a successful business. Without cash, any business will struggle and suffer. And because of the type of business they operate seasonal business owners need to be even more vigilant when it comes to managing cash. The biggest mistake business owners make when it comes to cash flow really is very simple...they don't manage it. They don't predict out into the future. Organizations-no matter if they're very large or very small-the ones that have the best control over their cash are the ones that are able to succeed.
The reasons small businesses don't manage their cash flow vary. Some, simply don't understand cash flow. It's not unusual for business owners to think if they're making a lot of sales they must have positive cash flow. Profits and cash flow are not the same thing, you can have a profitable business on paper and not have a dollar in the bank. It is important to plan ahead for any downturn in cash flow now, while cash flow is good.

Weather

The weather is unpredictable and out of anyone's control. And it can have a significant impact on the bottom line of any business. As with most patterns of this type, bad times are usually balanced out with good times. But in order to "weather the storm" during those bad times, business owners need to be prepared for it. And this doesn't just go for seasonal businesses, either. Businesses of all kinds can be affected, even if indirectly, by both good and bad weather. The key is to know:

1. Customers: What are your consumer's behaviors during certain weather conditions and/or times of the year?
2. Products: Demand aside, a number of products are subject to price fluctuations based on weather conditions. Agriculture is an obvious one as the weather has a direct effect on yield.
3. Property: Don't underestimate the destructive power of weather. Floods and water damage, fire and all the other ancillary hazards associated with weather are a major concern of business (as well as residential) property. Assessing risk and protecting property that can be affected by weather is as important as anything else.
4. Movements in Prices: With shifting supply and demand issues, the cost of goods will shift too, meaning that business owners - especially suppliers - cannot guarantee their product will retain the same value, in turn, shifting forecasts and potentially reducing cash flow. It is important to ensure that regardless of movements in the market you have the resources needed to survive any fluctuations.

We understand the nature of your business and we have the skills, tools, and relationships to ensure that no matter what happens in "Australia's downtime," your position remains strong. To secure your cash flow and take advantage of current economic advantages we have three options:
1. Flexible lines of credit
2. Reduced banking costs
3. 6 monthly interest repayments

Right now is the time to review your Christmas cash flow forecasts, and secure yourself so that you are protected against the unknown. The risk of not taking the time to review your position could equate to huge financial loss and hardship. Remember it is tougher in bad times to resource your business for growth! Right now there is an opportunity to use the current "good times" we are seeing to get set and take advantage of low-interest rates and flexible lending. The other advantage is that any commercial lending and machinery finance secured between now and the end of the year will allow business owners to take advantage of full refunds at the end of the October - December BAS quarter.

If you would like to take advantage of an obligation-free independent review of your commercial, machinery, and cash flow needs please contact the office on 07 5482 2855 or
contact David directly at david.schuh@schuhgroup.com.au or on 0400 224 615

"I guarantee you I will find a way to save you money and leave you financially stronger" - David Schuh