As any small business owner or adviser will tell you, cash is king. It’s a well-known saying but what exactly does it mean? Put simply, businesses go bust in the long term through lack of profit, but in the short term, they fail because they don’t have enough cash to pay their bills. Cash flow is the life supply of any business - more firms go under because of cash flow problems than anything else. The principles of good cash flow management are straightforward. First, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got more money coming in than going out. Money also needs to come in on time, so you can pay suppliers and invest in new stock. Having access to cash also gives you better buying and negotiating power, which could save you money long-term. Anticipating any shortfalls in funds is important too, as this allows you to make contingency cash flow plans such as extending credit. Managing money and cash flow are critical for small firms but if you can get the basics right, you’ll be in a strong position.