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The State of Small Business Cash Flow

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In an effort to better understand the behaviors, attitudes and cash flow challenges experienced by small businesses and self-employed professionals around the world, Intuit QuickBooks released the “The State of Small Business Cash Flow” Report.

The State of Small Business Cash Flow

  1. 1. State of Small Business Cash Flow Survey Fact Sheet Cash flow is the lifeblood of success - small businesses and self-employed workers must constantly be aware of their cash flow status. And while money is the fuel that runs their business and next decision, it is also the reason they go out of business, it’s the thing they lose sleep over. To better understand the struggles small businesses and the self-employed face when it comes to cash flow, how it impacts them and their attitudes, Intuit conducted a study with Wakefield Research, surveying 3,000 small business owners of companies with 0-100 employees in the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada and India.
  2. 2. The State of Small Business Cash Flow • 69% of small business owners have been kept up at night by concerns about cash flow. • On average, U.S. small business owners have lost $43,394 by foregoing a project or sales specifically due to issues created by insufficient cash flow. • More than half (52%) of U.S. small business owners’ companies have lost $10,000 or more by foregoing a project or sales specifically due to issues created by insufficient cash flow. • Among those who reported issues, more than 2 in 5 (42%) of small business owners’ companies have experienced cash flow issues in the last year. • 61% of small businesses regularly struggle with cash flow. • Among those small business owners who have had cash flow issues, nearly a third (32%) have been unable to either pay vendors, pay loans, or pay themselves or employees.
  3. 3. Managing Receivables • A third (33%) of U.S. small business owners estimate their company currently has more than $20,000 in outstanding receivables. • U.S. small businesses average $53,399 in outstanding receivables. What’s Driving Cash Flow Problems for the Self-Employed and Small Businesses
  4. 4. 53% 47% 66% 34% Managing Payments • More than half (53%) of small business companies invoice - billing customers for goods/services on a specific date, compared to 47% that utilize advanced payment - charging customers for goods/services before, or at the time of receiving them. • Nearly two thirds (66%) of small business owners report that the time it takes the money to process after receiving a payment has the largest impact on their company’s cash flow, compared to not getting paid by customers or clients within the terms of the payment system (34%). • Nearly a third (31%) of small business owners estimate it takes more than 30 days to get paid, for example, by customers, clients, vendors or banks. The average wait is 29 days.
  5. 5. Employee Management • Among those who have had cash flow issues, more than 2 in 5 (43%) of small business owners frequently have been at risk of not being able to pay their employees by payday. • Nearly a third (32%) of small business owners have paid their employees late when at risk of not being able to pay their employees by payday. • More than 3 in 4 (77%) of small business owners who aren’t self-employed agree paying employees same-day would help their company manage cash flow more accurately.
  6. 6. Getting Capital • More than 3 in 5 (61%) U.S. small business owners have applied for a loan for their business. • U.S. small business owners who work for themselves (71%) are more likely than those with 1-49 employees (39%) and those with 50+ employees (27%) to have never applied for a loan for their company. • Nearly 3 in 5 (55%) U.S. small business owners have not applied for a loan for their business because they didn’t think they would need it. • Other reasons for not seeking a loan are interest rates were too high (29%), they didn’t want to make payments (23%) and they didn’t think they would be approved (19%).

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