Have you come across the term “liquidity” when researching accounting activities? If so, you might be wondering what it means. No matter what type of business you operate, it probably has at least some liquidity. All businesses, including business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B), have liquidity. With that, some have greater liquidity than others. So, what is liquidity, and how does it related to your business’s activities?
Overview of Liquidity
Liquidity is a measurement of how fast your business can convert its assets into cash. Whether you realize it or not, your business probably has assets that can be converted into cash. Examples of common assets owned by businesses include stocks, real estate, inventory, equipment and patents. Not all assets can be converted into cash immediately, though. You’ll typically need to sell them to generate cash. The time it takes to convert assets into cash is described as liquidity.
The Importance of Liquidity
Liquidity is important because it can help your business cover liabilities. Your business will inevitably incur debt when executing its respective operations. According to Fundera, in fact, seven in 10 small businesses have outstanding debt that haven’t paid back. Allowing debt to go unchecked, of course, can cut into your business’s profit margins. Lenders and vendors often charge interest on outstanding debt. The longer a debt goes unpaid, the more interest you’ll have to pay on it. If your business has excellent liquidity, you can use the cash generated from the sale of assets to pay off some or all of your business’s debt.
How to Improve Your Business’s Liquidity
Even if your business has poor liquidity, there are steps you can take to improve it. Reducing overhead, for example, will naturally have a positive impact on your business’s liquidity. Overhead consists of ongoing expenses that aren’t directly related to your business’s money-making activities. While you can’t always eliminate all overhead expenses, you can often reduce them. Canceling unnecessary services and changing utility companies can reduce your business’s overhead and, therefore, improve its liquidity.
If your business uses invoices, you can improve its liquidity by collecting from delinquent customers or clients. Customers and clients don’t always pay invoices on time. They may allow invoices to go unpaid longer after the due date. By collecting payments from these customers or clients, your business’s liquidity will increase.
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