Tesla is Now Asking Suppliers for Cash Back, Here’s How to Avoid that Scenario

Tesla is back in the news. Headlines proclaim the electric car manufacturer actually approached some of its suppliers, requesting cash back in an effort to realize profitability. Elon Musk quickly reacted to the reports. Now, it’s a he-said-she-said storyline. But, that’s just another fight the media will happily play up for clicks and tune-ins. The reality is Tesla is not a profitable company. Even though it enjoys so much buzz and customer loyalty, it can’t turn a profit.

The Top Reason Small Businesses Fail

The company reportedly burned through $1 billion in a quarter. And, it’s promised to bring its expenditure to under $3 billion this year. That, after it went through $3.4 billion last year. Not to mention, it lost $710 million in Q1 of this year alone.

Just as good cash flow keeps a business afloat, poor cash flow can sink it. In fact, poor cash flow is a big reason why one in every four businesses doesn’t make it past the first year. And why more than half don’t survive past the fifth. —Fresh Books.com

It gets worse. The company might not reach a stock conversion price of $560.64. Which means it will have to shell out $230 million to obtain a convertible bond in November. Its stock fell by nearly 4.5 percent just in the last twelve months and continues to struggle.

This is an important lesson to those who’d like to start a small business because it’s one of the main reasons startups fail in the first place: inadequate cash flow and reserves. Problems with cash is typically the reason small businesses fail.

Top Small Business Cash-Flow Mistakes to Avoid

So, if cash is the biggest reason new companies fail, then how do they actually get into such a pickle? Well, it’s not just avoiding bad business ideas (although that’s certainly helpful), it’s more about being smart with money in the first place:

  • Impulse spending. We all know retailers embrace this practice. But, it’s far too easy to fall into the trap of impulse spending, particularly during the startup phase. It’s also a shortcut to failure because it’s the ultimately lack of responsible cash management.
  • Past-due receivable apathy. When cash is rolling in, it’s very easy to let an invoice or two or more slide. After all, there’s plenty of money coming in, so why bother? It’s important to stay on top of receivables because it sends the wrong signal when you become apathetic. Plus, you might be able to put that money to good use in the future.
  • Not sticking to a real budget. You wouldn’t spend more money that’s in your personal bank account. However, when it comes to business finances, too many owners just don’t adhere to a realistic and strict budget. And, that’s a recipe for failure.
  • Failure to put some cash aside. Feast or famine. That’s an old cliché but it’s entirely true for many businesses. That reality means it’s best to have some cash on-hand when needed because it’s very likely that time will come.

What other ways do small business mishandle cash? What other advice would you give about maintaining positive cash-flow? Please share your thoughts and experiences!

Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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