Easy Ways to Build Up Retained Business Earnings

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates about one-third of new businesses fail in their first two years of operation. Approximately half go out of business within the first five years. Banking statistics reveal around 82 percent fail due to cash flow issues. Those are grim and stark figures. But, these unfortunate circumstances can be avoided by building up a business emergency fund in the form of retained earnings.

Top Reasons to Save Retained Earnings

There are several benefits to saving retained earnings in any business, no matter how small. (But more particularly, for medium to large sized organizations.) Obviously the most important is for emergency situations. It could be a natural disaster, a pandemic, a sizable dip in the economy. Regardless, emergencies do happen and your business will benefit from having savings in-place.
Retained earnings reflect the amount of net income a business has left over after dividends have been paid to shareholders. Anything that affects net income, such as operating expenses, depreciation, and cost of goods sold, will affect the statement of retained earnings. —The Blueprint, a Motley Fool Service
Another advantage of having retained earnings ready-to-go is for opportunity buys. Your business might have the good fortune of being able to purchase inventory and/or equipment in bulk at a substantial discount. Or, there might well be a circumstance where cash becomes temporarily tight. Retained earnings are an ideal source of capital that can later be replenished.

Clever Ways to Save Retained Business Earnings

It’s not always easy (or simple) to put aside money within a business that isn’t specifically for something like inventory, equipment, materials, et cetera. But, there are ways to save retained earnings for your business — it just takes a substantial amount of discipline and patience. Here are some effective ways to save retained business earnings:
  • Make it simple. Rather than trying to save money in a business checking account and “pad” the balance, open a dedicated account, such as a money market (since it earns interest) and that will provide more incentive to set money aside. This way, you’ll largely avoid the temptation to spend what you’ve ostensibly saved.
  • Automate savings. Once you have a money market account to save retained earnings, set up automatic deposits to go into that account on a regularly scheduled basis. After a time, it won’t be such a big deal and you’ll grow accustomed to it.
  • Take advantage of discounts. If you’re planning on a big purchase and have a budget set for the expense, take some time to find the same item at a discount. Or, broaden your search to find something similar but less expensive. Then, take the difference you save and put it in retained earnings.
  • Sell off old or unused items. You’ve probably bought one or more things in the past that you rarely use or have grown out-of-date. So, go through your assets and find prime candidates to sell off and then put the money into retained earnings.
  • Take advantage of higher revenue. Whenever business is good, it’s a good idea to put some money aside for a rainy day. While many business owners do this, it’s only sporadic. But, making this a priority and a habit will help to beef up retained earnings.
What other suggestions do you have for building up retained business earnings? Please take a brief moment to leave a comment and share your thoughts and experiences so others can benefit from your strategies. Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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