Expert’s new book on cash flow can be lockdown lifeline for struggling businesses

Entrepreneur Craig Alexander Rattray hopes to prevent companies going bust during lockdown with a new book on the importance of cash flow.

Finance expert Craig Alexander Rattray's book could be a lifeline during lockdown

Penned in partnership with Canadian accounting expert Jeff Borschowa, it is designed to provide owners with all they need to know to keep their businesses running smoothly.

With companies continuing to struggle to survive with the country still in the grip of the pandemic, Glasgow-based growth strategist Mr Rattray is hoping ‘Mastering Cash Flow For Business Owners’ will throw owners a lockdown lifeline.

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The transatlantic collaboration has brought together 66 pages packed full of essential information aimed at the owners of businesses of all sizes.

From explaining how to understand financial management to simplifying rolling cash forecasts, the duo cut through the complexities to deliver their top tips in a style that is easy to understand.

“The biggest problem business owners have is cash,” said Mr Rattray, CEO of Excolo33 Ltd. “Whether they are growing or if they are struggling, or just plodding along, it’s always cash that is a problem.

“Whether it’s the owner, their finance team or their external advisers, most people don’t understand cash flow and are afraid to ask as they think it might portray them as not being knowledgeable of things they should know about.

“Having looked at what keeps business owners awake at night, we decided the focus had to be on cash. Given where we are in the pandemic with people not being able to operate and generate cash, it is going to be a problem that people have for a very long time.

“This is a book which any business owner should have on their boardroom table. They don’t need to follow everything themselves but they should be able to then ask the questions of their finance team ‘Are you doing this?’ ‘Why are we not doing that?’ and such like.

“A business can become insolvent even if it’s profitable. You can still be showing that you have a profitable business but have no cash to pay the bills.

“Statistics show that 80 per cent of small businesses fail within the first five years. We want to reverse that trend and give every business a fighting chance.”

It is the finance professional’s first foray into book publishing and he added: “If you had told me a year ago that I would have written a book, I wouldn’t have believed you!

“It’s a great feeling to have completed it and see it published. If it can help even one business owner then it will have been worth it. It has been written deliberately as a short book and takes around an hour-and-half to read.

“The book is relevant to the smallest of businesses to the biggest institutions because for any business, if it doesn’t manage its inflows with its outflows, there’s a problem.

“As soon as outflows are more than inflows on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis then funding needs to be found from somewhere and that’s where so many people go awry.

“The important thing for cash management is looking forward and that’s why finance has to sit alongside the operational part of the business because if finance doesn’t understand the operational side, it’s never going to be able to understand what is going to happen from a cash flow perspective.

“We’re not insisting people do everything we say but there are a lot of good tips in the book which most businesses could apply and improve their cash flow.”

‘Mastering Cash Flow For Business Owners’ is available on Amazon priced £6.95.

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