Despite having a million different responsibilities on your plate as a small business owner, there are some tasks that simply have to take precedence over the rest. One of those is managing the state of your company’s finances, strategizing for the best, and preparing for the worst. If you find yourself struggling from day to day trying to organize and get ahead of your cash flow, here are some helpful tips on how to properly arrange your funding to ensure that you’re not constantly sinking beneath the weight of building debt.

Before trying to improve the flow of cash into your business, it’s important to understand what might be causing your negative balances, which means analyzing your current income and expenses. Identifying these numbers can go a long way toward keeping you organized for the future while allocating resources and finding ways to reduce or extend your payments can create a liquid cash cushion that could be lifesaving. If there’s one thing you need to learn about your company’s cash flow, it’s how to avoid surprises. Keeping track of your funds and anticipating your future needs at least three to six months in advance can be an effective way to stay ahead of potential unseen risks.

Meanwhile, it’s highly valuable to start planning ways to maximize your cash inflow while minimizing your outflow at the same time. This may sound obvious, but many small businesses often neglect to see certain areas where they’re consistently hemorrhaging money, even in small amounts, that round up to massive losses over time. Begin procedures such as requiring security deposits or setting up subscription accounts for long-term resources, depending on your product or service. This can improve your finances and define a stable flow of cash coming in each month, even as implementing ideas such as buying used equipment or repairing old materials instead of buying new can reduce your outflow of expenses as well.

Finally, building strong relationships with your lenders, vendors, suppliers, and more can help you to rely on outside resources if times are truly tough. Try to delay payments with vendors as long as you can within your contract agreements to maintain leverage in uncertain times. Form a good standing with your bank lender before you hit a rough patch to ensure your credibility.

Managing your company’s cash flow may be only one of the many responsibilities you have, but it’s one of the most vital to focus on. Implement any of these tips to start seeing improvements in your finances.