The Seven Secret Sources of Cash Hidden in Plain Sight

INTRODUCTION

The only unforgivable sin in business is to run out of cash. – Harold ‘Hal’ Geneen

I’m sure you’re familiar with this quote, as well as its ramifications. I’m also fairly certain you’re in no danger of running out of cash any time soon. But like some business executives, you’re eager to find more of it—no matter what the source.

Guess what? You’re in the minority! That’s right, the minority. But I’m glad you’re here.

As the late Mark McCormack, chairman of IMG, used to remind us, we must revere—not just respect—cash flow. It’s been our company’s experience that preserving and enhancing cash flow is more often a foreign concept in most companies. Not just among staff and line managers, but also among senior executives who should know better.

That lax attitude hurts. You wake up to find your vendors making a good living at your expense. You realize your loose credit terms, extended payment options, and overly generous trial and return policies are decimating your cash flow and forcing you to borrow short-term funds. Not to mention what your banks’ transaction fees are costing you. Or that your flat pricing policies in a rising-cost environment are scratching away at profitability. And on and on. Each, in its own way, is robbing you of investment opportunities, salary increases, bonuses, and growth.

I’ve found that there are generally seven secret sources of cash hidden in plain sight that you can tap immediately. You won’t need all of them. But just a few can open the cash spigot.

With that in mind, let’s get started.

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