'Cash sales' means all income received at the time when you finish fitting a security device - or that's received in advance, for example a deposit. While some of your customers may pay you in cash, remember that Cash sales also include:
- debit and credit card payments
To prepare your cash flow, you need to estimate how much income you will receive over the next twelve months, including VAT. To do this you will need to work out security devices you are likely to fit, at what price and when you will receive the payment. You will also need to gauge the likely level of demand for any other additional related services that you're planning to offer - for example fitting in car audio systems - and what you will charge for them.
There are a number of things to consider when you make your estimates:
Type of business
- will your customers be private motorists, businesses (such as fleet operators, taxi firms and driving schools) or a mixture of both. If you have both, think about whether you'll offer a discount from your normal price list to regular trade customers
- will you operate a mobile service or work at your own premises. If you plan to do both, decide whether will you need employees to help cover the premises-based and mobile sides of your business
- where will your premises be and will you have more than one outlet
- what will your opening hours be
You may be planning to offer some additional services alongside your core business of fitting security devices, some of which you are likely to charge for and others which you may provide free of charge. For example, you may:
- fit accessories such as audio systems, telephones or navigation systems
- offer repairs and upgrades to manufacturers' security systems
- sell mechanical security products (steering wheel locks, wheel clamps, locking wheel nuts and so on)
- offer to collect and deliver customers' vehicles
- provide a courtesy car
As well as working on cars you may well decide to offer fitting services for other vehicles including lorries, coaches, motorhomes, caravans, trailers, motorcycles and even boats.
- what will your pricing policy be (don't forget, you must be able to cover your costs, overheads and drawings)
- how will you cost your services - looking at your competitors' websites can give you a good idea of the prices that the local market can stand
- will you make separate charges for additional services such as collecting and delivering customers' cars
- how often will you review your prices
- will you offer discounts and special offers - for example you might offer regular trade customers a special discounted rate
To help with your decisions, click on the checkpoints for guidance. Once you have worked out a Cash sales figure add it to the relevant field in your cash flow forecast.