• About 36 percent of small employers report that cash flow is less of a business problem than it was three years ago. Still, about a quarter of small business owners report that cash flow is more of a problem than it was three years ago. About 40 percent experienced no change.
• About one-in-five (19%) small employers find cash flow a continuing or common problem in operating their business. Cash flow is an occasional problem for 43 percent of owners and 38 percent are not negatively impacted by the issue. A plurality of small business owners blame the difference in timing between expenses and receivables for their cash flow problems.
• Fifty-five percent report regularly stepping up efforts to collect receivables when confronted with a cash flow problem. Small employers also find this strategy the most important action they usually take to improve cash flow.
• Of those who borrowed money to resolve cash flow problems, the majority borrowed from a bank. Sixty-eight percent of small employers borrowed money from a bank compared to 19 percent who borrowed from another type of financial institution such as an investment firm.
• Of the population who borrow, 56 percent borrowed from a bank in the last 12 months and 6 percent looked into financing options from a non-traditional lender such as a crowd-sourcing company in the same time frame. Interest in non-traditional lenders was most popular among businesses in the 1 to 9 employee category.
• Another popular tool for small business owners in managing cash flow is a credit line from a financial institution. Over half of small business owners (56%) have an open credit line that they use for business purposes.
• Forty-six percent of small employers describe their sales as spread fairly evenly throughout the year. Thirty-six percent of small employers experience sales that are lumpy over a 12 month period with scattered strong and slow periods. About 8 percent report their sales as concentrated in one calendar quarter of the year and another 9 percent have sales largely occurring within a period of six consecutive months.