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(Clockwise from top left) Joe Thacker of Fusion Retail Analytics; Sarah English of Usability Matters; Sajan Choksi of Innovative Vision; Kevin Higgins of Fusion Learning; and Kevin Danylchuk of Vanguard Pharma.

(Clockwise from top left) Joe Thacker of Fusion Retail Analytics; Sarah English of Usability Matters; Sajan Choksi of Innovative Vision; Kevin Higgins of Fusion Learning; and Kevin Danylchuk of Vanguard Pharma.

To make the PROFIT 500 Ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies, yours must be a truly impressive business. The members of our 2015 list grew revenues an average of 686% over the preceding five years, creating 71,882 new full-time jobs in the process.

But without savvy cash flow management, no business can make it to the five-year mark, much less find the resources to grow and hire. Here are a few strategies used by companies on the 2015 PROFIT 500 to maximize their money.

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“We believe in leveraging cash flow to drive additional growth, so we recycle a very large percentage of our cash back into the business. Though it initially slowed our growth down, by having low debt we never put the company at financial risk and built a strong foundation we can now leverage.”
—Joe Thacker, CEO, Fusion Retail AnalyticsNo. 249

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“Since Day 1, we’ve put aside three months’ worth of operating expenses in a high-interest account to use in the event we have cash-flow issues. We call this our ‘cash cushion.’ Once or twice a year we will dip into it to cover bills, and then we’ll replenish it when cash flow is back on track.”
—Sarah English, managing director, Usability MattersNo. 317

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“We try to get at least 30-day terms from our suppliers and use our credit cards to pay those invoices on the 27th day. We pay the credit cards 30 days later, which effectively ensures that our cash outflow is at least 55 days. With our cash inflow at 30 days, we’re always in a positive cash position. We also rack up a lot of travel points, which is an added bonus!”
—Sajan Choksi, CEO, Innovative VisionNo. 241

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“We have a line of credit at the bank, but we rarely use it. We’ve found it helpful to obtain credit when we’ve qualified for it, even when we don’t anticipate needing it. Asking for credit when you need it exposes you to the risk that it could be denied, or insufficient, based on your company’s current position.”
—Kevin Higgins, CEO, Fusion LearningNo. 338

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“Since our company isn’t one with much capital—our ‘assets’ are our employees and contracts—we have been able to finance new programs under an accounts receivable margining system, in which the bank will loan us short-term funds based on our current contracts and receivables. This does require monthly reporting, but it allows our cash availability to grow with our company.”
—Kevin Danylchuk, President, Vanguard PharmaNo. 347

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This article is from the April 2016 issue of Canadian Business. Subscribe now!

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What’s your best cash flow management or cost control tip? Share it with your fellow entrepreneurs by commenting below.

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