Having positive cash flow is critical to the success of any business. As the founder of CEO of the cloud-based Payment Cycle Management and accounts receivable solution Billtrust, Lane Flint knows just how critical it is to have more money coming into your business each month than going out.

Lane founded Billtrust in 2001 in an effort help organizations get paid. Billtrust’s solutions accelerate cash flow by automating invoice delivery, invoice payment and cash application.

We recently had a chance to speak with Lane about the importance of cash flow and starting new businesses.

Q. Why is having positive cash flow so critical to small businesses?

A. Cash flow is the No. 1 determining factor in whether or not a business survives. Getting customers to pay for something of value is hard. And a lot of companies fail at this point. But turning revenue into cash flow is equally important. Without steady cash flow, investing for growth is very difficult.

Q. How can a company’s strategic vision impact cash flow?

A. A business can’t expect to survive, let alone grow, without a basic understanding of its present-day challenges and long-term goals. A company’s strategic vision influences everything in a company, from its values and mission to hiring standards and marketing goals, and especially its cash flow. In order to implement more efficient solutions that accelerate cash flow, organizations must have tactical support, budget and buy-in from leadership – which is next to impossible if a long-term strategy isn’t clearly defined across the organization.

Q. What is the best way to improve your cash flow?

A. For most companies, cash flow can slow down for multiple reasons throughout the invoice-to-cash process – or what we call payment cycle management – including unapplied payments, delayed invoices and even human error. The best way to improve cash flow is through Read More Here