Why pest control companies need adequate working capital


February 1, 2023

Image courtesy of Dan Gordon

Dan Gordon, CPA

Working capital is a financial metric that measures a company’s ability to pay its current liabilities with its current assets, and is calculated by subtracting current liabilities from current assets.

Current assets in this case means cash or cash equivalents, accounts receivable and inventory. Current liabilities in this case means all obligations due in a year or less, such as accounts payable, credit cards payable, and short-term portion of long-term debt.

The working capital calculation is important because it:

  • Provides an indication of a company’s short-term financial health and liquidity.
  • Can be used to evaluate a company’s ability to handle unexpected expenses or fluctuations in revenue.
  • Is a crucial metric for lenders and investors, as it demonstrates the company’s ability to manage obligations and stay solvent.
  • Can help identify and address inefficiencies in operations, such as slow-moving inventory or prolonged accounts payable.
  • Helps plan and forecast the future cash needs of a business.

Without adequate working capital, a pest management firm may struggle to meet its financial obligations and may be at risk of failure. Adequate working capital in a pest management business allows the company to meet its short-term financial obligations, especially in slower times of the year when many pest management firms may have a limited amount of cash on hand and need to rely on short-term financing to meet their daily expenses. Working capital allows a company to do this by providing the necessary funds to pay bills, salaries and other expenses.

Providing growth opportunities

Working capital also plays a critical role in a pest management company’s ability to invest in new equipment, expand its operations, or enter new markets. This is because working capital allows a business to have the funds available to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.

A small pest management business with a positive working capital balance is generally considered to be financially healthy and is more likely to be able to meet its financial obligations. On the other hand, a small business with a negative working capital balance may be at risk of financial trouble and may struggle to meet its obligations.

Improvement strategies

One of the most important ways for small businesses to improve their working capital is through effective management of their accounts receivable and accounts payable. This means a business should be diligent in collecting its accounts receivable. In addition, it should not extend credit to customers who are unlikely to pay. At the same time, a business should be careful not to
pay its own bills too quickly, as this can tie up valuable working capital.

Another effective way to improve working capital is through inventory management. This means a business should be careful not to overstock its inventory, and should be quick to turn over its inventory. This can be done by carefully monitoring inventory levels and by implementing just-in-time inventory policies.

It’s essential to remember that working capital is not a onetime calculation; it is a continuous process that needs to be monitored and managed on a regular basis. It’s important to stay aware of the company’s accounts payable and receivable, cash flow and inventory levels to ensure the company can meet its short-term obligations and invest in its growth and expansion.

About the Author

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Dan Gordon, CPA, owns PCO Bookkeepers & M&A Specialists, an accounting and exit planning firm that caters to pest management professionals throughout the United States. He can be reached at dan@pcobookkeepers.com.

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