Every business has specific patterns in the way their finances flow. Look at your own business and spot the patterns that indicate good or bad times ahead.

Even if it’s not a seasonal line of work, does your business have a slow time of the year for sales? Are there better times for cash on hand and to collect receivables? Does a certain event or uncertainty (e.g., an election, holiday, interest rate hike, or date/deadline) cause an uptick or slowdown in orders or work? In some service businesses, for example, if the project doesn't sign by Thanksgiving, it's very unlikely to sign until the beginning of the next calendar year. Look back over past years and analyze the ups and downs of your financial cycles so you can better plan for the future.