As the Business Finance Store recently noted, effective cash flow management is an important part of operations for small businesses across industries.

The initial period after founding a small enterprise can often be dicey in terms of revenue. During this time, entrepreneurs will likely have to tap into their personal or business savings, and/or apply for commercial loans or other forms of funding to keep the company afloat.

However, money from these sources won't keep a business going indefinitely. At some point, the enterprise must begin generating enough of a profit to keep itself going during the period between covering expenditures and receiving revenue.

Tracking business cash inflows and outflows will help small business owners keep on top of exactly how much money is going in and out of their company on a weekly and monthly basis. The more informed you are, the more accurate your financial plan will be and the less likely your enterprise will be to come up against unpleasant surprises.

The first step is to put together a list of all your cash outflows. Make the list as comprehensive as possible. It should include a diverse range of expenses including payroll, insurance, office supplies, travel, entertainment, marketing, utilities and taxes. Each expenditure probably has a different due date, so be sure to record those as well.

Next, record your projected cash inflow. Revenue is typically more difficult to predict than expenditures, so being conservative is probably your best bet. When looking at your revenue history, be sure to take factors like sales and discounts into account, as these likely increased your revenue during the time period they were offered.

With these figures laid out in front of you, you should be able to get a good sense of how your cash flow will look throughout the week or month. If things look like they're going to be tight, encourage customers to make payments as soon as possible – perhaps by offering incentives. Conversely, put off paying vendors until right before their deadlines unless they're going to make it worth your while to pay early.

If you still need to boost your business capital, drop by your local community bank and inquire about financing. My Bank's financial services experts are ready to assist you in person, over the phone at 1-888-mybank4 and even on Twitter at @MyBank.