You should aim to put at least 20% of your net pay toward paying down your outstanding debts. If you cease to add to your short-term debts today, you will find that you can pay off most of your short-term debt anywhere from 3-7 years.
There is no hard fast rule to tell you how much debt a company should have, because the amount can vary based on the industry. If you divide the company’s assets by its equity, you will uncover their financial leverage. The company’s financial leverage is a good tool to see if the company has too much debt. You can compare this number with others in the industry to see where they rank.
This is a good number to scrutinize each month, and to track in terms of percentage to total sales over the course of time. The higher the better with gross margin! You need to have enough money left at this point to pay all your indirect costs and still end up with a profit.
Moreover, a net Income Statement does not reflect cash payments for capital (like for the company’s building, property and equipment) but the free cash flow examples reflects these payments as long as these payments were (already) done in the form of cash.
CHART OF ACCOUNTS: A complete listing of every account in your accounting system. Every transaction in your business needs to be recorded, so that you can keep track of things. Think of the chart of accounts as the peg board on which you hang the business activities.
Please note that this factor or rule of thumb could be much higher, depending on the number of years of income you will have to replace. The highest “factor” I’ve seen is to multiply your annual after-tax income by 20.
The formula is based on two centuries worth of returns in the stock market and the real rate of return (5% annually) you can expect to earn after taxes, expenses and inflation.
Consider non-cash intensive payment options. Have you ever tried bartering? Make sure you are using business credit cards that award travel points to minimize cash expenditures on future business trips.