Serrari Group

Intro to Free Cash Flows and Business-Friendly Investments

Effective cash flow management is crucial for the success of any business. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the concept of free cash flow and introduce business-friendly saving tools to optimize your financial management. Additionally, we will compare the yields of various saving options to help you make informed decisions to achieve financial stability and growth.

What are Free Cash Flows?

Free cash flows (FCF) represent the surplus cash generated by a business after accounting for operating expenses and capital expenditures. It is a critical metric that indicates the company’s ability to generate excess cash for reinvestment, debt reduction, or distribution to shareholders. FCF serves as a measure of financial health and investment potential for both existing and prospective investors.

Why are Free Cash Flows Essential for Businesses?

Free cash flows play a pivotal role in determining a company’s financial health. It allows businesses to invest in growth opportunities, pay off debts, and distribute dividends to shareholders. For small businesses with limited cash reserves, effectively managing free cash flows is even more critical to navigate through challenging times.

Categories of cash flow

  • Operating Cash Flow: Operating cash flow refers to the cash generated or used from a company’s core business activities, including revenue from sales and cash payments for operating expenses. It represents the cash flow resulting from the company’s day-to-day operations.


OCF = Net Income + Non-cash Expenses (e.g., Depreciation, Amortization) – Changes in Working Capital

  • Investing Cash Flow: Investing cash flow represents the cash flow generated or used from buying or selling long-term assets, such as equipment, property, investments, and other capital assets. Positive values indicate cash inflows from asset sales, while negative values signify cash outflows for asset acquisitions.


ICF = Cash Inflows from Asset Sales – Cash Outflows for Asset Purchases

  • Financing Cash Flow: Financing cash flow accounts for cash generated or used from activities related to a company’s financing and capital structure. It includes cash from issuing or repurchasing stocks, borrowing or repaying loans, and distributing dividends. Positive values denote cash inflows from financing activities, while negative values represent cash outflows.


FCF = Cash Inflows from Financing Activities (issuing stocks, issuing bonds, or obtaining loans) – Cash Outflows for Financing Activities (repurchasing stocks, paying dividends, or repaying loans).

Importance of saving free cash flow for a business

The importance of saving free cash flow is necessary for the financial health and long-term success of a business. Free cash flow (FCF) is the surplus cash generated by a company after accounting for operating expenses and capital expenditures. This remaining cash is a valuable resource that provides several critical benefits when saved and managed wisely:

  • Financial Stability: Saving free cash flow ensures that a business has a financial safety net to weather unexpected challenges and economic downturns. Having reserves allows a company to meet its financial obligations, such as paying suppliers, employees, and other operating costs, even during lean periods.
  • Investment and Growth: Accumulating free cash flow provides a source of funds for investments in the business. These investments could be in the form of expanding operations, acquiring new assets, launching new products or services, or exploring growth opportunities. Such investments fuel business expansion and increase market competitiveness.
  • Debt Reduction: Paying down debts is an essential aspect of financial management. Saving free cash flow enables a business to reduce its debt burden, which, in turn, improves its creditworthiness and financial standing in the eyes of lenders and investors.
  • Funding Capital Expenditures: Many businesses require periodic capital expenditures for maintaining and upgrading their equipment, technology, and infrastructure. By saving free cash flow, a company can cover these expenses without resorting to costly borrowing.
  • Shareholder Returns: For publicly-traded companies, saving free cash flow allows for potential shareholder returns in the form of dividends or stock buybacks. This attracts investors and enhances shareholder confidence.
  • Emergency Funds: Having a reserve of free cash flow acts as an emergency fund for unexpected events or contingencies. It provides a buffer against unforeseen circumstances, allowing a business to respond swiftly and effectively.
  • Strategic Flexibility: Saving free cash flow provides a company with strategic flexibility. It allows the business to take advantage of favorable opportunities, pivot in response to market changes, or invest in research and development to stay ahead in a competitive landscape.
  • Sustainability: Businesses that consistently save free cash flow demonstrate financial discipline and sustainability. Sound financial management increases a company’s chances of surviving and thriving in the long run.
  • Competitive Advantage: Saving free cash flow can give a business a competitive edge over its rivals. With the ability to invest in innovation and expansion, the company can differentiate its offerings and enhance customer experiences.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Having a healthy free cash flow position positions a business well for potential mergers and acquisitions. It can either facilitate a smooth acquisition process or make the company an attractive target for acquisition by larger entities.

Business-Friendly Saving Tools

Regular Savings Accounts:

Average Yield: 0.5% to 5%

Regular savings accounts are basic accounts offered by banks and credit unions. They provide a safe place to deposit and save money while earning a modest interest rate. These accounts typically have low or no fees and allow easy access to funds.

High-Yield Savings Account:

A high-yield savings account offers a higher interest rate than a regular savings account. Businesses can deposit excess funds into such accounts to earn interest while maintaining liquidity. The interest earned can contribute to the company’s revenue or be used to offset expenses.

Fixed deposit accounts

Average Yield: 7%

Fixed deposit accounts can be a valuable saving means for businesses seeking a secure and predictable way to grow their surplus cash. These accounts are offered by banks and financial institutions and are designed to encourage businesses to deposit their funds for a fixed period at a predetermined interest rate. Here’s how businesses can benefit from using fixed deposit accounts as a saving means:

Certificate of Deposit (CD):

Average Yield: 6% to 10% APY (depends on the term length)

CDs offer higher interest rates than regular savings accounts but require the funds to be locked in for a fixed term. By strategically choosing CD terms based on cash flow forecasts, businesses can ensure that a portion of their savings earns a higher return while avoiding unnecessary expenses.

Money Market Accounts:

Average Yield: 7% to 11% APY

Money market accounts offer higher interest rates than regular checking accounts, while still providing easy access to funds. Businesses can park their emergency reserves in these accounts, earning a modest return on their cash without sacrificing liquidity.

Treasury Bills (T-bills):

Average Yield: Varies with market conditions (12% or more)

T-bills are short-term government securities with maturities ranging from a few days to a year. Businesses can invest excess cash in T-bills to earn a safe, risk-free return. This can be particularly useful when expecting significant cash outflows as T-bills provide predictable returns.

Corporate Bonds:

Average Yield: Varies with credit rating and market conditions (12% or more)

By purchasing corporate bonds issued by stable and reliable companies, businesses can earn higher returns compared to traditional savings accounts. These bonds offer regular interest payments, making them a potential source of consistent income for the business.

Peer-to-Peer Lending (P2P):

Average Yield: Varies based on the risk profile of borrowers (10% or more)

P2P lending platforms connect businesses with potential borrowers, cutting out traditional financial intermediaries. By lending to creditworthy borrowers through P2P platforms, businesses can earn higher interest rates compared to standard savings accounts while diversifying their investment portfolio.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs):

Average Yield: Varies with the performance of underlying real estate assets (4% to 10% or more)

Investing in REITs allows businesses to gain exposure to real estate without the need for direct property ownership. REITs pay out a significant portion of their earnings as dividends, offering a stable income stream that can supplement a company’s revenue or savings.

Comparison Table

Saving ToolYieldDescription
Regular Savings0.5% to 5%They provide a safe place to deposit and save money while earning a modest interest rate. They typically have low or no fees and allow easy access to funds.
High-Yield Savings AccountVaries (usually higher than regular savings accounts)Offers higher interest rates, maintaining liquidity for businesses with excess funds. Earnings can contribute to revenue or offset expenses.
Fixed Deposit Accounts7%Secure and predictable way to grow surplus cash with predetermined interest rates for fixed periods.
Certificate of Deposit (CD)6% to 10% (APY)Higher interest rates than regular savings accounts but requires funds to be locked in for a fixed term. Businesses can align CD terms with cash flow forecasts.
Money Market Accounts7% to 11% (APY)Provides higher interest rates with easy access to funds, suitable for emergency reserves while earning modest returns.
Treasury Bills (T-bills)Varies (often 12% or more)Short-term government securities with predictable returns, offering a safe, risk-free investment option for excess cash.
Corporate BondsVaries (often 12% or more)By purchasing bonds issued by stable companies, businesses can earn higher returns with regular interest payments.
Peer-to-Peer Lending (P2P)Varies (often 10% or more)Connecting businesses with borrowers through P2P platforms, providing higher interest rates compared to standard savings accounts.
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)Varies (4% to 10% or more)Businesses can invest in REITs to gain exposure to real estate without direct ownership, offering stable income streams.


In conclusion, effective cash flow management is crucial for the success of any business. This comprehensive guide has explored the concept of free cash flows and introduced ten business-friendly saving tools to optimize financial management. Saving free cash flow is essential as it provides a multitude of benefits, including financial stability, investment and growth opportunities, debt reduction, and the ability to weather economic uncertainties.

The presented business-friendly saving tools offer various yields and benefits, catering to different risk preferences and financial goals. High-yield savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), money market accounts, Treasury bills (T-bills), corporate bonds, peer-to-peer lending (P2P), and real estate investment trusts (REITs) are among the options available. Each tool offers unique advantages, from higher interest rates to diversification opportunities.

By harnessing the power of these saving tools and strategically allocating free cash flow, businesses can optimize their financial resources, enhance profitability, and strengthen their position in the market. Making informed decisions about how to save and invest surplus cash empowers companies to achieve financial stability and sustainable growth, positioning them for long-term success in a dynamic and ever-changing business landscape.

photo source: freepik

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