Showing posts with label cashflow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cashflow. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Small Business Stalled by Cash Flow Crisis

Almost half of small companies in the UK have been hit by a cash crisis – for 50% of the small businesses polled by Everline in 2013, money was not readily available to pay for essential financial obligations and expansion was put on the back burner. Regular access to cash flow is crucial. For example, small recruitment agencies set up to handle a specific need in the area are finding it hard to progress beyond making ends meet. If you run a small business, what solutions do you have to avoid cash flow problems and move forward?

Cash Flow Problems

In the survey, 29% of respondents said that a lack of cash flow was restricting their business expansion. An additional 23% of businesses had put marketing initiatives on hold, and 28% said they paid suppliers and other businesses late because of a lack of access to cash. These cash shortages occurred at least once a month, and the main problems happened when clients or customers paid late. 

Bank Loan Solutions?

It is all too easy to fall into the cash flow trap. You run your business efficiently, but if you have no access to cash when you need it, you quickly run into problems. It only takes a few suppliers to pay late or several customers to forget to pay, and you end up stalled, with no money to go forward. Sometimes the only solution seems to be a business loan, but it is increasingly difficult to access loans in the current financial climate, and debt in the form of bank loans can be difficult to sustain. Fortunately, there are other solutions to free up your cash flow and maintain a healthily functioning business. 

Look in a Different Direction

For example, outsourcing functions such as payroll can help streamline your business and make it easier to access cash when you need it. Outsourced payroll services are designed to take the payroll off your hands, so it is guaranteed to be paid. You can then use the cash to generate new business. This access to ready cash flow is vital for recruitment businesses and other companies that need to deliver payments regularly on time. In fact, when you think about how to set up a recruitment agency, one of the first things you need to consider is how you will make payroll.

Additional benefits of outsourcing payroll include no need for a payroll team and, therefore, a reduction in wage overheads. You also do away with other hidden costs such as postage, stationery, and printing. Once you have outsourced financial functions such as payroll, you can develop marketing and sales strategies and concentrate on how to grow the business rather than how you are going to find the cash to meet your regular payment commitments.

Outsourcing can have many benefits apart from not needing to house your payroll team in your office. You only have to pay for the service provided and not for additional expenses like sickness and holidays for team members. You can operate from a smaller office with less overhead for heating and light. You don’t have to provide office equipment and furniture. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that you gain from having a professional, knowledgeable team that specifically understand payroll. It is far better to have a specialist team that is up-to-date with the latest legislation than to have a ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ in your office who has to juggle many jobs at once. Outsourcing shouldn’t be viewed as a cheap option, rather a far better resource than you could otherwise provide.

Of course, this kind of service must be used responsibly, and it is important to know how you are going to ultimately pay your bills as well as the cost of the outsourcing. Outsourcing is no match for sound financial planning – when you prepare for the future, you increase the chances that you can cope with unexpected costs and obligations.


Image attributed to David Castillo Dominici

Monday, October 7, 2013

4 Tips for Managing Your Cash Flow

Learning to effectively manage your cash flow is the first lesson most entrepreneurs learn after they put their business plan in place and open the doors to their business. In the article, “How to Better Manage Your Cash Flow”, written for, you learn that, “the lag time between the time you have to pay your suppliers and employees and the time you collect from your customers is the problem, and the solution is cash flow management.” If you follow some basic, common sense tips, you'll find that you can better manage your cash flow and meet your financial obligations in a timely fashion.

By considering recruitment factoring as a solution to your cash flow problems your business can continue to operate on a normal basis.

Tip #1-Try to measure your cash flow to prepare for the upcoming period. You’ll need to consider a variety of factors that contribute to your company’s income. Think about what you have on hand, your client’s payment history, any upcoming costs that you know you’ll have, and the amount of outlays that are coming up in your budget. This includes rent, payroll, benefits, any equipment that you need to buy, utility and fuel bills, and any loans that you have to make payment on. This is not an easy task and requires careful thought and planning but it must be done to run a successful business.

Tip #2-Try to create a plan to improve your receivables. This can include offering a discount to clients who meet their financial obligations to you quickly, asking for a deposit on orders made, and developing a cash-on-delivery plan for customers who don’t pay in a timely fashion. You’ll want your staff to issue invoices promptly and note on the documentation that payment is expected upon receipt of this bill. Another way to avoid problems with your account receivable clients is to do a credit check on them before merchandise is exchanged.

Tip #3-You need to effectively manage your payables. Don’t allow your expenses to expand faster than your sales; you must watch your expenses so that you don’t mismanage the funds that you have coming into your company. Use a variety of means to work with your vendors so that you can take advantage of discounts, flexible terms, and electronic payments that can be made on the final day that they are due.

Tip #4-You must manage your shortfalls quickly and efficiently. The wise entrepreneur will be aware of the shortfall early and take steps to remedy the situation. Whether you approach a bank, your suppliers, or a recruitment factoring programme for assistance, you will have a plan in place to help meet your financial obligations and preserve your company’s good credit rating and reputation. If you have experienced this shortfall in funds because of poor planning, you should obtain help with managing your cash flow so that you won’t have this experience in the future.

Keeping your business reputation and honouring your financial obligations are two of the most important aspects of running a successful company.


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