The most common problem we hear from small business owners is a lack of ready cash flow, with many admitting that this issue is damaging their business development.
Often, this results in business owners having to dig into their own personal finances to keep things afloat, due to the restrictions imposed by traditional lenders.
However, there are a few alternatives that business owners can look at when it comes to tackling cash flow, particularly around money management.
Business cash advances
Small business finance no longer has to come through a traditional bank, meaning it’s now increasingly easy to access due to a number of alternative financing options. A business cash advance provides a simple way of raising finance for companies that take card payments through a merchant account, as they’re based on monthly credit and debit card revenue. Funds from these advances tend to be made accessible to small businesses in as little as 72 hours because they don’t require forecasts and plans to make a decision, unlike with banks.
Related: What is a merchant cash advance?
Perfect for buying more stock, funding extra staff and covering a refurbishment, our advances are deposited quicker than a traditional bank loan and tend to be paid back faster too. Typically a business cash advance takes about six months to repay and there’s no fixed monthly cost, with repayment set in line with card turnover. This means when business is good you pay back more and, during quieter times, repayments are scaled down to reflect daily credit and debit card sales.
Receipt of cash
Send out invoices immediately after the delivery of goods or services and consider changing payment terms from 60 to 30 days. Offer a small discount to customers who pay their bills early and charge a penalty to those who pay late. Monitor amounts owed to your business on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and follow up with late payers when appropriate. Carry out financial checks on new customers before offering credit and request their business references.
Define terms and conditions
Agreements to terms and conditions form the foundations on which any deal is struck. They are fundamental in helping to avoid misunderstandings and will strengthen your ability to collect any outstanding amount at a later date. Make it clear you’re not just selling something, you’re also making an agreement with the buyer about the price.
Analyse cash flow
Many businesses go through seasonal highs and lows, depending on the sector they operate in. A cash flow analysis made at the start of each financial year will help to identify both busy periods and lulls, meaning you can look at ways to time borrowing, arrange the right amount of staffing and boost your marketing efforts.
Work with an accountant
Think of an accountant’s services as an investment rather than an expense as they will help you to review cash flow projections and results, provide insights into overlooked areas and anticipate business problems.
Quick Capital provides business cash advances to businesses taking card payments through their merchant account, providing an alternative to difficult to secure bank loans. To find out more, visit www.quickcapital.co.uk or call 0800 3777 402