Cash flow is the lifeblood of every business, whether it’s big or small. However, when small businesses or startups have to take business loans, it changes everything. Not only the business has to maintain enough cash flow so that they can pay for inventory, staff, and other expenses but also the loan installments as well. Money management also becomes a challenge as there are several factors to keep an eye on.
If you are having difficulty in managing your business cash flow along with a small business loan, then here are a few tips that can help you:
Don’t leave any room for surprises. Nothing is more daunting than desperately searching for cash when you have to pay your employees or the loan EMI that’s pending. It always helps to keep a record of your previous cash flow statements and expense reports when you have to anticipate future expenses. This will help you maintain a healthy cash flow as you can easily check where your money is going and what’s to come in future.
Shrinking Cash Outflows
Running a business along with a loan can make it difficult to stay cash flow positive. While you can’t usually reduce your loan EMIs easily you can still reduce your cash outflows to some extent by:
- Buying used equipment: Why invest in 100 new computer systems when you can get used ones for less than half the price? If you are lucky you can get them in excellent condition at a local auction or at a classified ad posting website.
- Cutting Down on Luxuries: Hosting weekly office parties can be good for boosting the morale of your employees, but when you have to save money such kind of luxuries can be avoided, at least until the loan is fully repaid.
- Finding a Better Provider: Many businesses depend on vendors who supply hardware or software services to them. Maybe you can replace your existing vendor with someone else who is providing equally good services at better prices.
Securing a Line of Credit
With the rise of new FinTech companies, even small businesses are now able to enjoy a variety of financing services. One of these is Line of Credit or LOC.
An LOC is akin to traditional loans, but you only need to pay interest on the amount withdrawn. For instance, say you secured an LOC of Rs. 3 lakhs from a financial institution, then this is the amount of credit available to you. You don’t have to pay a penny until you actually withdraw the money. So, if somewhere along the way your business runs into some problems with the cash flow then you can withdraw a portion (or even full amount) of the credit amount, say Rs. 1 lakh. With this, you only need to pay the interest and the fees (if applicable) on the withdrawn amount only, which in this case is Rs. 1 lakh.
LOC is a really convenient and affordable option if you want leverage when you have a business loan but need to maintain cash flow at the same time.
Becoming Stringent With Payments
Do you let your customers delay payments without any repercussions? This could be extremely bad for your business. You can’t organize your expenses and keep the cashflow under control unless you get your payments on time. You can thus create a strategic process for dealing with delinquent payers that could involve:
- Sending an initial email 10 days following receipt asking for payment.
- Calling up the customer directly after 20 days for the payment.
- Sending away a clerk to the customer’s address in person for payment collection.
Being nice is one thing, but in business you should not let your emotions affect your decisions. You can’t run your business successfully if won’t put your feet down when needed.
Since small businesses often have to struggle to create an identity and obtain market share, it doesn’t help that they have to track their expenses as well which alone by no means is a walk in the park. Thus, it helps to have a specialized software that can do all the formatting, updating, and calculation of all these expenses for you. If anything, this makes one less thing to worry about, and you can use the time saved in building your business.
Cash flow Management at a Whole New Level
A comprehensive business software can greatly improve your existing cash flow by limiting the margin of errors in calculations and expediting invoicing and payments altogether. Here is how you can make the most of it:
Organizing Your Billing Schedule
You should keep a track of pending payments and send the invoices on time every time. This ensures that your cash flow doesn’t dry up and your business stays operational. You can also take care of your loan payments without worrying about debt accumulation when you know that everything is on schedule. Managing the same without an automated system can be quite difficult, and thus not even advised by most professionals.
Keeping the Pricing in Check
Are you charging adequately for your services and products? Many times businesses become so caught up with expansions and other business operations that they delay raising prices with inflation, etc. This can be detrimental to the cash flow. However, with a billing software you can easily check if you are imposing reasonable tax on the products, and price them adequately as well. You may need to charge certain clients more due to some extra services, their location, or requirements, etc. This can make creating custom invoices for them difficult. With an Invoicing software, you can easily customize a base template depending on your clients. You can add or delete certain fields from the invoice as per your requirements and send custom invoices in a matter of minutes.
Analyzing Weekly Cashflow Statement
Monitoring your cash flow is extremely important to ensure there is a healthy balance between the cash that’s incoming and outgoing. There are so many expenses to cover, loan payments to take care of, employees to be paid, and more. At the same time money can come from various sources- individuals, businesses, and more. The best way to review these transactions is to use a billing software that can provide all the details in an organized and simple manner. You can check these details on a weekly basis to ensure you are on track. Even if for some reason you notice that the cash flow is depleting you can pinpoint the weakness and take appropriate measures for restoration.
numberz is one of the few business management software in India that comes with a full range of tools and services that can take your company to the next level. In an industry where businesses are facing neck to neck competition, automated software can certainly give you an edge and improve the cash flow.