Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about working capital

When you start your own business, and don’t come from a finance or accounting background, there are certain terms that you must learn and working capital is one of them.

What is it exactly? Let’s take a look…

Working Capital can be understood as the measurement of the operating liquidity of a company.

Why is important?

This is important as it allows startups to:

  • Borrow
  • Increase their share value
  • Meet short-term debts
  • Pay expenses

Working Capital is essential acts as the lifeline of the company when there are limited options for startups to finance themselves and move past their breakeven point. It is a measuring tool that gives insights into a company’s financial structure.

The five sources that startups use to procure working capital are:

1. Utilising venture capital: With Venture Capital funds, you are assured a sizeable investment and the best mentorship in the business. This enable you to plan how you can scale your business. Venture Capital is best suited for small businesses that are looking at expansive growth. Though VCs look to help your company grow, they also look to capitalise on their investments.

2. Raising equity: A good way for your business to become profitable is through issuance of equity and short-term working capital funds. When your personal finances diminish, equity shares will create the required capital necessary to help your business grow. You need to determine the rate of dividend per share based on the profits earned. This allows a business to reduce their financial burden but you will need to give up some company ownership.

3. Discounting Bills of Exchange: When your goods are sold on credit, you can draw a bill of exchange for goods that are sold. These bills of exchange include the acceptance by the buyer to clear the bill on the date of maturity. Your firm can discount these bills of exchange with a commercial bank for a bank discount. This will help you raise finances when payments are due for a cost against the bill of exchange that you make with the bank.

4. Acquiring short-term notes: When you establish a good relationship your bank and they are willing to provide you with a short-term note based on inventory, orders and future receivables. This is undertaken by the bank against a guarantee that is issued by the borrower against a collateral for business needs only.

5. Building a line of credit: Most banks do on not offer a line of credit to new entrants but exceptions are made for businesses with a good equity and sound collaterals. A line of credit provides startups the funds needed for short-term needs. These funds are repaid when the accounts receivables have been collected.

 The benefits of having a sound working capital strategy is that banks provide funding based on assets that will be purchased and expenses that would be covered. Letters of credit are given as a guarantee for non-funded facilities that are made on credit and available in the local and foreign currencies. By having a sound command over your working capital, you can control your operating expenses, purchasing inventory, receivables financing, either by direct funding or by issuing letter of credit and other similar instruments.

Start-up Costs your Business needs to take into Account

It’s great starting up on your own and finally getting your business plan off the ground! But before you know it, you could run out of steam. Your budget and financing will decide the course of your business so it important to analyse you initial expenses and avoid stumbling on the way.

Gauge Your Start-up Expense:

Before you draw a budget for your start-up costs, evaluate your business requirements. Once you know how your business needs to be set up and run, you can chalk out the two types of expenses – one-time and periodic. Base your expenses on a yearlong plan that takes into account changes that may occur in the market. Avoid optional expenses and concentrate on absolutely essential resources – employees, office space, and equipment – with quality output. This will help you also cover expenses quickly with a profit margin. Your start-up costs will help you get a clearer sense of your cash flows and you can adjust your payment cycles accordingly.

Now, let us take a look at four costs you need to be aware of as you set out to be the boss of your own business:

1. Setting Up:

Setting up your office is the next step in getting your start-up going. You will need to consider the following expenses while setting up your business physically:

  • Purchasing/renting/leasing an office space along with basic furnishing
  • Purchasing one-time office equipment
  • Buying softwares and digital tools for all your business works
  • Setting up communication needs like internet and phone lines

These are one-time costs that you will incur in the first year of your business, after which maintenance costs for communication, softwares and office space may arise. These are essential expenses that you cannot ignore so make sure that you are backed up well by your finances.

2. Resources and Vendors for your Business:

To get your business working, you will need resources – a team that will see you through in delivering every little aspect of your business. Always review who you hire and don’t make the mistake of expanding your team too quickly in the initial phases. A small team with good deliveries is more impactful than a larger workforce with average returns. Hire the essential ones but make sure you pick the best ones. For periodic business operations, you can even outsource your work or hire freelancers to do the job. Do not compromise on paying extra for quality staff as they hold the potential to give your business huge turnovers.

3. Estimated Cash flow and Recurring Expenses:

While starting a business, it is often hard to recognize how your business will progress. Operational costs, however, will keep running and you will need to take these into account as part of your initial costs. These will include utility bills, employee salaries, software registrations, and employee benefits. Besides, you will also need to consider a range of miscellaneous expenses that may arise, such as – travel costs, communication reimbursements, insurances, etc. While assessing your recurring expenses, estimate your cash flow and possible turnovers every month. This will help you determine how much amount to set aside from your start-up capital.

4. Promoting Your Business:

Once your business is set and existing, your consumers and clients will have to be made aware of your presence in the industry. Initial marketing costs will include:

  • Name and branding
  • Outdoor promotions like posters or hoardings
  • Digital promotions like social media ads, SEO, and sales campaigns

Your promotional content should include what makes your business different and what your prospective customers should take notice off. If you choose to outsource your advertisements, ensure that you message is clear and your product gains the right amount of visibility to leverage paying customers.

By determining these costs, you will be at a better position to review payments that should be made and spend on those that provide a significant change to the business. With these guidelines in place you will be in the best possible position to have a check on payments and smoothly get your business off the ground and running.

Getting a Bank Loan: It’s easier than you think!

We’ve all heard that it takes money to make money and when it comes to growing your business, this is true. When looking to grow your business, you could use your own savings, borrow from family or friends, run a crowd sourcing campaign, or take a bank loan.

Bank loans are one of the most traditional ways of getting funding for your business and in this post we will take a look at what you need to know if you are considering taking a loan. It’s all about thinking smart and finding the best one that works for you.

Step 1: What is the amount?

When you’re building your dream, it is easy to sometimes get lost in the clouds. So in step one, you need to have your feet firmly on the ground as you decide how much you actually need. A great way to start is by making a list of the expenses you might have. Talk to a friend or family member that owns a business- ask them about the costs they expected and the ones that threw them for a loop. When you know how much you will need to spend, you will have an idea of how much to ask for from a bank loan.

Step 2: Think like a banker

As an entrepreneur, it is important that you are able to see all aspects of your business from various angles. You will need to play the role of planner, innovator and finance head. While there are different technologies such as invoicing apps or banking apps that can make your life easier, when it comes to a loan, you need to start thinking like a banker. Have a preliminary meeting with your personal banker and get an understanding of what is required from you and the questions you will need to answer when applying for a business loan.

Step 3: Find Your Credit Score

If you check the website of any major bank or lending organisation, you will notice that they have eligibility calculators. These calculators allow you to check your credit worthiness or how much a bank would theoretically be willing to lend you. Before you apply for a loan, you will also need to check your credit score. You can check this with the Credit Information Bureau India Limited (CIBIL) and then share it with your lender to prove your credit worthiness.

Step 4: Get Your Documents

In the old days, getting a bank loan used to be a long drawn out process of filling out forms and building mountains of paperwork but now the system is better streamlined. While different banks might have different requirements, here are the basic documents you will need to collect:

  1. ID Proof (Passport Copy/ Voter ID card/ Driving License/ PAN Card)
  2. Address Proof (Ration card/ Telephone Bill/ Electricity Bill/ Rental agreement / Passport copy/ Bank Passbook or Statement/Driving License)
  3. Bank Statements (Both personal and for your business)
  4. Income Tax Receipts
  5. Your business’s documents such as registration, VAT, TIN certificate etc.
  6. Profit and loss statements

Some of these documents will need to be self-attested or attested by a notary. With the right finance processing and accounting software, you will have visibility on how your business is functioning and where you need to inject funds. Banks looking to give you a loan will also have transparency on how your business functions, making you a better candidate to receive a loan.

 Step 5: Know the terms

As with any business contract, you need to know the terms of the loan before you sign on for anything. In today’s world there are various loan formats that offer different terms. Some don’t require collateral or much paperwork and others have the options to submit documents digitally. It is important that you don’t just opt for the first loan offered to you or the one from your personal bank.

Follow these simple steps and you will make inroads into getting the funding your business requires.

Have you considered a line of credit?

Before deciding on borrowing money, however, consider two major factors:

  • How big is your loan amount?
  • How often do you need to make purchases (with the loaned amount)?

If you want to loan a reasonably medium or small amount and if you recognize the need to make multiple purchases along the venture instead of one bulk payment, a credit line will be a better option for you than a bank loan. A Line of Credit or Credit Line is an overdraft account without the hassle of collateral. It is a great choice for filling in financial gaps in your expenses, with more convenience than loans.

A credit line works very similar to a credit card:

  • A credit limit is set for you, which you can borrow entirely or in parts according to your needs.
  • The interest rates are variable and applicable only on the amount borrowed.
  • You can secure a higher credit limit by submitting collaterals.

So, if your venture is about small transactions in steps rather than one bulk investment, choose a credit line which will help you:

  • Avoid paying extra interest for unused money.
  • Use amounts as per convenience.

 Want to apply for a line of credit? Click here to learn how through Numberz.

Get paid faster

For any business, sending timely invoices and offering easy payment options is the key to get paid faster. Numberz helps you create professional looking estimates & invoices from easy to use templates & send using mail.

Just in case you need it , we have also given the option to follow up on pending invoices. And since everything is online, you can check the payment status anytime, anywhere. Once you get paid, you can easily reconcile invoices from bank transactions.

Will GST change your business? We break it down

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What’s the big deal about the GST bill? For your business, it can mean huge, awesome changes!

It is the first overhaul in our taxation system since 1947, yep, that’s right the first major change since Independence. (It’s the 101st Amendment Bill- a fact for your history trivia buffs)

So, what it GST?

Let’s keep it simple- GST is the Goods and Services Tax.Right now, across India there are different taxes and tax rates. The GST Bill aims to say adios to all that confusion and implement a single tax and rate. Sounds good, so far, right? Let’s dive into how it’ll impact your business:

  1. Can the Indian Tax System be Tamed? Earlier you had to work with various tax departments of each state and compile your returns based on several regulations. With the new GST, these issues will be a thing of the past as all taxes will be integrated and the process of filing taxes is much simpler.
  2. Sales Tax, Service Tax, VAT- too many taxes?:Currently you have to pay many different taxes and it can take a lot of time to compute them separately. Now GST will combine all taxes and give you a uniform payment rate.
  3. Can you imagine a world of easy logistics?: When transporting your goods from one state to the next, your vehicles are now stopped at the borders for checks. Interstate movement will change drastically as these checks will be shorter and these taxes will be eliminated with the GST.
  4. Open, Click, Startup: All new businesses require a VAT registration to function and this can be complicated when operating in many states and following different procedures and fees. The introduction of GST will allow a single process of registration and help new startups enter and expand easier than before. With the Digital India and Startup India initiatives, you can also register your startup online.
  5. Who doesn’t love exemptions?: Businesses having to pay a higher VAT for a turnover of more than Rs. 5 lakhs will now be exempt upto Rs. 10 lakhs and above. If you have a higher turnover, fret not, here’s your reason to cheer as tax on turnovers between Rs. 10 to 50 lakhs will be considerably lower.

The GST is here to help your business grow and develop with the added advantage of exemptions and lower total taxes.

Here are the Tax rates:

The GST Council recently put forth a four-tier tax rate system of slabs fixed at 5%, 12%, 18% & 28%:

  • There are two standard rates of 12% and 18%
  • There will be a 5% tax rate on goods that fall under the category of mass consumption
  • The tax on essential items have been reduced while that on luxury goods will be higher
  • Roughly 50% of goods that fall under the consumer inflation basket will be kept at 0% to tackle inflation, while the items that will incur the 28% tax rate were previously taxed at 30-31%

Does it sound like too much for your business to keep track of? We have the simplest solution with Numberz! At Numberz, we are getting ready for new GST regime and at launch will be GST ready, and with your business can be ready too!

 

 

 

 

 

How To Auto Reconcile Your Invoices Through nu,mb,erz

  • Click on the Reconcile tab on the top

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  • You will get a similar screen

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  • Now you can choose any of the bills – paid, overdue, due later

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  • Select any invoice by clicking on the checkbox

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  • On the right column, you can see that transactions similar to the amount of invoice you chose, are displayed

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  • Now you can choose the transaction from right side column which is related to selected invoice by clicking on it

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  • Click on the reconcile button on upper right

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  • You will get a pop-up window

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  • This windows will relate your invoice to the selected transactions and you can see the details. Click on the save button to reconcile or cancel to go back

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  • You will get a success notification once it’s done

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  • Now this invoice will be added to the closed section of invoices

 

Congratulations !

Plays well with all

No matter the kind of business , over time you end up with multiple applications to manage your finances

Given numberz integrates with Tally and Excel sheets, you can ensure that all the manual work is removed. Not only are you benefiting by getting started quickly , but your accountant will be very happy that sending data and offline files becomes a thing of the past!

To sync your transactions to Tally, download the Chrome plugin
To upload your debtor list from Excel

5 Things Business Owners Must Know About Cash Flows

At the helm of your business, there is no job that’s not your job. While your employed peers might enjoy more specialised roles, as the boss of your own business, you need to have an understanding of the basics that drive your business. You might have your own numbers guy or gal but to make money, you need to understand your finances and cash flows. “Why?” you ask, secretly hoping that you left the world of mind-boggling mathematics after your 10th grade Maths paper. Fear not! We’re here to tell you exactly that:   

1. It’s a good weather forecast: Your smartphone gives you all the information you need for the present and the future. From the weather to the traffic forecast, it gets you ready to face anything and also tide over any storm. Cash flow collects information from your sales people, credit workers, collections, service representatives and your finance department. By collecting this information you will know how much cash you can accumulate from payments, interest earnings, service fees and collection from bad debts and therefore know if tomorrow is going to be sunny or if you need to plan for a rainy day.

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2. Know Thy Expenses: More than knowing how much is in the bank, you as a business owner need to have a fairly accurate idea of how your business runs on a day to day basis. Your business should know what you spent on instead of only how much you spent. This can be done by simply creating a line projection of outlays. Here’s an example: Let’s say you collate all of the rent, inventory and office expenses in your cash flow tool or a spreadsheet and by doing so you can pinpoint what your projection of outlays would be for the following months.

3. What’s a Receivable?: There’s a lot of jargon when dealing with finances and receivables is a fairly simple one to decode. It’s the amount that your business will receive a.k.a what it is owed – remember all the invoicing you did?   Better receivables translate into better cash flows. Your business can do better if you improve the speed at which you turn your services and/or products into receivables. This way you can develop a good yield of cash for the company.

How can you do this? 

  • Offer discounts
  • Request customer deposits at the time of delivery
  • Provide ways in which quick payments can be made by the client – payment gateways
  • Insist on credit checks
  • Make credit available to the clients – if possible.
  • Sell old inventory and issue invoice promptly

4. Play Those Payables: As your business grows, so too must your sales. How do you do it? You must check daily expenses and the extent of how you can expand sales. Always inspect and examine ways in which you could be spending on the sales that you make and control them. In this case, your suppliers are your friends. So you should let them know your financial status and develop a trust and understanding with them. Analyse vendor costs for early payments based on change in the overall costs. Look for more flexible modes of payment to improve your cash flow.

5. Happy Investors Love Good Cash Flow: As a startup, keeping your investors happy is simple – have great financial prospects. If you have a favourable cash flow ratio then half your job is done. The better your cash flow, the happier the investor and the better your relationship.   A good cash flow tells your investor that your business and his money is set to grow.

The best way to understand your cash flow is by ensuring that your costs don’t keep creeping up over your cash in hand. Your operating costs is the amount you are willing to spend on your business on a daily basis. Don’t worry about having enough cash – a good cash flow ratio allows you to have the necessary funds to keep your investors happy and wanting for more!

What’s critical is to have the pulse of your business cash flows. Yes the balance sheets are important and critical. But cash flows are the daily lifeblood – that will ensure healthy business, happy employees and a happier you!

Don’t leave money on the table

Your business can do better if you get timely insights into your receivables and expenses. Better invoices and bills translate into better cash flows. The secure and read only online banking integration, helps you get this visibility by downloading your banking transactions in your numberz account and you can easily save hours spent on reconciliation. You can also add all your withdrawals as bills automatically.

Just enter your internet banking login credentials and you can get started in minutes. We use data security standards used by all top banks & financial institutions.