Running your own business is a life-changing adventure that could represent a significant transformation for your finances and your family's lifestyle. The first challenge is how to turn your idea into a profitable business. The next challenge is how you, as a business owner, can grow the company.
One of the main reasons business growth stagnates is lack of time. As a small business owner, you will often be the one performing all the tasks that need completing. However, over time, this can harm the growth of the business. Combining the operational aspects of running the business with the implementation of new strategies can be impossible without adequate resources, whether assets, human or intellectual capital.
Identifying the resources you lack is the easy bit. The real challenge is accessing the capital you need to plug these gaps or to obtain those resources. Fortunately, there are financial solutions that will help you gain greater control of your cash flow to enable you to grow the business. For example, working capital loans or inventory loans can give you access to the capital you need to take the next step of your growth strategy.
Here, we list five solutions designed to strengthen and boost your businesses without decapitalizing them.
Asset leasing is a financial solution used by companies of all sizes. It gives businesses access to the physical assets they need, such as machinery, vehicles, or office equipment, without having to purchase or own the asset outright. Instead, the business takes out a rental contract for the asset in question. At the end of the agreement, businesses usually have the option of purchasing the assets at a preferential price.
These services are an excellent option for companies that require equipment, specialised machinery, or transportation fleets but do not have the capital to purchase them.
Business credit cards
These products are offered by many financial or banking institutions. They allow businesses to pay all their bills (such as utilities like electricity or water) or make outright purchases of assets (such as equipment, furniture, and supplies) and receive a monthly consolidated bill for all their outgoings. Businesses then have the option of making one single payment for all the outgoings or spreading the cost by making periodic payments (usually monthly) to pay off the outstanding balance, interest, and charges.
A business credit card allows businesses to make a payment when the bills arrives - even if they don't have the cash flow to hand at the time. Sometimes business credit cards also offer other helpful benefits such as discounts for early payment, interest-free payment periods and balance transfer promotions.
Business loans and financing solutions can be the key to unlocking business growth or expansion. They are designed specifically for businesses, unlike personal loans, whose purpose is different.
However, before you get carried away by the funds you might be able to access, you need to do your homework. Make sure you are familiar with the loan terms. Each product will have different characteristics, such as interest rates, charges and fees and repayment terms.
You need to understand exactly how much you will be repaying and when. You also need to understand exactly what is at risk if you cannot make repayments on time. Your business assets (and personal assets too if you have given a personal guarantee) may be at risk. Your business could face winding up procedures if you become insolvent and are unable to pay your debts.
Your suppliers can be one your best allies when driving growth - especially where you have an established relationship. Depending on the contract you have reached, one way to improve your cash flow is to pay for your purchases in instalments. This can give you access to the materials or resources you need to create a product, take on a new, sizeable project or launch a new service without having to commit finances to cover the whole cost up front. Staged payments allows to pay for the materials and resources once the sales start coming in.
The other benefit of this approach is that it leaves you free to allocate capital to other areas of the business so that they are not starved of cash as you launch your new project.
New payment methods
Given the widescale adoption of digital tools, companies must adapt to meet the expectations of their customers. These days customers expect to be offered multiple ways to pay and to be able to do so according to their personal preferences.
Accepting different payment methods such as credit or debit cards, bank transfers, or PayPal payments is an excellent way to meet buyers' expectations and improve your cash flow. In addition, it opens the possibility of offering promotions or interest-free monthly payments to your customers, with your financial institutions as allies.
Any scale-up business requires a well-established growth strategy, skilled and organised project managers to drive the project forward and access to the finance it needs to enable the project to proceed.
There are no fool proof methods or ways to grow a business. Each business is different, and no one knows your market better than you. Let yourself be guided by your numbers and data.
Accessing the right financial products at the right time can be key to improving your service, diversifying your offer, and increasing your turnover.
Copyright 2021. Featured post made possible by Camino Financial.