Do you feel like each time you take ten steps forward you are knocked back 20 steps? Are your finances leaving you faster than your profits coming in? Well, it is not just happening to you many businesses suffer from this problem. As soon as you think, you are catching up, the mail comes in and the profits go out! You ask yourself, why? This can happen for a number of reasons. One reason is that it can be a sign that your business is growing at a faster speed than you are ready to handle.
Challenges like this one are common with businesses of all sizes. However, without enough of money and resources, your business is not going to be able to expand and grow. When this happens, you need a strategic plan that will give your business the opportunity to accumulate some quick cash and if your unable to get quick cash than you’re going to have to reduce your operating expenses.
Below are some tips to help your business obtain more funds for growth:
1. Have a sale. By holding a sale, you will be able to reduce inventory costs and bring some cash in at the same time. Offer a discount or other incentive to customers who pay now.
2. Ask for advance payment for recurring services. If you are offering services, offer one month free or a 10% discount for customers who pay up front for 12 months.
3. Lease your equipment. Purchasing equipment ties up large sums of money. By leasing, your money is free to be used for other
purposes. Often it is possible to lease a variety of equipment -- including office equipment, computers, software, communications equipment, vehicles ETC…
4. Joint venture with another business. Find a business offering services or products that are similar with your own and offer to promote each other's business.
5. Get a line of credit. Bank credit is usually subject to standard ratios of debt to equity, working capital and profitability.
6. Factor your accounts receivable. Sometimes known as "invoice discounting," factoring is the selling of your invoices (accounts receivable) for cash, instead of waiting 30-60 days to be paid by your customers. Businesses of all sizes use this tool --
which is available through various specialized financial institutions. The funder buys your receivables at a discount -- leaving you with enhanced cash flow. Not all invoices will be appropriate for factoring. The customer must be a low credit risk, there must be evidence of the transactions (such as a signed delivery waybill) and the customer must verify that the debt is owed.
7. Equipment sale-leasebacks. You can use equipment that you already own to secure financing. By transferring equipment assets onto an equipment lease, you can recover up to 100% of the equipment’s value. The equipment remains in your own premises and you can continue to use it. You must own the equipment free and clear to go this route.
8. Ask suppliers for credit. Ask for line of credit or ask them to extend your credit. Another possibility is to discuss loan or consignment shipments from your suppliers.
9. Stop producing dated and low profit items. Stick with your main product until sales improve then you could bring back other products if you choose.
10. Reduce your stock or inventory. Ask suppliers to buy back stock at cost. You will have to allow them an administrative fee. Order supplies or inventory on an "as needed" basis. You could contact other small businesses that stock the same inventory as you do and discuss the possibility of bulk purchasing.
In business, obstacles are common. The key is to face your financial obstacle head on and not let the problem linger. Problems that linger tend to worsen, so when you fall into a financial rut stop, take a few minutes to create a strategic plan, and tackle the problem at once.