According to a study conducted by Deloitte, 200,000 Australian SMEs leaders have difficulty accessing capital in order to grow and expand their business. And, as we discussed last time, when small business owners are faced with the daunting task of borrowing money from banks, it can be a stressful and time-consuming process – particularly if they’re newly established. And if businesses don’t have any real estate assets to borrow against, the odds really aren’t sitting in their favour.
Running a business isn’t easy. It’s all consuming, ever-changing and with the wave of digitisation, means modern businesses are practically running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many people will remember the 'Crackberry' almost 20 years ago as an early catalyst. It was one of the first mainstream personal devices that allowed people to send work emails from home which was not great for work-life balance, but fantastic for showing your boss that you're still beavering away at midnight!
Fast forward to today. With the proliferation of smartphones and the heightened need for instant gratification, most goods and services can be bought, sold or shared in just a few clicks. And just like the modern 24 hour news cycle, the business environment has become much more dynamic and fast-changing. It's become necessary for business owners to keep up or be overtaken by more agile competitors. A lot of aspects of running a business have kept pace with the changing world and cloud accounting is a great example of this. However, until recently, accessing business finance has been lagging developments in other areas.
Traditionally, your local bank – most likely the one you have banked with since you were a kid – would be your first port of call for some funding for your business. They would have asked for a business plan, reams of supporting documents, probably a mortgage on your home, and with a little luck you might have received an approval two months later.
These days, the process for applying for business finance from a bank is pretty much the same and they take just as long to give you an answer. The main difference for small businesses is that the outcome is commonly a 'no'.
Now, that’s not to say banks won’t lend to you. They're generally very happy to lend to large businesses and are more comfortable if you put your house up against it as collateral. Outside of this it can be a drawn out, frustrating and ultimately disappointing experience for many small businesses.
Managing cash flow is an ongoing task for any business owner and can be challenging at times. Cash flow stress can be due to a range of factors including extended invoice payment terms, clients slow-paying their invoices or simply the need for a short-term cash boost to take advantage of an attractive business opportunity. Even the most established and successful businesses can be confronted with cash flow issues, creating stress for the business owner, impacting growth and sometimes even the viability of a business. With this in mind, there is a good chance that you may one day need to access funds to keep your business sailing smoothly and this week's blog aims to help you better understand the difference between invoice finance and unsecured business loans.
Akansh Prasai, Director of Talent Crowd, has always had a deep passion for technology. As a curious child, he’d take apart his Nintendo console and put it back together to understand how it worked.
Akansh has enjoyed a diverse career in the IT space from managing technology support teams right through to developing a niche skillset in the area of technology recruitment. It was in 2014 that he founded his first business: a technology recruitment firm built on the principles of integrity, transparency and trust. “I found this area of IT to be deeply rewarding, but eventually felt restricted by traditional recruitment firms, who valued profits over building long-term relationships with clients,” Akansh says.
The timely payment of income from our employers keeps us going; it helps to pay for our day-to-day expenses – the mortgage, electricity, water, phone bill, loans and groceries.
You could say that mastering the art of business cash flow can be compared to mastering the art of balance and equilibrium. It’s all about knowing what’s coming in, whilst managing what’s going out. Whether you’re an established small business or right in the start-up phase, having a clear understanding of cash flow is imperative and is the key to long-term growth.
Even if your business model is second-to-none, you’re showing signs of profitability and you have investors knocking on your door, you simply won’t survive if you can’t manage your business’s cash flow. Cash is the lifeblood for any business, keeping it afloat. If you don't have cash in the bank to support this, there’s a good chance your business will sink very quickly.
Kate Chalker is the type of person you want in charge of a growing business. Intelligent, enthusiastic, and articulate, she has the air of someone who while juggling multiple balls at once is always in control.
As we discussed in part-one, while delayed payment on accounts payable is often accepted among the business community as a fact of life, it can have serious ramifications on small businesses.
Managing working capital and ensuring that you have access to cash when you need it is a critical part of being a business owner. However, according to Xero Small Business Insights, only 52 per cent of Australian small businesses were cash flow positive in April 2019.
Every business faces the typical challenges of getting paid by customers, paying taxes, paying suppliers and accessing finance. Simple processes in theory but unfortunately tiresome and unexciting to the extent that they are often neglected or totally forgotten about until it is too late.
Skippr has been listening and learning about these challenges to develop technology manage these processes proactively to save time and instill confidence within a business owner and their finance team that they have the cash to achieve growth, prosperity and balance.
The Skippr team is super excited about this product update as it is another step closer to our core mission - giving a business cash flow confidence.