Winning a big new customer is exciting and has many obvious benefits for a small business. But an over-reliance on one or a few big customers also comes with risks that business owners need to be aware of and manage accordingly.
According to the recent Xero Small Business Insights report, only 56% of Australian small businesses were cash flow positive in December 2019. February is the tightest month of the year for cash flow though, with just 47% of Australian small businesses having positive cash flow, on average, over the past five years. February is a tough month as invoices tend to be paid later than in other months, and it’s also a time when payments for stock to top up last year's sales are falling due.
More and more Australian small businesses are sold on the benefits of cloud accounting software and are making the move. Easy-to-use platforms like Xero save small business owners time and effort with bookkeeping and provide useful information to help with better decision making. Cloud accounting software has been a game changer for millions of business owners in how they run their business, and a lesser known benefit is that it can help Australian small businesses access business finance more simply than in the past.
You may have heard of invoice finance and how it can be a great option for businesses looking for some extra cash flow to support growth. In this blog we answer the two big questions: What is invoice finance and how does invoice finance work?
The use of cloud accounting software by small businesses is skyrocketing. On 30 September 2019, Xero had 1.2 million subscribers in Australia and New Zealand alone, which was a 28% increase on the previous year. MYOB, Quickbooks and other accounting software businesses are also quickly improving their online products and growing fast.
We’re picking up from where we left off in Part 1 of this series. Here are some more ideas on how to best prepare yourself and your business for 2020 so you can start the new year strongly.
The end of 2019 is almost here but before starting to wind down too much, it’s worth putting some thought into what your business will look like in 2020.
Running a successful business starts with the fundamentals and getting those little things right makes all the difference. Focus on these and you’ll build a strong foundation for the coming year. So if you’re a small business owner, here’s our to do list to prepare for 2020.
Conditions have never been more favourable for FinTech businesses to challenge the incumbent financial service providers. Here are a few of the tailwinds supporting the rapid growth of FinTechs in Australia and around the world.
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.