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 56 per cent of Australian small businesses were cash flow positive in December 2019.
"Be proactive, never assume anything, always test and keep learning."
Staying on top of cash flow is often a tedious task of checking your bank account, skimming over your receivables ledger and checking when you have to pay the bills. Many small business owners struggle to keep a clear understanding of the liquidity of their own business. Remember just because you are driving new business sales, if you don't have cash in the bank to support the ever increasing capital demands of a growing business, your business can capsize without warning. There are many Australian small businesses who have adopted simple cash management techniques to guarantee their liquidity and growth.
Forget the days of whiskey-swilling Mad Men. Agencies these days have demands Don Draper would never have dreamed of. The current climate sees the old world of marketing - television and print - overlapping with the breakneck speed of digital, and advertising agencies are scrambling to keep up.
This article was originally published in the The Land.
It is all to common to hear the traditional Australian banks preaching their support for small businesses but falling short on delivery. Why? It is to costly for them lend to a small business. That is why there is a renaissance in small business lending!
A new wave of non-bank alternative finance startups (aka Fintechs) are listening to the cries of the capital constrained businesses and addressing a $60bn funding gap forged by the big banks. Fintechs are capitalising on a fresh canvas and building technology to not only understand risk better but also deliver a better customer experience.
So what are the alternatives available to a small business today?
“Show me the money!!!” - Jerry Maguire
You have your cash flow engine purring but now you want to optimise its power. What does optimising really mean? Well let’s break it down. Optimising by definition is making “the best of” or “most effective use of”, so to reword this metaphor - how do we most effectively manage flows of cash through your business to optimise its performance?
The most common reason for cash flow pressure in an agency is long-dated invoice payment terms enforced by the end-customer. In Australia, there is on average over $19m worth of invoices outstanding longer than 30 days, while 44% of invoices are being paid late. This is typical throughout the marketing, media and advertising industries. Publishers, app developers, production, modelling and creative companies all suffer from slow invoice payments which crushes their cash flow.
Unless you’re a huge, international conglomerate, chances are you have problems with cash flow. And even if you are an international conglomerate, with a little bit of word play, you have upgraded to “liquidity crises,” and now find the need to lay off 100 unfortunate employees whenever you’re in trouble.