Budgets are tricky to manage because costs can get out of control surprisingly quickly. That’s often because we don’t budget for just how expensive problems that might appear relatively minor at first can turn out be. Setbacks don’t normally happen one at a time. One problem often creates several more, eventually cascading into a mess that can break a well planned budget entirely.
For example, a late payment by a client might disrupt your cash flow enough to cause purchasing delays that prevent progress on multiple other projects. That, in turn, could put pressure on workers and clients, which can result in even more complications. The key to avoiding these kinds of problems is thinking ahead, and taking preventive measures that can protect you from cascading effects.
Identify critical areas
In order to prevent this kind of ripple effect, it’s important to identify specific bottlenecks that can’t be allowed to suffer due to cash flow problems. Those could be just about anything depending on your industry and specific business, but a few examples might be…
● Critical resource purchases
● Large irregular expenses
● Utility and Tool Maintenance Fees.
These costs need to be prioritised and tracked very carefully, because they are critical in facilitating the success of everything else your business does. By tracking and being fully aware of their status as critical factors, you’ll be able to discern exactly when you need to take extraordinary measures to deal with a cash flow disruption in order to avoid a more serious problem.
Plan ahead to accommodate cash flow problems
Conventional wisdom and home economics would dictate that you should simply save some money for a rainy day, but that doesn’t necessarily apply to your business. Not only would it often be difficult or impossible to get extra funds for this purpose, small businesses also need to use any liquid capital they have to react to growth opportunities and improve their services in order to compete. Taking these risks is a critical part of sustaining healthy growth.
The right way to plan ahead for this kind of issue isn’t about holding on to liquid capital, but rather about setting up financing options ahead of time that can alleviate financial stress when necessary. The most important issue with doing this is ensuring that you can get access to those funds immediately when you need it. A business loan won’t be of much use if you have to wait a month to get access to the funds. Because of this, it’s particularly important to build a personal one to one relationship with a financial institution that’ll work with you to get you the right kind of financing.
Get the right kind of financing
Unlike larger institutions, Fifo Capital specialises in relationship-based financing for small and medium sized businesses and always provides a 24-hour turnaround on applications for all our financing services. That is, in part, what makes us such a great option for dealing with these kinds of problems. There are a variety of different options that might be right for you, and our representatives work with you to really understand your business so that you get access to the best financing options for your particular situation. Some common solutions would include…
If you’re dealing with client payment issues, a great way to nip it in the bud is to use invoice financing. Using this service, you’ll simply sell an invoice to your financial institution for most of its value. You’ll get your money immediately, and the financial institution collects the payment from the client at the time that it’s due. This kind of financing is secured against the invoice itself, so you don’t have to tie down any other assets.
Fifo Capital’s Business loans are a great option when you need a more significant amount of money in short order. Like with all of our financing options, you’ll get access to your funds quickly, however these types of loans are typically secured. That means you’ll need to be able to provide invoices, stock, or some other kind of collateral.
In terms of planning ahead, standby finance facilities are a perfect option for any small business. Standby facilities are loans that are negotiated whenever you like, and then held in reserve. You can take the time to do your research and negotiate the loan from a position of strength, instead of doing so when you’re under a major time crunch. After it’s set up, you don’t have to ever draw on the funds unless you actually need them, and aren’t responsible for any interest payments on that loan unless you actually make use of it.
Preventing a budget crisis is all about understanding your business, building a great relationship with your financial institution, and planning ahead to deal with those cash flow crises before they have a chance to wreak havoc on your operation. Give us a call today to chat with one of our representatives about how we can help you protect your business!