Starting a business is inherently a risky endeavor, especially in today’s less-than-ideal economy. You need to know how to take on the challenges that come your way and maintain a steady cash flow. This can be tedious for entrepreneurs whose skills lie more in delivering a product or service and less in finance.
But how you manage your money can make-or-break the success of your business. Getting it right is largely a matter of knowing what to do. With this in mind, here are 8 small business finance hacks that will keep you moving forward.
Invest in Growth
For whatever you decide to put capital towards, it’s a good idea to consider how conducive that investment is to growth. Analyzing your expenditure and measuring the ROI can help to reveal what may not be worth spending more on. Cutting out bad financial habits and fostering good ones will help you progress faster.
At some point or another, your business is going to need financial assistance. Without sufficient credit, you might not be able to obtain it. Your creditworthiness determines repayment terms, insurance premiums, and more.
This is why it’s important to build a good credit score. One way to do this is to take out a short-term business loan, which will simultaneously give you the cash you need to leverage immediate expansion opportunities. Online loan providers offer agreements with repayment periods between 3 to 12 months, giving you sufficient time to pay back the credit.
Keep it Separate
Your business and personal bank accounts should be separate. This reduces the risk of setbacks in your business as a result of personal withdrawals. It also simplifies accounting and tax ascertainment. Keeping a clear border between personal and business lines of credit will ensure that one can’t damage the other during financial difficulty.
No entrepreneur enjoys paying for insurance. But when the unthinkable happens, they’re always glad they did. The financial consequences of a natural disaster, cyberattack, lawsuit, or employee mishap can swiftly wipe out your assets. At the same time, some types of insurance are legally required and others are a prerequisite for contracts.
With any vendor that you’re about to do business with, or existing ones for that matter, a bit of negotiation can entitle you to useful discounts or more lenient terms, such as additional time to pay. Keep this in mind when entering any new contract. It’s also a quick way to potentially reduce the cost of services such as phone and internet bills.
In many industries, buying equipment is a necessary step towards growth – but also an extremely expensive one. Renting or leasing is usually an option for this reason. Be sure to consider it when faced with the decision to buy new equipment. The capital you save can be utilized elsewhere to speed up progress.
Debt is a surefire way to increase stress and worsen relationships with stakeholders. It can also impair your credit rating and make it difficult to make payments. Perhaps the most important time to focus on eliminating your debt is at the end of each year. Writing off debts will give your business a healthy image in the eyes of those who are important to it.
Finally, don’t forget to build an emergency fund. This can be particularly challenging when there are so many opportunities to invest your money in growth or pay off expenses instead. But having a cash reserve is just as important as having insurance, with the added benefit of not costing anything to maintain.
There’s always room for improvement, so be sure to look over your finances and see where things can be changed. Get it right and your business will prosper.