The problem with cash
Surprise bills hurt businesses. Make sure you know upfront what your accountant is going to charge.
One of the frequent requests we get at Float is for daily cash flow forecasting. A lot of businesses are interested in more granular forecasts to get better insights into how their available cash changes day by day. And with good reason: Even if you have a big invoice being paid to you in a couple of days, if you reach your overdraft limit today, you may still be in trouble. It’s worth keeping on top of your cash flow!
Invoices are a necessary evil. It’s what your agency needs to get paid! As your agency’s financial manager, ownership of this monthly responsibility falls to you.
Invoicing clients should be fun - it’s the final step between your hard work and hard cash! But often it’s a stressful process filled with friction and sometimes fiction!
Float is an online cash management and forecasting tool that helps you manage your business and keep on top of your cash flow. By projecting your future cash in the bank it’s easier to make the right decisions for your business.
Having spent years as a fitness instructor and in financial services, there are many lessons I’ve learned from keeping in shape and living a healthy lifestyle that can be transferred to managing your finances.
The cost of travelling overseas can quickly add up so it pays to know some tips and tricks so you can avoid being ripped off on exchange rates and unnecessary fees as well as get a better deal on your flights.
As someone who constantly has the travel bug, I’m always on the lookout for ways to get more out of my money so that I can afford to squeeze in more trips each year. Here are things that I’ve discovered from my travels over the years.
One of the biggest troubles small business owners face is access to capital. So activities like theft or fraud can cripple a small business in a heartbeat.
We all know that cash flow is king. But just how much sway does it have? Well, you might want to ask the nine out of 10 small businesses that have failed because of cash flow problems. That’s, right, according to D&B, 90% of small businesses close their doors because of poor cash flow management.
If January 2016 mirrors the years that have gone before, it will be the busiest month in the calendar for people starting a business. Returning from Christmas to an unfulfilling job and a burning idea to turn a hobby or passion into a way of making a living, people in their droves will take steps to become their own boss. Will you be one of them?
Cashflow management is vital for a growing business. We spoke to Ed Castaño of BlueVine, a provider of working capital to small businesses, to find out how to manage cashflow. Here are his thoughts.
What do modern customers expect from retailers? How can you increase revenues per transaction? How can you ramp up word-of-mouth for your business? Our latest retail roundup answers these questions and then some.
There’s some truth to the saying “You have to spend money to make money.” When you’re running a business, shelling out without seeing an immediate return is part of the territory.
If you employ people to provide services to customers, it’s vital to manage the hours invoiced to customers compared to those you pay to staff. Reason being, the differential is potential lost income to your business and precious profit.
Setting a price for your product or service can be difficult to get right. We think we’re rational when we assess the value of something. But there’s actually a lot of factors, including the prices of competitors and our own emotions. Understanding behavioural science is key to setting the right prices and improving your profitability.
Discounting is one of the most popular (and arguably among the most effective) ways to drive sales.
Talk to any credit control expert and they’ll tell you the sooner you follow up an overdue invoice the better. You’ll not only get paid sooner, but you’ll also send a clear signal to your customer that you take your payment terms seriously.
No matter how innovative, sought after or profitable your small business may be, without cash in the bank, you’re going to face some serious struggles.
Typically defined as: ‘the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.’ (1)
Success means a lot of different things to different people. Success may mean wealth, or it may mean happiness. It may mean fame, and for others it may mean power. But can revenue be a true predictor of success?
Have you ever thought you were doing something good for yourself only to find out it was having the reverse effect? Like having a caffeine-hit only to end up in an even bigger slump, or dry-cleaning that expensive jacket and having it returned ruined. Unfortunately the same can be said for many Australians who keep their savings in a high-interest bank account.
The end of the first home saver accounts (FHSA) scheme means Australians who have put their money into the FHSA have lost a great vehicle to build up their savings.
Do you know who an incredible advocate for hard work was? Mary Poppins.
Back in the day, retail pricing was relatively straightforward. Customers would walk into a store, browse products, look at their price tags, and if they like what they see, they would move on to checkout.
When deciding how to price your products, you need to understand how – and where – your business fits into the economy.
The government has high hopes for Australian small businesses and is banking on them to boost the country’s economic growth over the next few years.
Inaccurate estimations can cause drawbacks in the process of important projects. An electrical contractor who ends up buying more materials than is truly needed, for example, might waste a lot of money. And, inversely, an electrical contractor who purchases less than the job requires might miss lower prices offered by wholesale arrangements, and waste time procuring all the necessary items for the completion of the project.
It might be hard to imagine now but what if something were to happen to you? Would your loved ones be taken care of or would they face a tough financial future?
The greatest gift you can leave your family is having your affairs sorted out before you go.
If you have made plans, do your loved ones know where to find them? Would they know what assets you have, what insurance policies are in place or how to access your superannuation or life insurance?
Here are some simple steps you can take to protect the important people in your life.
According to the Small Business Association, about half of all new small businesses survive five years. And only about 33 percent survive ten years or more. Having a solid plan in place to manage cash flow is essential to ensuring that your business can survive.
Having well structured and timed invoices is essential to getting your invoices paid (and paid on time).
Running a business is a high stakes game, afterall it’s your livelihood… it’s you that has to pay the mortgage / rent and put food on the table. Getting invoices paid on time (or at all) is an ongoing challenge for many small businesses, especially in services where you’re often doing the work prior to getting paid.
Fortunately there’s a bunch of measures you can put in place to defend yourself from sharks, flakey customers and downright back luck. So we’ve put together a handy infographic that you can print out and keep nearby to remind you to stack the odds in your favour when it comes to getting paid. Enjoy!
Since the recession in 2008, there have been many complaints that the banks aren’t lending to SMEs. As a result businesses are increasingly seeking out alternative finance routes to access funding.
From freelancers to fencers, techies to electricians, if you issue invoices as part of your day-to-day business, you will have experienced the frustration of not having those invoices paid on time.
And the part that really blows? The cringing follow-up phone call where you try to coax payment out of the client while not damaging your relationship.
Some customers are simply not worth having – they cost you more than the revenue they bring in. They consume a disproportionate share of time and money, and create stress by paying late. They disrespect your people, complain often, and expect the earth, yesterday, and all at a rock-bottom price.
Do you want to invest in a start-up? Or maybe you have an innovative idea that you need funding for?
Two new tax incentives designed to make investing in Australian start-ups more attractive started on 1 July 2016.
The profitability of any job undertaken by a field services business can vary significantly from expectations at the time the estimate for that job was created. Removing this variability and delivering consistent profits should be the goal of every business owner.
Hands up if you recognise the process of; receiving an invoice, getting it to your bookkeeper, making sure it’s entered into your accounts, filing the invoice and then storing it for several years…
It’s that time of the year again – the time when you’re looking over your books and seeing what worked and didn’t work. You’re thinking about goals for the year ahead and wondering how you can improve profit in your company. And one simple solution is staring you in the face: you can raise prices.
A phone call or email 'out of the blue' offering you a not-to-be-missed investment opportunity could be a turning point in your life. If you say 'yes' to the deal and the offer is a scam, you could lose thousands of dollars or end up with enormous debts.
Investment scams are often so professional, slick and believable that it is hard to tell them apart from genuine investment opportunities. Our tips break down how investment scams work.
Welcome to 2016!
To help your business start 2016 off on the right foot, we’ve put together a list of changes for business that came into effect from 1 January 2016.
Do you spend a lot of time entering invoices? At Xero, they're committed to helping you shave hours off your invoicing workflow. Here’s a grab-bag of ways you can use Xero to speed up your invoicing. Some ways might not suit you, it’s a case of picking the ones that make sense for your business.
Cash is often referred to as the lifeblood of an organisation, a key factor that determines business success or failure. In many cases, cash is vital for daily survival; a small business that doesn’t have enough cash on hand to pay suppliers might not be able to open the next day.
As a small business owner, it’s quite likely you play both the role of salesperson and debt chaser. On one hand you want to keep the relationship positive so you can continue selling to that customer, but on the other hand you need your bills paid for your business to survive. Maintaining customer loyalty and satisfaction while keeping a credit control policy that’s abided by can (at times) put you in an awkward position.
It goes without saying that shoplifting is a major problem in retail. A 2014 study by the National Retail Federation found that shoplifting accounts for 38% of shrinkage, and was costing retailers $32 billion a year. That’s a huge chunk of revenue. To help you keep the income you deserve, we’ve put together some tips for preventing and dealing with shoplifting.
You may be surprised to learn that the worst culprits for consistent late payment are not actually the massive corporate juggernauts or the mini mom-and-pop businesses out there… the latest payers are actually high street retailers.
As a small business owner, you’re going to have good days and bad days. Some days will be worse than others.
Part of coping with the darker days that come with managing your own operation is being primed and ready to handle them when they arrive.
This involves building a network of advisors around you, hiring the right team and implementing the right technology so you have all the resources to push through and come out the other side with a healthy and stable business.
Do you want to expand your business, be more competitive in your industry and achieve certain goals?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you need a business plan!
Whether you’ve just started out or you’ve been running your business for years, business planning can be the key to your success.
We’ve laid out three key reasons why you need to get started on your business plan today.
During the 2015 federal budget, the Australian Government labelled small businesses as the ‘engine room of the Australian economy’ – driving growth and creating jobs.
A year on, the federal government solidified that moniker. They handed further tax cuts to small business owners and increased the revenue threshold to include a further 60,000 businesses not previously eligible for lower taxes and asset deductions.
Every year you pay levies to ACC to cover injuries suffered in and out of work — and vehicle regos help cover injuries suffered in road accidents.
Applying for funding from a bank can be daunting. It’s a lengthy process which involves jumping through hoop after hoop with no guarantee of success.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, follow our guide to ensure you go into the loan process with the correct information and watch your chances of approval soar.
Starting your own business can feel like scaling Mt Kilimanjaro. You dig your feet in, climb, and pray for the best. It’s an exciting, chaotic, and hope-filled journey… But what happens when you reach the top of the mountain? Is there anywhere to go but downhill?
Unfortunately many small businesses grind to a halt - or even start to decline - after climbing their first mountain. This is known as the small business profit plateau. Your company is finally up and running smoothly, but its exponential growth suddenly stops. Your profits start to flatline. It feels like your team is working twice as hard just to maintain the same ROI.
No one likes late payments from their customers. Late payments have a negative effect on cash flow. Chasing customers for payment takes valuable time. Prevention is better than cure when it comes to getting your invoices paid on time. Here are some tips to make your invoices highly likely to get paid quickly.
It’s the beginning of the new financial year which means it’s time to review, reset and plan for the year ahead.
Here are 7 steps to help your business start the new financial year out right.
These days, using a mortgage broker certainly makes sense if you want some expert help in whittling down the huge number of loan options out there.
You’ll certainly save a lot of time and legwork, but to make the most of a broker’s services, it’s critical that you share your financial goals with them so they can actually show you the best loans to help you achieve your financial goals.
Choosing a bank is one of the most important decisions when starting a small business.
It’s as important as choosing where you’ll set up a brick-and-mortar store, developing a business strategy or deciding who you’ll partner with.
Choosing a bank should be the start of a long and fruitful business relationship.
If you track income and expenses on a spreadsheet, you could be losing sight of how your business is performing and wasting a lot of time on data entry. There are low-cost alternatives that allow you to monitor business cashflow really simply.
One of the tougher challenges for many trade businesses today in terms of finance is what’s commonly referred to as a cash gap.
A cash gap is a lag which occurs between income and cost of goods sold (COGS); that is, cash inflows and outflows. Businesses that suffer from a cash gap may be profitable on paper, but have cash flow problems because they have to pay their suppliers (COGS) much earlier than they receive money from their clients (income).
If there’s one phrase found on the lips of finance-conscious small business owners more often than any other, it’s surely this old chestnut: “Cash flow is king”.
But how often does the average small business owner actually walk the talk of ‘cash is king’? Could it be that the simple distinction between ‘cash’ and ‘profit’ is actually unclear for many SMBs? And just what is the difference?
It’s the Holy Grail of business: increasing the number of profitable hours in a day. Short of asking staff to do more overtime or take shorter breaks, how do owners and managers coax more revenue-raising activities out of every employee and every subcontractor on every shift? And how do they become more effective at making decisions that will boost business efficiency every week?
We all know that cash flow is king. But just how much sway does it have? Well, you might want to ask the nine out of 10 small businesses that have failed because of cash flow problems. That’s, right, according to D&B, 90% of small businesses close their doors because of poor cash flow management.
One of the most overlooked and under-practiced habits in today’s businesses is creating annual profit and loss budgets. But why is this so critical for your business?
With a profit and loss budget, you’ve considered and developed an understanding of the key areas in your business that really make your profit and loss come to life.
It’s often how you say something that determines whether you get the result you want. This applies in financial services, marketing and even tax collecting.
In one experiment by the Nudge Unit they improved the payment of vehicle taxes by using simple plain language, “pay your tax or lose your car”. In fact HM Revenue & Customs attributes the recovery of an extra £210 million a year from taxpayers by using behavioural insights in its letters i.e. changing the words to influence behaviour.
If you’ve just appointed your first fresh-faced Gen Zeds to your staff (anyone who’s just out of school and are aged 15-19), you could have up to five different generations to manage at work. In fact, these days, it’s not at all uncommon to have a wide range of generational diversity.
Getting out of the cashflow trap for good: The first step is to admit your clients have a problem (with debtors)
This is the first article in a series of posts about Debtor Radar, a new debtor analysis and cash flow advisory tool for accountants from Debtor Daddy. If you’re an accountant you’ll be able to learn more here.
Our goal with Debtor Radar is simple: Help more small businesses solve the cash flow troubles caused by debtors.
We’ve all been there before. You’ve called about those overdue invoices once, maybe twice, maybe three times, and payment still hasn’t been made.
What to do next? Throw up your hands in despair? Give up on it as a lost cause? No way, Jack. Not in this economy.
When considering a business loan, most people will evaluate affordability based on the advertised interest rates. But the truth is that if you compare only the interest rates, you could waste money, or end up with a deal that isn’t the best fit.
The craft beer revolution has sparked a unique production for breweries both small and large. Beer drinkers everywhere are seeing an emergence of eccentric flavors and quirky names fill the taps at their local pub. Not only are beer drinkers seeing this emergence, they are demanding it and as a result craft beer has become increasingly popular over the past few years. This popularity has sculpted the way breweries are operating. Craft beer may be infused with peculiar hues, notes and suggestions of ingredients we never would have thought to be vaguely compatible with beer, yet a few staples remain intact in the beer brewing process.
This is the second article in a series of posts about RADAR, a new debtor analysis and cash flow advisory tool for accountants from Debtor Daddy. This article focuses on two pieces of information available in RADAR, Debtor Days and Cash per Day.
Investing is all about risk and return: get the balance right and be handsomely rewarded.
The structure of percentage-based fees often tips those scales in favour of investment platforms and fund managers. Once their asset base grows large enough to cover operating costs, natural market growth and guaranteed inflows create enormous profits, no matter what the outcome for investors.
It’s time to address a subject that a lot of companies fail to notice or incorporate into their business planning – the costs of carrying inventory. Inventory costs money to purchase, this much is a given; however the cost of the inventory goes far beyond that. Typically, (if accurate values are not calculated on a case-by-case basis) the total carrying costs of a product are 25% of its value and composed of capital costs (15%), storage costs (2%), servicing and handling costs (2%) and the cost of risk (6%). Let us look at these different components of inventory carrying costs more closely.
China-watching is mandatory for many people in business.
The world’s most-populous nation looms large on the global stage in politics, commerce and sport. Its 300 million aspiring middle class citizens – still a small part of the total population - are increasingly sophisticated in their consumer activities, travelling a lot more and further, and pursuing business interests on all continents and the South Pacific region.
Knowing what your payroll costs are – daily, weekly, monthly and yearly – is an important part of running a successful business.
Picture this: You’ve just about closed a sale, and the shopper made up their mind to buy a product. What do you do?
It doesn’t matter how large or small your store is, or how many of them you’ve got—if you’ve got a point of sale (POS), you’ll see big benefits in switching from a simple cash register to a full-featured, cloud-based POS platform.
When a visitor spends time browsing your online store or bricks-and-mortar outlet, they’re looking for something. And when they find it, they’ll be tempted to buy it.
Retailers have historically dominated the commerce landscape. Several years ago, industry trends and top products were set by the stores selling them.
Inaccurate information about your company’s expenditure can greatly inhibit your capacity to make and maintain a successful business.
The thing is, employee wellbeing and happiness isn’t just about nap rooms, onsite massages, and cafeterias serving healthy food and snacks (though that would be nice!)
Helpful and informative retail books abound everywhere you look these days.
You need to keep track of transactions for the tax office, lenders, but most importantly for yourself, as a business owner.
Even if a business has some other, high value, assets such as factory plant, inventory is likely to essential to the business’ ability to trade profitably.
If you’re in business, making decent money is important. Sometimes, though, it doesn’t always work out the way you’d planned...
There are many factors to consider when you’re selecting an ecommerce platform, and when you first start selling online, it can be hard to find one that’s the right match.
Inventory management can be overwhelming. There can be an incredibly large amount of tangible inventory, which can translate to a huge amount of responsibility and pressure to manage this inventory properly.
With global recessions, increasing oil prices and increasing competition, saving money wherever possible and thereby maximising profits is the name of the game.
Choosing a pricing strategy is a difficult decision, but one that every business needs to make. Pricing strategy affects most aspects of a business, including its revenue, market share and profitability.
Forecasting is the process of estimating the effects trends, costs and external factors will have on your business in order to give yourself time to prepare.
Have you ever heard about the parable of the boiling frog?
There are many reasons why you may want to improve cash flow in your business. Maybe you’re looking to free up some cash to put towards growth, or maybe you’d like to build up your cash cushion to protect yourself from any bumps in the road.
Many businesses use trade discounts to simplify variable pricing, protect a market recognised price point, stimulate sales or reward customer loyalty.
What is cashflow management? In its simplest form, cashflow management is doing everything possible to ensure that money flows into your business as quickly as possible, and leaves the business as slowly as possible.
Inventory forecasting is critical for the smooth operation of any stock-based business. Managing demand can be tricky, however, if a large part of your inventory is subject to seasonal demand.
Every day, business owners work hard to increase their profit. But far too often, they lack a clear strategy and practical plan to make that happen. Your Profit & Loss Budget should be a direct reflection of your Strategy and Plan.
Promotions are almost always part of a retailer’s sales and marketing mix, and for good reason — they can drive sales and help you move inventory.
A new trend is rising, changing the way people can are securing financial needs. This new trend gives both individuals and businesses an alternative source of financing.
Three quarters of small and medium sized UK builders say that late payment has directly hampered their business growth according to a recent Federation of Master Builders survey.
The coffee category of the hot beverage industry is thriving, with the number of coffee drinkers growing each year. Cafes and coffee vans are everywhere, meeting our seemingly unstoppable need for a regular caffeine fix.
Most of us look forward to Christmas as a time for fun, festivities and spending time with the family. If you’re a small business owner though, it’s not always the carefree holiday you might hope for.
Take a moment to put yourself in your target customer’s shoes. Now, pretend you’re someone who’s walking into your store for the first time.
If there were no customers, there would be no business. And with no business, there is no income. So, it would be safe to summarise that customers should be the point of business, would it not?
Many virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin have emerged over the last 10 years but just how safe are they? We explain how virtual currencies work and the risks you take buying, trading or investing in them.
After spending months thinking about it, you finally decided to quit your 9-5 job and start your very first business. You think that this will be a win-win situation for you because you get to do what you love and be your own boss.
There has been a lot of chatter in the media recently that another economic downturn might be around the corner. As The Wow Company found in their recent “How recession-proof is your business” survey, a surprisingly high number of UK-based businesses are not prepared for the next recession.
Over the last five years, peer to peer lending has become a popular alternative to traditional bank lending for individuals.
If you are a startup owner or entrepreneur, it is no secret that you may be working within a tight budget. The ability to make pennies stretch is an important survival skill.
No matter how inventive or simple your business model is, you can still have problems with cash flow. Here is a rundown of the best and worst businesses for cash flow.
Cash flow can be hard to get to grips with for any business; whether you’re growing, just starting out, or established. In fact, 82% of businesses become insolvent because of bad cash flow.
Many firms will decide to take on debt at some point, at different stages of growth and for several reasons.
Scammers use clever tricks to reel you in and get you to reply to their email or not hang up the phone. Most scams seem like genuine offers but they are carefully designed to trick you into giving away your money or your personal details.
Over 2,000 years ago, Aristotle said “ First, have a definite, clear and practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends: wisdom, money, materials and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.”
Anticipating future demand is a tough job, wrought with ways you might go wrong. Proper demand forecasting and inventory control can save a company from buying too much or too little of something, which of course avoids expensive overstock scenarios or stockouts.
Offers for grants worth over $3.5 million will support 7 businesses to help launch their innovative products, processes and services into domestic and international markets.
The funding has been provided from the Accelerating Commercialisation element of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme.
There’s literally hundreds of blog posts giving you the 7-10 steps to reduce debtors and improve cashflow. Yet the debtors problem still exists to some extent in the majority of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) globally.
Too often businesses leave collecting debts at the bottom of the pile. Why? Often there is anxiety and worry around the process, or lack of trust in collection agencies. Sometimes lack of time and understanding of the process.
Clichés. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. (See what just happened there—it’s that bad).
The most widespread, just-waiting-to-pop-out-at-you, cliché is a very short one, measuring just three words—time is money.
Tax time is fast approaching—it’s important to do your homework and know exactly what tax deductions you can claim.
The best suppliers will provide the most suitable goods or services at the right prices and within the right time frames for your business needs. Below we give you six factors you need to know when considering a new supplier.
5 policy changes that could improve the retirement income of Australians
Disease and infection are not the only things transmitted by sex – debt can be too.
Cashflow is the lifeblood of any small businesses - but what can you do when your customers won't pay you.
You’ve got a little creative agency, and it’s doing quite well. You’ve landed a few high profile clients, and your reputation in the community is growing. You’re even in line for a couple of awards this year.
One of the most difficult decisions for any business owner – professional service or otherwise – is how best to effectively price his or her product or service. And with good reason, too.
Whether you work at a startup, a large corporation, or something in between, the end of the month always means one thing: it’s time to get those expense reports in! People often consider expense reporting to be a pain in the elbow, and that’s why we’ve made it our mission to make expense reports suck less.
Just what are we talking about when we refer to ASIC's Registry?
Welcome to the world of the super rich…
From superyachts to champagne – get inspiration from the oligarchs on how to submit your receipts this summer!
When it comes to investing, one of the basic pieces of advice given to investors – large and small – is to ensure their portfolio is well diversified to help protect their investments against volatile markets.