Keeping a tight control of your cashflow is the single most important thing you can do when running a business; particularly when you are just starting out. All companies need cash to survive – and thrive – and meeting your financial obligations and having money to invest in opportunities is critical. But how do you manage your cashflow properly, and what are the best methods of doing so? We’re going to reveal all in our guide to managing cashflow – read on to find out everything you need to know.
What is cashflow?
Understanding cashflow is the first thing you need to do if you want to know how to manage it properly. Cashflow is the amount of money that comes in and goes out of our business, and you need to track it on your cashflow statement. A positive cashflow is the ideal, as it means you have more money coming into your business than leaving it, although many startups will usually have a negative cashflow – which means there is more money going out of your business. However, having a positive cashflow doesn’t necessarily say that you are turning a profit, as that money coming into your business could also include borrowing.
Working out a benchmark
So, when it comes to managing your cashflow, the first important step is to work out a reference point – or breakeven point. It’s this point where your business becomes profitable, and it’s an important goal to set for any new business. Not only will it help you achieve a level of safety for your business, but this benchmark or breakeven point is also a way of predicting your cashflow in the future, and can help with your financial planning. The general rules of cashflow are relatively straightforward: know where you are at right now; know where you will be in six months time. You can’t possibly know either of these if you don’t work out your breakeven point first.
Having access to cash is vital for your business, so it’s important to ensure you are getting what you are due as fast as possible. In the vast majority of cases, this task involves getting money from clients and customers. According to research, the average customer pays around two weeks late, so it’s easy to see where many of your problems might arise from. Never invoice people and then leave them to it – remind them regularly and be proactive in chasing them up. You can sue automatic emails at regular intervals before a due date, and if that time passes with no payment, you can also consider imposing late payment fees. Don’t be afraid of chasing money – you have a right to be paid for your work, and the longer a customer leaves it, the more exposure your business will have to risk.
Of course, the money that goes out of your business also has an impact on your cashflow, And whereas you should be encouraging your customers to pay straight away, you should be avoiding paying your suppliers and other payables for as long as possible. We’re not suggesting missing deadlines, of course, as that will attract fines. But by establishing longer credit terms – changing a 60-day payment to a 90-day, for example – and you will find that your cash flow improves by a significant amount.
If your business buys inventory, it’s vital to ensure that you are making sensible decisions about how you buy, store, and manage it. Don’t forget, everything you buy will impact on your cashflow, as it ties up valuable money that you can’t use for meeting your financial obligations or investing in improvements. The fundamental principle of inventory management is to order stock in quantities that you can sell on quickly, without impacting your sales with out of stock issues. It’s a tricky balance to strike, but absolutely essential if you don’t want your cash tied up in inventory that lingers around your business for months on end.
At some point in time, all businesses will experience periods of a shortfall when it comes to cashflow. And one of the best ways of protecting against such occasions is to ensure that you have some reserves put aside – emergency savings if you like. Of course, this can be difficult to achieve when you are just starting out, but it’s something you need to consider if you want to avoid potentially dangerous financial situations arising.
Borrowing money for your business is a great way of improving your cashflow, but bear in mind that you have to counter this by being able to turn a profit. Look at something like a cashflow loan if you need to fund a new marketing campaign that can pretty much guarantee results. While these types of loans can be expensive if you don’t pay them back on time, the funding they deliver can help you achieve your goals far more quickly than saving a little each month and raising them yourself. Small business loans are also an interesting idea, and as long as you research the market and get the lowest interest possible, they can provide you with vital funding to help you pay for your growth strategies.
Boost sales to current customers
Acquiring new customers is an expensive task, both regarding resources and money. So, if you want to increase sales to improve your cashflow, you are far better off trying to sell more to your current customers. Research suggests it is up to six times cheaper to sell to old clients, so it’s easy to see how much value it can bring to your business. Look at what people are buying, and spend some time analyzing their shopping habits. Is there a way of enticing them back with discounts or better deals? However, one thing to bear in mind is that you have to focus on getting money quickly – don’t allow your credit out to build up, or it will just cause you further cashflow issues. The idea here is to make money, not increase your accounts receivable.
Making Money With Short Term Rentals
Investors love investing in real estate as it usually outperforms other investment types like shares and managed funds. There are many ways to make a profit for your business with real estate too including ‘flipping’. This term refers to purchasing a revenue-generating asset and then shortly thereafter selling it again for a profit. In the US, the two asset classes mostly used for flipping are initial public offerings and real estate.
The longer-term real estate investing strategy that’s prevalent is buying homes to rent out on long term tenancies. It’s not just businesses that invest in rental properties, as a retirement strategy workers also look to have one or two investment properties in their portfolio for the weekly income and the long term capital gain on resale.
What’s also caught the attention of businesses and workers alike is the option to make money from short term rentals. Generating more income with short term rentals and by listing these properties on Airbnb is disrupting the accommodation sector and anyone with a home can do it. AirBnB is a disrupter and it has changed the way we travel. Staying in a spare room for a night or two, rather than a hotel is now accepted as the norm among all types of holidaymakers.
If you want to know how you can earn money with short term rentals, here is a quick guide.
What Is Airbnb?
Airbnb is an online marketplace for lodging around the world. It is popular among travelers who want to save money on accommodation. Because hotel rates are getting expensive, solo and group travelers are looking for more affordable options. Property rental listings on Airbnb can be a whole apartment, one room, or villas. Users can input the location and dates of arrival and departure to look for available properties.
The company started in 2008, and since then, it has reached worldwide popularity. Not only travelers are using this app, but also business-minded individuals take advantage of Airbnb’s technology to generate more money.
In the United States, there was a 45 percent increase in year-to-year bookings. Airbnb attracts millions of users worldwide, which comprises of frequent travelers and individuals who travel for work. About 700,000 companies are now using Airbnb for work-related purposes.
Earning Money with Short Term Rentals
You do not need to buy a property to list it on Airbnb. You can go for short term rentals to gain a more significant profit from daily or weekly rentals. Some people are already doing this strategy for years now, and you can also do the same if you find a property in a prime location.
Because this venture requires capital in the form of deposits, you need to be ready. Some property owners require bigger deposits, especially if the unit or apartment has appliances and furniture. Ensure that you have enough money to cover for deposits to get the business rolling. Once the apartment is ready for occupancy, you need to create an Airbnb account and list the property.
Other considerations you need to know:
- Property Maintenance
- Property Rating
Studying the market and how the business works can help you optimize the trade. Create a checklist to go through the essentials every time before a guest checks in. Besides, you can also connect with other people who do this business in different areas.
Technology opened up more profit opportunities for people. In hospitality, even you, who do not have much experience in property rentals, can earn money. Listing your extra room in the apartment can be a good start, but you can always experiment with making more profit. By short term rental, you can get access to excellent properties that can be listed on Airbnb.
Continue exploring the real estate market and make sure to learn new knowledge from experienced individuals. Who knows, you might gain financial freedom by being successful with this Airbnb venture. Check how other hosts present the properties, so you can have an idea of how to operate yours.
Home Appraisal Tips for a Successful Refinancing
The appraisal value for your home significantly impacts a refinancing application. New paint, upgraded flooring, renewed fixtures, and proper sanitation also contribute towards a satisfactory appraisal. Refinancing a home requires several necessary measures. However, the appraisal of the estate is perhaps the most significant.
If a real estate appraiser provides an assessment on the equity in your home, it can make – or break – the chance to refinance mortgage. You need the value to suit your refinancing targets, and what better way to achieve that than to improve your home?
What is a Home Appraisal?
An appraisal is a qualified and accredited professional assessment on the value of a property given by a third party. The appraiser will get paid by appraising your home with no incurred risk on whether you can refinance a mortgage or not because of the value they provide.
In a refinancing deal, an appraisal safeguards the lender by guaranteeing that it does not loan the applicant more than the value of the property. If the estate is subsequently foreclosed for any cause, the borrower will want to resell it and get their money back.
Tips to get a high-end appraisal:
The cost that the appraiser assigns your property mainly relies on the latest selling values of similar houses. However, you can definitely make sure that your property is appraised to its maximum value.
Having your house appraised is like meeting a potential partner. Although you do not know what the person likes and how they will judge you, dressing well improves your chances. Your estate must be clean and organized, tidy, and comfortable to examine. Pets should be kept in place, and the scent blocked. You will not want to rush the appraiser before inspecting everything.
Appraisers are especially particular about:
- External and internal condition
- Overall room number
- Features, including layout design and functionality
- Kitchen and bathroom upgrades, walls, roofing, and home systems (air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical) throughout the past 15 years that have made the house updated, usable and livable for current standards
- State and condition of the house’s structures
- External facilities, including garages, stairs, and balconies location
It’s also wise to emphasize characteristics that might not be readily noticeable, which might contribute to the value of the property. If there are any upgrades that are not seen, it would be good to let the appraiser know.
After securing a reasonable appraisal, you have achieved a significant step toward refinancing your loan. You can now proceed to the next steps with your mortgage lender. If you have received a good value, use a resource such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Mortgage Calculator to check interest rates on refinanced loans with the same pricing for your house. Coming equipped with these statistics will provide you more negotiating power once you face your lender. It will also help you feel confident in asking for the rate that you deserve.
Knowing how appraisals work will provide you with the strongest shot of getting an appraiser to award the maximum value for your estate. Appraisals may not always arrive with the ideals that applicants aim for, and they are a subjective method with room for human error. You can appeal if you have a low rating, but you will only survive with reliable information to back you up.
Commercial Loans: Options and Benefits for Start-ups
Running a business requires working capital to hire staff, buy equipment, and cover for utility bills.
For start-up firms, having a huge capital is not always guaranteed, and commercial loans provide funding to get the business rolling. The problem is, not a lot of business owners are confident and educated enough to borrow money from lenders.
In case you are wondering how the commercial loan works, here is a guide to help you understand how the process, options, and why your business needs it.
What are Commercial Loans?
A commercial loan is a type of financial assistance that helps businesses address everyday costs and begin the next stage in their business journey. Most of these loans have fixed rates and monthly payments but require collateral that should be equal or greater than the loan amount.
The most common types of financing options are:
Small Business Administration Loans
SBA loans are similar to traditional loans but with longer terms and lower interest rates. The only downside is, borrowers need to wait for long to get the funding. Loan terms can be a minimum of 5 to a maximum of 15 or 30 years.
Business Line of Credit
This type of commercial loan gives a borrower more flexibility in borrowing money. The lender will provide a pool of funding that you can draw from whenever you need it. You will only pay the interest of the money you take out.
Traditional Term Loans
Traditional term loans are the most basic of all, wherein a business owner borrows a specific amount and payback with interest. Lenders charge rates depending on the creditworthiness of a business.
Benefits of Commercial Loans
Easy access to funds can help you focus on improving your services and gaining more clients. Loans provide a breathing space for you to focus on your business and not think about money. As you work on expanding your reach, hiring talented people, and boosting marketing, you can expect growth.
Commercial loans provide credits up to $25 million and help you increase working capital and create more jobs. Also, long-term loans are easier to pay back while you are still building your business.
If you are planning to apply for a large-scale loan in the future, starting with short-term loans can help you build a business credit card. Start-ups usually don’t qualify for larger loans because of the risks involved and lack of credit history. Try going low first to build up your report and increase the loan amount eventually.
Go After a Business Opportunity
Got a new idea to grow your business but lacks funding? Consult a financial advisor to know your options and get a low-interest commercial loan. Weigh your options carefully and go directly to a reliable lender for secure loans.
Taking risks is part of running a business. If you believe in what you are selling or providing to customers, then consider commercial loans to take your business to a new level. Contact North Avenue Capital to learn your options for business and industry loan programs.
- Management3 years ago
20 Of The Worst Business Decisions Ever Made
- Finance3 years ago
What are the Advantages And Disadvantages of Business Loans?
- Social Media7 months ago
In-Depth Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses
- Mindset8 months ago
Entrepreneur Newcomers Join Billionaire Rich List
- Marketing2 years ago
Creating Brand Identity for Small Business [Infographic]
- Finance1 year ago
Why Entrepreneurs Often Fail
- Marketing2 years ago
What You Can Learn From Amazon’s Marketing Strategy
- Mindset1 year ago
5 Positive Impacts of Green Businesses On Employees’ Wellbeing and Performance