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Managing Cash Flow over a Slow or Prosperous Summer


Don’t become a business exit statistic this Christmas

While Christmas and summer holidays can be a boon for some industries, especially those in the retail, hospitality, and F&B sectors, it can also be a lean period for others, with slower sales causing angst among business owners.

Even the most well-prepared business can face a reduction in income with regular consumer segments out of the office, or at the very least, out of their regular routine.

Those businesses expecting a sales boost over summer can also be caught out in the face of increased trading costs such as staffing and supplier payments with insufficient cash flow to be able to meet peak season demand.

A slow or slower summer can be the reason a business shuts it doors permanently and most business owners will be doing their best to avoid becoming another business exit statistic. The ABS reported that in the 12 months to June 2023, 386,000 businesses stopped trading, with the largest number of those occurring in the retail, administration, and wholesale trader sectors.[i]

“SMEs forecasting a slower summer are applying for finance facilities to boost their bottom line and bridge a one to two-month income gap,” said Moneytech Head of Small Business, Reece Ketu. “On the other side, we also have businesses that have an increased demand for their products or services over this time and need to be prepared to ensure the availability of necessary resources, such as inventory, raw materials, and skilled labour, to scale operations as required. Smaller SMEs are much more likely to seek finance to maintain cash flow[ii] and this can be done with a variety of finance facilities including a Line of Credit to boost cash flow quickly.”

A line of credit finance facility is a set amount of funding which can be used by the business to pay for stock, bills, or sub-contractors. The funding limits and interest rates offered to clients are determined by a number of factors including a business’s years in operation, the status of their current balance sheet, and which company assets can be used to secure the loan.

“Used for identified business requirements including wages and paying supplier invoices, a line of credit facility can improve cash flow over a difficult period and position a business for greater success in the new year,” said Ketu.

Demonstrating that finance facilities such as a line of credit are not only sought by relatively new businesses or those facing short-term cash flow interruptions, Moneytech recently completed a Line of Credit facility solution for a 25-year veteran of the catering industry. The company needed working capital to operate the business and clear some existing debt obligations.

“The customer had several facilities with a number of different providers and wanted to consolidate these into one simple revolving facility at a better rate to give them greater flexibility,” said Ketu. “A $250,000 Line of Credit facility from Moneytech consolidated their existing debt facilities, allowing them to save money on interest and fees and manage their cash flow better.”

Proactively managing cash flow enables businesses to predict forthcoming financial requirements, preparing for periods marked by past challenges, or seasonal fluctuations. Below, Moneytech shares their top tips for improving cash flow this summer.

Incentivise early invoice payment: Encourage payment of outstanding invoices by incentivising early payment. If your payment terms stipulate a net 30-day period, consider offering a modest discount to customers to settle within a shorter timeframe.

Streamline Accounts Payable: Efficiently managing your accounts payable system is crucial for enhancing your company's cash flow.  Prioritise essential invoices ensuring that unpaid bills don’t go unnoticed.

Outsource Select Business Functions: Identify areas where outsourcing may be more cost-effective. Functions like IT, human resources, accounting, payroll, and marketing can be outsourced to specialised firms which can save money and provide staffing flexibility.

Renegotiate Service Contracts: Review internet, telephone, photocopier, software, and cleaning/building maintenance contracts to find cost-saving opportunities.

Maintaining a Rolling Cash Forecast: Implementing a rolling cash forecast is a valuable practice for enhancing overall cash flow. This forecast should include estimated inflows, such as customer payments, and outflows, including vendor payments and payroll. Update this data on a weekly basis at the very least.

Importantly, Ketu highlights that Moneytech’s finance facilities are not secured against personal assets. “If the business fails, personal assets are not at risk giving business owners greater peace of mind,” said Ketu.

To learn more about finance facilities to assist and grow your business, visit www.moneytech.com.au.

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