“Never a borrower be”, I used to hear growing up. Generations have been wary of debt and lenders. Yet, ships were launched by risk taking financiers and global trade allows us to call on phones built 3 continents away.
Finance helps businesses bridge reality to ambition. Public listings, venture capital, private equity, angel investors and now crowdfunding can help businesses find the right equity investors. On the debt front, some needs are better filled by your bank or a commercial lender. Other needs can be easily dealt with by short term online finance. Whatever your situation, its worth checking out what is available, as different options will be suitable for you at different stages of your business.
Have an order you want to fulfil, but cant find the right funding at the right price? Or need to simply fill a cashflow gap because your large customer wont pay you for another 30 days?
Different businesses we talk to, meet their needs differently. Some simply ‘stop needing’ and find a way to manage, whereas others tap different external sources. Whether you choose to simplify your commercial lender conversations through Bilbus, take an early payment discount, or even try out a peer to peer loan, it’s important to have a handle on your finances.
Cashflow Visibility Over the Next 12 Months
· What’s coming in, what’s going out, and when are you likely to need help outside the natural flow of your business?
· Which customers sit on your cash the longest and need the most following up?
· How dependent on a particular customer paying you by a certain date is your business? What happens if they delay?
· If you continued as you are now, without investing anything further into your operations, marketing or people, would your business stay the same in 12 months?
· Do you compete on price or service? Are customers forcing you to do more for less?
Prospects For Growth / The Path Ahead
· If you had more money, what would you do with it?
· Invest in production or marketing to grow?
· Expand to new markets or products?
· Move to new offices, build a better factory/showroom, purchase new equipment?
· Hire more (better) people?
Having asked and answered these questions honestly helps business owners understand whether you need finance at all, and if so, what you will do with it. Once you’ve figured out what you need and why, the next step is to find it and convince someone that you’re good for it.
Different sources of funding have different costs, use cases, and information needs. The clarity and visibility of being on top of one’s finances helps with the next step: preparing the story / business case to make sure you find the right financing at the right cost.
Bilbus is a cloud based cashflow hub – connecting to accounting platforms, Bilbus helps businesses manage invoicing and collections, forecast cash flow and when finance is needed, arrange commercial funding. A single cash hub to view and manage receivables, payables and borrowings.