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Poor cash flow management has rung the death knell for many small businesses over the years, making successful cash flow management a very important part of building a sustainable business. Like many business owners, 20 years ago when I was running my own business, I didn’t take my entrepreneurial leap because I was particularly excited about bookkeeping and accounting, but it became a big part of how I spent a lot of my time. In today’s economy, effectively managing cash flow post COVID-19 is more important than ever.
There are five business metrics that directly impact a company’s cash flow and every business owner needs to understand how they interact together. I’m convinced these five metrics are the cornerstone of a successful business and a critical part of managing cash flow post COVID-19. Some are more obvious than others, but they all work together to keep the lifeblood of any small business flowing.
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Metric one: Income
Every business owner understands the importance of a steady flow of income into a business. Probably the biggest challenge facing small businesses owners today is the drop in income they experienced during the shutdown caused by COVID-19. As a result, meticulous accounting of the income coming into the business is more important than ever. I tracked this number daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually so I could make assumptions about what to expect and forecast how we were doing.
Although forecasting in the middle of our current health and economic crisis has become a lot more difficult, it’s more important than ever to accurately track your income. Fortunately, it’s a pretty easy metric to track. What’s more, the next four metrics don’t mean anything without it.
NOTE: Your income is incredibly important to a potential lender. It’s one of the metrics they use to determine whether or not your business has the ability to service debt.
Metric two: Expenses
Understanding your expenses tells you how much it costs for you to do business. If you’re unsure, your accountant can help you categorize your expenses. For example, some costs are related to how much it costs to produce your product or service, while other costs represent fixed costs like those associated with the place where you do business and the fixtures that make doing business possible. The difference between your costs and your income determine whether or not your business is profitable.
In economic situations like this, managing expenses, even micro-managing expenses, is critically important. Normally, I would suggest measuring each expense against questions like, “Does this expense help me generate more ROI?” or “Does this expense add value to my business?” Today, I also think we should be asking, “Will this expense help me keep my doors open?” And, I would put that last one at the top of my list these days.
Obviously some business expenses are more critical than others and may require a little belt-tightening by everyone—including your employees. When I’ve had to navigate situations like this in the past, anything that could be considered a “nice-to-have” was eliminated from budgetary considerations. This is a time for only spending on those “must-haves” right now.
Because your primary goal here is to manage expenses to protect your cash flow, don’t forget to consider the role your vendors can play, they can play an important role in managing cash flow post COVID-19. None of your vendors want you to close your doors either, so now is the time to negotiate with them for better terms. Maybe it’s going from 30-day terms to 60-day terms. Maybe it’s establishing a just-in-time stocking arrangement with them so you are only tying up your cash flow on those items that you are selling right now and your vendor is stocking for you. Leverage your best relationships to extend your terms and protect the income you do have.
Metric three: Accounts Receivable Aging
Don’t ignore this metric.
If you offer your customers credit terms to pay for the products or services they purchase, do they consistently pay on time? For example, if you offer 30-day terms are they regularly taking 45 or 60 days to pay their invoices?
Every business is different, but I found after 45 days, the hit to my cash flow caused me to start losing profits and after 65 days, my profits were completely gone. What’s more, I found that for every day over 40 days an invoice was late, it got that much harder to collect. This didn’t leave me many options, I either needed to raise my prices to cover the customers who didn’t pay on time, stop selling to those customers with payment terms, or cut them off completely.
None of those options were very attractive to me at the time.
I spent a lot of effort trying to ensure that my customers paid their invoices on time. I started regularly calling them at the 30-day mark, I offered discounts to those customers who paid early, and eventually those customers who refused to pay their invoices as agreed upon either went to a cash basis or I had to cut them off entirely.
Fortunately, most people, when I explained to them the impact late payments caused the health of my business, they appreciated what I was doing for them enough that they paid their invoices on time, but there were a few who were costing me to do business with them and I had to make the hard decision to discontinue working with them.
Metric four: Accounts Payable Aging
If your vendors offer you discounts for paying early, and you take advantage of the opportunity, you can effectively reduce the costs of the goods or services you offer. I know of more than one small business that is able to save enough money this way, and the discount covers a big chunk of their payroll.
If you have a supplier that doesn’t want to extend their payment terms as discussed above, maybe they will offer you a discount for paying early—10 days, 20 days, etc. The discount to your invoice could make a lot of sense depending on your cash flow situation.
Metric five: Your Cash Flow Metric
This may be last on the list, but is an invaluable tool to help you effectively manage your cash flow. As your business earns income, that income becomes an asset among all of your other business assets. Expenses become liabilities, included among all the other business liabilities. Your assets and your liabilities help you determine whether you are marching toward profitability or trudging toward extinction. Post COVID-19, get to be good friends with your cash flow metric.
You calculate your cash flow metric by dividing your assets and your liabilities. This is such an important metric, if you’re unsure about it, I suggest you talk to your accountant. The ideal for this metric is two-to-one, or twice as many assets as you have liabilities. This can be a challenge for many new or smaller small businesses, but anything below one-to-one is telling you it is costing you more to do business than you’re making—even if you have money in the bank at the end of the month. If your metric is below one-to-one, in the long term you won’t be able to sustain business operations.
Income, expenses, accounts receivable aging, and accounts payable aging all feed into your cash flow metric. Understanding how they all interact will help you weather the coronavirus storm and come out safely on the other side. Even in the best of times it takes discipline, but it’s even more important now in uncertain times like these.
This article originally appeared on Nav.com by Ty Kiisel
The post What You Need to Know About Managing Cash Flow Post-COVID-19 appeared first on StartupNation.
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“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News
I have an idea for a website and I think that it is unique to a certain extent – I couldn't find a similar thing using google. Now, I'm afraid that if I start developing it, in the meantime I will discover that something like that already exists. How do you deal with this problem?
While Zoom has been taking effective measures to address security and privacy issues, many users are looking for alternatives to the video conferencing platform.
Recently, social media giant Facebook has officially rolled out the Messenger Rooms app, giving users an additional option to connect with people apart from Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and much more amid lockdowns and quarantine.
According to the company, Messenger Rooms make it easy to spend quality time with friends, loved ones, and people who share your interests. Right now, the feature is rolled out to selected countries and other countries will get Rooms in the coming weeks.
In this article, we have jotted down 10 new features that you should check out on Facebook’s Messenger Room feature.
#1 No Facebook account needed!
You can create a room from Messenger or Facebook and invite anyone to join a video call even if they don’t have a Facebook account.
#2 Up to 50 people
The Messenger Room app will support up to 50 people at a time without any time limit, unlike the Zoom Video Conferencing app.
#3 Drop it on wall
Did you worry about disturbing others? Well, you can start and share rooms on Facebook through News Feed, Groups, and Events, so it’s easy for people to drop by.
#4 AR effects, 360 backgrounds, and more!
By any chance, if you have a Messenger app, you can play with AR effects like bunny ears, and new AI-powered features like immersive 360 backgrounds and mood lighting.
#5 You control everything!
If you create a room, you can choose who can see and join it. On the other hand, you can remove people from the call and lock a room if you don’t want anyone else to enter.
#6 Room to debut in Whatsapp, Portal
Facebook is planning to add ways to create rooms from Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, and Portal as well.
#7 Chat in between videos, but…!
Through this feature, you can tap on each participant’s icon and view their Facebook profile or chat with them. However, it is restricted to Messenger desktop.
#8 Safety and privacy controls at your disposal!
The social media giant has worked with cryptographers to prevent unwanted guests from dropping into chats. Once your call begins, you will have safety and privacy controls to remove any unwanted guest or lock the room so no one can join
#9 You can block!
If at any point you feel unsafe, you can leave the room or block people on Facebook or messenger, so when they’re logged in, they won’t be able to join a room you’re in and you won’t be able to join others
#10 You can report too!
If you have previously blocked someone on Facebook, they won’t be able to see the feature or join in. Also, you can report on the room name or provide feedback.
How to create a room?
The Facebook Messenger app is available on both mobile (Android & iOS) and desktop platforms.
Step 1: Install and Open the Facebook Messenger app.
Step 2: Go to the People section on the bottom right.
Step 3: Choose the ‘Create a Room’ option
Step 4: Once the room is created, you can choose to invite friends from in and out of Facebook by sending them the unique link that the app generates.
Is it Messenger App secure?
According to Facebook, the chats will not be end-to-end encrypted, however, it will be added in the future. Furthermore, the company also said it won’t monitor or listen to video calls, but will still gather data to improve the product and overall user experience.
So what do you guys think about Facebook’s stand on this? Do let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Main image credits: Facebook
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Currently, I'm running a marketplace type start-up and the website is gaining traction and landing sales every day. Things are growing and I'm stuck on a platform that doesn't scale.
I am not a computer developer and built this website via plugins (WC Vendors, Woocommerce, etc.) and also hired some outside developers to make changes to the site that I couldn't (added an intuitive messaging feature and other seller options). However, the platform is not scalable, and I hit issues due to website traffic, having to sign up users manually because I have no idea how to automate it, random bugs that pop up, plugin problems, and other things I can't fix. It takes up way too much time and I usually get nowhere, and it's frustrating because I want to focus on sales and growth.
I have been scouting for a potential technical co-founder, but I am not too sure where to even start in that process. Ideally, would this person rebuild the entire platform on a custom stack, and then relaunch that website in place of the WordPress site? Or should they build from what I have and scrap what they don't need?
I guess where I am struggling the most is knowing what the first step is if I decide to hand equity over to a developer, and what they should be doing. How can I go about this the right way? What is it that a great technical co-founder should be doing to make this right?
I appreciate any insight!
Thanks so much