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One of the biggest challenges small business owners face on a regular basis is the inherent need for “working capital”, the cash used to finance a company’s short-term operational expenses, such as payroll, paying invoices, and purchasing inventory. Without it, the business cannot operate.
Since most businesses don’t have a stable income throughout the year, maintaining a steady supply of working capital can be tricky. This is particularly true for businesses that have high seasonality or cyclical sales, which usually experience reduced business activity a few times a year.
Producing an annual net working capital with more liabilities than current assets is tantamount to income loss and is a precursor to insolvency. Business owners avoid such a problem by relying on working capital loans for small business provided by lenders. This is the most financially sensible choice to make, because current liabilities could pile up much faster when operation stalls due to lack of working capital than when the company has a short-term debt.
When to Consider Taking Out a Working Capital Loan
While working capital is generally meant to cover a company’s short-term, regular expenses, there’s a range of situations in which it may come in handy.
- Sales Rush. Peak seasons are exciting times for retailers, but they also come with huge outlays, particularly additional manpower to manage the sales rush. Borrowing working capital can help you cover all extra expenses you will need to get through the hype.
- A Threat to Cancel. Competition can be cut-throat sometimes, and if you’re not sharp enough, you could lose some of your clients to your competitors in a heartbeat. When an important client threatens to discontinue your service, your only option to convince them to stay is to offer a deal too sweet to resist. Rather than lose a big chunk of your revenue and scathe your reputation by letting go, outmatching your competitor’s offer makes much more financial sense, and a working capital business loan can help you achieve that.
- Upgrade. Are you planning to buy new machines or renovate a section of your building to improve your services but you lack funds due to the significant volume of invoices? If you think the upgrade can’t wait any longer, consider taking out a working capital loan to cover it. Then you can use the receivables to settle the loan.
- Lengthy Production. Some products take some time to produce, which is why manufacturers require their customers to place their order several weeks to a few months before to give them enough leeway for production. If an order happens to be urgent and it’s too big to turn down, you may use a working capital loan to cover initial production expenses.
Pros and Cons
Just like any other type of loan, a working capital loan has its fair share of benefits and drawbacks. It’s important to know what this loan can and cannot do for you so that you can minimize as much of the risks it entails as possible and maximize its financing power.
Pros. As previously discussed, a working capital loan can help fuel your short-term needs. As it turns out, it has many other benefits that you can enjoy. For instance, because it is classified as “unsecured loan”, it usually doesn’t require a collateral as an assurance of repayment. While you don’t intend to default, at the very least, you can rest assured that none of your assets are up for grabs.
Working capital loans are easy to secure, too, with no more than a few sheets to fill out and basic documents to submit. Some lenders even allow online transaction to make it more convenient for borrowers. Processing and approval usually takes 48 hours and the cash can be disbursed in different ways. With flexible payment tenors, planning the most effective way to pay your debt is much easier as well.
Cons. Risks have to be expected when borrowing a huge sum of money, especially if you have no guaranteed source of fund to pay for it within the agreed timeframe. If you take out a working capital loan when the economy is bad, your creditor might require you to put up a collateral or charge a high interest rate to curtail their risk.
It’s also likely that the creditor will require relatively quick repayment. It only makes sense, though, since working capital loans are meant to cover short-term expenses. This is why it is vital to ensure that you are expecting future cash to settle your debt in time.
To manage as many risks as possible, your best course of action is to pick the right lender. One that is both lenient and reasonable, just like Australian lender IBN Direct. This way, you can make sure that the terms favor both parties and that you won’t fall prey to some kind of scheme.
When it comes to hiring a business consultant for a new business, you definitely can’t go wrong.
When starting a new company, there is a lot to consider when it comes to expenses and how much you should spend to add to the growth of your company, to begin with.
If you think about saving money or a limited budget, hiring a business consultant isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind, as they could be quite pricey.
If you’re for instance in the U.S. and you’re developing a start-up, the best thing to do would be to hire an independent consultant that is either in your country or preferably somewhere abroad where they require a lot less remuneration than in a fully developed country.
Not only will you pay around a 10th of the cost of what you would pay somebody with an advanced degree in your own country, but you’ll also be providing someone abroad with a job, which is a pretty good trade if you ask me.
A Digital World – The Age of the Entrepreneur
Something important to remember to about the age of the digital world is, just because someone doesn’t have a degree, doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re talking about. It can be explained by merely having a look at the internet. You can study ten different courses on marketing and business for free and be skilled enough to provide a company with your services.
Just because you barely have money to invest in a start-up business, doesn’t mean that you can’t start one and allow it to grow on the online. That is the beauty of the Internet. Apart from paying to access it, learning is free. It is thus the tool that shaped the entrepreneur of the world we live in today.
Why Investing a Little More in a Business Consultant is a Good Idea?
It’s quite clear why a business consultant is required for a new company, but many still fail to invest in a proper business consultant. Since the market shifts on a daily basis, the success of a business is never certain.
One cannot look into the future and say your business is going to survive. The markets can fluctuate, and anything can happen abroad. If you think about an investor in South Korea that pulls out of an investment of a few billion dollars, for instance, the results could cause havoc in the marketplace.
That is once more why a business consultant is necessary. You want to know that what your doing is right according to the market. Studies have shown that more start-ups fail due to a lack of guidance regarding the market or how to manage their business in the market, than nearly any other reason.
A business consultant can only add to your business. Whether you choose to invest less in one abroad or more in one locally, it can just add to the growth and potential success of your business.
Business consultants are known for their vast range of knowledge when it comes to the management of business, growth opportunities, as well as making right moves going forward.
If you take a look at the structure of a business, it’s difficult to understand every aspect of a business. Everything ranging from the management department to accounts, human resources, sales and marketing, might be overwhelming for a manager, managing director or even the CEO of a business. Apart from having to manage employees and make sure both the sustainability of the company, as well as the growth thereof is adhered to can seem next to impossible.
That is why leaders in business generally employ a business consultant to their team or even hire an independent consultant, as hiring one full time might be too expensive, to begin with.
Nevertheless, if you want your business to be successful, investing in a skilled business consultant is the best way to go.
Types of Business Consultants
Even though many might think that there is only a general type of business consultant, unfortunately, one individual can’t be skilled in everything. It is especially true when it comes to a business consultant, as they are trained to provide extensive on only one or a few aspects of a business.
There are thus many different business consultants qualified in various fields of business.
Operational Business Consultant
If you’d like to improve the quality of your businesses production process, there and ultimately add to growth, you have to invest in a consultant that is focused on mainly the operations of a business. While some consultants specialise in the implementation of business processes, these use your existing processes, look for opportunities to allow the process to work more efficiently and implements adjustments for the operation of an efficient business. They also work towards the cost within a business, as well as minimise casualties in business.
Management and Strategy Business Consultant
A management and strategy consultant specialises in a deeper understanding of a market relevant to your business. These consultants are also skilled in expanding your business onto the global market, help build a reputation and promotes overall efficiency and just like the operations consultant, decrease the cost of expenses within a business.
Human Resources Consultant
The HR department of a company is crucial. Finding the right individual to fill a role within your company can be difficult. A human resource consultant is thus needed to make use of a particular set of skills to choose the best candidates for their company.
Marketing and IT Consultants
Since digital marketing plays such a significant role in the growth of a business, along with IT, it is essential to invest in both types of consultants, or at least a marketing consultant who has experience regarding the IT industry. IT consultants specifically, however, can allow for far more efficiency within the business environment and is especially needed if you’re running an online business.
There are many reasons why a business, especially a small start-up business, require a better point of view regarding business, the marketplace and where it’s all leading to.
The big question is whether a business consultant in specific is necessary within a start-up company. The answer is simple. Yes.
What exactly are the reasons and what can a business consultant exactly contribute to your company?
Why Your Company Needs a Business Consultant
Unlimited feedback regarding the market and the relevancy thereof to your business – One does not simply start a start-up company, without doing your research first. If done so, the start-up will fail, and you will probably lose a lot more money than you did when investing money in the business.
Start-up consultant is necessary for a smaller company. It is because they can provide both an internal and external source of advice for your company. It is essential as they provide you with a business view of things, as well as feedback from the marketplace. They tell you whether your product or service is adequate to the market and whether or not it will succeed, as well as where and how.
Access to management advice that is crucial to growth – Advanced start-up consultants will be able to provide you with advice regarding different areas of your business, which most importantly revolves around how you manage your business.
They analyse a business and point out the leaks that might cause your business to fail in either the near distant future.
Without a doubt, you want to hire a business consultant for this mere reason. If you think about a company with 30 employees and 25 of those employees are unhappy and unsatisfied with their jobs, with 5 being the management, do you think your company will succeed?
That is precisely why a business consultant is required in every department of a company. Feedback should be given on a regular basis and employees analysed with a voice of their own. It all adds to the bigger role of a business consultant.
Creating a vision of where your company is headed and providing expertise – A company takes a lot of work. One must be sure that the product/ service being sold is believed in and sold in a manner that aligns with the individuals you’re targeting as customers.
The product/ service must thus be relevant to your customers and reach them in such a way that they want to buy your product/service. Everything ranging from how you present your brand, product/service, how your employees respond to your customers, how marketing is implemented and even how employees are managed to be able to relay a more significant message to customers are all part of a business consultant’s expertise.
It doesn’t even stop there. In business, a consultant will provide management with proper advice and most importantly, be direct regarding what’s working and what’s not working within a business.
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