Companies with good levels of working capital are often more profitable and better placed to attract investment. So how can a business increase its working capital? Free-flowing working capital is the lifeblood of a vibrant enterprise. Companies with healthy working capital on average boast higher revenue, investment and cash-conversion efficiency, while those with poor working capital management strategies can struggle to maintain financial stability. In fact, research by PwC found that businesses with working capital in the best shape showed 14.1 per cent better cash-conversion efficiency than companies who neglect their working capital. The cash-conversion cycle is a vital indicator of a company’s efficiency in managing its important working capital assets as well as providing a clear view of its ability to pay off its current liabilities. Rumours of difficulties can harm a company’s credit worthiness, as well as its brand, partnerships and appeal to talent, in addition to unnerving suppliers. There are three ways in which businesses can improve their working capital. The first is receivables performance. Tightening credit and collection policy can improve days sales outstanding (DSO). Increasing the efficiency and automation of payment and billing procedures is also effective. Second, companies should focus on inventory performance. Expanding inventory requires significant investment, but freeing up capital by reducing inventory can be an effective way of improving cash flow. However, this requires maximising supply chain efficiencies and it can be affected considerably by external economic and environment factors. The third area is payables performance. This is frequently the most neglected aspect of working capital management, much to the detriment of a business’s long-term fitness. As with accounts receivable, improvements to payments and billing procedures can work wonders for a company’s days payable outstanding (DPO) and remedy much of the long and short-term damage caused by working capital problems.
One of the biggest challenges faced by any small business is knowing when and how to expand. Expansion requires capital, and not every entrepreneur has the access to the amount of capital needed to grow their business. Unfortunately, without growth, it can be hard to turn a profit. You can see how this could be a problem. However, small business owners have been the latest beneficiary of the fintech revolution. A sector of companies that lend to small businesses have harnessed the power of big data and cloud computing to power sophisticated underwriting models. These algorithms allow lenders to inject capital to a wide spectrum of small business customers. For some entrepreneurs, access to capital is less than 24 hours away with these lenders. Fairmount Financial is one of the leading online lenders using hard data and real case studies to lend to small business owners. Working capital and access to lines of credit are now more affordable.
We at Fairmount Financial know that E Commerce is vital for all small business owners. Here is a list of e-commerce platforms that can help you reach more customers and grow your business online. This list was put together by one of my favorite small business writers and educators, Himanshu Sareen. 1. Symphony Commerce The first ecommerce platform I want to talk about is a SaaS (software-as-a-service) type of solution. Of course, I’m being a little biased by putting this first, because I believe that SaaS can be a wonderful solution for businesses of any size -- not just big businesses that can afford the overhead cost of farming projects out. Symphony Commerce, however, is a bit more than a typical SaaS platform, in fact they market themselves as a commerce-as-a-service provider. Not all brands are equipped to transition their physical experience into a digital one, which can make hiring information technology (IT) professionals to run your online store a bit of a headache -- and that’s why Symphony Commerce can be an asset to the right kind of company. By off-loading the architecture and backend duties that are critical to maintaining an online store, you can focus on the core aspects of what makes your business tick. Symphony Commerce isn’t for everyone, though. While the pay-as-you-go pricing makes it an ideal option for a small but fast-growing company, this is a platform for businesses that are already running at full speed. If you’re still in the do-it-yourself phase of getting your business together, it would be better to build a small but functional online store with a site builder such as Squarespace. 2. Squarespace Speak of the devil! Squarespace makes this list, because its fully loaded ecommerce platform is affordable and can actually help you sell as a small business. No matter which Squarespace template you select -- which is another strength of the platform, as you can choose beautiful layouts without having to know a stitch of code -- you’ll be allowed to upload an unlimited number of items to your online store and have full control of your inventory management, meaning that it’s easy to offer different variants of the same product type as well as control your inventory stock. 3. Magento Magento is an extremely elastic ecommerce platform in that it can fit the needs of small or large businesses, making it probably the most scalable platform on this list. The platform owes its popularity to the fact that it’s open source, which means that adding features is extremely easy. For example, if you’d like to increase conversions on your site, you can add Nosto, a free extension that tracks unique visitor behavior and offers them suggested items based on their online actions. 4. CommerceHub CommerceHub is a cloud based service that allows retailers to dramatically increase their inventory and product offering to the consumers that support their business. How do they accomplish this? Essentially, CommerceHub works as a merchandising and fulfillment platform that connects online retailers to suppliers -- which, as anyone who’s tried to build a relationship with suppliers knows, is a major milestone to reach. Simply put, working with a quality supplier is a goal that can elude many businesses that haven’t yet obtained brand recognition. 5. Drupal Commerce For my money, Drupal Commerce is definitely one of the more actionable and powerful commerce systems on this list. In fact it’s the only commerce platform that’s built within an entire content management system (CMS). Users of Drupal Commerce can easily customize their workflows, which makes this option ideal for marketers who don’t necessarily have a great deal of expertise working in the backend of ecommerce platforms.
Why borrowers like daily ACH payments For some, it’s easier: When FairmountFinancial.com started, it chose to collect payments daily rather than monthly because business owners find it harder to plan ahead for a large, one-time monthly payment. Daily payments can help smooth out cash flow: A single monthly amount due spread across multiple daily payments can make paying back a small-business loan more manageable for some. Mary, owner of Italian Coffee Garden, was qualified for a bank loan but opted for an OnDeck loan in part because she wanted daily payments. Mary says the daily payments have helped her with managing cash flow in general. Why borrowers dislike daily ACH payments They can be hard to keep up with: Having payments automatically deducted from your bank account daily leaves little room for mistakes. You must maintain a positive balance in your business checking account at all times. Businesses with multiple overdrafts per month should consider overdraft protection at their bank to avoid fees. The bottom line You have numerous factors to consider when comparing small-business loans, including how often you make loan payments. Most online lenders collect monthly repayments, but Fairmount Financial collects ACH payments daily or weekly. Although some borrowers appreciate the simplicity of this model, others find that it interrupts their cash flow. No matter your opinion, don’t base your small-business loan decision on this factor alone. Compare APR, total borrowing cost and term length across various lenders to find the best loan for your business.
Recent headlines have celebrated the success of women chief executives at Facebook, IBM, General Motors and other corporate giants. But this misses a much bigger story: women-owned small businesses - already numbering nearly 10 million - are starting up at twice the rate of men-owned businesses, and they are succeeding despite an all too real glass ceiling. In a Harvard Business School study, potential investors watched two videotaped entrepreneurial pitches, one with a voiceover using a man's voice and the other using a woman's voice. The content of the pitch was identical; the only difference was the gender of the person delivering it. Sixty-eight percent of the investors chose to fund the venture pitched by the man's voice, and only 32 percent chose to fund the one pitched by the woman's voice. Forbes says that women-owned businesses have become "the nation's job-creation machine." Between 1997 and 2014, according to an American Express study, the number of women-owned firms grew at 1½ times the national average; revenue and employment growth among women-owned firms tops that of all other firms except for the largest, publicly traded corporations. Forbes says that women-owned businesses have become "the nation's job-creation machine." Between 1997 and 2014, according to an American Express study, the number of women-owned firms grew at 1½ times the national average; revenue and employment growth among women-owned firms tops that of all other firms except for the largest, publicly traded corporations.