Even the most confident and experienced entrepreneur would struggle to fulfill every role within their company. While finance and business are intrinsically linked, not everyone is confident in their ability to stay on top of the numbers. The good news is that you can use several financial resources, and they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg either.
Whether you’re looking for startup capital, funding to push your business to the next level, the right tools to get you operating efficiently, or need to ensure you’re on an even keel, help is at hand. You just need to know where to look.
1. Consider Crowdfunding To Gain Capital
The best part about a more connected world is that there are so many new ways to secure capital for a small business. Crowdfunding has become a norm to kickstart entrepreneurial ventures or for small businesses needing a boost to make it through a lean period.
It’s simple; all you need to do is:
● Pick your platform
● Set the amount you need to raise
● Show people why you’re worth investing in
● Atart spreading the word on social media or other marketing channels
People from all over the world can choose to put a little or a lot towards your campaign. The benefit of crowdfunding is that you set the terms for what people can expect to get back from their investment and not the other way around. If you go to a bank, they will set the repayment plan and the interest rate.
On platforms such as Kickstarter and Crowdfunder, you can offer people a range of benefits or rewards for investing. Those benefits can vary depending on how much people contribute. It can be a sample of a product you sell or the ability to test a service out before the official launch.
Alternatively, you can offer financial repayments if your business hits a certain milestone. If you feel your idea is so strong that it warrants financing without payback, you can simply skip offering something in return. It’s all up to you.
2. Get A Business Credit Report
While crowdfunding has grown in popularity, it would be foolish to ignore traditional capital sources, as they can be an excellent source of funding. Investors and lenders will want to know your business credit score before considering injecting money into your business or idea. With a full credit report in your hands, you’ll be able to confidently ask for the finances you need because you’ll know what sort of a risk your business is seen as.
As with a personal credit score, the higher your business credit score is, the better for you. The exact number you have will depend on the bureau you get your report from because they all use different scales. Experian, Dun & Bradstreet, or Equifax can assist you with the paperwork you need to approach reputable lenders.
3. Learn About The Tech For Your Industry
In the retail world, technology can be a real game-changer for optimizing a business. The biggest shift has been the invention of affordable POS systems that help you track your inventory. This allows even the smallest Mom and Pop store to be more efficient and profitable.
These systems can even go mobile so that you can have several POS stations in your store and one roaming around. You can also use them for deliveries of stock to customers. They’ll be able to pay you from home, the same way they would pay you in the store. By utilizing tech such as this, you can track expenditure, stock levels, vendor accounts, and profits with ease.
4. Have The Right Financial Tools And Experts
Margins are usually a lot tighter in a small business than in their larger counterparts. That’s why it’s essential to have a good handle on your finances. There are plenty of bookkeeping and accounting tools that you can utilize online.
If you aren’t sure which one to go for, talk to an expert about what they would recommend and what they use themselves. They’re usually happy to consult with a small business for a nominal fee.
If you’re doing the accounts yourself, it’s best to get a full suite of accounting software. Just remember to take the time to learn everything the software can do for you. It’s a massive bonus if your accounting program can talk to your POS system. This will put you in the driving seat to stay on top of your finances and streamline the accounting processes.
Other important features to look for include payroll, invoicing, and creditor reports. If you can do everything from one program, you can operate at a more efficient level and focus your energy on other areas of your business.
5. Track Financial Comings And Goings
Even if you have employed a bookkeeper or accountant, it’s always a good idea to have a basic breakdown of your finances on hand. Free accounting templates will help you keep these records in a clear, simple format that’s easy to read and comprehensive enough to give you the full picture.
This way, you’ll have greater control over your finances as you can stop and take stock of where you are every week or every month. Yes, it’s great to have an expert to ensure that legally your books balance. However, you can quickly find yourself out of touch with the day-to-day numbers if you’ve designated your business’s financial side to someone else.
When you’re tracking the everyday money in and money out, you’ll know at a glance where you stand. This can help you to make decisions about buying new stock or hiring additional staff members. You can also use it to plug any holes if you find you are inefficient with expenditure or not turning a high enough profit on your products.
Savvy small business owners know how to utilize a number of financial resources to their full potential. Harnessing the power of these tools can be the difference between making it or breaking it.