Cash flow issues can make running your small business a rough challenge. It’s hard to expand if you lack the funds to support marketing and growth strategies.
For certain businesses, problems with cash flow could be fatal. In fact, according to research from U.S. Bank, 82 percent of businesses cite poor cash-flow-management skills or having started out with too little money as the primary reason they went out of business.
Difficulties with cash flow may result from hard economic times in general or poor in-house management. When revenues are low, evaluating your money management skills may be one of the best places to start looking for the problem, but even if you find it, you’ll need some time to build your cash reserves again.
When you need money fast, here are some potential strategies.
1. Take Out a Fast Loan
Conventional lending is usually the better way to fund business growth, but traditional loan processing takes time, and you may not qualify for the additional funding if you’ve already taken out a loan in this manner.
Fast loans can be a suitable alternative if you need money quickly. “You can get cash in your account as soon as tomorrow and choose your own terms,” says RISE, a service that provides quick loans to businesses and individuals.
Such loans typically feature higher interest rates, but you don’t have to pay them back immediately. You can set the repayment term for whenever you believe your business will be able to absorb the cost.
2. Speed Up Receivables
Are some of your current invoices waiting to be paid? Reach out to clients and customers to settle their outstanding balances and put some change in your pocket.
Bruna Martinuzzi, an author and public speaker who specializes in business processes, recommends doing more than just sending an email to persuade debtors to pay their invoices. “If you’ve tried to send email reminders or automated electronic reminders to customers whose invoices are past due without much success, consider picking up the phone,” she states in an American Express article.
One tactic to speed up payments is to increase the number of options for customers to pay. For example, you might inform them you’ll accept a variety of mobile payment options such as PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, or Square.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin might also offer a viable alternative to encourage people to pay what they owe you, as long as you make sure you have a way to cash in your digital funds.
3. Make Spending Cuts
When you can’t make more money through profits, look at the other end: ways to cut your overhead. Adjust your thermostat, cancel subscription services you rarely use, buy more carefully, negotiate pricing with vendors and services, shop around for cheaper rates, and so on.
“Even if you’ve made a contractual commitment to spend money, you can try to negotiate your way out of it,” says business attorney Bethany K. Laurence in a Nolo article.
“If you are willing to pay a reasonable buyout fee, it’s legal and honorable. After all, once clued in to your financial problems, the other party may be happy to accept a partial payment from you rather than risk your business failing and receiving no payment at all.”
4. Take Out a Line of Credit
If possible, use credit to your advantage. Credit can be positive for your business because it helps you establish a good rating when you need future financing, assuming you pay off your credit spending as soon as possible.
If you haven’t already, apply for and use a business credit card to pay suppliers, utilities, and other expenses. You might also open a business line of credit, which is good for covering short-term needs.
In many cases, it’s better to transfer what you owe to a new balance and give yourself more time to pay it off. Usually, you have three to four weeks to make payments on your balance before interest and late payments kick in.
If you decide to use credit to pay your bills, be certain you can make the payments on time, or you’ll only make matters worse.
5. Make an Investment
It might seem contradictory to spend more money when you have a cash-flow issue, but if you spend it wisely, it can be the solution to your past spending problems. Make an investment in your business that should lead to easier cash flow, such as guaranteed marketing practices or equipment that will speed up processes.
You might also make an investment outside of your business to create extra cash flow. Peer-to-peer lending, credit card rewards, money market funds, municipal bonds, and other investments may lead to financial freedom for you and your business.
Don’t let your business go under just because you don’t have adequate cash. There are ways to tide your business over until you can realize profits. Many firms go through hard times; but many of them come out of them and not only survive but thrive.