Small Businesses: How to Prepare for the Future While Focusing on Current Obstacles

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Small business owners need to juggle a lot of tasks at once. One of the major things a small business owner needs to keep in mind is the future. The future can change in many ways based on present issues, and a successful small business owner will need to anticipate these changes in a way that will benefit them. Small business owners need to avoid becoming completely consumed by current obstacles, as this can bog them down in micromanagement.
Cash Flow is King
The major reason most small businesses fail is because of cash flow issues. A small business without cash at hand will face an unexpected event, run out of cash and might not be able to secure more lending on short notice. Small business owners always need to have a plan in place for cash shortages. This is especially true in cash-oriented business such as food service. Having positive cash flow also helps with current situations, as it makes it easier to manage anything that happens during day-to-day operations. There are many ways you can secure cash flow: investors, family, crowd funding, merchant loans and bank loans.

Use Banking Tools
If you’re concerned about potential financial issues, you should maintain a flexible spending line such as a credit line. Credit lines don’t incur significant expenses if you don’t use them but remain available for a time when you do need them. You should keep careful tabs on your debt and assets to ensure that you always have enough leverage to act if you need to. One thing you should not do, however, extend yourself on a personal basis. You should never take out a home equity loan or a loan in your own name. If you do this, you will blur the line between your personal and business finances. You could stand to lose everything if you have issues with your company.

Keep Timely Records
Small business owners often have a tendency to neglect their record-keeping, but proper record-keeping is essential to business management. The only way you can adequately prepare for the future is by keeping the appropriate records now. This is especially true when it concerns inventory and client debts. Timely records will help you in dealing with your current issues because you’ll have a better idea of your current situation. It will also help you create plans for the future. You will also need accurate financial statements if you ever pursue a loan or other type of lending. Not keeping accurate books can also make it appear that you are making more profit than you actually are, and this can be extraordinarily dangerous.

Leverage Technology
Many technology systems, such as enterprise resource planning systems and customer relationship systems, are built to help small businesses manage their day-to-day operations and to plan for the future. These systems are no longer prohibitively expensive and are not relegated solely to the realm of large corporations. You can get an affordable ERP or CRM system on a cloud platform that will give you all of the technology that other companies use. You can thus remain competitive even with companies that have larger IT budgets. These systems can also take much of the administrative burden off of you.

Get the Right Staff
Many businesses rise and fall on the backs of their employees. Training and acquiring the right staff is important during good times but it’s absolutely essential during bad times. Studies have shown that content staff members are far more driven to take care of their company’s needs, while unhappy staff members often actively attempt to destroy their company from within. If you want to be able to take care of your company both today and tomorrow, you should invest in the proper acquisition and training of quality staff members. Those with a business background, such as an mba online degree, should possess the skills needed to help the company excel to the next level. You also need to delegate as is appropriate. Small business owners that attempt to take care of everything on their own will often have a more difficult experience during times of trouble.

 

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