While the country endures its fourth month of lockdown, one thing remains clear; these are uncertain times. The gradual easing down to lockdown level 3 may have shed some of the weight of economic burden for business owners, finally being allowed to operate, however, this doesn’t automatically equal smooth sailing as the next few weeks are likely to remain far from normal.
Across almost every industry sector and economy, growth is increasingly difficult to achieve and sustain, even under ‘regular’ circumstances. Operating as a small business is always going to be challenging. 91% of SMEs in South Africa expressed cash flow and late payments as their primary concerns in 2019. As the force of the coronavirus reshapes the world and entire industries, it poses new questions about the role of business in society and changes the fundamentals that underlie business success. Entrepreneurs and business owners will need to adapt and explore novel ways to cope with these complexities and the dynamics between social, political, technological and environmental spheres.
Despite governmental relief funds and bank debt relief measures for SMEs, the future remains blurry which means that keeping on top of your cash flow is of utmost importance. Some tips to stay on top of your cash flow:
- Have a Cash Flow Strategy
Developing a cash flow plan that is comprehensive allows you to anticipate the highs and lows of money coming into the business and be prepared. This includes things like making sure you have enough staff, stock or funds to carry your business through difficult times.
- Forecast your Cash Flow
Drawing up a forecast of your cash flow allows you to make predictions about your business performance over a select period of time and prepare in advance. This is usually focused around revenue projections, based on customer buying habits, and business expenses.
- Stay flexible
During these times of corona, circumstances are changing all the time and this could impact your business in several ways. For example, a lockdown regulation may affect how a supplier will get stock to you. Therefore, you need to constantly review your cash flow forecast to make necessary amendments.
- Stay Smart with Technology
Many businesses have not been able to trade during lockdown but we are in the 21st century, entering a digital economy. If your business hasn’t gone digital yet, then it’s time to look into that as an option to keep operating. Cloud-based technology has revolutionised the way businesses do work; granting remote collaborative services in real time. Other collaborative applications include Google drive and Miro. Share files through Dropbox and hold virtual meetings on Zoom and see to your online accounting with Xero. Find the right smart technology that suits your business requirements and goals and get become accessible from anywhere.
The effects of the virus have created unprecedented volatility throughout economic, social, technological and political trends; disrupting the balance of businesses. It is now up to entrepreneurs and business leaders to look at less traditional business formulas for success while trying to understand the new ‘normal’.
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