Small Businesses Thrive On Breathing And Circulating Cash!

 

The Life Blood Of Every Business

Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business,  It’s simple as that. If your business does not generate cash and manages its circulation throughout the business properly, it will all go up in smoke. Now this “breathing” of cash is called the cash flow. This is the circulation of cash coming in and going out of your business.

Contrary to popular perception, making enough cash is not why businesses fail. Rather, it is more due to the inadequate prediction and mismanagement of cash flow.

Now, why do business owners tend to overlook their cash flow prediction and management?  There are two main reasons:

  1. Small business owners tend to be unrealistic in predicting their cash flow where they tend to overestimate income and underestimate expenses.
  2. Failure to anticipate a cash shortage and running out of funds, thereby forcing to suspend or cease operations despite having active customers.

It follows along the line that Profit is not equal to Cash. Just because you have profits, it does not mean the money you gain is equivalent to that.

This will bring problems such as lack of funds during a period. With that in mind, the importance of being able to predict the cash flow becomes more significant. Being able to estimate and prepare cash flow projections can help boost your business’s success.

Keep reserves of extra cash

With a robust cash flow forecast, you can then make informed business decisions, plan for change, and know how to implement measures to enable business growth.

 

Inversely, not predicting a business’s cash flow, would make it nearly impossible to estimate how much cash your business will have at a given time. It becomes even more complicated if you factor in wages, taxes (e.g., payroll taxes, VAT, corporation tax payments), payments for loans, other financial obligations, and overheads.

So how do you predict your cash flow? 

If you want to predict your business’ cash flow, you need to create a cash flow projection. 

A cash flow projection gives an estimate of the money you expect to come in and go out of the business, including all income and expenses. Using the data on the anticipated payments and receivables serves as a projection of a business’s future financial position.

A cash flow projection can give the following advantages:

  • The business can predict cash shortages and surpluses
  • The business can gain an overview and compare business expenses and income for a specified period.
  • The business will estimate the effects of a change like moving locations or hiring an employee.
  • The business can prove to their lenders that they can repay on time.
  • The business can determine if they need to adjust like cutting expenses.

Prepare cash flow projection report

To get started making a Cash Flow Projection, the business owner must get reports detailing their business’s income and expenses. These can be obtained from their accountant, books, or accounting software.

Depending on the time frame, additional information may have to be gathered.

Concerning the process of making a Cash Flow Projection, the general steps are outlined below:

  • Compute for Cash at the beginning of Period
    • Start by gathering determining the cash for the beginning of the period.
    • Cash at the beginning of Period = Previous Period’s Income – Previous Period’s Expenses
  • Compute for Estimated Income
    • Estimate the incoming cash for the next period.
    • Incoming cash may include revenue, sales on credit, loans, etc.
  • Compute for Net Cash Flow
    • Subtract all estimated expenses from income.
    • Net Cash Flow = Estimated Income & Funding (inflows) – Estimated Expenses and Financial Obligations (outflows)
  • Compute for Closing Balance
    • Your closing balance will carry over to act as your starting balance for the next period.
    • Closing Balance = Opening balance + Net Cash Flow
  • To create the next period’s projected cash flow, repeat the steps from above.

Once you have made the above calculations, you can start creating your Cash Flow Projection. Utilize a spreadsheet to prepare (Template here) and organize the data.

The projection should contain the following data:

  • Opening balance
  • Incoming Cash – From revenue, sale of investments or funding
  • Cash Outflows – Operational expenses, Capital expenditure, Loan repayments
  • Totals for cash in and cash out
  • Uses for the Cash
  • Total cash flow for the period
  • Closing Balance
  • Periods

Once you have laid out the above sections on your cash flow projection report, start adding the projected cash flow calculations – The template provided already have the format.

 

A good rule of thumb is to not project too far into the future. Too many variables can come into play with your business (e.g., recession) and affect the prediction.

A standard period for cash flow projections is 12 months. But Cash flow projections are not absolute and subject to adjustments. To keep things accurate, a business owner must revisit its projection from time to time to see their current standing.

It is best to review your cash flow monthly and makings adjustments to future months up to one year ahead – effectively 12 months rolling cash flow forecast.

Get in touch if you require assistance in preparing a cash flow forecast for your business.

At RACMACS we deliver solutions you desire!

Cost Effective Marketing

 

Marketing Strategies

In a competitive market, the challenge for many start-ups and small businesses is to get customers and stand out amongst their competitors. After all, customers are needed to have a sale and make a profit. This is where marketing comes into play. It is defined as a business activity of promoting and selling products or services.

A lot of small business owners do tend to believe that marketing involves a lot of funding. Namely, because they are most familiar with marketing and advertising that cost a lot. Take, for example, paying for marketing services by an advertising agency. However, that is just simply one of the ways to market.

If you are looking to market your business without breaking the bank, here are five cost-effective marketing strategies you can choose from:

Social Media Promotes Your Brand

  1. Social Media and Content Marketing 

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are so commonplace nowadays it would be shocking if you did not have an account on either one of them.

Emphasis on the “social” aspect is a great way to reach out to many people, not just limited to your vicinity but even from across the world. It can also serve as a place to engage with your audience and get quality feedback about your products or services. Start by creating profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The key here is to time the frequency of your posts.

Social Media Marketing is Content Marketing. It involves creating and sharing online material like videos, blogs, and social media posts. Try not to be upfront in promoting a brand but focusing on stimulating interest to its products or services. Making connections and posting regularly will help your business gain loyal subscribers who can become your customers.

  1. Highly Targeted Paid Marketing

This may not be the exact type of marketing you would expect to find in a cost-effective list but knowing when you can invest your money to launch a precisely targeted inbound marketing campaign and get your brand in front of the right people to generate a high turnout.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind when doing Paid Marketing.

  • Improving your quality score To Improve ad relevance and lower your campaign costs.
  • Launch remarketing campaigns by segmenting visitors to your website or by creating a custom/tailored audience.
  • Try opting for smaller niche networks where you can gain a terrific ROI rather than prominent but expensive advertising networks.

Build your list

  1. Email Marketing   

Email marketing is a marketing strategy that utilizes sending emails to prospects and customers to develop relationships. Email is the #1 communication channel with most consumers checking their emails every day. The advantage of this over social media is that you own the list without the risk of it being suspended by an administrator. What is more, emails tend to convert better.

Here are the steps to get started with Email Marketing:

  1. Select email marketing service provider
  2. Start building your email list with lead gen/ free gifts
  3. After the first two steps, it is just a matter of refining your lists and your messages, so you reach out to your audience and connect with them.

 

  1. Referrals Programs & Partnership Marketing

Though it may not work for every business, having a referral program or affiliate program might be worth trying. Create an affiliate program that turns your customers into a pseudo-marketing team. And the best part is that you do not spend marketing money unless they first make a sale on your behalf.

Partnership marketing involves the collaboration between two or more businesses within an industry aiming to create a mutually beneficial marketing campaign that helps both parties meet their business objectives. This is especially helpful for small businesses struggling on their own, and this method can help a business grow cost-effective wise. Take time to plan, investigate and converse with potential partners and see if you both can come up with a mutual agreement.

Manage Customer Relationships

  1. Customer Retention Marketing

The traditional idea of marketing is often thought of as the focus of gaining new customers. In truth, some of the best marketing happens with current customers. Marketing back at your own customers is quite easy and low budget with other great benefits. This is what is known as

Customer retention is a set of activities a business utilizes to increase the number of repeat customers and each existing customer’s profitability. Allow you to provide and gain more value from an existing customer base.

This is in line with other marketing strategies already mentioned above.

  • Listen to your customers’ needs.
  • Offer a rewards program.
  • Consider SMS and email marketing.
  • Engage and make time with your clients. …
  • Keep offering added value services to your customers…

If you are looking for support in growing your business send us an email at Roy@racmacs.com, or book a  Free 30 minutes Business Consultation call

Five Ways to Steadily Improve Cash Flow in Your Business!

 

How many profitable companies can you think of that had suffered considerable damage because of cash flow problems?

 

 

 

 

Many businesses are struggling to survive or went bankrupt due to poor financial management – I am sure you can name a few!!

Sometimes, business owners, entrepreneurs and managers neglect the things that really matter – cashflow.

Whenever many people see signs of business success, they often drop the guards down, believing that finance and income streams are secure.

But the harsh reality is that at any given point in time, your business operations can suddenly stop functioning and steer towards a negative outcome.

If you’re thinking of ways to improve and steadily increase your cash flow, take note, and start implementing the strategies below.

1.Perform Accurate Financial Forecasts and Scenario planning

 

 

 

 

There are more business owners than you’d think who are vague about what it takes to grow their business. When entrepreneurs usually think of terms such as scaling or business growth, sometimes many fail to think about all the costs and expenses that are likely to arise and tends to focus mostly on the likely increase in revenue profits.

One way to improve your cash flow is to improve the accuracy of your financial forecasts. But a big mistake is being unrealistic  – you want to be an optimistic pessimist.

By this, I mean you should create multiple realistic and possible scenarios that could occur. Usually, entrepreneurs tend to be overly optimistic when calculating all the potential outcomes. However, it would be best if you were ruthless about the possible results – good and bad.

Analyse and use past data instead of using a brand-new model. Recorded data and information from the past is far more accurate to base your financial forecasting and assumptions off and tends to more realistic than just guessing.

However, it is also important to take into consideration the latest developments in your industry and whats going on in the economy – up to date information.

Look at the different expenses and see where you have the most control. It’s way easier to measure and calculate the volume of your costs than it is to calculate your revenue growth, so start there.

You forecast also need to be updated using the actual results. Please don’t leave it to catch dust once after you create it, but reassess your methods and practices to see how close you are to what you initially forecasted. Then, adjust those areas in your business frameworks with any new data.

Accurate financial forecasts ultimately lead to better business planning,  financial thinking, and improved decision making that’s more strategic and rewarding for your cash flow.

2.Cut Down on Operating Expenses

Are you keeping an eye on how you can cut down on some of your operating expenses?

Track your financial records and statements and look at where your money is going ( manage the cash outflows as well as the cash inflows). I can bet that there’s at least one service or subscription you’re paying for that isn’t really adding much value to your business.

To stay safe, double-check with an accountant or financial advisor with what you might decide to stop paying for. This prevents any significant repercussions that could harm your business revenue or profits.

3. Practise Early Payments

Not only should you pay early to avoid penalty costs and get overcharged with future suppliers, but you should also promote the concept of getting your customers to not pay you later than when they really should be.

One good way to do this is by using incentives such as discounts, or even by upselling them on special offers if they pay early.

If you haven’t already, take the time to outline or update on your financial plan for your business to reduce cash output.

But, always be on time and don’t miss deadlines. You should also be sending invoices earlier so you can get paid faster. If you’re not already, consider using invoice software so that your customer payments aren’t overdue.

4.Experiment With Different Pricing Strategies

Don’t be afraid to test out different pricing strategies and structures to see which works best.

One way to improve your cash flow is to increase your prices. Most business owners are afraid to do so, but it would only be bad if you miscommunicated or if it’s an unreasonable, drastic change. E.g. increasing your product from £50 to £1000.

One example of a good pricing model is monthly subscriptions. Instead of having a one-time charging price for a high-ticket product, you could change it to a subscription model, which is great for recurring income.

Subscriptions are also effective for customer retention. It also makes your product more affordable and easier to pay for those customers who might not have been able to pay for your product in the first place.

Take the chance to find out how far your audience is willing to go. And don’t forget to seek feedback and reviews when you’re changing the pricing structure of your business.

5. Manage The Different Sections That Influence Your Cash Flow

Often, people believe that making more money will resolve their issues, but that’s far from the truth. The other half of the answer lies behind how you manage your money.

Different sections influence your cash flow, including:

  • Inventory and Stock Control (Product base business)
  • Revenue generation strategies
  • Expenses Management Policy
  • Cost of Goods/ Services Sold
  • Accounts receivable/ Debtors
  • Accounts payable/ Creditors

Sometimes, you’ll find items in your inventory that are slower than some of the other items you already have.

When you’re tracking your metrics, you might also notice that there are certain features or products that a very small percentage or even no customers at all are paying for. If that’s the case, cut that out your inventory – what’s the point of buying more of something that’s not going to make you profit?

Conclusion

It is vital to monitor your cash flow and to pinpoint where the financial gaps are in your business consistently.

Whenever you notice a problem, the right answer may not always be to dispose of the source completely. Instead, it might just need to be looked at a different perspective so you can take on a new approach that works better.

If you’re looking for a proven blueprint to curtail expenses, and maximise your business profits and maintain positive cash flow, grab my free e-book right here.

You can also get in touch if you are looking for proven strategies and techniques to improve your cash flow – Use the link here or email us at admin@racmacs.com.

#finance #money #business #success #entrepreneur

Reduce Your Operating Expenses Using These Five Cost Reduction Strategies!

How confident are you with managing financial affairs of your business?  

There are some documents and  financial statements in your business that are mainly handled by people other than yourself, usually by an accountant with significant expertise in financial matters.

While it is you to have the right people to do this work for you; you must understand the financial matters within your business operations – This includes how to control the operating expenses/costs and to ensure there is always adequate working capital.

But before we go through the five strategies to reduce your operating expenses, there are a few things you need to understand about operational costs. Otherwise, you won’t optimise as best as you could for these strategies since you lack full transparency.

Operational Costs: What You Need to Know

What are operating costs? What’s the meaning behind it?

It’s the amount of money you spend to run different areas of your business operations. This includes materials, resources, and administrative work.

In other words, they’re the expenses necessary for the smooth functioning of your business. See below for examples of business expenses to run their operations:

      • Payroll
      • Insurance
      • Marketing
      • Legal teams
      • Taxes
      • Office supplies
      • Raw materials
      • Rent & rates and other overheads

Now, there are some definitions you need to understand which I’ll explain below: 

Operating expenses: The expenses incurred to run your business operations

Operating income: the amount of profit gained from a business’ operations (after deducting cost of goods sold and operating expenses)

How do you calculate the operating income? Here’s the formula:

Total Revenue – Operating Expenses – Cost of Goods Sold = Operating Income

For example, if your business revenues £100,000 last year, but your Cost of Goods sold is £,5000 and operating expenses are £15,000, then your operating income for that year is £80,000.

You must be aware of the operating costs you are incurring over time as a percentage of your income (expenses ratio), as this indicates whether you are heading towards achieving your financial targets or not.

Tracking costs also helps you streamline and make better business decisions.

Now that you know this, let’s get to the five cost reduction strategies you can use to decrease your operating expenses.

Automation Reduces OPEX

1. Use Digital Software Services (Automate)

There are many productivity software, online processors, and digital resources out there that help you replace manual work. Not only does it save you a lot more time, but you are going to lower your total operating expenses.

Rather than spending hours doing lesser important tasks, why not automate them?

For instance, when writing emails for a group of people/potential customers, you can improve business performance and efficiency by using email automation software.

Example of email automation software includes Mail Chimp, Active Campaign and Infusionsoft; some of these also has CRM features to track your correspondence with leads and customers.

2. Stop Using Low Performing or Unused Services

Look at where your money is going. Trace them through your variable costs and check the metrics to see if your money is being put to good use or not.

You might find services you are paying for services that you are barely using or not using at all. Or those poorly performing services you might be paying for that are only acting as another expense to prevent your business from having working capital available that you can put into other areas of the company.

These are money-eating services that you need to get rid of

If you find that you can’t get rid of it, then at least negotiate the costs…

If you’re not too sure or struggle with tasks like this either you need better accounting systems, or you need to have the right money management mindset and skillet. But essentially, it’s why accountants and personal advisors are so useful.

Working from home is the new Normal

3. Take Advantage of the latest Telecommunication

Did you know that zoom drastically reached a peak of 300 million daily participants?

Working remotely is one cost-effective strategy. It’s easier to host or access conferences and webinars since you can do so in the comfort of your own home.

Telecommunication also eliminates the need to spend time or money traveling or to pay for office equipment or rent. Unlike traditional business, many businesses nowadays don’t even have an office and optimize their digital marketing strategies.

4. Outsource to Specialists

Outsourcing is when you hire a third party’s expertise for a set to provide a service that you or your team might otherwise do in-house. Not only does it increase the value of your business operations, but you get to reduce costs and focus on the core tasks of your business.

Here are a few examples of the primary benefits you can get from outsourcing:

    • Lower labour costs
    • Decrease risk factors
    • Effectively manage working capital
    • Focus on the priority tasks of your business
    • Improve efficiency and performance

There are many cases where companies that began to outsource their work obtained a large volume of profit after just a few months.

If you want to focus on the more important parts of your business and reduce costs, then be sure to outsource your work to specialists in your industry.

Finance Transformation

5. Handle Your Financial Expenses Responsibly

Handling your financial expenses is a common struggle. And it’s why experienced accountants are crucial aspects of your business when it comes to money management and financial decisions.

You might have things to pay for such as:

    • Invoices
    • Debt
    • Human resources
    • Monthly subscription services

With debt and invoices, you want to pay these on time or better, earlier. This way, you save the extra unnecessary costs for a little mistake like being late. It also gives you a good score, and HMRC will recognise that.

Also, by paying for services on time, suppliers are more likely going to reward you with helpful discounts that are very useful when it comes to saving money.

As discussed, avoid unnecessary subscriptions that are continuously eating up your cash. Next, do some frugal shopping – look around to find other alternatives that have the same functionality with services you already have but at a lower cost. If the purpose and function are the same, then there should not really be a problem.

Conclusion

How often do you monitor your business finances and streams of income? Do you have monthly in-depth analysis and breakdowns of what is going on in your business to see how you can gain higher profit margins?

There’s a strong correlation with your business’ profitability and operating expenses.

Contact us to quickly recognise and unlock hidden profitability in your business. This way, you can start scaling your business profits at a quicker pace.

After that’s been achieved, you can maximize profitability and cash flow using these strategies and setting up your business to become a Money-Making Machine.  

Check out our Free Online Web-class for more strategies to Increase your Profits ad cash flow – use the link below:

https://roystoncumberbatch.com/business-success-web-class

11 Benefits of Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business

Are you maximising your sources of income through digital marketing to access untapped profitability?

If not, you’re putting yourself at a huge disadvantage.

Social media banner
Social Media Marketing is crucial to growing your Business

 

Social media plays a big part in digital marketing. With billions of worldwide social media users who are potential customers, there are several key benefits of using social media marketing strategies to scale your revenue.

See below to find out the key benefits social media offer that you might be missing out on to scale your business.

  1. Brand Recognition

The number of social media users continues to rapidly increase…

In every second that passes, 11 more people use social media for the first time. And today in 2020, about 50% of the worldwide population are active social media users.

Social media makes it easier to position yourself in front of your audience and gain traction in your niche to become more recognizable.

Promoting your business through the means of social media helps to spread brand awareness. This means you won’t be a complete stranger when people come across you when browsing online. 

Social Media Builds Brand Awareness

 

 

 

  1. Resonate Closely With Your Audience

Many customers make and showcase products that don’t sell.

Because no matter how good your products are if it does not appeal to your target customers and they are not made aware of the features and benefits if it will not sell –  as customers have lots of alternative products to choose.

Corroborate trust, social authority and work on growing your followers.

You need something new, refurbished, and innovative to push consumers to take action. Platforms such as Instagram are great for revealing some of the unseen sides of your brand.

Reveal more about the personalities behind your brand and create a real human bond with your followers.

It makes your consumers more inclined to want to see more from you. In comparison to traditional marketing methods, you’re drawing in more people to consume your content as they’ll find you less intimidating, sincere, and trustworthy.

Exposing some of your vulnerabilities and personal characteristics gives consumers the chance to closely resonate with you. It’s also a friendly reminder that you’re not a robot, but you’re human too. You’re very similar, and you’re not just someone who’s trying to sell to them 24/7.

  1. Identified As Thought-Leader

Now that social media exists, it’s one great way to build on your credibility and social status.

Word of mouth is one of the most compelling marketing strategies in the book. If you’re identified as a thought leader in your niche, you’ll gain access to various fresh networks. So, focus on developing a reputable brand that’s going to appeal to consumers.

Once you’re identified as a thought-leader, people are going to assume you have the answers which can lead to an increase in traffic. This steers to the next point…

Social Media can drive traffic to your website

  1. Larger Volume of Traffic

Did you know that Facebook stories have around 500 million daily viewers?

Facebook and Instagram posts or stories that include a call-to-action is a smart and easy way to drive traffic to your website.

Assuming the copy and content is good, readers are going to be compelled to take action. Or even out of curiosity, they’ll at least want to check out what you’ve got in store for them.

Leads are potential customers with interest in your products or services

 

 

  1. Capture Leads

You can leverage off social media to acquire more leads and get them into the pipeline. It certainly counts towards taking your business revenue to the next level by directly connecting with potential buyers.

An exceptional example to learn from here is Jason Capital.

The way he promotes his programme ‘Social Media Boss’ is phenomenal. It’s a classic example of a sales funnel and here’s how it goes.

He promotes his ebook (lead magnet) on his Instagram stories where you can swipe up on a link to get it for free. But in exchange, you give your email. Shortly after, it takes the reader into an email sequence where he sells them his programme.

  1. Influencer Collaborations

Partnering with other influencers in your industry gives you access to a new market you might not have managed to reach.

Often, it’s a win-win situation for both parties involved. Shout-outs from influential figures with a large follower base supports the growth of your business (there are some disadvantages to this in terms of longevity and quality of followers).

The strategy also has an influence on your social status. With the right partnership, you’ll be setting yourself up for further sales, brand awareness, and growth.

  1. Viral Posts

You can maximise your outreach and marketing efforts by making use of the different features such as hashtags, share buttons, and reposting.

Sometimes, one of your posts can suddenly blow up and go viral out of nowhere. This leads to an abnormal, exponential amount of growth in a very short period amount of time.

But always aim to provide good consistent content to your audience. Don’t be that sleazy person who keeps on advertising and posting promotional content all the time.

A CRM system helps businesses to build customer relationships

  1. Audience Engagement

Communication is a two way street. Stay active, post daily and be sure to respond to your audience.

Online forums are a great place to engage in conversations. You can easily learn more about them and find deeper information regarding their pain points, needs and desires.

Social media as a whole, is one of the best places for interacting with consumers. Use it to share content such as blogs, podcasts or videos. Then demonstrate your industry expertise and knowledge by replying to any queries people might have and answering questions.

Measuring relevant metrics are fundamental to assess the Marketing Campaign

  1. Track Metrics

Data-driven resources grants you access to track metrics. Not just for your own business but your competitors too. If you use the information correctly, it’s one smart way to skyrocket your income streams through higher performance in business operations.

Tools like Google Analytics, Instagram insights and SEMrush give you the chance to see what’s performing well and what isn’t.

  1. Industry News

Thanks to social media, it’s near impossible to not be informed and keep on top of all the news and trends you need to be aware of.

Additionally, you can keep a good watch on your competitors. It’s not difficult to see how and what they’re doing differently. E.g. what type of content they’re putting out, what time they’re posting, and how they communicate with customers.

  1. Targeted Advertisements

Paid ads generally perform well for converting sales and generating new leads.

As well as advertising, you can test different types of copy and ads to see what gets the most results. An advantage of using social media is that you can repeatedly test on your audience and refine your marketing strategies each time.

Because every platform is different, it’s important you optimize for each one.

No matter what stage of the life cycle potential customers are in, you’ll be capable of targeting new potential customers (no matter what stage of the lifecycle or buyer’s journey they’re in).

Use Social media to showcase the creative side of your business.

Conclusion

The world is constantly changing. With A.I and technology continuing to evolve alongside your audience, it’s important to continuously make tweaks to your business model.

Are you keeping up with the trend or are you being left behind? Enhance your sales and business profits – register for my webinar here or book a free call with us to start making a bigger impact.

In contrast to the past, a lot has changed. Especially with the way businesses market their products and services. And social media is a prime example of that.

Are there any other benefits you can think of? Comment below!