31 July 2020
Six ways you can use technology to improve cash flow in your SME or SMB business
All businesses have to adapt to the changes and challenges they are facing as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to other business executives, I found that managing cash flow is a primary area of focus in these times of uncertainty.
Here are a list of six ways that you can use Technology to improve cash flow in your SME or SMB Business.
- Set up automatic statements and invoice reminder emails in your accountancy software. This obviously differs between accountancy systems, but the chances are that you may be in a position where you have fewer human resources available right now. Using these automated reminders to send emails to your debtors can be a great way to stay on-top of Cashflow.
- Switch your hardware and software renewals from yearly to monthly. Some of the services that you have to renew in your business such as firewall services, anti-virus subscriptions, and cloud-based software services, maybe renewing annually right now. Some vendors can switch you to pay monthly plans without affecting service. Doing this can move you to more of an Opex model and reduce these larger, and sometimes-unexpected renewal bills.
- Automate manual processes. Now is a great time to take a closer look at your existing processes to see where there are potential inefficiencies. There may be opportunities to automate job/project management and the associated invoices. In this scenario, you could use software (off-the-shelf or bespoke systems) to automatically raise invoices when projects are completed or products are sold. If you currently invoice manually and there is a delay from when the project or sales complete, and the point where the client receives the invoice, then automation could improve cash flow.
- Enable online payments. With more people working remotely, make getting paid as simple as possible. Integrating payment gateways into your website or invoices can break down the payment barrier. Of course, there will be a charge for these services, but providing clients with the ability to pay in numerous digital ways such as Debit Card, Direct Debit or PayPal can improve cash flow.
- Introduce an online marketplace for new or existing products or services that can add value to your clients at this time. If you have shippable goods or educational material, now might be a great time to introduce them to your audience. It’s unlikely that you are going to sell big-ticket items right now, but if you can find products or training materials that can truly help your clients in this climate, then making them available online could be a great way to generate a different revenue stream, with shorter payment terms.
- Reduce IT spend. If you haven’t reviewed your IT spend lately, there may be ways that it can be reduced. Speak to your IT team or partner to make sure you are benefiting from the best pricing to suit your current needs. If you have hardware coming up for renewal, now might be a great time to take a closer look at cloud computing. Cloud computing resources are hosted by providers such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon rather than on server(s) on your premises. Your move from a Capex model to an Opex model will mean you benefit from a scalable service (up and down). You will then only pay for what you need, and can easily adjust the resources based on requirements. If you’re already in the cloud, then ensure you are benefiting from some of the discounts available for reserving capacity of resources rather than ‘pay-as-you-go’. Cloud isn’t a fit for all businesses and scenarios but it may be worth exploring.
If you need help implementing any of the above then give us a call on 0333 015 5100 or contact us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.