(NewsUSA) - Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business, no matter the industry or company size. However, as economic headwinds and supply chain woes challenge the bottom line for both Main Street and Wall Street businesses alike, owners are facing significant financial frictions hindering business growth. Unfortunately, small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are especially constrained financially, as many SMBs in America remain underbanked or unbanked while inflationary pressures continue to mount and impede profitability.
In fact, 25% of owners report inflation is their single most important problem in operating their business, according to a study by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Further challenging SMBs cash flow, the NFIB also notes, in the last six months, 57% of owners reported capital outlays such as purchasing new equipment and vehicles, updating fixtures and furniture, and expanding facilities, among other expenditures. In turn, SMBs are increasingly relying on price hikes to improve company financial performance, with 62% of retail and 54% of wholesale operators reporting higher rates.
Strategic pricing is only a piece of the puzzle, though, when it comes to enhancing profitability, according to Carmit Glik, CEO and founding member of Ship4wd, a leading global digital freight forwarding solution platform. Glik encourages SMBs to consider looking across the supply chain for opportunities to improve cash flow.
“While some issues continue to linger, global supply chains have experienced a significant shift toward the positive, particularly for businesses who proactively deploy measures to capitalize on the current climate,” said Glik. “The combination of stabilized freight rates, emerging technologies, new financing solutions, diversified supplier options, and investments by companies working collaboratively to create a more resilient and sustainable supply chain, creates a robust opportunity for small and mid-sized businesses to strengthen their cash flow management—a challenge often considered the glass ceiling for growth to many SMBs.”
Glik shares three practical tips SMBs can implement to improve cash flow, take advantage of supply chains, and empower them to scale in today’s marketplace.
Leverage Technology and Explore New Financing Avenues
SMBs should proactively explore technology and various financing options to meet their capital needs. Credit lines, bank loans, or digital payments can be complemented with digitized services and alternative financing methods such as crowdfunding. Leveraging financial technology solutions can provide faster access to capital and streamline the financing process. Evaluating the costs, terms, and suitability of different financing options can help SMBs make informed decisions that align with their business objectives.
Control Inventory and Manage Supplier Relationships
Optimizing inventory management is essential for improving cash flow. SMBs should analyze demand patterns, implement just-in-time inventory practices, and negotiate favorable terms with suppliers, such as extended payment periods or bulk purchase discounts. Strengthening supplier relationships can lead to more flexible payment arrangements, ensuring a steady supply of goods without compromising cash flow. Adopting inventory management systems can enhance visibility, reduce carrying costs, and prevent overstocking or stockouts, further improving financial efficiency and efficacy.
Diversify Revenue StreamsandBuild Strong Customer Relationships
Diversifying shipping partners and revenue streams by exploring new markets, expanding product or service offerings, or partnering with complementary businesses can mitigate the risk of over-reliance on a single income source. Diversification creates opportunities for increased sales and revenue, improving cash flow stability and resilience. Fostering strong customer relationships is key to enhancing cash flow. SMBs can focus on providing exceptional customer service, personalized experiences, and loyalty programs to cultivate customer loyalty and encourage repeat business.
To help small and mid-sized businesses improve cash flow, Ship4wd launched a first-of-its-kind offering including instant $10,000 credit lines (subject to eligibility) that afford SMBs greater opportunity to compete and thrive; ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ 90-day post-delivery payment terms that turn the tide on an antiquated prepayment model; and fully digitized online payment options for its customers to access the majority of banks across the U.S. and Canada and leverage all major credit cards to complete their transactions.
“We recognized the industry and our customers needed a change as SMBs continue to navigate financial burdens that can limit their long-term sustainability and growth,” said Glik. “Ship4wd’s mission is to ease the burden of global shipping so business owners can focus on growing their businesses. Our new financing solutions enable them to do just that, and whether financial or operationally, the tide is turning in favor of business owners when it comes to international shipping.”
The effective management of cash flow and financing is crucial for the success of SMBs. SMBs can optimize their financial operations, ensuring a healthy cash flow and access to necessary capital that will secure a solid foundation for success.