Since the onset of an unprecedented global pandemic, the Australian economy has been significantly impacted. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics,[1] 66% of Australian businesses reported that their turnover or cash flow had reduced. 38% of businesses have changed the way they deliver products or services, including shifting to online services to help them stay afloat during this health and economic crisis[2].

It is crucial for small to medium businesses to manage operational cash flow and working capital in a time of falling revenues, ongoing fixed costs and slower payments from customers. Now is the time to critically evaluate your business’ financial requirements and know how to maximise cash flow.

Utilise a Buy Now Pay Later method

The buy now pay later phenomenon has changed the business-to-consumer (B2C) payments landscape in Australia and the same model can be utilised for businesses lacking cash flow, particularly during the current economic climate. A business-to-business (B2B) buy now pay later method enables businesses to improve their working capital to either grow or have financial flexibility and stability in their current operating environment. An example is Marketlend’s cash flow solution UnLock which connects businesses with their suppliers and facilitates payment over the requested period.  This allows a business owner to pay within a 30,60 or 90-day period and giving time to generate income providing a continual cash flow.

UnLock extends payment terms upon invoice receipt, suppliers are paid upfront in return. Businesses can use UnLock to release capital in their business starting from $50,000. By creating cash flow, paying suppliers and transferring the risk to themselves, UnLock enables businesses to buy more often, particularly during this unpredictable time.

Adapt to supply chain disruptions

In the current operating environment, you might not be able to get continual supply from existing suppliers which means you’ll need to shop around for alternative providers. If this occurs, there’s a good chance you’ll have to work with different supplier payment terms. The first step in finding new suppliers is to do in-depth research to find a supplier that can deliver the same quality that you require. Check if they are flexible with ordering or delivery quantities, as you might need more or less depending upon your business and how COVID-19 has affected sales. You should also consider securing additional inventory which can buffer against the potential impact of a prolonged supply chain disruption or when you may need to outlay more for additional stock.

New suppliers may request upfront payment which can cause cash flow problems. In that situation, using a cash flow solution such as UnLock could provide financial relief and help your business carry on.

Accurate cash flow forecasting

Business environments are changing daily.  It is essential to have accurate cash flow forecasting which is based on real-time data. Look into having a week-to-week cash flow forecast instead of on a monthly basis. By having up-to-date information about stock holdings and financial details, you can make informed and efficient decisions. Plan ahead so you can anticipate problems and adapt accordingly.

Investigate and apply for relevant stimulus packages

The Government is providing temporary cash flow support to businesses during the economic downturn associated with COVID-19. Review the criteria and apply for the most suitable package(s). One of the options is the Cash Flow Boost for small to medium sized businesses with an aggregated annual turnover under $50 million dollars. The Government is providing tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 and $100,000 to eligible businesses, delivered through credits in the activity statement system, when eligible businesses lodge their activity statements[3].

UnLock provides services for a multitude of industries, including veterinarians, medical centres, manufacturers, pharmaceuticals, dental practices, accountants and more. For more information, email UnLock at assistance@unlockb2b.com or call 1300 257 387.[1]https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/49F8475B31112582CA25853600764041?OpenDocument

[2]https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/49F8475B31112582CA25853600764041?OpenDocument

[3]https://www.business.gov.au/Risk-management/Emergency-management/Coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/Boosting-cash-flow-for-employers