Business finance problems. Got the ability to spot financing challenges when it comes to the immediate and longer term issues that face your firm in the Canadian business environment? We have always felt that some positive proactive techniques and information can go a long way to your health… and that’s better business health we’re talking about by the way!
It’s easy for an outsider to revert to the textbooks on this one, and larger corporations have access to all sorts of advisory advice. The business owners and managers of small and medium sized corporations in Canada have the tools; they just need to know how to use them. Technically speaking, (and we promise to try and not do a lot of that,) its just understanding your financial and operating leverage.
In reality by using basic and time tested tools you’re in effect creating an early warning system around business finance problems and financing challenges you are facing now or down the road. And the goal is pretty clear, don’t you think – it’s about ensuring you can fulfill your financing and contract obligations while at the same time growing and profiting.
A lot of finance problems revolve around your favorite entity, your customer. It’s therefore prudent at all times to understand the financial health of your customer. This can be accomplished in a number of ways – if you don’t think major corporations ask for their clients financial statements… well you’re simply wrong. The small and medium sized corporation can utilize various tools to monitor customer financial health; even monitoring payment habits over time is a great tool, allowing you to spot deterioration.
It goes without saying you have to be open to realizing what some of your current financing challenges are – Thats often tough for the business owner to admit because most entrepreneurs we meet are optimistic, sometimes excessively so, which is of course a double edged sword.
Can you balance sheet actually predict failure? A lot of history tells us it can… and there’s some pretty basic stuff here. Things like knowing the real value of your assets, not the book values when it comes to negotiating with Tier 1 or Tier 2 lenders. While cash and receivables are the two most liquid parts of your balance sheet even those receivables might misrepresent a true value in your firm if they are uncollectible, or uncollectible in a timely fashion.
While it may seem unappealing to spent to much time analyzing your financial health just some very basic ratios ( we’ve always called them relationships ) in 4 areas – liquidity, leverage, activity, and profit will give you a great total view of your firms current or upcoming challenges .
In Canada your firm has access to traditional financing via Canada’s chartered banks, but those financing challenges that seem ‘ unfixable’ can be address by a broad number of business finance solutions from non bank lenders – they include asset based lines of credit , government business loans, monetization of receivables and inventory separately or combined, supply chain finance, and tax credit monetization.
Bottom line … invest some time in some analysis and basic tracking tools, and consider speaking to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor on solutions to business finance problems.