Warning Signs That State Your Business Is in Big Trouble

Most of the times, businesses that go into insolvency are taken by surprise on the suddenness of the event. It happens because most small and medium businesses are focused on day-to-day operations and fail to realize that there is something wrong with the larger picture. So, when the hammer finally falls, everyone is surprised and of course devastated by the blow.

While all business owners face challenges at one stage or another in their career, there are some telltale signs that can alert you about big financial troubles. Recognizing these signs also allows them to take corrective actions in time to salvage the situation. In this post, we are sharing the six things that can be a warning that your business might be in trouble.

  1. Difficulties in raising a new business loan: One of the very first indicator of upcoming financial trouble is the failure to secure a loan or fresh round of financing. If your latest business loan application has taken way too long in processing and eventually gets denied, it is time for some introspection at your SME. Lenders have pretty stringent due diligence processes and may be able to see the problems which you might have overlooked. Sometimes a lender, such as a bank, may tell you that everything is fine and to apply for a business loan again after a while. This happens because the lender does not want to push away a potential customer in hopes that you may be able to sort out the business troubles and will then apply for a fresh loan. So, never take such verbal communication for granted as it is still not a firm commitment.
  2. Lack of investors or buyers for your company: If you have been trying to sell your business through equity or direct buyouts and fail to find potential buyers, again it is a sign of troubles in your financial and operational situation. Just like financing, potential buyers also have stringent due diligence and value a business based on parameters which may not match with your internal estimations. Furthermore, sometimes a business owner in search for a buyer ends up neglecting the running of the business in the short-term. Which can significantly damage the immediate prospects of a sale and also brings down the value of the business.
  3. Frequently missing major milestones: As mentioned earlier in the article, every business has its problems and hiccups at some point, but if problems have become a norm at your establishment, it is time for checks and balances. Taking a look at the last one or two years of operations and doing a fair analysis of where you should be versus where you are may help in identifying problems in sales, product development, supply chain, working capital finance, etc. Whatever it may be, you must come up with a steady plan to overcome the problem because investors, lenders and buyers are seldom interested in excuses.
  4. Discord at the top-tier of management: The C-suite as it is generally called, is the top rung of your establishment. It is here where all the planning and overseeing happens. Sometimes, discord amongst the C-suite employees or surprise departures may also be a sign of things not going well at the company. Someone might have figured out that all is not well and has simply abandoned the ship as it begins to sink. So, whenever you lose a high-ranking employee do not just get into hiring mode, look for the reasons behind the exit as well.
  5. Accounts payable are way above normal: Accounts payables are one of the best ways to determine your company’s financial and operational health. Your accounts payable let you know about the state of your cash flow. If they keep stacking up, it means you are not generating enough inflow to be able to pay-off the debts, which is never a good sign.
  6. Very short operational runway: Lastly, most companies overestimate the time that they have got to sort out things. If your operational runway has less than six months remaining, it is a huge red flag and might even be a point of no return for your business. Having six months of cash runway is the minimum you need to get things to work again, if the cash stock falls below that, it is time to weigh your options seriously.

Moving quickly to resolve a financial crisis

If your business displays any of these warning signs, moving as quickly as possible towards a backup strategy should become your focus. If the problems are in operations or supply chain, it is time to give your teams a rap on the knuckles. Streamline your operations by cutting down manufacturing, downsizing or hiring experts. If the problems are with financing and you are having trouble raising fresh finance from the banking system, perhaps it is time to look at the ways of alternate finance for small and medium businesses available in the market.

For example, FinTech lenders like Lendingkart Finance offer short-term business loans to help businesses in managing their working capital. By applying for a working capital loan for your business you will be able to free up the cash at bank for capital investment and restructuring of your enterprise. Hence, taking correctional measures and day-to-day operations can go on simultaneously. So, consider taking a business loan from non-banking financial companies if your regular lenders are showing reluctance. Non-banking financial companies like Lendingkart also offer several other benefits like lower interest rates, flexible EMIs, zero-prepayment charges, and instant loan renewals that will help you get back on your feet.

So, do not wait before it is too late, if your business is showing the signs of trouble, take corrective steps now.

Here’s How You Can Raise Funds for Your Startup

All startup businesses begin with exciting new ideas and high hopes. However, it is also an unfortunate fact that most startups run into unforeseen financial and operational difficulties within the first year of their operations.

Business researchers often point to a number of reasons that are responsible for the failure of a promising new venture. Yet, the fact also remains that most of these difficulties arise due to inadequate capital.

Capital is the basic requirement for running any venture and no business can be expected to thrive if it does not have proper financing. That is the reason why the concept of investor funding is so strongly embedded in the startup scene. But, raising funds is not only a tedious exercise, it also determines the future of a startup venture. For instance, you may lose the control of your business by giving up a large stake in return for capital funding.

There are a number of ways you can raise funds for a startup business, such as bootstrapping or self-funding, crowdfunding, Angel investment, venture capital, working capital loans, and government programs that help MSMEs. Every one of these methods has its own pros and cons. Let’s have a look.

 

Source:

Pros:

Cons:

Self-funding:

 

Using funds from personal savings or borrowings from family and friends or both.

         -Easily accessible funds

-No bureaucratic hassles

-Flexible interest rates

–       Not feasible for large scale business operations or expansions
Crowdfunding:

 

Getting funds from crowdfunding platforms by making a pitch and getting capital from interested crowd funders.

–       Helps in marketing as well as financing by creating a public interest

–       Allows you to retain control of your business

–       May help attract future investment from venture capitalists

–       Competition is heavy due to the public nature of the platform

–       So, is the probability of your idea getting rejected due to too many homogeneous ideas

Angel Investment:

 

Basically, getting funds from individuals with huge capital worth, willing to invest in new business ideas.

–       An Angel investor can also provide valuable business mentorship along with the capital investment

–       Angel investors are less risk averse

–       The capital provided by Angel investors is often less in comparison to venture capitalists or other business funding methods
Venture Capital:

 

Venture capitalists are professionals who tend to invest in solid business ideas. However, they rarely seek equity and pull out when a business is acquired or upon IPO.

–       Venture capitalists bring a huge amount of mentorship and business acumen to the table

–       They help you design exit-strategies that allow huge profit margins

–       Venture capitalists tend to take away the control of your business in order to recover their investment quickly

–       Venture capitalists are mostly interested in large companies which have a proven business model

Working Capital Loan:

 

A loan from a microfinance company or NBFC that especially caters to the needs of small business owners.

–       Loans are unsecured so there is no risk of collateral loss as is with a bank loan

–       A quick business loan can fast track your income generation

–       Helps small businesses gather their bearings before seeking higher investments

–       No legalities and technicalities in comparison to traditional bank loans

–       None that we can think of
Government Programs:

 

Getting funds from the government subject to institutional scrutiny and meeting the policy parameters.

–       Great way to source funds at low interest rates along with subsidies and other incentives –       Very slow, long, and often tedious process that may take months or even years to get an approval

So, now that you know about the various ways of raising capital for your startup business, the obvious question that needs asking is – which one is the best?

Well, if you are looking for a quick and hassle-free funding, it means you have already tapped in bootstrapping sources. So, the next best thing here will be getting a working capital loan from an NBFC.

Faster Business Loans without Security

Non-Banking Financial Companies offer loans for business without requiring a collateral. NBFCs are also business sensitive and hence provide quick business loan approvals and disbursements in comparison to traditional banks. For example, a bank may take up to 15 days to process your business loan application whereas you can get a business loan approval within 72 hours by applying with an NBFC like Lendingkart Finance.

Flexible EMIs, Interest Rates and Prepayment Options

Working capital loans for business come with the added benefits like a flexible EMI schedule, lower interest rates and zero prepayment charges. If you are a budding entrepreneur, these benefits can be a godsend for your business. For instance, the ability to customize your EMIs allows you to plan your repayment in tandem with your invoicing cycle. Lower interest rates mean you are not losing precious capital in interest payments. Finally, if at any stage your business starts generating expected profits and you wish to repay your business loan in full, there are no prepayment charges, fees or penalties.

Conclusion

Raising funds for business establishment and growth is always tricky. There are a lot of checkboxes that you need to tick before getting the capital you need. Furthermore, some of the most popular startup funding measures are also the most crowded ones as other entrepreneurs are also having the same funding ideas. Whereas getting funds by giving away equity has its own pitfalls in the long-run and can leave you without any control whatsoever over your business. Alternatively, you can get a bank loan for funding your business but that process is also marred by slow processing, bureaucratic red-tape and the huge risk of collateral loss.

So, amidst such tedious and discouraging scenarios, getting a working capital loan or a business loan from an NBFC like Lendingkart is the most plausible alternative for funding your startup. Add to that the many benefits of NBFC business loans, and the fact that you do not have to give away control over your business for getting working capital funds, and you have a winner on your hands.