Facing a Temporary Cash Crunch? Get a Short-Term Business Loan

Cash crunches can occur due to unfavorable business environment, changes in government policies (e.g. demonetization and GST) or seasonal shifts in sales. However, with some prudent financial management and the help of FinTech services, you can avoid problems like shortage of working capital loan which are usually associated with a cash crunch.

Here are some ideas to help you manage your finances and get through a cash crunch with relative ease.

Streamlining your Cash Flow

A positive cash flow statement allows you to have ready money when the need arises. Positive cash flow means that the amount of money coming into your business is more than the amount that is going out. Money earned through sale of goods and services and by providing other auxiliary services accounts for the cash that is coming in, while the money you spend on manufacturing, operations, rent etc. is the cash that is going out. Striking a positive balance between the two is not very difficult if you are using data-based metrics to scale your business operations.

Another thing that will help your business in maintaining a positive cash flow is the timely management of your receivables. Most working capital cash crunches arise because of delayed payments from your customers. When you are not getting paid on time for a product or service, you have to rely on alternate finance to run day-to-day operations, which eventually becomes a vicious cycle of debt and revenue shortfalls.

Paying your dues on time is also an important factor that reflects positively or negatively on your cash flow statement. Paying your rent and utility bills, vendor invoices, taxes etc. allows you to avoid penalties and fines, thus saving precious cash resources for business use. However, if you have a habit of missing due dates then it has a negative impact on your cash flow and restricts the amount of ready cash you have.

Getting a Credit Line

A credit line allows you to get a loan from a bank up to a specific limit. However, in this case you pay interest only on the amount you have presently borrowed. For example, if your credit limit is set at ₹ 10 lakh but you have borrowed only ₹ 2 lakh at present, then you will be paying an interest on the borrowed sum only. If you choose to withdraw another ₹ 1 lakh from the bank then your interest payment shifts accordingly to the current outstanding amount i.e. ₹ 3 lakh in this case.

While credit line is a good option for seasoned businesses, there is a downside to it as well. Credit lines are usually extended by traditional banking institutions which require a lot of paperwork and hassle to get one. New and upcoming business usually finds it hard to get a credit line for managing working capital and business expansions.

Using Credit Cards

A credit card issued in the name of your business can also help you overcome a temporary cash crunch. Since, the average repayment period on a credit card is about 21 days after bill generation, you can get up to 50 days of credit by timing your credit card expenses. If you use your business credit card on the first day of the monthly billing period, it gives you enough time to get the money back through revenues and repay it in time.

However, using credit cards also has its risks. If, for some reason, you are unable to repay within the stipulated period, you may find yourself paying a lot of interest.

Apply for a Business Loan

The best way to get your finances in line is by applying for a business loan. Now, a lot of people who own small and medium businesses are wary of getting into a debt trap. But a business loan is totally different than a personal loan or taking money from a private money lender. Business loans tend to have relatively low interest rates and are optimized for a business as per its earnings and expenditure.

If you have a healthy business profile, good credit rating, a reliable supply chain and pay your taxes on time, you can get business loans online from NBFCs like Lendingkart. Online business loans allow you to avoid the bureaucratic hassles of applying for a loan with a bank. They also have a faster processing time. For example, a completed application for business loan can get approved and funded within 3 days’ time by Lendingkart. However, it does require you to have valid proofs of the requisite documents.

Additionally, NBFC loans also come with a renewal facility which lets you borrow the same amount again once you pay off the existing loan. It is better than having a credit line actually, since you also get the facility of flexible EMI payments and increased credit limits. Lendingkart Finance allows you to repay your loan in monthly or bi-weekly payments, letting you adjust your liabilities according to your invoicing cycle. Moreover, as your sales / revenue increases, Lendingkart increases your borrowing limit, giving you access to more funds for working capital management or business expansion. Furthermore, as your relationship with the company matures and your business’s credit score improves, Lendingkart can lower the interest rate on your business loan as well.

NBFCs like Lendingkart are governed by Indian laws and the RBI and come under FinTech services which are especially designed for small and medium businesses. Right now, you can borrow short-term business loans up to ₹ 2 crore from Lendingkart to grow your business.

Concluding Thoughts

Getting small business finance in India has been a difficult thing for many years. With the traditional banking system leaning towards corporate finance, small and medium business owners often resorted to private finance or utilizing their savings for business use. However, the arrival of Internet of Things, e-commerce, business software and FinTech lending platforms like Lendingkart has made it easier for them to get quick finance with favorable interest rates and repayment terms. These services also help businesses in avoiding the risk associated with credit card finance and private lending, while making them more efficient in working capital management through cash flow control and FinTech lending services.

Tips to Increase Your Small or Medium Business’s Credit Score

Poor credit rating is one of the foremost reasons for rejected business loan applications. In recent years, main stream banking sector has become increasingly wary of lending to small and medium businesses. A major factor behind this is the rise in non-performing assets (NPAs) marring the banking sector, which has made the banks risk-averse.

Nowadays, an SME needs to have an almost perfect credit score to secure a business loan. This in turn has given rise to FinTech finance, a smarter and more efficient way of financing small and medium businesses that relies on data-driven technologies for faster loan approvals. Yet, despite their lenient approach, FinTech lenders too, assign a certain weightage to the credit score of the borrowing company.

In this post, we are sharing some tips and advice that will help your firm improve its credit rating and get a business loan.

  • Credit rating is compiled from data of your past business and credit transactions. So, if there are cases of financial irregularities in your recent past, your credit rating is going to be lower. Another factor that is reflected by your credit rating is the way in which you utilize available credit, which includes the personal credit history of payments made to credit cards, utilities, loan EMIs and mortgages. If a bulk of your income is going into such payments and your bank balances are less than ideal, the credit rating suffers.
  • Now, improving your credit rating is a matter of setting these irregularities right. It is a time-consuming process so do not expect any miracles overnight. But by following strict financial discipline, you can regain a good credit score in a few months’ time. Refrain from applying for fresh loans when you are on the way to recovering your credit score because multiple credit searches by lenders may take away crucial points from your credit rating.
  • Another thing that might be affecting your business’s credit rating is wrong information uploaded by a financial institution, such as non-closure of a bank loan account that you have paid-up months ago. So, analyze your credit report carefully to identify wrong entries and raise a dispute with the rating bureau. These updates may take up to 30 days to reflect in your credit report so be patient.
  • If you find the above-mentioned discrepancies in your credit rating, be sure to check your credit rating with other rating bureaus to see if their records are also wrong.
  • Lastly, try and use the same address in all your business accounts to indicate legitimacy. Also, use landline numbers instead of mobile numbers as it indicates that you are a stable business establishment. Try paying more than the minimum monthly amount on your credit card loans, however, you may need to improve working capital flow for that. One way to do that is to apply for a small-ticket working capital loan when your credit rating improves to further consolidate your finances.
  • Once you get back to a good credit score, keep an eye on it and make sure you do not slip back into old financially imprudent habits again.

Why you Should Choose a Business Bank Account for Working Capital

In recent years, the government’s push for going digital has gained traction in both private and public centre enterprises. The financial system, be it securities exchange or taxation or transactional exchange, has come under increased legal scrutiny due to digitisation. In essence, it is a noble venture that aims to do away with age-old methods of paper banking and physical verifications, but as early adopters, many small business owners are finding it a difficult transition. One of the main reasons behind these difficulties is the single-use bank accounts for personal and professional income.

In some cases, the tax authorities and banks have opened inquiries due to a mismatch between an individual’s declared incomes and actual account activity. However, later realizing that most of these account holders are small business owners using savings accounts for their professional use. So, if you are a small business owner who is yet to segregate his/her personal and professional incomes, the time to do so is quite at hand. Also, there are several other benefits of having a business bank account than simply the convenience of avoiding unnecessary legal scrutiny.

One such advantage is having access to quick finance. SMEs in India can use a current account facility for business transactions. These accounts do not generate any interest but do give selective access to working capital finance, albeit with a catch. An business has to pledge an asset as collateral before the funds are credited to its current account. So, in most cases where an SME does not have the assets to secure a working capital loan from a bank, the owner ends up using a personal account for professional use, because there is no perceived need for him to get a current account.

However, the advent of Fintech firms like Lendingkart has changed that perception by offering unsecured business loans for small and medium businesses. Business owners can now have both a current account and an access to working capital finance without pledging company assets. Plus, these loans are offered at relaxed terms and with easy repayment schedules to ease the financial burden on SME owners.

Given this change, the banks too have adapted their current accounts divisions by creating sub-categories that cater to specific business needs. Here are some of the things that are made simpler with a business account for your SME.

  • Digital Banking Services are a part of the current account. These personalized services ensure that you can access your working capital funds anytime, anywhere. Digital banking is also a more transparent way of conducting business than the usual exchange of cash. Incidentally, a lender is also more likely to trust your business credentials if you have a well-maintained current account for your business with digital transactions enabled.
  • Salary Remittance to Employees is also simplified by using a business bank account with facilities like digital approval of paychecks and invoices and real-time transfer of funds to dedicated salary accounts.
  • Checks Payable at Par is another of business bank account advantages that can help in streamlining your financial transactions across state borders.
  • Personalized Forex Rates for businesses who have clientele outside the country are offered by several banks. This facility helps in seamless international exchange of monies.
  • Interest Earnings, while not a traditional feature of current accounts, is also being explored by several public and private sector banks to market themselves as more business savvy alternatives.

So, we hope these are reasons enough for you to switch your business dealings to a current account and reap the benefits for your SME. In case you need a quick business loan you can always apply for one with Lendingkart by visiting our website at Lendingkart.com or downloading the Lendingkart Finance app on your Android device. We offer business loans at lower interest rates without requiring any collateral and disburse funds within 3 days of document verification.

Best Free Accounting Software for Small Businesses in India

Did you know that you can save a lot of time and money by adhering to smart accounting? Most small business owners do not always prioritize accounting, as there are other tasks on their to-do list which seem more urgent. However, there is a reason behind accounting being a separate arm of business management, accounting enables efficiency and transparency in business operations.

Nowadays, the integration of IT solutions with business operations means that a small business owner can easily manage cash flow, invoicing and payrolls with automated accounting software.

Here we are sharing a list of best free accounting software for small businesses that you can test and deploy for your enterprise.

ZipBooks

A popular choice among small business owners, ZipBooks simplifies accounting with an easy-to-learn interface and some powerful accounting features. The ZipBooks starter option is free and lets you create unlimited invoices for any number of vendors and customers. You can also connect your bank account to the software and manage your business’s bank account.

Marg

Developed specifically for use in India, the Marg Accounting Software is totally free to use and offers a comprehensive list of accounting features such as ledger management, cash flow control and preparing detailed balance sheets. The software also integrates various forms required by Indian Business Law for e-filing of tax returns online.

Tally ERP 9

Tally remains the most popular accounting software in India. It has a free version which you can utilise to manage accounts and keep track of your finances. There are many institutions offering Tally courses in India, so using this software also gives you ready human capital to invest in.

Profitbooks

It us a cloud based accounting software which can be accessed from any device anytime. The free version of Profitbooks allows bookkeeping and invoicing to give you accurate accounting information. You can also connect to the Profitbooks Live Chat to learn about its advance features.

GnuCash

This is an open-source personal and financial accounting software. Open-source softwares are community managed, hence they receive updates more frequently and a large community of devs means new features are available more frequently and bugs are removed quickly. However, open-source software may sometimes (although it’s rare) crash and cause data loss. The GnuCash is free and available for Linux, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.

So that completes our list for free-accounting software for small businesses in India. You can manage your finances and keep your working capital in check by switching to prudent accounting management with this software. Speaking of working capital, if you are having hard time maintaining the daily cash flow, consider getting a short term business loan. To know more about fast business loans in India, visit us at lendingkart.com

Managing Your Working Capital can be the Key to Business Success

Working capital management allows you to keep your company’s financial fundamentals in check and leads the way for operational success. Effective working capital management is the hallmark of every successful business venture as it represents a synergy between the business goals, profitability and liquidity of the business.

As you know, working capital is the difference between the current assets and current liabilities of a business, and is utilized for running day to day business activities. Thus, working capital essentially represents the efficiency of your company’s operations and its financial stability in the short-run. If you don’t have enough working capital to cover your short-term debts and expenses, then your business may face operational or even existential trouble in near future.

 

Here are some pointers to further emphasis the need for having adequate working capital in your kitty.

 

  • A business requires a bare minimum of cash-flow to maintain itself on daily basis. These cash requirements are fulfilled by working capital.
  • Working capital is the key for debt and inventory management. If you cannot secure the inventory your customers are looking for then your business operations will suffer. Adequate working capital balance allows you to make emergency purchase of stock and services to keep your clients happy.
  • Working capital may play and important role in your financial dealings such as applying for small business loans, mergers and partnerships.
  • Not having enough working capital can ultimately lead to insolvency as your business will not be able to meet its debt obligations.

 

How to Manage Working Capital?

 

Working capital management is an accounting strategy. By making some financially prudent decisions, you can ensure that the balance between your assets and liabilities is maintained and you still have enough ready cash to fulfill your daily commitments. Here are some of the things you can do to effectively manage your working capital.

  • Manage your inventory. When you are selling physical goods, a simple inventory management technique i.e. to balance your demand and supply can help you save more cash. Needless to say, this cash then becomes a part of your working capital.
  • Prudent accounting can also ensure that you never run out of working capital resources. Once again keep a track of accounts payables and accounts receivables to keep your books up-to-date. Lagging behind in collections and payments often causes problems later on.
  • Do a monthly analysis of your inventory turnover ratio and bill collection ratio to optimise your business operations and establish a cycle. This will help you in anticipating the expenses in advance and allow you to keep cash at hand when the need arises.
  • Apply for a working capital loan. A short-term business loan is the easiest way to get ready cash for day to day operations. A working capital finance frees-up your capital for investment in equipment and site while you repay the loan amount in flexible monthly installments.

 

Lendingkart Small Business Loans

 

The thing that matters most when you apply for a business loan is the time it takes for processing and disbursement. Bank loans are cumbersome due to their inherently lengthy application, verification and disbursement processes. That’s why Lendingkart has kept the process quite simple by making it completely online.

You no longer have to Google all day about ‘how to apply for a small business online’. Simply create a Lendingkart account, fill in your loan requirements, and let us know about your business.

Once that is done, we will offer you a loan quote, choose to accept it and upload the documents for online verification. If all things check out, you can get a small business loan within 72 hours of application.

Ready to apply for a business loan with Lendingkart? Click here to proceed.

Working Capital Management for Small Business Owners

Working Capital Management for Small Business Owners

Any business can have different sources of income and efficient management of the same can work wonders in the running of the business. While startup capital and fixed assets are typically long term, for the day-to-day running of any business, an efficient cash flow structure is necessary. In the light of the same, working capital becomes quite crucial for small business owners.

What is Working Capital Management all about

Working capital management is the relationship between a company’s short term assets and short term liabilities. In simpler terms, it is the way in which a company handles its income generation and expenses. For example, if your company deals in a lot of paperwork and you need prints of documents every second hour, that is an active expense happening almost every day. Getting an office printer would make the expenses considerably less, over the course of time.

Efficient working capital management ensures that any company can run smoothly while being able to repay maturing short-term debt and expenses that might rise in the near future. In working capital management, the most basic tasks revolve around managing inventories, accounts receivable and payable and cash. Inventories in our example can be ink cartridges, blank paper that can be used in the future. While your sales on credit can be a part of accounts receivable, if the printer was bought through a loan, the EMI would be part of the accounts payable. Cash is pretty self-explanatory and is basically used for expenses that can’t happen on credit or are quite diminutive.

Importance of Working Capital Management

Efficient working capital management is an important component of sustainable growth. If a company runs out of money for running its day-to-day expenses, the production of wares and services will eventually stop. In such instance, the business will fail to cater to its existing customers and henceforth fail to acquire new ones as well. To restart production, the company will then tap into the company capital. While this step may offer a temporary respite, it will affect long-term stability by jeopardising asset and equipment acquisition and manintenance. Therefore, it is important to have a working capital management system in place, which can realisitically assess the company’s working capital requirements, hence giving the managers and business owners, enough time to come up with a solution. Working capital management also helps businesses in streamline processes, cutting down sundry expenses and reduce the cases of theft and fraud.

Ways in which Working Capital is used

The importance of cash for companies can never be expressed in enough words. Cash in hand is majorly used for three purposes, namely – Speculation, Precaution and Transaction. All the three are quite pivotal in deciding the growth of a small business.

Speculation

Speculation is the scenario where having appropriate cash in hand can aid in taking benefits of special opportunities related to purchase. Suppose a small business is dealing in fireworks. They would normally have stock left from the past year Diwali in their inventory. Let’s presume the business is paying a monthly fee of INR 20000 for storing its stock in a warehouse. The annual fees come to INR 2.4 lakhs. During September, the business gets an offer to receive an amount of new stock (equal to the old stock) at a seasonal discounted price of INR 1.8 lakhs. Here, the cost of the new inventory is less than the carrying costs of the old stock. But it is actually more profitable for the business since the old stock has a depleted value now along with the carrying cost of 2.4 lakhs. The business will do much better if it purchases the new stock at a discount and disposes the old inventory at a discount to small retailers. That way, the business will be ready for the festive months ahead with a new stock that has a much higher chance of being sold out fast.

Precaution

Precaution is when a business holds cash in hand to safeguard against unforeseen situations. Let’s consider our old example of the small business selling fireworks. Speculating on a booming sale in the festive months ahead, the business had bought in new stock on credit, hoping to settle the dues after the sales are done. But due to some state-wide problems, people didn’t celebrate as much and thus, didn’t buy much fireworks. But the business still has to honor its promise of repaying the dues, so it uses the cash in hand to do that.

Transaction

Transaction is perhaps the simplest of the reasons why small businesses should have access to cash in hand. Every small item needed in a day-to-day operation of a business can’t be settled through online transactions. Cash in hand is required for sundry purchases that are then added up at the month end for the expenses.

Working Capital Finance or Loan

These days, working capital requirements can be met with a working capital loan. The working capital finance industry offers short-term small-ticket loans for small and medium business owners to help them cope with the rigours of workong capital management. Working capital loans also allow business owners in streamlining their finances through flexible EMI schedules, instead of constantly worrying about invoice clearances and various due dates.

Non-banking financial institutions are leading the race when it comes to working capital loans and  financing.  There is a simple reason for this, NBFCs have developed products and services which cater exclusively to the needs of small businesses; meaning, it is easier than ever to apply for a business loan, the verification process is quick and hassle-free, and the loans are approved faster. NBFCs like Lendingkart Finance promise credit of funds within 3 days of loan application submission and verification, and that’s what a small business, struggling with working capital management, needs.

Tips to Improve upon Aspects of Working Capital

Accounts receivables, cash in hand, inventories, marketable securities and prepayments are current assets that will become cash within 12 months and likewise, account payables, wages to be paid and unearned revenues are current liabilities that need to be settled within 12 months of time. Good working capital management involves keeping the current assets consistently higher than the current liabilities to avoid financial complications or operational problems. Here are some small tips that can help you manage your working capital in your company more effectively. Keeping an eye on these can allow your small business to prosper –

1. Take advantage of float – Float or floating capital is basically the difference between book balance and bank balance. Let’s suppose you have dues of INR 3 lakhs to settle by the 31st of October. However, only INR 1 lakh is supposed to be paid by the 5th of October. Considering that you have INR 3 lakhs cash in hand by September 27, you could use INR 2 lakhs as a short-term deposit if you have no other assured profitable short-term business venture that can pay within a month. The return could be less than INR 1000, but it’s better than nothing. If you like investments, you can check the market and invest in equities for a short term for getting better returns, but this is a riskier approach

2. JIT Inventory – Just-In-Time inventory allows a business to cut down on costs involved in storing stock. Materials are purchased and received in time for the production line or for sales. Though this is quite difficult to achieve, if your relationship with the supplier is good, you can manage this effectively

3. Sales on Credit – Here, your sales play a crucial role. The goal is to shorten the amount of time your customers can take to pay their bills. You could offer a period of 30 days till their bill is due and offer a promotion of 3% discount if the same bill is cleared in maybe, 10 days or less. This allows you to sell more in a short time and pushes your customers to pay earlier to get a discount of 3%

4. Alternative Funding – This method can include availing working capital from banks, NBFCs, asset-based lenders, crowdfunding. In most cases, a genuine business idea, long term efficiency and good revenue generation can get you access to alternative funding rather quickly

5. Timely payments to suppliers – This is the easiest and simplest rule to follow. It goes without saying that if you pay your suppliers their dues on time, you can negotiate better deals and get discounts on your purchases

6. Group Purchase – As a small business, you might not always have access to funds to buy stock at a discounted quantity, or you might not have the available storage to accommodate a bulk of material that you get at a discount. It is always a good idea to look for other small businesses in the state or region who do the same trade as you and pool in resources to get the stock from your supplier. That way, you don’t have to spend a lot and still get to avail the discount

7. Learn the benefits of e-procurement – If you are into electronics, electrical equipment, garments, gift items and the like, you can look into sites like mytradebox.com where you could find interesting items with heavy discounts on bulk orders. These can help you source items quickly at very affordable rates

Working Capital Management and your Small Business

Small businesses aren’t much different from regular, established business giants. They just have a smaller market footprint. While larger businesses have to deal with multiple rules and regulations that they have set for themselves, as a small business owner, you will be much more flexible in making changes to the processes that are followed in your business. Taking working capital management seriously and handling the details through which your cash flows are dealt will definitely make your business a more profitable one. This, combined with social media, ecommerce and data science can work wonders for your small business. But those are topics that will have their own articles. Follow our Lendingkart blog to be regularly updated about the same.