Prudent financial management key to growth
Small businesses increasing at rapid pace
According to the World Bank, In the year 2016, the number of new businesses registered in Botswana was reported to be at 26,613. This number has been steadily rising ever since. Batswana are becoming more entrepreneurial and more business inclined. This is against the backdrop of inflation, low minimum wage, the COVID-19 pandemic and a desire to attain a better standard of living. This makes it more critical to know the fundamentals of forming and running a business. The financial experts at FirstCred emphasize the importance of financial management in every stage of a business’s development.
Financial decisions that are taken in the early days of your business are critical. The conception stage is the most crucial because it sets the pace and trajectory for where your business will go and how successful it will become. Mostly, the success of the business can be mirrored on the principles applied by the individual; the thirstier and more principled an individual is, the better their chances of attaining business success.
There are four stages in the development of a start-up – these are pre-start-ups, start-ups, small businesses and small to medium sized businesses. Each stage is distinct and requires the business owners to consider distinct questions and ways to manage their finances and the way you manage your personal finances gives you more ammunition to manage business finances well.
The pre-start-up phase which is also known as the idea stage needs the owner to consider the following questions: Are your motivations in the right place? Have you formulated a business plan and financial projections? Have you consulted the relevant experts (lawyers, accountants etc.)? Is the business plan coupled with a marketing plan? Sufficient research should be conducted on the field that any business owners desire to venture into and this research should produce a business plan that is created under the guidance of an expert. No business plan is complete without financial forecast. This determines the viability and profitability of the business.
Managing the first stage successfully leads to stage two, the start-up phase otherwise referred to as the seed stage. This stage is the implementation stage of the business plan. The questions entrepreneurs ought to ask themselves are how they will manage their daily cash flow. Have you defined their organizational structure? What financial aids are available to your business? How are you keeping the costs of the business at a minimum? Managing cash in-flow and cash outflow is critical in helping the business stay afloat and maximizing on profit by keeping expenses low. Furthermore, a reliable workforce can either build a business or tear it down to smithereens. Cash management is vital. Doing this well will make a company look attractive to potential investors and this will make acquiring financial relief much easier.
Successively, the small business stage or the early stage follows. At this point, the business has surpassed the “start-up” phase and the entrepreneur has to ask themselves the subsequent key questions: Do their financial projections and business plan include this phase of the business development? Is cashflow being captured? Is there an accountant in the business who makes follow-ups with payments and is there a plan in case of late payments? Is your reported performance in alignment with the budget outlined for expenditures? At this stage of growth, it is critical to have a professional accountant managing the company’s books. Consistent management accounts should be conducted and given to credit rating agencies.
When the business grows beyond small business, it becomes a small to medium sized business (growth stage). Here entrepreneurs have to consider whether their resident accountants are overseen by a suitably qualified finance manager. Are they holding consistent meetings with the finance manager and stakeholders to review the business plan? Do they need to explore alternate revenue streams? Are the risks the business may face being considered and addressed? Stakeholders will need regular audits for assurance of their investments and business’ performance.
The benefits of acquiring expert advice when starting your business is that they offer tailormade support that is based off of years of expertise, qualifications and experience. These advisory firms can aid at every stage of your business’s development therefore enhancing your chances for maximum advancement.
Starting a business requires the right mindset. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme, or a bases to square-off on a high net salary in comparison to friends or enemies but it should rather be formulated to create a long-lasting legacy.
*FirstCred Chief Operations Officer