By Dipali Nishad for SKB Accounting
Do you find it difficult to manage business debts?
Not to fear, a recent survey by Gallup states, 49% of small business owners find it difficult to manage their current debt.
“If you really want to get out of debt, it’s easiest if you put some sort of plan or strategy behind it. Just saying you don’t want debt is one thing, but actually having an approach to doing it will get you there.” says Tim Steffen, Senior Consultant, PIMCO.
What is Debt Management?
Debt Management is controlling and reducing debts through financial planning and budgeting. It aims to reduce, reorganize current debts and slowly eliminate them. Business owners can create a debt management plan or take professional help like trusted advisors and credit counseling to make one.
Why is it important?
The business environment is uncertain and dynamic. In the post-pandemic market, a pipeline of funds is significant for survival and growth. Cash is required for every operation such as recruitment, product launch, acquisition of assets, expansion, etc. Small businesses usually take liabilities to infuse new funds. Thus, debt becomes a natural part of running a business, which only needs to be planned well. However, excess debts are also harmful to any business.
Here are the 5 effective Debt Management Strategies for your business:
- Rework Business Budget: The foremost step to manage your debts is being aware of the business’s current financial position. Then precisely study the predetermined financial goals and the current budget of the business. Based on that, redesign the budget.
Small business loans should be the way to go as a source of capital while developing the budget. Bifurcate your expenditure as primary and secondary and work on reducing secondary by either eliminating or finding alternatives to fund those expenditures.
This will help you analyze what debt will pose a threat to your business so you can prioritize your payments accordingly.
- Improve Cash Flow: If your small business is making regular profits, and you still can’t manage to get in a stable position concerning your debt, the reason could be poor cash flow management. The owners can enhance their cash flow by following these strategies:
- Measure the actual financial position with the predetermined budgets. Identify the gaps and focus on them to attain the required business cash flow.
- Improve the management of payables and receivables by ensuring timely invoicing. Install automated payment reminders and accounting software for convenient transactions. It boosts the cash collection procedure. If your business is unable to pay all the current liabilities, ask suppliers and creditors to extend payment terms.
- Manufacturing, Wholesale or Retail businesses should neither carry excessive inventory nor a slow-moving inventory as it consumes most of the cash flow.
- Keep an eye on expenses that can be cut and find savings that can be temporarily stopped to relocate this cash in debt payment.
- Negotiate with suppliers: Keep an eye on your accounts payable. You can always negotiate with suppliers on different terms like early payment discounts or length of payment period. You can cut costs here through negotiation and use these funds in other areas.This way you maintain cost-effectiveness and get the highest returns out of your funds.
- Refinance Debt: Debt refinancing means replacing an existing debt with another debt with more favorable terms and/or conditions. It is done to take advantage of better interest rate terms of new debt. In addition, owners refinance debts to reduce the monthly repayment and switch from a variable-rate debt to a fixed-rate or vice versa. For instance, ABC Ltd settles its current loan by taking a new loan with less interest rate than the earlier one.
- Take help of a Debt Management Professional: Seek professional advice about the different ways in which you can pay off your debt. Leverage their experience towards reducing your debt.
As a small business owner, you can always take the help of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or a legal firm to get a reliable debt management plan.
Need a Debt Management Plan?
Indeed, debt management can be tricky at times, especially for small businesses. Don’t fret out, SkB Accounting is here to cover you. We’ll keep track of your debts and accounts to secure your business from any financial crisis. Hop on the board and let us take care of your long-term goals considering your current situation. So that you can primarily focus on your business goals.