Suresh Tanwar owns a flourishing logistics, packaging, and transport business. He handles nearly all aspects of his company, from sales, marketing, operations, and customer service, to finances. Sooner or later, finance, especially the lack of working capital, tends to become a challenge. Suresh needs to invest in his growing business, like any other Small and Medium Enterprise (SME).
This scenario, common among India’s SMEs, calls for smart management of available monetary resources, ensuring that company has the required business capital to keep operations running . After all, the survival of a business is directly dependent on its ability to seize the next growth opportunity. Businesses also inevitably face situations of sudden, unforeseen expenses. If these working capital needs are not duly addressed, business operations can be affected and profit margins can drop.
Here are 7 tips for business owners like Suresh Tanwar to increase their working capital.
1. Try working capital financing
Procurement of a working capital loan through conventional banks is largely prohibitive, for several reasons. Often, small business owners have no collateral to offer against the loan being sought. This is a major reason why traditional financiers tend to reject loan applications from SMEs. Inflexible lending policies, laborious paperwork, and extremely slow disbursement times by banks also act as deterrents.
Faced with the recurring business costs, and the inability to acquire business capital via traditional bank loans and overdrafts, SMEs are quite likely to find themselves in a tight corner.
Working capital financing offers a constructive way out. An increasing number of SMEs are now opting to meet their working capital needs through lenders other than banks and traditional lending institutions. Capital Float is a digital finance company that funds small businesses. We have assisted manufacturers, B2B service providers, buyers, distributors, travel agents, and many other businesses with easy access to timely credit.
A range of custom financial products offered by Capital Float can help solve the problem of increasing working capital. Flexible, fast, friendly, and affordable, these loan offerings ensure borrowers have access to the requisite amount of business capital, right when they need it.
The B2B e-commerce segment is seeing exponential growth in India. A report suggests that the growing presence of B2B e-commerce platforms has offered SMEs access to competitive pricing and has also reduced inventory costs by 40%. This serves to ease the business’ working capital needs considerably.
SMEs have also benefitted greatly from being connected digitally with buyers and sellers through e-procurement. Elimination of middlemen and their related costs means that they earn more revenue. Besides, a digital platform offers SMEs an added advantage of being able to negotiate with a wider base of suppliers. Finally, the process of e-procurement curtails spending.
3.Proactively manage inventory
SMEs need to replenish their inventory constantly. Earlier, there was a need to hold vast amounts of stock, putting pressure on working capital. Miscommunication within departments would also lead to stockpiling and increased costs.
However, rigorous stock checks coupled with e-procurement can bring down such needless expenditure. This greatly eases the burden on working capital. Active management of inventory eliminates the need for advance buying and helps you move towards just-in-time delivery of goods. Efficient inventory management thus holds the key to increasing business capital.
4.Keep track of collections
Businesses often face issues of delayed payments from customers. A smart business manager needs to get past excuses for delayed payments. Creating accurate and timely invoices goes a long way in avoiding deferred returns. Such receivables billing also helps avoid bad debts and cash crunches. Rigorous follow-ups on billing and collections will have a positive effect on the working capital as well.
5.Keeping suppliers happy
Timely payment to suppliers helps develop better working relationships, and works wonders for the business. Besides, it enables SMEs to negotiate better deals. Not being able to pay vendors on time results in a strained working relationship, which could cause delays in deliveries and poor quality of services. Naturally, this can wreak havoc on a business as delays and operational inefficiencies eat into working capital.
Keeping suppliers happy is likely to have added benefits for SMEs in the form of discounts that largely serve to ease the need for working capital. Courtesy early payment, bulk supply and/or regular orders become easier, ensuring that business capital isn’t affected, adding that much more to the liquidity of funds.
6.Keep expenses transparent
It is no mean task to run a business smoothly, especially when it comes to managing finances and having to put aside working capital to seize the next big opportunity. Even smaller hidden expenses can have a cumulative negative impact on an enterprise’s cash flow. Making expenses more visible therefore is an intelligent way of managing finances. This includes setting clear rules in areas such as travel and accommodation, deploying necessary tools to monitor expense claims, and so on.
Running into financial troubles is a given for any enterprise, big or small. How well a cash crunch is handled depends on how much cash a business has in its kitty for unexpected expenses. A financing firm like Capital Float enables enterprises across industries with quick and easy access to funds, to tide over times like these.
A trustworthy partner will walk that extra mile with people like Suresh Tanwar, and help them fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams. Capital Float has been serving SMEs for over 3 years, providing affordable loans, anytime, anywhere, in a manner that is customized to an SME’s business needs.
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The COVID-19 pandemic is an unforeseen shock for the Indian economy. The country is expected to experience a lengthy economic recession with extended lockdowns in several states. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the global economic crisis, and subsequent instability in production and supply chains is also likely to be perpetuated.
How are the people of India affected?
Coronavirus has disrupted the lives of millions of Indians. Incomes have reduced and several people are experiencing a financial crunch, and as a result, it has become challenging for households as well. Many people have lost their jobs; many others are struggling to run their businesses.
Has the Government extended dates for filing ITR?
In the context of COVID-19 and to provide the people with immediate relief, the Government, in a press conference on May 13, 2020, has announced that the Income Tax Return (ITR) filing deadline has been extended to November 30, 2020 for the financial year 2019-20. Earlier, it was decided that the deadline would be 31st July 2020. But, looking at the condition of the economy, the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman decided to extend the date of the deadline for filing of ITR even further to November 30.
The Government has not only extended the date for ITR filing but has also extended the tax audit from September 30, 2020 to October 31, 2020. The TDS and TCS rates were reduced by 25% to provide more funds to the taxpayers for the period between 14 May to 31 March. Furthermore, in April 2020, they announced that the pending income tax refunds up to INR five lakhs would be released to the taxpayers to benefit them in these times of crisis.
The Government has authorized certain financial measures to increase the liquidity of tax paying individuals in India. Prudent decision-making and personal financial management will be key to ensuring that funds are available to run households for the foreseeable future and in case of contingencies.
Oct 24, 2018
As an organization, we are out to ‘Break Limits’. We have arrived at the august club of ‘fastest growing financial services organizations’ in the shortest possible time, but that hasn’t been down to all work and no play. We have taken a ‘human first’ approach —we have a fun, personal side that we often tap into to unleash energies that are waiting to find expression.
At heart, an organisation is usually a reflection of its employees. People from different parts of the country, from different verticals and industries, come on board to join forces as a team, out to achieve common goals. What’s the secret sauce that binds them in this mission?
Capital Float Cookout
India is a myriad mix of colours, culture, terrain, weather and of course food! It is not surprising that Indians are by nature great foodies and passionate food critics. Quality, taste and creativity are found in abundance, and bonding over food is in our DNA. Perhaps this was the reason why our people resources team decided to spice up life by organising a free-for-all cookout. Going by the results, they were well on target!
Held in Delhi and Chennai, the Capital Float Cookout was a food fiesta sprinkled with healthy doses of competition, cooperation, fun and, of course, food. Our Delhi office saw a “fireless cooking competition”, which involved 15 minutes of introduction, 45 minutes of cooking and 15 minutes of evaluation. It takes a lot of creativity and courage to cook up dishes that haven’t seen “fire”. The session in Chennai was colourful with a lot of variety. The Chennai office fielded five teams of seven members each and cooked up a storm of three to four dishes per team. The top three earned compliments, culinary fans and Amazon gift vouchers.
In all of this, a culture was created and seeded—a culture of camaraderie, fun, togetherness, friendship and cooperation.
Spirit of Fun and Togetherness
Winners were not the only ones to stand out in these cookouts. What stood out was the fiercely competitive zest of the people trying to help their own competitors. What stood out was the happy backslapping among the teams and the sharing of food that was made for what was supposedly a “competition”.
Language barriers, functions, departments and designations all melted in the cooking pot, creating a cohesive team. And when a bunch of individuals come together as a team, there’s seldom any competition within. In the process, the team’s human side stands out—a sense of humour here; a deft salad chef there; an unexpected leader, musician and dancer. Interesting stories about each person emerge and amalgamate to create our unique culture – a culture of togetherness.
Moving forward, we will be organising the ‘cookout’ in various other office locations, beginning with Mumbai in a couple of weeks. This activity is surely going to stay, appeasing the palates of our team members and stirring a broth of excitement across the organization.
Oct 24, 2018
India’s growth as an economic power in Asia has been consistent in the past one decade. In addition to the contribution of larger corporations and the multinational companies that have forayed here, this economic growth is significantly supported by the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – a highly resilient and innovative sector that employees more than half of the Indian population.
The SME sector of India holds a huge potential for growth. However, the only challenge that could thwart their evolution is the lack of timely and adequate capital. A majority of the organisations in this sector operate as small entities that may lack the detailed documents or collateral required to procure loans from banks. Some of them are simply reluctant to offer their financial assets as security for the fear of losing them.
Given this lack of funds, small businesses face problems in meeting their operating expenses and are constrained from expanding their operations. Other problems include making payments on debt (owed to any other source of finance) and buying supplies to fulfil their contracts.
A solution against such inadequacies has emerged in the form of FinTech companies that focus on financing small and medium enterprises.
The FinTech revolution has been facilitated by digital technology wherein funds are instantly provided to eligible SMEs after the evaluation of certain documents submitted online by them. As a pioneer in Fintech lending, Capital Float has a 10-minute online application processing system, followed by a three-day disbursal TAT.
The ease of borrowing from online lenders has also raised a question – are these companies a threat to the conventional lending setup established by banks?
Contrary to what is usually perceived, FinTech companies have proved to be active partners for banks and are helping them disburse more loans. They have assisted banks in identifying good customers faster and in disbursing quick credit.
Thanks to the robust growth of the economy in the last few years and the positive outlook for the manufacturing and services sectors, there is sufficient room for growth for both traditional and new age lending institutions.
Although their functioning may differ, lending decisions for both have to be guided by a good knowledge of the customer’s ability to repay the loan. Banks typically lend to individuals or businesses that have high regular income and/or the willingness to offer collateral as security. The collateral must be a financial asset that can be liquidated in case the borrower is unable to pay back. Banks refer to income tax returns, credit bureau scores and operational history of the concerned applicant.
In comparison, and driven by their intent to know their customers better, peer-to-peer lending companies employ non-conventional data sources for underwriting loans to individuals. As these companies are in the private sector, they are not fraught by a levy of formal regulations in evaluating clients for funds. They use multiple data points, including information extracted from new age technology such as big data analytics, to assess creditworthiness. In addition, they offer unsecured loans that do not require applicants to pledge any of their assets. These companies use a streamlined underwriting process along with risk management. Their work is characterised by extensive use of sophisticated technology and lower operating costs.
As the business of FinTech lending grows, banks also acknowledge that their customers today are technology savvy, and they are looking at ways where collaborations with online lenders can help them serve their own customers better. Because of their success in the credit market, FinTech companies have proved that this can be done without operational or regulatory risk to the lender.
Since 2015, the digital lending industry has undergone significant changes, and chief among these is the shift towards a cashless system. The promotion of cashless technologies – digital wallets, Internet banking and mobile-based point of sale – has reshaped the financial sector. Later, demonetisation became a major factor that popularized the concept of online lending.
As a positive development, banks are now looking at online lenders as partners instead of as competitors in the market. Some banks have made arrangements where they, in return for a small fee, refer customers to p2p lending platforms that provide unsecured loans that not offered by banks. Through such a program, they facilitate loans for businesses that deserve to get funds but cannot procure them from banks due to long-established, inflexible rules.
Some banks are part of programs that let them use a FinTech organisation’s technology to provide small business loans. These loans are retained on the bank’s own books, but the FinTech company’s platform is used to approve and service them. The banks see this as an opportunity to offer a product they generally do not have on their portfolio but (by seeking the support of a peer-to-peer lender), it helps them retain precious client relationships.
Banks have large balance sheets that they can use to provide loans and cater to promising start-ups and SMEs with a consistent growth rate. However, their conventional underwriting practices have deterred them from promoting some SME segments. Conversely, the government has now highlighted SME as a priority sector in the economic development of India. Therefore, the banks have to meet their new business lending targets without incurring huge costs.
The credit gap in the market can be closed with a fruitful relationship between banks and peer-to-peer lending companies. Capital Float has custom-made loan products and fine-tuned technology to help banks achieve their goals. It can help them reach out to businesses in need, and banks can then use their financial strength to service them.
New age financial technology has transformed the way consumers, and businesses, borrow and spend money. The aim of FinTech lending is to enhance the convenience of financial services and bridge the gap between demand and supply of small business loans. To help their customers, banks can effectively work alongside peer-to-peer lenders instead of competing with them.
Oct 24, 2018