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The cash flow crisis: surviving the drought.

words by Finlease

In fact what’s happening to businesses is similar to what’s been happening with Australia’s dwindling water supplies. Cashflow could soon dry up unless precautions are taken. As a finance broker that understands the pressures on businesses, Finlease is able to provide measures to business owners that will assist right now. Founder Mark O’Donoghue has some words of wisdom to help businesses survive the drought.

With the world’s banking systems undergoing one of their biggest upheavals in decades, experts warn that businesses could be in for a rough ride as credit is drying up. It’s often the SME’s that are most affected when the going gets tough.

“Business owners need to be acutely aware that as the economy moves through this next 12 – 18 month subdued cycle, there is a real potential for many other businesses, including their clients and suppliers, to delay payments to creditors and aggressively chase debtors. This can put real pressure on a business’s own cash flow. Below are steps that can be taken to help you survive”:-

  1. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security seeing that your bank balance is OK, only to fine the next BAS payment “cleans out the kitty”.
  2. Maybe you had a good prior year but this one is not fairing as well. That may mean your BAS statement could include a large PAYG income tax instalment. Did you know that you can ask the ATO for an amendment to reduce this cost and gain some breathing space?
  3. How’s your overdraft limit? If it’s not sufficient, increase it to a level that lets you sleep at night. Banks generally allow debt limits of up to 80% of any residential property used as security. If they don’t, talk to someone who will.
  4. Look at an overdraft alternative. There are plenty of property based lenders who will advance 80% on residential property as a “line of credit” at home loan rates which would be far less expensive than Overdraft Facilities.
  5. Similar organisations will advance 65% against commercial and industrial properties.
  6. Consider ‘debtor discounting’ which can give you 80% of the invoice value within 24 – 48 hours of presentation.

Finlease believes that the companies which will survive this crisis will be those organisations who have recognised the dangers well ‘up stream’ and have put in place arrangements to ensure they stay liquid or have access to liquidity through that period.So, what can be done right now? Take stock of where you are right now, assess what dollar amount of facilities will get you through your worst case position. Maximise the lowest cost and most flexible options initially and use any higher cost options only as last resort, however have them in place and ready to go. Finlease is happy to advise you on how to evaluate all of these facilities and what the benefits to your business can be day-to-day.

One final word, put your facilities in place early, before you see a crisis approaching. Being prepared ahead of time will ease the stress and for certain businesses it could make the difference between surviving or not.

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