Running a business isn’t exactly a walk in the park. It is definitely hard work, but a rewarding journey at the same time and you can probably attest to this yourself.
Sometimes, things also don’t go as planned and you may find your business under financial distress. Suddenly you find yourself falling behind on due dates, suppliers are chasing for payments, and your stress levels are skyrocketing.
Regardless of the nature of your business, you need sufficient cash flow to meet your financial obligations. And the closer you are to not being able to do this, the closer you get to insolvency.
In order to ensure that your situation doesn’t get worse and prevent your business from going under, here are some early warning signs to look out for. These are signs that you need to deal with the situation as soon as possible.
Constant Shortage of Cash
In any type of business, cash is king. So if your business expenses are higher than your earnings, expect to experience some problems in the long run, unless it is well-funded.
Don’t let your cash flow to constantly stay negative for extended periods, as it can imply that cash in the bank could be running low and may eventually lead to bankruptcy.
Falling Profit Margins
Long-term survival requires sustained profits. Falling profit margins may mean that costs are increasing and/or income is declining.
If your business is struggling to earn good profits, it may be difficult to keep it running smoothly and may cause added pressure to your cash flows.
Delayed or Defaulting on Payments
If your business has to constantly delay payments to its creditors, some suppliers may be forced to halt the supply, leading to delays in your production or service delivery.
Also, it is not unusual to forget or miss a payment. However, if it is becoming too frequent, this is a warning sign of business failure.
Higher Interest Payments
If lenders are not confident of your business viability or see your business as high risk, funding debt will cost more and interest payments will be higher. Because high interest can put added pressure on your cash flow, this will likely worsen your situation.
Difficulty in Raising Capital
Do you find yourself in constant need of borrowing or asking investors to inject more capital into your business? If so, this is a glaring sign that your business is finding it difficult to self-sustain. Now is the time to re-evaluate your business and check if it is viable in the long-term.
Employee Turnover and Stress in Management
Businesses in financial distress have increasing employee turnover rates and/or reduction in headcount to cut down on costs. Also, significant changes in senior personnel and stress in management are key indicators that your business is in trouble.
Market Risks and Other External Factors
Economic downturns, changes in market trends, the loss of a major market or key customers, loss of a franchise or license, among other external factors may also put friction on your profitability. While these conditions are often inevitable and beyond your control, it is important to be aware of these risk factors and stay ahead of these changes and disruptions. By doing so, you will be able to effectively manage them and cushion their impact on your business.
Is Your Business At Risk?
If you find your business showing any or some of these early warning signs, it’s time to take action. The faster you act, the higher your chances of turning things around.
While nobody knows your business as well as you do, seeking expert financial advice right away is crucial for your survival in the face of insolvency. For a free initial assessment of your business, feel free get in touch with us.
We will not only help you understand your current situation, but will also help you consider your options, implement concrete action plans, and minimise your exposure to further risk through practical strategies.