New business owners are often shocked by the amount of time and effort they’re forced to spend on managing their finances. Billing clients, chasing down payments, covering expenses, tracking all of these transactions, and planning for the future is not an easy task. Worse, many entrepreneurs are forced to spend their time not only handling this but also overseeing employees, developing growth and marketing strategies, and often lending a hand in production as well. This can make it incredibly difficult to keep cash flow stable, and to stay on top of payment collection from late clients.
Tony Hsieh started his career as a corporate employee at Oracle. Like many college graduates entering the workforce, he found himself disillusioned and disappointed in the reality of corporate life. Unlike most of his peers, he decided to do something about it. Only 5-months into his new job, he quit to co-found his own business with Sanjay Madan.
Innovation is a long process, and it can take a long time to progress from an innovative idea to a marketable product. Exactly because of all the time and resources that business owners invest, it can be incredibly disappointing and paralysing when a major project fails. What an entrepreneur does then is often the key factor in determining their ultimate success. Innovation and disruption is a long and bumpy process, and responding to failure well is ultimately what separates successful serial disruptors from the thousands of failed startups with great ideas who ultimately don’t deliver.
Cash flow management is a headache for small business owners everywhere. Not only do clients inevitably pay late (or not at all), but clients come and go, equipment breaks down, and random, unexpected expenses crop up at the least convenient of times. To keep the lights on and business running smoothly, businesses have to rely on a combination of careful money management and third party financing. Unfortunately, choosing the right financial partner for your business is no easy task.
Amazon’s move to open their first distribution centre in Australia is creating a lot of buzz, but how are online marketplaces really affecting businesses and everyday consumers? Global e-commerce retailers like Amazon only make up a small part of the total picture. Small businesses, governments, artisans, freelancers, and individual consumers all take advantage of different kinds of digital platforms to connect businesses to their customers, and to help make business more efficient and more competitive.
Businesses rely on stable and predictable cash flow in order to survive, compete, and thrive. Good business owners carefully manage the factors that they can control to keep revenues and expenditures steady, but often that doesn’t include taking steps to avoid and tackle bad debts. More than half of globally surveyed businesses are owed tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid invoices, and suffer because of it.
The Internet has proved to be a driving force behind economic globalisation, and has quickly become an indispensable tool for businesses all over the world. Most notably, it’s given small businesses the ability to directly connect with target markets and to compete with much larger competitors by effectively democratising mass communication.
Hiring employees is expensive and complicated. Among other things, there’s superannuation, insurances, and tax withholding to worry about, and entrepreneurs often feel that they have enough on their plate as it is. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to get access to the labour you need without most of those pesky additional responsibilities. Increasingly, startups and small businesses are leaning on contractors and freelancers to provide the labour they need to grow.
As the world economy globalises, shipping gets cheaper, and intangible goods and money become ever easier to transfer across borders, SMEs increasingly can’t afford to operate only domestically. Competing means reaching out to international markets both for suppliers and for customers.