It may seem to you that the lives of all other entrepreneurs are organized and awe-inspiring. You’d be forgiven for thinking that everyone but you holds it together. However, the reality of the situation is that, if you run a business, flexibility is the key to success.
Ultimately, you know what flexibility entails: keeping it cool as you jump head-first into the unknown financial circumstances. Your company’s growth depends on where you steer it as the captain at its helm, and the seas are going to be stormy.
To put it succinctly, entrepreneurs need flexible business finance to keep their businesses afloat. But there is so much more to it.
Why is flexible business finance important?
The allure of entrepreneurship is the promise of success against the odds. It’s what every soon-to-be entrepreneur dreams about before they kickstart an idea. It is only then that the essential first step becomes shedding that ‘image’ and adopting the chaos that comes as you enter a highly competitive market.
If you were to boil down what it means to be flexible as an entrepreneur in a single sentence or two, you’d arrive at the following:
Micromanagement is out of the question, perfectionism will kill both your business and you, adaptability means resilience, and cash flow is always an open question. Your ultimate duty as an entrepreneur is to ensure consistency – that’s consistency in terms of mission, vision, and cash flow.
The sooner you start, the quicker you get used to the rhythm of change, and this, in turn, means that you’ll waste less money than your competitors.
Look towards alternative sources of financing
Banks used to be the be-all-end-all of legal cash flow in the mid-twentieth century. They have based their conditions and financing strategies on predictable parameters and collateral values, but this system doesn’t hold water anymore.
Dealing with banks can be challenging and entails excessive paperwork that needs to be done just to push the money through the door. Now, this might have read to you like a frivolous statement, but think about why many entrepreneurs are turning to verifiable online lenders as a way to inject healthy finances into their companies.
Digital transactions, when underscored with solid legal regulation, are proving to be the most efficient method. Even if you did turn to banks, you’d have to rely on credit cards, so you’re undergoing some relatively obsolete procedures.
One of the most popular small business lending companies, CubeFunder, is an excellent example of an online lending platform that cuts off the middling paperwork by using a transparent process required from both parties. Organizations such as this one emphasize their dedication to a flexible business finance process, fast access to capital, and repayment plans tailored to the client’s cash flow.
The key bank problem
Ultimately, the bank problem is not excess paperwork and administrative nightmares that come with it. The fatal flaw of modern banking, as it pertains to flexible entrepreneurs, it that it simply cannot be the ‘predictive overseer’ of the market trends.
In an age thriving with risk-taking entrepreneurs, the risk has increased exponentially across all markets. As a result, we’re witnessing chaotic fluctuations of company cash flows, both internal and external, as well as a lack of transparency with economic trends and collateral values.
These circumstances have forced banks to implement stricter credit terms, which is the last thing an entrepreneur relying on flexible business finance needs to hear.
Crowdfunding is another solution
In addition to online lending firms, one of the more popular ways of gaining finance, especially with social media marketing at our disposal, is crowdfunding. Of course, crowdfunding is feasible no matter the type of mid-range business you are helming, as long as it has dedicated customers.
Kickstarter and Patreon are some of the most popular crowdfunding platforms. But once you get a steady pool of customers demanding your service or product, it’s smarter to establish more direct, automatized ways of getting paid on time. You can always return to crowdfunding if you’re planning to start a new ambitious project within the company.
Don’t own; rent
If you want to stay flexible, focus on technology instead of possession. Specifically, ask yourself the following question: should you invest in buying real estate to house your company, or in the cutting-edge piece of equipment that can boost your performance?
Likewise, the equipment itself doesn’t have to be new, as long as it does the job. The aesthetic appeal, while it does play its role, shouldn’t play that big of a part in your financial equations. Buy used, replace when necessary, and rent. This philosophy will keep you afloat for longer and give you a loose enough framework to adapt if the market circumstances change.
You can easily argue that cutting-edge equipment is not worth owning as well. In many cases, you’ll be able to rent that, too, and sometimes that might be the most sensible thing to do. After all, new iterations are always waiting around the corner.
Finally, you can exercise your financial flexibility by tapping into the modern labor market, which is gaining the exact pliable quality that you require.
It has become easier than ever to scrutinize employees and optimize your workforce based on the speed of learning and the level of skill they are showcasing. Deciding whom to keep when push comes to shove can mean a difference between success and ruin.
Opportunities on the market are continuously changing, so your methods of tapping into it have to remain flexible. You’ll never land on the one universal way of running a business, especially not in the ever-evolving era we’re living in.
Naturally, certain elements – such as brand identity, product or service quality, and goals – should remain as consistent as possible. But cash flow and financing have to be adapted to accommodate the changing needs of the business and the market.
The competition among small and medium-sized companies is especially vicious, making every unwise business move potentially catastrophic. However, the ability to get back up on your feet after a defeat is the hallmark of a flexible entrepreneur who understands the bottom line.