How can small businesses use technology to improve their cash flow?
There are a number of technologies you can use to improve your cash flow, including software for automation and accounting, e-signature and e-commerce.
We're currently experiencing the fourth industrial revolution, with technology completely changing the way we operate. For many small business owners, this doesn't have to mean making massive transformations to their business model just to keep up with the pack. Relatively simple things like automation, e-signature technology and e-commerce will all significantly improve your bank balance.
1. Automation impacts on business cash flow
Automating as many administrative tasks as possible is key to improving your cash flow. Not only will this make you more efficient, it will also significantly improve your ability to collect payments.
Accounting software such as Xero and Sage One can be fully integrated into your bank account, and will give you real time information on who owes what and when it's due. Most accounting software has options for automatic invoicing, meaning when a payment's due an email will automatically be sent to the person who owes you the money. Direct debit systems can improve payment times, while advanced budgeting software can enhance your cash flow forecasting, identifying issues well in advance.
Using all of these technologies will greatly improve the ease with which you can do your accounts, so that you can do them once a week or even bi-weekly, giving you a much better, more regular picture of your finances. The subsequent reduction in repetitive administrative tasks for you and your staff can also improve day-to-day job quality.
2. E-signature technology
E-signature services, such as Adobe's Document Cloud or DocuSign, make signing contracts easy and efficient. They let people sign contracts remotely via their mobile or computer, making the process of onboarding new customers as quick as possible. E-signature technology is something that's worth adopting now - an Adobe study found that over 100 million electronic signature transactions will be made annually in Australia by 2020, yet less than 20 percent of Australian businesses are currently prepared for this.
3. E-commerce platforms
Australian businesses made $321 billion through internet sales in 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports. As well as allowing your business to reach more customers, e-commerce platforms normally have immediate and automatic payments - which is, naturally, a great boost for your cash flow. They also make it easier to track your customer data, meaning you target your marketing much more in the future.
Even with all this technology, cash flow can still be a problem for many small businesses. Luckily Classic Funding Group provides debtor finance - a loan which you can take out against your outstanding invoices.