Monday, December 25, 2017

The 3 Costliest Banking Mistakes Entrepreneurs Must Avoid

manage your money
Poor money management is one of the biggest reasons why new entrepreneurs fail. And key to successful money management is the relationship you build with your bank. If you still consider the bank as simply a place to store and borrow money, then you’re missing a huge opportunity to access resources that will empower your small business.

To make the most out of what your bank has to offer, make sure to avoid the following most expensive banking mistakes small businesses commonly make.

1. Mingling personal and business finances

It’s not enough that you have a separate personal and corporate bank account. You also have to be diligent about making sure transactions are made using the right account. Business expenses must only be charged through your business credit cards and checking accounts, without exceptions. And should there be a need to move money between your personal and business accounts, then such transfers must be properly explained and documented.

A clean and clear separation between your business and personal finances allows you to:

● Establish a more efficient tax return process, allowing you to easily see and access tax benefits and cut accounting costs
● Manage your business account better by establishing separate accounts for categories such as tax, revenue, payroll, and so on, as needed
● Make business audits easier
● Obtain a clearer understanding of your business’s financial standing, which equips you with the information you need to evaluate and drive profitability for your company

2. Failing to maximize services that lead to healthy cash flow

While profit may be an easy measure of business success, it’s cash flow that will keep your business up and running. But managing cash flow is known to be one of the toughest and most daunting tasks entrepreneurs face. It is thus important for your business to take advantage of the right financial tools and expertise from your bank that are designed to boost cash flow and address cash flow challenges.

Take advantage of cash management services from your bank, that help you manage incoming and outgoing cash. For instance, end-to-end global disbursements and receivables services can simplify your domestic and foreign payments and collections so you can enjoy lower operating costs and improve business efficiency.

Other examples of banking services that help you manage good cash flow are:

● Payment and account solutions that streamline local and foreign currency transactions
● Global corporate credit cards that help you effectively control your working capital, from goods and services cost to travel and entertainment
● Global payables solutions that allow quick and easy electronic and paper-based payments from local and international customers
● Virtual accounts, cheque management, and paper and electronic collections for managing receivables, so you can quickly turn them into cash
● Other solutions that protect you from financial shortfalls: business loans, guarantees and standby letters of credit, and import and export finance

3. Neglecting to invest in building a relationship with your business bank

There is no “one service fits all” option when it comes to banking. What may work for another business may be irrelevant for yours. And even if it worked for you last time, it doesn’t mean it will continue to be effective at all times. That’s why it’s imperative that you communicate your needs and goals to your bank, as they have the capacity to come up with the exact solutions according to your situation at the moment.

When you start to view your bank as an integral part of your business’s ecosystem, they can deliver more personalized and extra-value support such as:

● Connecting you with contacts, clients, partners and potential investors that are part of their vast local and international network
● Identifying useful tools and products that may not be easily available to ordinary clients
● Referring you to external solutions and experts to address even non-financial challenges you may have
● Offering easier and faster processes, thanks to their familiarity with your business requirements

The best business bank you can find for your small venture can be your growth partner. Your bankers can help you unlock solutions to your biggest challenges, and provide you the support you need as you work toward achieving your business goals.

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