5 Steps to a Healthier Cash Flow in 2016: Reassess Your Suppliers & Vendors

Author: Justin Reynolds | November 30, 2015

The end of 2015 is in sight, which means the start of 2016 is right around the corner.

Did your small business deal with cash flow problems this year? If so, you wouldn’t be alone.

At Fundbox, we work hard to help our customers regain control over their cash flow so that they can grow their businesses. With this in mind, we’ve decided to put together a five-step guide you can use to help get your business’ cash flow back on track in 2016 and beyond.

In our first installment of the series, we’re directing our focus on suppliers and vendors. If you’ve not reassessed the relationships you have with your suppliers and vendors—or even your landlord—now’s as good a time as any to do precisely that.

Who knows? You may end up finding exceptionally better deals, saving a lot of money as a result. This, of course, would drastically improve the health of your cash flow. Here are some places you can look for savings:

  • Ever heard of electricity deregulation? If not, here’s a quick primer: In 17 states and counting, governments have allowed new electricity suppliers to enter the market, creating competition. If you happen to have offices in a deregulated state, why not shop around for new suppliers? Depending on the size of your operations, you could save a decent chunk of change each month, which can certainly add up over the course of a year.
  • How much do you pay for Internet? Have you looked into VoIP telephony yet? And how much is your mobile bill, anyway? You may be able to slash your communications costs considerably simply by switching to new providers or trying new services. For example, if your mobile bill is through the roof, consider a WiFi-based service that routes calls over Internet connections. Those kinds of plans start at $10/month.
  • Office supplies. You might not think that your office supplies are worth another look for savings, but you’d be surprised. In today’s Internet-driven world, suppliers are constantly trying to undercut their competitors. A quick 15-minute search may yield remarkably better prices on things like printer ink, computer paper and coffee. 
  • If you’re struggling to write your landlord a check each month, it might be time to consider other options. Maybe your office is located in an area where rents are rapidly increasing. If that’s the case, ask yourself if it makes sense to stay put. Also ask yourself if it makes sense to maintain an office at all. Don’t forget, you could always choose to embrace mobility and coworking spaces.
  • How much do you spend on your computing hardware? Do you maintain your own data center? If you buy computers for your staff, you might want to think about leasing them instead. That way, you’re always able to make use of the latest technologies, and you’re not stuck with worthless electronics down the road. Additionally, if you’ve not yet taken advantage of the cost savings associated with cloud computing, by all means at least take a look at your options.

Stay tuned for our next installment in the series tomorrow, where we’ll shift our focus to payment terms and invoicing strategies.

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