When your client starts their own business, they’ll do whatever it takes to make this business into a success story. And for many business leaders, this can mean dipping into their own money to keep the ship afloat during challenging times.
74% of business leaders have had to use their own personal finances to support their business. That’s the finding from our recent Get Fit For Business report. That’s a concerning stat, when you remember how many different routes to funding are now available to your clients. But there are plenty of ways you can help clients make the most of their business finance options.
By supercharging your client conversations, you reveal their funding needs. And by opening up new finance facilities, your clients no longer need to crack open their personal piggy bank.
The need for well-managed cashflow
Using personal funds to finance the client’s business can be problematic. 57% of the leaders who dipped into their own funds said that using this money caused problems with their personal relationships. Money being used to fill cashflow holes can take away funds for family holidays, for new cars or for buying your dream home. So, where possible, you should always give clients a better funding alternative than using their own hard-earned cash.
In a well-managed and properly funded business, there should be no need for personal cash as an emergency escape route. Keeping on top of the cash situation, and maintaining healthy cash reserves, sets the right foundations for a well-funded business.
Filling the funding need before it’s an emergency
Running a business can be unpredictable. We all know this. But most urgent cashflow problems and funding needs could be easily predicted with the right cashflow management. This is where you can make a big difference for clients that are habitually using their own personal cash.
Make sure you:
Talk to clients about their funding needs – funding should be an agenda point at every client meeting. Are they feeling the pinch when it comes to sales and revenue? Are rising supply chain costs eating into their margins? Do they need more cash to attain their growth targets for 2022? If you have these deeper financial conversations, you’re primed and ready to give the best advice on their funding.
Discuss their personal wealth plans – knowing what clients want to do with their own money is also important. Ask them about their ideal lifestyle, their personal financial goals and what they want to do with their money. Then you can ensure their personal wealth is ring-fenced and set up with the most tax-efficient options.
Run regular Capital Reports – reviewing the client’s capital position gives you a helpful health check on all their main financial vital signs. The Capital Reports in our Monitor software tool makes this a breeze. Is the client’s credit score in a good place? Do they have mounting debts to take care of? Do they have the working capital that’s needed to meet their plans for scaling up? By looking at this report in real-time, you flag all the main talking points for your next catch-up call or client meeting.
Make the most of cashflow forecasting – forecasting tools, like Float or Fathom, help you get a more in-depth understanding of the client’s future cashflow. Whether it’s weekly, monthly or quarterly projections, having prior warning of any cash issues is invaluable. When you know that short-term funding is needed, you can act fast and prevent the need for the client to top things up with their own money.
Introduce clients to the full funding network – 50% of the business leaders we spoke to don't know which finance options are the best fit for their business. Bank managers are no longer the first port of call for additional finance, and clients know there are other funding options. But many clients are confused by the complexities of the funding market and need your help to locate the best finance products for their needs.
More Talk, More Action – your guide to better funding conversations
Being in control of the numbers is a key part of the value you add as an adviser. But it’s your ability to talk, listen and ask meaningful questions that really sets you apart from a standard accountant. When you talk to clients, you’re in the loop with everything that’s going on in their world. And that helps you reveal the funding needs and bring their plans to life.
Our More Talk, More Action guide explains exactly how to supercharge your client conversations and reinforce your position as the clients’ go-to adviser.
How to kickstart the right funding conversations
How to dig down into the client’s true business goals and personal aspirations
How to win your client’s trust and build a valued working relationship
How to offer better advice by becoming an invaluable member of their team
When you kickstart the right conversations, you set the wheels in motion for a closer, deeper and more insightful relationship with your client. And these solid foundations form the bedrock for you to become their chief adviser when it comes to funding and business finance.
Pick up your copy of More Talk, More Action and add some extra fuel to your advisory fire