As an entrepreneur, you face various financial obligations on a daily basis. To meet these obligations, it is very important to have sufficient working capital. But what exactly is working capital, why is it so important and how do you actually calculate it? We cover it in this blog!
What exactly is working capital?
Working capital is the money you need to pay day-to-day financial obligations. For example, you can think about paying salaries, paying suppliers, replenishing stocks and paying for any maintenance. All the money you set aside to pay for these things comes under the heading of working capital. So you can think of working capital as a kind of company wallet, so to speak. All other costs, such as investments in business items like inventory, cars or machinery, are not included in working capital.
The importance of working capital
A healthy working capital is very important for a business. When you have too little working capital, you simply run into problems in paying various daily expenses. So it is important to have sufficient working capital, to avoid getting into financially awkward situations. However, on the other hand, as a company you should also avoid having too much working capital. After all, if you have too much working capital, there is less money left over to invest in the business, because, as mentioned earlier, such investments are not part of the working capital. So the excess money you have in the bank as working capital does not basically earn you anything and you also incur unnecessary extra costs. So a good balance sheet is very important in determining working capital. But on what basis is the level of working capital actually determined?
How is the level of working capital determined?
When determining the level of working capital, three factors play a major role: debtors, creditors and inventories. After all, the longer debtors take to pay the invoices you send, the longer you have to wait for your money. But companies’ size inventories also play a role in determining working capital. As a company, do you have a huge inventory that is only slowly running out? That too affects working capital, because as long as the items are in stock, you as a company will not receive any money for the respective item. Not just the aforementioned debtors; creditors also play a role in determining working capital. The longer it takes suppliers to get paid, the more money a company keeps as working capital.
How do you optimise your working capital?
Keeping your working capital well balanced is vital. But how exactly do you ensure this as a company. We give you some tips to improve your working capital:
Screening potential customers
Debtors play an important role in working capital. Do your customers pay late or, at worst, not at all? Then this directly affects the level of your working capital. To avoid this, it is advisable to properly research the payment behaviour and creditworthiness of potential customers.
Focus on multiple suppliers
To avoid getting into trouble with your working capital, it is important not to depend on one or a few customers. Should such a customer, for instance, get into financial trouble or perhaps go bankrupt itself, this will indirectly also have unpleasant consequences for your working capital. By working with a larger number of customers, you are less vulnerable when a customer drops out.
Make sure you have the right stock
As mentioned earlier, company stock also plays a part in determining working capital. Therefore, always make sure that the stock is properly aligned to the needs of the current market. By properly researching this and adjusting stock accordingly, you avoid being stuck with large stocks of unsold items.
Optimise the invoicing process
Do you usually spend a long time waiting for the money from invoices sent? Then it would be good to take a look at your own invoicing process. For instance, are the invoices clear enough? Does communication with the customer run smoothly? And is the invoice actually sent fast enough? These are all factors that can affect the customer’s payment term. Is the invoicing process fully optimised? Then the problem is probably not on your side, but on the customer’s side. At such a point, is there nothing more you can do at all on your side to receive the money from the invoices in question? Yep, with factoring, for example.
Optimise working capital with factoring
Have you managed to optimise your invoicing process as much as possible, but are you still dealing with debtors who pay late, too late or not at all? Then this can have unpleasant consequences for your working capital, given that you are (also) dependent on customer payments for a stable working capital. In such a case, factoring is the solution to keep your working capital at a good level. But what is factoring and how does factoring actually work?
Factoring is a financing method that is becoming increasingly popular among many entrepreneurs. This way of financing revolves around selling invoices to a factor, after which the factor advances you the amount in question. When you sell your invoices to Factris, you will receive the amount in your account within even as little as 24 hours. By using factoring, you are no longer dependent on the legal payment term and you know for sure that you have sufficient funds to put into working capital at all times. And the great thing is: from the moment you sell the invoice to Factris, it is up to us to collect the outstanding invoices. As a result, you don’t have to worry about the financial settlement with the customer.