By Angel Serrano, Director, Small Business Product
Tue Sep 26 2017
Businesses live or die on cash flow. Even if you’re making a profit, it can be a challenge to guarantee you’ll always have more money coming in each month than going out.
From managing stock and staff, to planning for taxes and growth, your company’s cash flow is the clearest indicator of long-term financial health.
So how can a business credit card help you improve it?
To sustain a good cash flow you need to know you can always generate the cash you need to keep the business running smoothly. In other words, you need to know what you’re spending – and where.
Getting the right business credit card means you can keep on top of your expenses and manage your team’s cards at all times. This can particularly help you track and record spending, and plan your business’s cash flow as your teams and outgoings grow.
To make sure you always have access to the information you need, get a card with a secure remote log-in so you can check statements and make payments remotely on your laptop, tablet or phone.
If you’re sorting out travel and entertainment expenses, having a credit card also means you can get an auditable statement billed directly to your company, instead of your employees spending their own money and having to claim it back later.
You should also check your business card’s functionality if you’re arranging business travel; you may be able to choose how your employees use their card, e.g by only allowing it to be used in the UK or turning off ATM transactions.
This means your employees have access to cash when they need it – e.g. if equipment breaks down while the boss is away – but the company still has control over the overall finances.
Like your personal credit, your business will be judged on its ability to repay its debts – which can have major implications if you’re planning next year’s finances, cuts and business ventures.
Knowing you’ve got access to cash at decent rates – and quickly – can give you the confidence to explore new business and scale up when the going’s good, which can put you in a far stronger financial position when negotiating with suppliers.
If you’re a small business, you may need to have been set up for at least two years before a lender feels comfortable backing you. So consider applying for some sort of credit early to help establish your business credit score.
And as you set out your plans for growth, use a business credit card from an established provider to pay your bills on time. This can quickly bolster your business’s credit history, and help put you in the strongest position for success.
Would a face-to-face meeting improve your relationship with your customers and suppliers? Or would upgrading some equipment help you meet new targets?
Whatever the size of your business, you’re likely to need supplies and staff costs. So consider which benefits would be most useful for your organisation, and find out whether a business credit card could help you cover them.
For example, a credit card may offer you cashback on fuel costs or legal services, or could help you detect suspicious activity, and cover your business for fraud and cardholder misuse. From arranging travel insurance to protecting your purchases against damage or theft, getting a business credit card can help you cut costs and meet your business needs.
Or if you’re just starting out, Barclaycard’s Flex credit card is an good way to prepare for occasional cash flow needs and control your business spending with no annual fee. This should give you peace of mind and leave you to focus on the important stuff.
From start-ups to international businesses, choose the ideal credit card for your business today.