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Managing debt is an essential part of ensuring that your business is financially sound and stable. However, debt doesn’t just mean loans or financing. It can also mean your daily expenses, from your petty cash to your credit cards. Managing all these during a challenging economy is essential to keeping your business running. Here are some ways to keep your debt in control and your business growing.

List out everything

It is crucial to keep track of your business’ cash flow, and especially important during these challenging times. As such, it might be necessary to do a complete inventory of your business and to document every accounts payable items. Beyond your loans and fixed debts, you should also take a hard look at your credit card expenses and petty cash.

 

Using this overview of your business expenses, you can calculate your monthly expenses to get a baseline idea of what you need to keep your business afloat. 

Stay close to your customers

Your customers are the keystone to ensuring your business’ success. Making sure they feel appreciated is essential to encouraging them to stay with you. A friendly relationship fosters good will, trust and customer loyalty, reducing the chances of them switching to a competitor.

 

However, don’t let friendly relations with your customers keep you from being aggressive with your collection. You need to make sure your customers pay on time and in the agreed amount. Keep the communication channels with your customers open so you can discuss any payment difficulties and how you can work around them. 

Take daily stock

You will need to keep a closer eye on your business’ stocks and profits to better evaluate what’s working and what’s not.

 

You should focus on your most profitable products or services, and look at where you can reduce spending. Keeping a daily track can also help increase your business’ reaction speed to financial changes. If you know what can be immediately cut or what needs to be increased, you can act accordingly.

 

Go with the necessary

If you were looking to purchase expensive equipment or upgrades, this might not be the best time. Unless they are absolutely necessary to keep your business running, put off any large expenses until you can comfortably afford them.

 

If you do need them, look at corporate secondhand sales for a better bargain.

However, don’t cut back too much. While it may be tempting to lay off your employees to cut costs, this should be a last resort. Having less employees does mean less expense, but it also means a reduced workforce. This can lead to overworked employees which makes for slower services and unhappy customers.

 

If necessary, you can also talk to your creditors to tell them you are re-evaluating your business and ask to renegotiate your loan and debt payment. While an economic slowdown is a challenging time for all businesses, if you can keep your debt and expenses manageable, your business will continue to grow from strength to strength. 

 

 

 

This article is brought to you by CIMB as part of our ongoing efforts to raise the level of financial literacy among Malaysians. Financial knowledge and understanding are key to making well-informed and meaningful financial decisions towards positively improving welfare and well-being of communities. This is one of our many efforts to achieve CIMB’s purpose of advancing customers and society.