By Lyndsey Hall
As a small business owner, you probably owe money to someone, whether it’s a family member or a financial institution. There is still a lot of stigma around “being in debt”, but with financial influencers like Clare Seal (@myfrugalyear) opening up the conversation around our relationships with money and debt, the shame that has historically surrounded having debt is finally starting to shift.
Changing your view of debt
Money mindset is a bit of a buzzword at the moment, but the basic principle is that our view of money and debt need to change. Instead of seeing borrowing money as something to be embarrassed about or ashamed of, we need to change the narrative. Most of us have some form of debt, whether it’s a store or credit card, a personal loan, payday loan, car finance, or even a mortgage, and this shouldn’t be viewed as a negative.
Debt is simply a tool that can, and should, be utilised when needed to help you achieve a goal by removing any financial barriers to success.
It’s as simple as that.
Money worries are effecting our mental health
If you have debt, you’re not alone, the vast majority of businesses have some form of borrowing. Money worries effect more than half of Britons, and late payments are crippling small businesses, and that’s before we factor in the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit.
According to a 2019 article on yourmoney.com, more than 18 million UK adults worry about money every day, with a third saying it effects their sleep. Research by mobile bank N26 found that 9.5 million Brits had suffered from mental health issues as a result of their financial worries.
It’s critical that we start to open up about money, remove the stigma around debt and raise the next generation to understand finances, especially as money becomes more digital and cash falls out of favour. Apps like gohenry can help parents to start the conversation around money with kids, allowing them to learn how to use cash cards and check their account balances online in a safe and risk-free way.
Money management tips to help you pay down your debt
According to the recent Small Business Trends report from Guidant Financial, 33% of more than 2,700 respondents said that cash flow was a problem for their business.
Here are a few ways you could improve your cash flow management and ease some of the financial pressure on your business:
- Devise a cash flow strategy
- Tighten up your credit control process
- Review your utilities and switch to save money
- Reduce your payment terms
- Consider a subscription based business model
- Invest in tech to save time
- Reduce stock levels
- Look at your borrowing options
You can get more tips for cash flow management in our guide Happiness is a Positive Cash Flow.
Debt is a weapon that should be in every business owner’s arsenal, but if your monthly payments are becoming challenging, our corporate debt advice and restructuring service could be the answer.
Have you noticed the conversation around money and debt changing for the better? How has the shift impacted you, your family and your business? Let us know your thoughts on Linkedin or in the comments.