Article by Karl Kumbier, CEO Mercantile Bank Let’s face it: times are tough for South Africans right now. The rand is volatile, prices are rising and globally there is a great deal of uncertainty. With this environment of uncertainty and belt-tightening as a backdrop to doing business, the economic climate can appear especially daunting for entrepreneurs. But small business owners should not lose heart. There are many important characteristics that distinguish entrepreneurs from conventional business people, qualities that will give them a better chance of thriving in this difficult environment and leads to many of them being very successful in these tough economic times.
There is a saying that "profit is opinion but cash is fact". Cash flow is the lifeblood of a business. A business can be profitable, but can at the same time have enormous cash flow problems, and this is often a primary reason for business failure.
Getting customers to pay on time is one of the biggest challenges for business owners and when the problem persists too long, it can ultimately shut down your business.