Get more accomplished - Business woman

21 effective ways to get more accomplished every day

Even the most productive business owners and entrepreneurs feel like they can (and should) get more accomplished. Here’s how…

Get more accomplished - Business woman

What do the world’s top businesspeople do to be hyper-productive? How can they fit so much into each day, week and year to get more accomplished than the average worker? The answer often lies in the small tasks to stay focused on their goals, priorities and the outcomes that will consistently progress them to the next level.

Especially when remote working, it can be easy to get distracted and out of the regular routine. Updating our work habits at home or on-the-go can bring focus back to our days, so we still have time for some rest and relaxation.

Here are 21 of the greatest tips that elite entrepreneurs and business pros do that have put them on top.

1. Get more accomplished with an ultimate to-do list

Create a master to-do list, not a variety of different lists in multiple formats and locations. Stick to one, preferably online that syncs across all devices and that is available when you’re offline — so even when you don’t have Wi-Fi you can keep adjusting your task list.

2. Prep every night

Start the night before by answering three questions for the next day: 1) What will you work on first thing tomorrow? 2) What do you hope to accomplish during the day? 3) What must get completed tomorrow, in priority? The answers should feed into your to-do list.

3. Your routine is key

Establish a daily ritual. For example, you may start your day by pouring a coffee, putting on instrumental music and reading your favorite newspaper online. Then move straight into your most critical task of the day. By mid-day, you may decide to always take lunch and a 15-minute walk, and on the way home you catch the latest podcast on your list.

4. Learn on the go

Get more accomplished - Podcasts and learning

Speaking of podcasts, listening to them on your commute to or from work is a great way to research and learn. Don’t waste that time on Google or Candy Crush though, when you can be getting in some professional development time or improving an important skill. Listening to podcasts like HBR Ideacast and Outside In will get you thinking a step ahead of your competition.

5. Power hour

Schedule a “power hour” for the first 60 minutes of every morning — where you work diligently and uninterrupted on the most important task on your list. Avoid checking email and doing the little tasks that can veer you off course all day long.

6. Satisfy the stomach

Never ignore a rumbling stomach. This doesn’t mean you should satisfy every snack craving, but make sure you’re staying fuelled up during meal times throughout the day. Working straight through your day without a meal can be the ultimate crush to productivity. So scheduling those meals into your calendar can also be a nice reminder.

7. Get away to recharge

Get in a couple mini-breaks throughout the day, whether that’s just to step away from the computer for 10 minutes, or a walk around the block. Establish a “break habit” by scheduling them into your calendar or using an app to keep track of your time — and potentially to signal when a break is needed.

8. Emails can be your worst enemy

Get more accomplished - Email tips

Enforce a personal email strategy, where you set certain times on your calendar to check email — and don’t spend any more time than allocated. Process the emails according to priority and pick up the phone for emergencies, rather than resorting to typed messages.

9. Time to tidy

Organize your workspace. It doesn’t have to look as clean as an office showroom, but your space should be tidy and uncluttered, which helps you focus on the tasks at hand. Nothing is more stressful than searching tirelessly for your office supplies, working files or phone when you need to get things done in a hurry.

10. Zero distractions

When you’re in true work mode, close down any distracting Internet browsers, email programs or other software. At the very least, minimize them from your computer screen so you won’t get the urge to click elsewhere.

11. A “social” reward

Treat social media like a reward. It’s easy to get distracted by eye-catching headlines and notifications on your phone, so shut those off and save the fun stuff for when you accomplish a task. Then, when you complete each major task, you can reward yourself with your favorite distraction — like a quick one-minute video of a cat being cute. Just make sure you shut it down after the reward to stay productive.

12. One task at a time

Get more accomplished

Stop trying to multitask. Studies show it actually can make you pay less attention and have troubles recalling information. You may feel like you’re getting more done, but in reality it could slow your performance down.

13. Just say ‘no’

Contrary to what you may have been taught, it’s not impolite to say ‘no’ to tasks that derail your productivity. You may want to help others out with their requests, but sometimes you need to decline their request in order to get your work done. By saying ‘no’ you can free up future time for something you really want to say ‘yes’ to — and that will be more fulfilling in the long run.

14. Like Costco for your calendar

Schedule time slots to work on things in bulk. Like many people, you may have had days where you jump so quickly from task to task that you never have a chance to sink into any of it. Instead, schedule multiple working time slots in one to two-hour segments throughout the day where you can have uninterrupted work.

15. Cut your low-value tasks

High productivity people follow the Pareto principle — 80% of your results can be driven by 20% of your effort. The key is figuring out what the other 80% of your effort is spent on, and then systematically delegating, deleting or diminishing those from your schedule so your day becomes more valuable.

16. High-impact times of day

Discover your productivity rhythm — that is, the time of day that you are most impactful. People can be classified into three categories: the morning crush-it, the high noon heavy hitter, or the night owl ninja. Find out which one you are and schedule your tasks accordingly.

17. Always be goal oriented

Never lose track of your long-term goals. Too often, we move from one thing to the next just trying to get through the day. But by integrating your yearly objectives into all your meetings and activities, you’ll be more prepared to cut unnecessary activities and keep your teams (and yourself) focused on the right priorities.

18. Positively priority proficient

As new tasks arrive, reprioritize with speed and ease. The trick is giving every task an A, B or C rating (or 1, 2, 3 if you prefer). The As will get ultimate priority as your most important tasks — so if a new B task comes in and you’re working on an A, that new B task can wait. But conversely, if an A task arrives, you better hop on it.

19. Make meetings count

Get more accomplished - virtual meetings

Even when they’re virtual or on the phone, make sure your meetings are efficient and worth every minute — otherwise, they won’t be worth your time and you should cut them from your schedule. Every meeting must include an agenda with clear objectives, and schedule less important meetings into the second half of your day so you have more time in the morning to complete key responsibilities.

20. High gear afternoons

An hour and a half before the end of your workday, you have a perfect window of opportunity to kick your productivity into high gear. Get your affairs in order by checking your email and drafts folder, finishing those last messages and then completely closing your Inbox. Then, your last hour of work can be spent entirely undistracted.

21. Final 10 before freedom

The last 10 minutes of your day can set you up for a more productive tomorrow. Make sure your to-do list is finalized, clean-up your workspace, sign out of every app and program (including on your phone), and then do a brain dump — where you jot down anything left on your mind so you can go home with lighter shoulders and enjoy your night.




Featured photos by: Emmy E from Pexels, Julia M Cameron from Pexels, by Christina Morillo from Pexels, by Torsten Dettlaff from Pexels.

benefits of invoice factoring

What are the benefits of invoice factoring?

By uncovering the benefits of invoice factoring, you’ll also learn how it can help grow your access to working capital without going into debt!

benefits of invoice factoring

Invoice factoring is an alternative form of financing that is available to businesses that may not have an established banking record with a major lender. Banks and traditional lenders often operate on a line-based financing model based on what your business has already done and the assets you currently own. Invoice factoring, on the other hand, is an innovative way for your business to access the funds you have tied up in your accounts receivable.

Here are five major advantages of invoice financing:

1. Shift your cash flow into high gear

benefits of invoice factoring - shift into high gear cash flow

Applying for business loans or alternative financing options can take months to get approved. With invoicing factoring, your business can get much quicker access to cash if you have immediate financing needs.

2. Financial flexibility

If your business requires financial flexibility in terms of maintaining cash flow, then invoice factoring would be your best option. This way, invoices don’t have to be paid in full before there is money in the business account.

3. Higher probability of financial approval

When determining the chances of accessing funding – aspects such as your credit score, collateral, and financing history are often considered with traditional financing. However, these are not required for invoice factoring approvals. Your factoring partner is more focused on the payment history of the customer required to pay the invoice. This is important to understand the level of risk that would be taken in invoice factoring.

4. Save time and money – No collateral required

benefits of invoice factoring - Faster

Normally when a business applies for a loan or line of credit, the bank requires the business to have upfront collateral such as equipment, vehicles, buildings, inventory or even intellectual property. However, with invoice factoring, a business doesn’t have to worry about showing that traditional collateral. This can save you enormous amounts of time and paperwork.

5. Improve customer relationships

Collection can be one of those tasks that can be an administrative headache. By having a professional invoice factoring company manage the collections of your accounts receivable, you’ll be unburdened from this time-consuming task. Along with renewed financial flexibility, you’ll be able to focus on the other aspects of your business — including building stronger relationships with your customers.


Next Steps: Benefits of Invoice Factoring

By unlocking the benefits of invoice factoring, you can grow your business even when a traditional loan isn’t an option.

To learn more about invoice factoring, access the complete Invoice Factoring Guidebook here, featuring the top 10 questions to ask your invoice factoring partner before getting started. This guide will help you assess your options to ensure you’re working with a trusted professional who can help when it counts.

Learn how to ask the right questions so that you can ensure you choose the right working capital solution.

At Liquid Capital, we understand what it takes for businesses to succeed at any stage. We’re business people ourselves, and our company is built on a network of locally owned and operated Principal offices. Whenever you’re talking to Liquid Capital, you’re talking directly to your funding source and a fellow business person.


Images via Pexels

Funding maze - Cash advances or Invoice Factoring

Why you should choose invoice factoring over a cash advance

Which is better for your business? Cash advances or invoice factoring?

Funding maze - Cash advances or Invoice Factoring

As a business owner, it can feel like a constant maze trying to find working capital. You know how vital cash flow is for your operations, and it can impact everything — from regular expenses like payroll and supplier costs to large, capital purchases that help grow your business.

When you need extra cash for your business, you might think of turning to your bank first, but that doesn’t always work out. That’s where alternative financing options can help.

Will I go into debt?

One of these options, called a cash advance, is a fixed amount loan that can provide you an infusion of money — but the potential for a lot of debt.

Another option, invoice factoring, also gives you immediate access to the cash, but without all the debt looming over your head. Factoring gives you immediate access to the cash that’s tied up in your outstanding customer invoices — money that’s technically yours anyways. So, which option is better to keep your business on track: cash advances or factoring?

Agreement - Cash Advances or Invoice Factoring

Image via Pixabay

Cash advances and invoice factoring defined

  • A cash advance is a loan against your future sales. It’s generally a short-term solution for a fixed amount of money, and you have to pay it back to your lender. You can use a cash advance for any business purpose, such as a large one-time expense, capital cost or a special project. However, be aware that this can be a costly option.
  • Invoice factoring (also known as accounts receivable factoring or simply, factoring) is a financing option where you sell your unpaid invoices to a financing company (or factor) for faster payouts. You typically receive 80 to 85% of the outstanding invoice right away, and once the invoice is collected you’ll receive the remaining balance less a small portion the factor retains. No regular repayments required. You can use these funds to improve your cash flow and pay off any business expense, such as employee salaries, operational costs, debt repayment or suppliers.

Pro Tip: A good factor will be transparent and will not hide binding clauses in their contracts. Learn more about how to choose a good invoice factoring partner here.

As you can see, each option gets you cash in the short-term — however, there could be some key advantages of choosing one option over the other. The one you choose depends on your specific business situation.


Read part two now to learn how to compare invoice factoring and cash advances.


Ready to increase your regular cash flow? Turn your open invoices into working capital with Liquid Capital’s Invoice Factoring solution.

At Liquid Capital, we work with clients who operate businesses in a variety of industries and office structures — whether from busy downtown buildings, the manufacturing floor, on-the-go or from their home office space. We’re business people ourselves, and our company is built on a network of locally owned and operated Principal offices. Whenever you’re talking to Liquid Capital, you’re talking directly to your funding source and a fellow business person.


Featured image via Pexels.

Recourse invoice factoring

What is recourse invoice factoring?

Learn about the benefits of recourse invoice factoring and how it can offer you even more immediate working capital.

Recourse invoice factoring

For small and medium-sized businesses, there are many benefits to factoring your invoices. Instantly increasing your cash flow is, of course, the number one reason. But you can also benefit from outsourcing your back office support, letting your factoring partner handle collections on your accounts receivable. Freeing up much of your time, you’ll be able to work on other parts of your business.

There are a couple of different types of invoice factoring, and “recourse factoring” is the most common. So what is recourse factoring, and why should a business understand how it works?

How recourse factoring works

In recourse factoring, a funding partner (aka your lender or the “factor”) buys invoices from you with the agreement that you will buy the invoice back if your customer is unwilling or unable to pay for the invoice when it becomes due. In this way, you share the risk of non-payment with the funding partner.

There is a major advantage for you in recourse factoring. This shared risk allows your lender to advance a larger upfront percentage of the invoice. Typically in a recourse factoring arrangement, you can receive between 80 and 90% of the invoice upfront, minus the initial fee. 

And once the factoring partner receives payment for the invoice from your end customer, you’ll also receive a reserve payment.

Conversely, in non-recourse factoring you won’t have to share the risk, but you’ll receive less working capital than with recourse factoring. In fact, you may receive less than 75% of the face value of the invoice —  plus, you will not receive any reserves or holdback once the invoice is paid to the factoring partner. To a business in need of more working capital, this can be a severe disadvantage.  

The benefits of recourse factoring

  • You want to access more cash asap
  • You’re okay sharing a little bit of risk
  • You want to collect more money when the invoice is paid (which are the “reserves”)

How to work with your funding partner

Find out what type of lending option your funding partner has available, and ask if they offer recourse factoring. It’s also important to discuss the lending terms and ensure their team has expertise and a proven track record. 

Factoring companies with excellent back office teams will also be able to help you improve your customer collections. Their experts are trained to spot businesses who are less likely to pay on time, and this can help you avoid non-payments and bad deals in the future. 

This is another big advantage of working with a high-quality funding partner, and should be an important consideration when deciding where to look for working capital.


Learn much more about factoring terminology in the Ultimate Factoring Encyclopedia. This free resource includes every definition you’ll need to know when applying for invoice factoring and securing working capital.

Factoring Encyclopedia eBook cover


Do you still have questions about recourse versus non-recourse factoring? Connect with us today!

Home office space - Get productive

Smart ways to set up a more productive home office space

How every professional can create a productive home office space — whether you work primarily from home, at an office downtown or always on-the-go.

Home office space - Get productive

Workspaces come in all variations these days. Bustling buildings, cubicles, corner offices, city views, swanky loft spaces (complete with foosball tables), manufacturing plants, and even co-working spaces with a different setting every day. Sure, even home-based businesses are on the rise — but with work that follows us everywhere, many professionals have a dedicated home office space. 

So what is the secret to setting up a home office that encourages you to be more productive and successful? Here’s how to design that space to help you get the job done.

1. Get in the zone

First and foremost, if this is a new business and you’ll be using your home as your primary workspace, research the zoning laws to determine if your business can operate in that spot. If not, you might be able to obtain a zoning variance for your business. This could require an application process, which may or may not be approved — so plan early and have a backup.

2. Make room to grow in your home office space

Home office space - Room to grow

Next, enough actual space to conduct your work is a must. Do some planning as to how much elbow room you need to conduct your affairs. For instance, a remote travel agent might simply require a desk in a quiet corner of the house. On the other hand, if you plan to open a food delivery business, you’ll need space for production, packaging, and perhaps even an area for extra vehicles. Then if you need to expand, does your current property offer sufficient land? 

3. Increase your footprint

Home office space - Group work

Your current abode might have enough space to work from home once in a while. But what if you’re scaling up a side business or you need to host teams, store inventory or have co-workers set up desks beside you? You might need to increase your home office footprint, but building costs can quickly add up. 

There are ways to minimize those costs, like DIY upgrades and acting as your own general contractor. Even with those efforts, you won’t necessarily save a lot of money — and you will likely invest a great deal of time and energy you would rather put toward your business. Talking through your options with a well-chosen real estate agent can help you decide if there’s a better space more suited to you in the current housing market.

4. Moving on up

Home office space - Moving

In the interest of pinching pennies, don’t rule out a bank-owned property. Redfin explains purchasing a foreclosure requires different strategizing from routine house hunting, and the process can take time start to finish, but if you do your homework it’s a smart way to snag a great deal. And while you might be thinking you don’t have the cash for such a purchase, there are other ways to pay for a foreclosure, such as with a renovation loan or even a conventional mortgage loan.

5. Your home, your way

If you’re one of those lucky folks who already has space without moving, the next step is to redesign and equip it to meet your needs. This might be as simple as swapping a rarely used room, such as a formal dining room or extra bedroom, for your office. Or perhaps you need to revamp a garage or basement to house your new workplace. Make some sketches or hop online to create a layout that will be logical and comfortable for you. By creating visuals and taking measurements, it’ll be easier to decide on equipment purchases for the space. 

6. Be Well-Equipped

Whether you already own your space or are moving to accommodate your new venture, investing in the right equipment to make your business function is a must. Whether it’s a new laptop for your office or a more specialized purchase like engine lifts or commercial ovens, think about your workflow and how much space you need for each item to ensure a productive and efficient design. 

7. Get insured

Home office space - Liability insurance calculation

Regardless of the type of business you are in, or whether your home-based office is your primary place of work – you’ll want to take a look at insurance options to ensure that you are covered in case of equipment theft or damage, as well as for liability and cybersecurity. Some insurers offer home office coverage as an add-on to standard home insurance.

Focus on growth

Ultimately setting up the right work environment for your business is about being able to focus on productivity and growth. 

As you grow and evolve your business, managing cash flow properly will become one of the most important things you can do.

Many small businesses lack working capital for major equipment purchases, especially if a home expansion or move is part of the plan. If funds are tight, keep in mind that leasing or financing your equipment allows it to pay for itself. You might not own it outright right away, but it gives you the opportunity to put it to work for you immediately, better securing your bottom line both immediately and down the road.

Moving forward, as you need increased working capital to fund new opportunities, invoice factoring is a great alternative to a bank loan.

Successful home-based businesses are on the rise, and if you’re ready to jump on that bandwagon, the time is ripe. Ensure you have enough room for now and in the future, design your space to scale, equip it for optimal efficiency and plan for growth.


Need to improve your business cash flow and gain flexibility to update your home office space? Learn about smart cash flow strategies fast. Get the Ultimate Cash Cycle Guide now.

Ultimate Cash Cycle Guide

Cash flow terminology

Cash flow terminology: Learn the basics

Must-know cash flow terminology to help you stay cash positive.

Cash Flow Terminology

Cash is king, and cash flow — the net money flowing into and out of a business — is your operational lifeblood. When cash is in high supply, you can be riding a wave of exhilaration — making entrepreneurship feel like the golden path. But when cash flow issues arise, it can threaten your entire enterprise.

Sure, you might be able to ‘outwit’ your bank loan challenges, but sometimes borrowing from the bank isn’t always an option. The best way to get ahead of these challenges is to know your options and alternatives to keep cash flow positive.

Here are some cash flow terms to help you stay on top of your terminology.

Break-even point 

The level of sales revenue a business needs to cover all operating expenses, which would put you at a zero profit. (Sales revenue — Cost of sales and other expenses = Zero). Everything beyond the break-even point would be considered a net positive profit level.

Burn rate

This is the rate that a company is losing money, figuratively describing cash as being ‘burned.’ Typically, the burn rate is expressed as a monthly figure, and it can be synonymous with negative cash flow. Investopedia also describes this with a twist in the venture capital world as, “…the rate at which a new company is spending its venture capital to finance overhead before generating positive cash flow from operations.”

Cash Conversion Ratio

This is the amount of time between when your business pays for its inventory, also known as your cost of goods sold, and when it receives payment from its customers.

Cash Flow Budget

The cash flow budget is quite simply a report on your business cash flow, showing how much money is entering and exiting the business. The cash flow budget shows how much cash you’ll have on hand at any given period of time.

Related: Learn 7 things a cash flow budget can teach you.

Cash Flow Statement

Also called a “Statement of Cash Flows,” this is part of your financial statements. Explore the steps to create your cash flow budget here.

Discounted Cash Flow

A method used to value an investment by discounting its future expected cash flows to find their value today, or net present value. The discount rate is chosen to reflect the risk of the investment. Possible discount rates are the weighted average cost of capital or the discount rate from similar projects.

Negative Cash Flow

Your cash flow is considered ‘negative’ when cash spending is more than cash generation over a particular period of time. In this case, the business spends more than it makes. See examples here.

Positive Cash Flow

Conversely, your cash flow is considered ‘positive’ when cash generation is more than cash spending over a particular period of time. This should be your goal.


Learn much more about factoring terminology in the Ultimate Factoring Encyclopedia. This free resource includes every definition you’ll need to know when applying for invoice factoring and securing working capital. Still have questions about cash flow? Connect with us today!

Ultimate Factoring Encyclopedia


About Liquid Capital

At Liquid Capital, we understand what it takes for small, medium, and emerging mid-market businesses to succeed – because we’re business people ourselves. Our company is built on a network of locally owned and operated Principal Offices, so whenever you’re talking to Liquid Capital you’re talking directly to your funding source and a fellow business person.

Business referral network

­­­­­­­­­­­­6 ways to expand your business referral network

A strong business referral network can bring new life to your business strategy, but they don’t happen by accident.

Business referral network

It takes time and effort to foster a high-quality business referral network that you can count on. But while you probably already know that building those relationships is essential for business success, you might still be avoiding giving it the attention it deserves. Maybe you’re focusing on other priorities…maybe you don’t have time to network…or maybe you’re not quite sure how to get started.

Building a high-quality business referral network doesn’t have to be a chore. It can actually be strategic while still being enjoyable.

Treating referrals as a business development pipeline instead of a casual, ad hoc exercise is the first step. As Harvard Business Review explained, building and sustaining relationships can help business leaders solve problems, uncover new insights, and achieve business outcomes. So we’ve gathered a few strategies you can use to strengthen your relationship building skills and increase referrals:

1. Diversify your business referral network to build new relationships

Staying inside the same network or circle can deepen existing relationships, but it can be hard to develop new ones. Instead, go outside of your immediate circle of acquaintances and begin meeting new people in adjacent circles — and beyond. Looking at your second-degree connections can be a less intimidating starting point, for example, with a partner supplier, vendor or one of their trusted customers.

2. Put as much into your business referral network as you expect to receive

Effective business relationships require a give-and-take from both parties. Offer and deliver your expertise and assistance. Connect colleagues, clients and partners, or share industry information others would find useful. This will encourage those in your network to reciprocate when you also need a helping hand.

3. Recognize and thank those in your business referral network

Whether with a phone call, email, holiday card, or handwritten note, acknowledgment of a referral encourages partners to refer even more. They see you appreciate the fact they’re helping you achieve your business goals, increasing the chances they’ll refer more in the future. Who doesn’t like to hear «Thank you» every once in a while?

4. Invest quality time with key relationships

As your circle grows, it will be hard to spend time with everyone. So you must determine which relationships are the key connections to your growth. These relationships will generate higher returns in the short and long term and are worth spending time on. Don’t spend as much time nurturing the ones that aren’t providing you value, and you may consider ‘retiring’ other referral contacts that have consistently fallen short. Remember, more is not always better. It’s the quality of the relationship, not the quantity.

Read: 5 steps to grow an outstanding referral partnership

5. Pay attention to the local social and business landscape

Your community already has bonds, loyalties and networks of its own. It’s time to make them work for you. Research events happening in your community, whether it be on your local Chamber of Commerce website, in your partners’ social news feeds, or in industry publications. Keep track of conferences, tradeshows and meetups where your referral network may be attending. Recognize the ebb and flow of your community — then get involved where possible. Bonus: You might even open up areas to gain a new competitive advantage along the way.

6. Prune, nurture and reshape your network often

A business network is a dynamic, living thing that will grow and contract over time. You should cultivate relationships with partners essential to your business growth and eliminate the ones who are no longer useful — which can sometimes even mean customers. Revisit your network regularly so you can see which relationships you should continue to nurture. Work this tactic into your ongoing business plan and make it a business objective to keep your network trim but powerful.

Focusing on relationship building as a business pipeline can have a dramatic effect on your business. It takes time to develop them to the point where referrals come through to you consistently. Following these strategies will be part of building your own process to grow a successful business network.

Read more about how to leverage referral partnerships to increase your sales. And learn more about our Liquid Capital Referral Partner Program if you are a commercial finance professional, a BDO, or a banking professional that is interested in extending your network.

About Liquid Capital

At Liquid Capital, we understand what it takes for small, medium, and emerging mid-market businesses to succeed – because we’re business people ourselves. Our company is built on a network of locally owned and operated Principal Offices, so whenever you’re talking to Liquid Capital you’re talking directly to your funding source and a fellow business person.

Business Growth Strategies

7 business growth strategies for a healthy financial new year

A new year means new opportunities for your small business. Start planning with these top business growth strategies for 2020. 

Business Growth Strategies - Start planning for 2020

The final rush of the year usually means many small and medium-sized business owners are focused on hitting sales targets, ensuring contracts are fulfilled and that staff will help make it through the holiday rush. But this time of year, you’re likely also trying to plan for the year ahead. 

Developing a business growth strategy for a new year can be a daunting task filled with uncertainty. Business owners may even forgo planning and stick with the status quo. But some careful planning can unveil areas of opportunity, expose unnecessary expenses and set up their business so it can withstand anything the economy throws at it. 

Whether you’re hoping to hold steady or expand your business next year, here are some of our top business growth strategies that you should keep in mind as you forge ahead.

1. Create a business budget

A business budget helps you allocate resources, control costs, set prices, plan for expansion and, generally speaking, make better decisions for your SMB. It’ll keep you on track for a positive, successful year, while also giving you performance information about your business. You’ll know, at a glance, how well you’re doing by comparing your numbers to your forecasted budget. (Plus, if you ever need to secure funding, you’ll need to create one to show the lender.)

2. Have an emergency fund

This is a classic piece of advice, but a good one for any business to follow. An emergency fund helps you deal with unexpected costs whenever they may arise and can get your SMB back in action right away. Start building your emergency fund into your financial planning now and redirect some of your income into it today. Your business will thank you later.

3. Reduce long-term costs

Instead of just looking at ways to reduce your «regular» fixed costs such as the electric bill for your office, how about looking at your long-term fixed costs? These are things like software subscriptions and year-long leases or agreements. 

By switching from a long-term to a short-term agreement or subscription, you’ll enjoy more flexibility. Yes, you’ll sacrifice some of your profits to pay the higher rate, but you’ll feel better knowing you can scale down your fixed costs whenever you need to. That peace of mind might outweigh the additional cost.

4. Reduce uncollected revenues

In the enterprise world, interest and late fees are the norm. Vendors and customers who run afoul of payment dates are penalized appropriately. SMBs, however, may be hesitant to do this for fear of offending and losing their customers. But when a customer is late paying you, you’re essentially lending them money, which can have a wide range of negative impacts on your financials. So consider offsetting your losses from late-paying customers by charging penalty fees.

Want to get ahead of late-paying customers and accounts receivable challenges? Consider factoring your invoices to get more working capital upfront. Here’s how it works.

5. Understand your winners and losers

That is, your product winners and losers. Chances are you probably have a few that offer high returns and great value to your customers. Investing in these can bring higher profits. On the flip side, you’ve probably got other products that aren’t performing to expectations. It can be a hard call to retire those, but once you realize you’re spending far more on development, production and marketing than you’re receiving in revenue, it’s much easier to do.

6. Encourage customers to buy during your slow times

Every business experiences slow periods throughout the year, and when nobody’s buying, you’ll need a proactive plan to incentivize your customers. Brainstorm ideas on how your products can provide great value and then market them appropriately. You could use the same strategies to market your existing products year-round (like a «Christmas in July» promotion), or offering complementary services to your business. For example, if you’re a landscaper, offer snow plowing in the winter. Or if you’re a manufacturer, offer a Spring Super Savings discount to preferred customers who haven’t yet placed orders.

7. Eliminate unprofitable clients

Stop working with slow or late-paying customers and you’ll immediately save money. By freeing up time to work with higher-paying customers, it can lead to more income. The key is to focus on customers who deliver greater profitability for your business and eliminating the ones who don’t. Review your customer roster regularly and trim the lower-value customers as needed.

With a few financial tweaks, your business can be set for success in 2020.

Using these business growth strategies can help you reduce expenses, save time and, most important, improve your overall financial health. Find out more about how we can help

About Liquid Capital

At Liquid Capital, we understand what it takes for small, medium, and emerging mid-market businesses to succeed – because we’re business people ourselves. Our company is built on a network of locally owned and operated Principal Offices, so whenever you’re talking to Liquid Capital you’re talking directly to your funding source and a fellow business person.


3 more warning signs of a business downturn

Is a business downturn on the way? Spot these signs and then take action immediately.

Business turnover — Get ahead of the problems

Ups and downs are part of business life. A short-term slump doesn’t always signify an impending disaster. Even so, if a slump lasts for several months, there could be a larger challenge on the horizon. 

We’ve already seen five warning signs that your business could be failing, so now let’s look at three more warning signs of a business downturn:

1. Inventory is rising

An increase in the value of your inventory could mean that you’re purchasing more than you’re selling. It could also mean that the cost of your inventory is rising. Whatever the reasons behind an increase in inventory, it is not usually good news. Excessive inventory could be a sign of a deeper problem with the business, and it ties up cash.

2. You’re constantly fighting fires

If a business is about to enter a free fall, the CEO or business owner will often be called upon to fight fires. Spending more time on the day-to-day management of the business may be a sign that the staff can’t cope. Your employees are leaving it up to you make decisions such as who should get paid and who should not. This is not because your employees are unable to make the decisions. Your team is not making decisions because they realize that these decisions are now crucial to the future of the business.

3. You’re paying yourself less money

If you have stopped paying yourself to save some cash, that’s an obvious sign that something is not right. Reducing how much money you take out of the business may provide a temporary fix, but it’s not a long-term solution. If the business can no longer afford to pay you, it’s time to make some changes.


There’s strength in knowing the signs of a business downturn.

The sooner you spot the signs that your business may be failing, the sooner you can act to remedy the situation. That’s why it is so important that business owners and CEOs never take their fingers off the pulse of their business. Reviewing trends and key performance indicators (KPIs) can seem like a chore, especially if the business appears to be healthy. But tracking financial KPIs will help you spot the underlying signs that something is going wrong and give you the time to fix it.

For best practices in managing cash flow to keep your business healthy, access the Cash Cycle Guide or click the image below to get your own downloadable copy.

Ultimate Cash Cycle Guide

5 warning signs that your business is failing

Businesses generally don’t fail overnight. There are warning signs that a business is struggling long before the situation becomes critical. If you can spot these signs early enough, you’ll be able to take steps to mitigate – and hopefully reverse – the decline. Ignoring these signs may lead to passing the point of no return. 

Here are five warning signs that your business could be in decline.

1. Keep an eye on overall activity

It can take time for a slump in sales to manifest itself in the accounts and cash flow. And ongoing business from existing customers may hide the decline in new sales. So it’s important to keep an eye out for a general decline in business activity month over month. Your sales team might have fewer appointments than usual, for example. Or, you might notice that the phone doesn’t ring as often as it used to.

2. Are you experiencing higher employee turnover?

A sharp increase in employee turnover could be a sign that something isn’t right. It could be a general lack of morale or dissatisfaction with pay that is causing the problem. Or it could be a management style issue. Aside from the usual suspects, it could also be a sign that employees have seen something that you have missed. If employees see the writing on the wall, they won’t hang around until the bitter end, and instead will start looking for new jobs straight away.

3. Are you taking longer to pay suppliers than you used to?

It’s not unusual to need to pay suppliers late once in a while. However, it’s a bad sign if this has become normal practice, and if you start to receive final notices and demands for payments, that is a big red flag. You will spot the trend earlier if you keep a watchful eye on your accounts payable “average days to pay” ratio.

Related: Is cash flow stressing you out? Here’s what to do

4. Watch out for negative cash flow

A steady increase in your use of credit facilities is a sign that you have a cash flow problem. Using more credit means that the business is being supported by finance rather than by equity and sales revenues. The amount of finance that you are using may fluctuate from one month to the next, and a gradual increase in the use of an overdraft facility may not get noticed at first. Even so, an increasing reliance on credit indicates that there is an underlying problem with the business.

5. Keep an eye on sales trends

Another trend that needs tracking over time is the business turnover. One month of lower than usual sales is no reason to panic. If there is a steady downward trend over several months, though, it is cause for concern.


It’s very easy for an owner to look at their accounts and business through rose-tinted glasses. No one wants to learn that their business is in trouble, and it can be a hard fact to accept. Don’t ignore worrying trends or convince yourself that things will get better next month. Take action now and you will be in better control of the overall business.

Up Next: 3 more warning signs of a business downturn