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如何逃离资金断流危险?

2014-01-10    来源:fortunechina    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

资金紧张,面临断流危险,除了借高利贷,还有什么好办法?其实,每家公司都天然掌握着一个优质的融资渠道,但大多数公司却对它视而不见。

When money is tight, turning to your best customers is often the smartest way to get cash flowing again. Look for ways to get customers to pay you up front for the things they are planning to buy in the coming 12 months, ideally for a whole year's worth of products or services at once. Even if you have to offer them a discount to pay ahead of time, it beats taking out a high-interest loan, which may be your only other option in today's tight lending climate.

资金紧张时期向最佳客户寻求帮助,让现金再次流动起来,这么做通常是最明智的方法。想方设法让顾客支付未来12个月计划购买的产品或服务,理想情况是一次性付清全年的费用。虽然这样一来,你可能要为客户的预付款提供折扣,但这种方式仍要胜过高息贷款。而当前大环境信贷紧张,高息贷款可能是许多公司除此之外唯一的选择。

Yes, it sounds crazy, but don't talk yourself out of this approach before you try it. Successful entrepreneurs do well because they're willing to ask for things that others won't.

没错,要求客户预付款听起来有些疯狂,但不妨尝试一下,不要轻易放弃。成功的创业者之所以成功,正是因为他们愿意提出其他人不会提出的要求。

I know this strategy works because I've been in this situation. My business suddenly lost a bunch of revenue overnight after 9/11. I asked 17 of my best customers to advance what they would spend with me that year, and they said yes. In return, I let them lock in that year's prices.

我之所以了解这种策略的效果,是因为我也曾遇到过现金流不足的情况。911事件之后,我的公司在一夜之间损失了一大笔收入。我请求17家最好的客户预先向我支付当年的相关款项,结果他们都表示同意。而作为回报,我则在当年为他们提供一个固定不变的价格。

Meanwhile, take a close look at how you're managing cash flow so this doesn't happen again. The first entrepreneurial law of gravity is that growth sucks cash. It's easy to run out of money if you're doubling or tripling sales year over year. (If you haven't already read the 2001 Harvard Business Review article on the subject, you should.)

此外,要密切关注现金流的管理,以免重蹈覆辙。创业的第一条铁律就是,公司成长的过程也是消耗大量现金的过程。如果年比销售额呈两倍或三倍增长,公司很容易就会陷入资金不足的境地。【不妨读一下2001年《哈佛商业评论》(Harvard Business Review)与此有关的一篇文章。】

Cash is so critical that you should pay attention to it every day. Have your CFO or bookkeeper report on how much cash you have in the bank every morning -- with a brief explanation for what came in and came out in the last 24 hours -- and what's expected to come in and out over the next month. Online banking makes this very easy. If you're not paying attention to your accounts receivable and accounts payable every 24 hours, it's easy for trouble to sneak up on you. Getting daily reports on your cash flow can teach you more about your business than studying your P&L statements. In my own case, I found out how much I was acting as my customers' bank.

现金对公司的发展至关重要,所以公司领导者必须每天关注现金流情况。要求公司CFO或会计员每天早上汇报公司银行账户中的现金,同时简要解释过去24小时现金的流入流出情况,以及未来24小时的现金流入流出预测。网上银行可以让现金流管理更加容易。如果不关注每天的应收账款和应付账款,麻烦很快就会找上门。相比研究损益表,日常现金流报告可以让你更全面地了解自己公司的业务状况。就我自己的情况而言,我过去简直就像是客户的银行。

Conditions in any industry can change in a heartbeat, so building strong cash reserves should be a top priority. One of the key lessons from Jim Collins's Great By Choice is that the most successful companies maintain 3x to 10x the ratio of cash to assets and cash to liabilities of their competitors, so they can weather storms.

任何行业的形势均可能发生突变,因此建立强大的现金储备应该是第一要务。吉姆•柯林斯《选择成就卓越》(Great By Choice)一书中关键的一条经验是,最成功的公司之所以能渡过难关,原因就在于它们的现金资产比率和现金债务比率往往是竞争对手的3~10倍。

The recession after September 11 made me starkly aware that I needed more cash in reserve in my own company. During Microsoft's (MSFT) early days, Bill Gates decided that the company should keep enough money in the bank to be able to go a full year without revenue, so I followed his lead at my own company. After my 17 customers paid me in advance, I put enough cash to cover a year's worth of expenses in the bank -- and have kept it there ever since -- so I could sleep easier. Nothing ages an entrepreneur more quickly than being low on cash.

911事件之后的经济衰退让我彻底明白,我的公司需要更多现金储备。微软公司(Microsoft)发展初期,比尔•盖茨认定,公司银行账户中的资金规模应该足够在没有收入的情况下让公司能够继续维持一年的运转,我在自己的公司也采取了类似的做法。收到17位客户预先支付的款项后,我将足以承担公司全年开支的现金存入银行,一直保持至今,这样我便可以更加安心。没有什么能比现金不足能更快地让一名创业者变得苍老。

I also took a close look at my prices and realized they were too low. By raising them 25%, I increased my gross margins by 13 percentage points. Charging more enabled me to cover the cost of discounting the services I gave to those 17 customers. My customers didn't balk at the increase, and the healthier gross margins allowed us to grow. Of course, you've got to keep up your end of the bargain if you raise prices. You've got to deliver something customers don't want to do without.
 
此外,我还密切关注公司的价格,意识到我们定价过低。后来,我们把价格提高了25%,公司的毛利润由此增加了13个百分点。提高价格可以抵消为17家客户提供折扣的成本。价格上涨并没有让客户望而却步,而且更健康的毛利润也推动了公司的发展。当然,如果你要提高价格,就必须尽职尽责,为客户提供的最好是他们不可或缺的产品或服务。(财富中文网)



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