Businesses can acquire finances from various sources. These include;
This is often the only source of capital available for the sole trader starting in business. The same often applies with partnerships, but in this case there are more people involved, so there should be more capital available. This type of capital though, when invested is often quickly turned into long term, fixed assets, which cannot be readily converted into cash. If there is a shortfall on a Cash Flow Forecast, the business owners could invest more money in the business. For many small businesses the owner may already have all his or her capital invested, or may not be willing to risk further investment, so this may not be the most likely source of funding for cash flow problems.
Ploughed back profits
Firms make profit selling a product for more than it costs to produce. This is the most basic source of funds for any company and hopefully the method that brings in the most money.
Like individuals, companies can borrow money. This can be done privately through bank loans, or it can be done publicly through a debt issue. The drawback of borrowing money is the interest that must be paid to the lender.
Issue of Shares
A company can generate money selling part of itself in the form of shares to investors, which is known as equity funding. The benefit of this is that investors do not require interest payments like bondholders do. The drawback is that further profits are divided among all the shareholders
This is a form of loan from a bank. A business becomes overdrawn when it withdraws more money out of its account than there is in it. This leaves a negative balance on the account. This is often a cheap way of borrowing money as once an overdraft has been agreed with the bank the business can use as much as it needs at any time, up to the agreed overdraft limit. But, the bank will of course, charge interest on the amount overdrawn, and will only allow an overdraft
if they believe the business is credit worthy i.e. is very likely to pay the money back. A bank can demand the repayment of an overdraft at any time. Many businesses have been forced to cease trading because of the withdrawal of overdraft facilities a bank. Even so for short term borrowing, an overdraft is often the ideal solution, and many businesses often have a rolling (on going) overdraft agreement with the bank. This then is often the ideal solution for overcoming
short term cash flow problems, e.g. funding purchase of raw materials, whilst waiting payment on goods produced.
This is lending a bank to a business. A fixed amount is lent e.g. Kshs.10,000 for a fixed period of time, e.g. 3 years. The bank will charge interest on this, and the interest plus part of the capital, (the amount borrowed), will have to be paid back each month. Again the bank will only lend if the business is credit worthy, and it may require security. If security is required, this means the loan is secured against an asset of the borrower, e.g. his house if a Sole Trader, or an asset of the business. If the loan is not repaid, then the bank can take possession of the asset and sell the asset to get its money back. Loans are normally made for capital investment, so they are unlikely to be used to solve short-term cash flow problems. But if a loan is obtained, then this frees up other capital held the business, which can then be used for other purposes.
With leasing a business has the use of an asset, but pays a monthly fee for its use and will never own it. Think, of, someone setting up business as a Parcel Delivery Service, he could lease the van he needs from a leasing company. He will have to pay a monthly leasing fee, say Kshs.50,000, which is very useful if he does not wish to spend Ksh.800,000 on buying a van. This will free up capital, which can now be used for other purposes. A business looking to purchase
equipment may decide to lease if it wishes to improve its immediate cash flow. In the example above, if the van had been purchased, the flow of cash out of the business would have been Ksh 800,000, but leasing the flow out of the business over the first year would be Ksh 600,000, leaving a possible Ksh 200,000 for other assets and investment in the business. Leasing also allows equipment to be updated on a regular basis, but it does cost more than outright purchase
in the long run