Budget cut concept

10% Budget Cuts for Russia

Budget cut concept

If you’ve been following the news lately, then you are likely aware that there has recently been a major drop in the price of oil, which is something that affects many countries around the globe. For Russia, that means that it has considerably less money coming in and that it has to do something about that problem…and fast. Its answer, thus far, has been to make huge budget cuts- by a whopping 10%!

All ministries and government departments are, as a result, hard at work making their budget cuts, which must total $9.1 billion. That’s definitely no small feat! However, it’s certainly not a brand new challenge for Russia.

Last year, Russia was again forced to redo its budget, and it was for the same reason- falling oil costs- then as it is now. However, these most recent cuts weren’t decided on until December of last year when the Prime Minister realized a problem was brewing and sought to take immediate action to try and correct it.

While the Prime Minister was definitely smart to act quickly, even he couldn’t control or predict the fact that oil prices would end up dropping even more. In fact, since Russia’s last attempt at restructuring its budget, oil prices have fallen 20% more, leading to even tighter “purse strings” for the country.

The answer for Russia should be clear. Instead of focusing on budget cuts, it should focus its attention on lessening its dependence on oil. Unfortunately, though, that hasn’t proved possible for the country, largely because its dependence on this resource is so great. More than half of its budget revenues are currently owed to crude oil.

Thus, Russia has already been living on a reduced budget, one which it recently found wasn’t quite reduced enough and that it would have to cut even further. New budget cuts that will be proposed would deal with state investment programs and administrative costs.

If those proposed cuts don’t do the trick for Russia, it is going to have to look to another means of tightening up financially. And it needs to do so quickly because financial experts are expecting that crude oil prices are going to fall even lower in the coming year.

While things are definitely unstable for Russia at the moment, it is working hard to regain control and stability. Most speculate that what the country most needs to do is to find other outlets for bringing in revenue, and, until that happens, to do just what it’s doing now- cutting its budget significantly until it finds that other revenue source. However, budgets can only be cut so far, and many in Russia are starting to grow concerned over the country’s financial problems and its overall staying power. Only time will tell how things play out for the country, but as of right now, it definitely doesn’t look good for Russia, which may need some help from allies to get out of this tough spot.

 

business relationship

The Relationship Between Business Survival and Cash Flow Management

business relationship

Do you think that sales increase, profit or loyalty of customers is the strength of a business? While all of these are important to the success and survival of your business, it should not be the only central focus. Yes, all three of these will help you during the survival of your business, but if you don’t have steady cash flow, your business will eventually flop. Remember, cash is needed to pay the utilities, employees and purchase inventory. Without it, you won’t be able to keep those doors open for long.

Available Cash

Available cash is necessary and crucial to every business. However, you have to be aware of where cash goes and how it comes into the business. If you don’t know any of these things, you will be lost to how your business is doing. There are specific skills to measuring, managing and monitoring your business’s cash flow. It is important to find out how your cash flow can work for you instead of against you. There are certain rules to abide by and you need to be aware of them.

Measuring Cash

Cash flow is not the same as making an income or your profit and loss statement. While these help you to analyze your business profitability and performance at different periods, cash flow, on the other hand will indicate how your money is being spent in and out of the business. Your balance sheet will also measure cash, but at a specific time period. A balance sheet will give you a snapshot of your progress while cash flow measurement provides an in-depth view.

What is Causing Cash Flow Issues?

In any business, the owner must be aware of the reasons for cash flow issues, which can happen during any business cycle. These issues will usually happen when you are spending money or earning a profit. To grow your business, you must invest in the right employees, office, inventory and equipment. For that reason, you may have to spend money. On the other hand, if you have slow paying clients, it puts a dent into your cash flow. Therefore, you have to be prepared for the inevitable in these cases. You must have a system where you can analyze your cash flow in each business cycle. This provides an important forecast of your business expenses as well as your sales. You should track your sales each month instead of on a quarterly basis because this will give you a better idea of what is going on in your business.

Implement Strategies

Create strategies to help with your cash flow. It is also important to reduce your fixed expenses. Contact your vendors and ask for a discount. When your business is doing well, see if you can do without hiring extra staff. Cash conservation is important to operating your business. Find ways to minimize the need for cash. Use bartering as a way to swap services so that you don’t have to use cash. Use credit card instead of cash when possible.

 

Be sure to create a business plan with a projection of your sales and expenses. This gives you an improved forecast of what to expect and keeps you in the loop. Lease equipment instead of buying. Grow your business smart and prepare for the growth.

 

Businessman jump up toward the economic growth

Tips for Raising Funds Quickly

Businessman jump up toward the economic growth

Businessman jump up toward the economic growth

Whether you’re starting up a new business or have a business that’s going through a rough spot, you’re bound to, at some point, find yourself in a spot where you need to raise funds for your business quickly. Fortunately, there are lots of different options and strategies you can utilize to raise money and get your business off the ground or back on track, whichever the case may be.

Selling Assets

Unfortunately, when your business is in a troubled spot or hasn’t even gotten started yet,  most standard lending options, such as banks and investors, are not going to be willing to help you out. If, however, you have some assets working for you, you may want to consider selling them off and using the money earned toward your business.

Assets can be all kinds of things, such as investments, real estate, stocks, or anything in between. Basically, if it can bring you money, it’s an asset. However, don’t just start selling off your assets. Talk with a financial adviser to determine which assets are the best choice to part with and which ones will actually help you to raise the funds you are in need of.

Help from Community Development Financial Institutions

Before you consider community development financial institutions (CDFIs) as an option, make sure you qualify. This financing option is only available to businesses that are located in distressed areas. If your business does, in fact, qualify, you can see out a CDFI that is certified by the United States Treasury Department and apply for financing.

Financing is typically given to businesses that can prove that they would help their surrounding area in some way, such as by providing jobs to the community. If you think your business might be eligible, it’s definitely worth a shot to apply for financing.

Microloans

Another option you may also wish to consider is a microloan. Microloans are offered through the title loan companies, whose goal it is to make business loans available to a wider range of entrepreneurs. The loans are not very large in nature, hence the “micro” title, but they can really help out a business that needs a little boost to get started or help to get out of trouble. The highest loan amount is $50,000, and you can apply through an intermediary in your area. The Small Business Administration lists all verified intermediaries on its website, as well as information on how to apply and tips for getting your loan request approved.

Asset-Based Loans

Finally, if you have assets but don’t like the idea of completely selling them off, you may want to consider asset-based lending. Asset-based loans are based on your business assets, like your accounts receivable, or other assets you may have. The assets serve as the collateral, and you do stand to lose them if you don’t raise the money to make your payments on time. However, they are a good way to get over a brief hump in your normal business proceedings.

 

These are just a few of many options to quickly raise funds for your business. There are others out there, so if none of these are the right fit for you, consult with your financial adviser to learn about other choices that could work for you.

 

Creative Ways to Make Money

Creative Ways to Make Money

The main rule when it comes to personal finance is spending less than the money you earn. To advance financially, it is of utmost importance to save, especially any extra money that you make. Making more money can definitely improve your bottom line and give you added income to put in a savings or retirement account. These are limited ways to save money, but there are so many ways that you can make extra money to possibly pay down your debt or save for the future and also have a little fun while doing so.

 

Several Strategies

Making money is not difficult when you have free time and a creative imagination. There are several strategies you could consider. Below are some ideas that you can implement or add to, some of which are relatively easy and traditional.

 

Yard Sale

If you find that your home is filled with clutter, it may be time to sell some of those items. You could plan a yard sale. Advertise the yard sale online or put up signs at the local grocery store or at the street entrance. You could also pay for an ad in the local newspaper. To attract more sales, group items for discounted pricing and try to negotiate deals as much as you can.

 

Tutoring

If you are good at math or any other subject, you could use your spare time to become a tutor. You could tutor students from elementary age to college age, depending on your expertise. To find your clients, put up ads on college campuses (with permission, of course). You could also put the word out or try online ads at college tutoring websites.

 

Clinical Trials

How about signing up for clinical trial opportunities at www.clinicaltrials.gov or any other websites that you can find online? You will be used as a prototype for testing new pharmaceutical drugs. You could also sign up at the local blood bank to have your blood drawn in exchange for cash. If you are a college student and can prove this, you may get more money for your blood. Be sure to ask pertinent questions and be aware of any associated risks.

 

Uber Driver

If you haven’t heard the word “Uber,” then you don’t live on this planet. Uber is a vehicle-sharing company offering transportation to local residents. You get to use your own vehicle to transport individuals to the airport and other local places. You must have a smartphone and clean driving record. The pay starts at $25 per hour. Not bad for spare time cash, right?

 

Pet Sitting

Do you love pets? Whether you do or not, you can offer your local neighbors to watch their pet while they are away. This is probably an easier side gig than babysitting. Let family and friends know of your intentions and they will pass the word around.  

Parking Space Rental

If you reside in a congested or busy area of town and parking is difficult, you could rent out your parking space, especially when you are at work or on vacation. You could rent it for a specific number of hours at a certain rate. For possible clients, go to www.justpark.com and check out their website and app.

 

Conclusion

There are so many other creative ways that you can make money. If you have an extra room, you could get an interested roommate. You could sell any old mobile devices you have online. Use your imagination. Making money is not all that difficult.

 

Business Consultants: Are They for You?

If you own a business, you probably already know just how time consuming this task is. It seems like there is always more work to be done and always some new problem that crops up at the most inconvenient time.

If you are finding the challenging of running your business too much to bear on your own, know that you do have options for help and support. One of those options is to hire a business consultant, someone who can help you to streamline your tasks and, even more importantly, to reorder your business in ways that will make it more efficient at running itself.

Business consultants can be expensive and they’re not always necessary in every situations, but there are usually some obvious signs that a consultant may be of good use to you.

 

You Need to Learn Something New…and Fast

We’ve already discussed how the work and responsibility of owning and running a business can be a huge and hugely time-consuming challenge for the average person. What makes this job even harder these days is the fact that there always seems to be some new technology or some new industry-wide change that you have to keep up with.

When you get hit with a situation where you need to learn something new, such as how to use a new software program or how to meet a new compliance regulation, and you don’t have time to learn it on your own as quickly as you’d like (or as you flat out need to), a business consultant, even just hired temporarily, can be a huge help.

These professionals are trained to know everything that goes on in their industry of choice, and usually, they’ll know it sooner than anybody else. Thus, if you hire a consultant during times like these, you can learn the ropes from him or just use his services until you have time to learn how to do the new job yourself.

 

Your Goals are Murky

Another good time to hire a business consultant is when you find that you no longer have clearly defined goals for your business.

Most business owners, when they’re just starting out, have huge plans for their businesses and devote lots of time to thinking about how to make them better and where to go once they reach a goal. However, the daily tasks of running a business often fall this planning and dreaming to fall by the wayside.

If you’re at a point where you’re out of ideas, have no real vision for the future, or just don’t know what the next step for your business should be, a consultant can really look at things with a fresh, outside eye and help you to gain some future perspective.

As you can see, business consultants can really help in various situations. Just always think long and hard about how you want a consultant to help you and honestly assess your need before you invest in the expense of a consultant. If it’ll truly help, then it’s worth it, but you want to be sure before you bring someone in to assist you.