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The importance of planning the year-end/beginning of the year

fenixcyc.clEvery year between September and October, large companies define their spending budgets and therefore what they will require from their suppliers of products and services. Therefore, companies of any size that are still in the chain should begin to adopt similar ideas.

However, this 2020 things have changed, new protocols have had to be taken to face the commercial world, especially in addition to the human conditions. Purchasing or consumption behaviors have new seasonalities, new logistics and demands.

At a general management level, this last quarter, it is urgent to take a fresh look at digital markets and trends, a survey conducted by us on linkedin http://t.ly/SqTB established as a general second priority to enter the world over cost savings and organizational climate, which shows that the perception of digital transformation has spread to all environments, although without a clear path.

Being able to segment markets into those that are safe and those with a future and thus generate loyalty activities is also relevant, since post-pandemic there are clearly areas of the economy that have been very hard hit by the change in behavior and the crisis, we must refocus our efforts on markets “with a future” and lastly, as a strategy, we must initiate the variabilization of fixed costs.

Financially, the administrators or managers must activate all the activities of financial shielding, the reality is that this crisis left many companies highly indebted with credits guaranteed by the state and whose payment burdens begin at the end of the year, this has generated a lethargic reaction of banks to renew the lines of working capital that the only thing that seeks is that the companies pass the stress test and thus renew who “supports the storm”. This is common in crises, but it seems that the lack of memory and novice companies in these periods make them rely more than necessary on these obligatory financial partners.

The finance manager should use all franchises to reserve resources for the eventual non-renewal of lines. In addition, the company will be able to take advantage of accounting and tax exemptions that will allow it to privilege future cash flows.

Commercially, the leaders of these areas have a great mission, to update the business models due to all the behavioral changes already mentioned, to use tools such as the canvas or other and to determine the new added values of the customers that have a future in the market with service and customer orientation. On the other hand, digital marketing activities emerge today no longer as a complement but as the spearhead of the commercial activity, due to the strong penetration of this world, omnichannel and content oriented to improve the customer’s shopping experience become even in the sales channel with more future than the face-to-face ones. Joining this trend is absolutely VITAL if you want to stay. Training salespeople on virtual tools, CRM uses, pipeline concepts, forecast applied in real life, must be on a daily basis. Of course you must also set your sales budget now on this new reality.

It is not a simple task to plan “this” year-end closing because in addition to the classic expense and sales budgets, tax, labor and accounting adjustments, we must make an adjustment of the business model, which if properly done could even give extreme options, from a total adjustment or an inevitable disappearance from the market because our added value has disappeared, the latter is hard but it is better to accept it and reinvent ourselves soon than after a long agony.

We are optimistic because human nature is resilient, and tends to adapt in surprising ways. So let’s plan ahead and see what 2021 brings.

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Keys to financial shielding

There are situations that can lead to a rapid financial deterioration of a company to the point of bankruptcy.

A fairly common problem -it could be said that it is almost endemic in our country- is that the vast majority of SMEs finance long-term projects with short-term lines or credits. This makes them vulnerable, especially when economic crises and liquidity shortages occur. It is enough, for example, that the bank does not renew the line due to a change in risk policy to deal them a hard blow, since they must start paying a debt that was not previously included in the cash flow. The shielding in this type of situation implies, therefore, taking short-term credits and achieving a long-term structure that accompanies the maturity of the business units.

This was the path we recommended to our clients as soon as the first symptoms of the subprime crisis and the current crisis emerged. We warned them that companies should prepare for a lean period. But there were companies that chose not to follow our advice, assuming that we were exaggerating, and they are simply not in the market today. They were unable to bear their financial burden, as their payment chain was abruptly interrupted, the banks lost patience with them and they had to liquidate their assets and personal wealth to pay their commitments.

Another frequent situation is the imbalance due to “overexposure” in terms of collateral given to obtain credit, which, contrary to what might be thought, represents a disadvantageous condition when facing a crisis. Banks are not interested in capturing properties, their business is not real estate; their focus is on cash flow, that is, on the company’s generation capacity.

Therefore, if a company is out of balance in its “credit v/s collateral” ratio and is severely affected in its payment chain, the lending institution will analyze the situation, after a while it will normalize it and then use the collateral at “liquidation value” to settle the debts, which obviously fractures the assets of the entrepreneurs.

There is a misconception that by having all your assets in a financial institution you will receive special treatment, but normally the pressure will be more intense. Because from the perspective of the bank and its risk analysts, in the absence of revenue generation, the logical reaction is to hedge against potential losses to other potential creditors as soon as possible.

Another reason why SMEs usually hit rock bottom is because they “put all their eggs in one basket”. By concentrating their sales in a few customers -sometimes the relationship with one of them represents more than 50% of their revenues- they are exposed to the designs and changes in commercial policies of the main buyer. In our experience we have seen how many companies are really complicated when the most important customer suddenly demands new standards in the manufacture of their products, which necessarily involves investing in new technology. But, when that SME is living on a shoestring, resorting to factoring to pay taxes or getting into debt to pay salaries, it clearly has no room for maneuver to continue operating. It has no shielding, not only financially, but also in terms of administration and commercial management.

It must be remembered at all times that the first basis for credit analysis is to have a strongly supported cash flow. However, it is often the case that “MSMEs” do not work with this concept. They live from day to day (trusting that “on the way the load will be fixed”) using the resources from sales as if they were business profits, when this money is required to pay commitments and have working capital.

The liability structure of a company is what determines a longer or shorter duration of a business. When we talk about “shielding” we refer to a structure of availability of financing lines with appropriate terms, guarantees and conditions to address the challenges of business plan growth and, of course, complex moments. The correct equation

The financing between suppliers, equity and bank credit is the basis for the technical support required for commercial management and the strengthening of companies in the long term.

Globalization forces SMEs to have a more stable and forward-looking financial behavior, as they cannot remain untouched by the ups and downs of the economy. Before a new crisis, it is necessary to pay attention to the symptoms of the lack of shielding. Have an umbrella handy in case it rains.

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How much is my company worth?

When we have goods that are easy to exchange this question is asked based on what the market is willing to pay, and it applies to properties, vehicles and practically all goods because there are web portals that in a very simple way can determine value ranges.

But if someone suddenly arrives and says “I want to buy your company, how much is it worth?”, the answer is not so simple, because although what the market is willing to pay is always a premise, access to this information is not easy to access.

In developed countries where the accounting and tax systems have public regulations, companies are traded as a commodity because it is assumed that the values are audited, reviewed and controlled.

In Latin America the issue is like this only in the corporate segment, but what happens in the middle or small segments? In this case we must carry out a valuation process that, although not extensive in time, can be complex due to the quality of the information.

What makes this process difficult? events such as unaudited financial statements, continuous changes in accounting styles, confusion between company assets and shareholders, etc, etc.

Therefore, if you want to answer this question and just as you know the value of your house, your car, your apartment on the beach, you should assume that it is better to be prepared to answer this question in advance so as not to embark on a sale that will cause you to encounter uncomfortable surprises.