By Kay Marham
Important to get the fundamentals of your business right to sustain your enterprise for long-term success
National Bank of Fujairah’s Zainab Hussain Ahmed Ibrahim, Unit Head, Elham, Corporate and Institutional Banking, shares her advice about getting the fundamentals of your business right to sustain your enterprise for long-term success.
Understand your market ecosystem
One of the most essential points that many SMEs overlook once they have launched their business is that they do not invest the time into learning more about the ecosystem of support and advisory services around them. Certain banks, as part of their service approach, provide financial planning, legal and regulatory advice to clients.
Companies also have access to resources such as the database of information provided by organisations like Dubai SME, to drive the growth of their businesses. Female entrepreneurs in particular can benefit from a number of Business Councils set up for them around the country, as well as government financing initiatives.
Cash flow is critical
This is one of the most significant factors that financial institutions consider when lending to businesses. Being focused in this area shows your company’s cash generation capabilities and ability to manage different cash cycles - factors that banks consider for the process of approving loans. By scrutinising your company’s cash flow, you often find that you may be able to unearth cost efficiencies that could omit the need for further cash injections.
It is essential to keep your paperwork in order regularly, be this the company’s financial statements and bank statements, to supplier credit reports and details of your receivables, so that they can be readily presented to your bank.
Communication and asking for help
Emirati business owners in the UAE should be quick to ask for support in areas where they have concerns. By building a relationship with your bank and ensuring that they have a clear picture of your business, they can not only better understand your needs, but can also help you to proactively pinpoint and mitigate any potential risks that you may have previously overlooked during your day-to-day operations.
Transparency and open communication are also crucial when dealing with the bank. Both company owners and banks need to understand the dynamics and requirements of the business and should work together to overcome any issues or stave off any potential problems.