Online shopping has become a common part of our lives. Even more so during the covid lockdowns when we couldn't shop in traditional, brick-and-mortar stores.
I'm sure we all remember how e-shops grew at lightning speed during the period of covid. E-stores proliferated and budding online stores skipped the first steps of walking and running and started flying straight away. In one year, as many as 15,000 e-shops have reportedly sprung up in our country alone and the year-on-year turnover of all e-shops has increased by about 68 billion crowns.
Covid ended and almost immediately the situation in Ukraine deteriorated. No one knew what would happen next week, and so online trading went to the opposite extreme. People stopped shopping.
But what should such an online shop do about the financial situation in times of high inflation? Below you will find some tips on how e-shops can deal with the situation.
(The tips are guided by our opinion only and cannot take the place of professional advice. By publishing them we do not encourage anyone to use them in practice.)
E-shops have stocked up but the high demand for goods has stopped. What now? The first thing that should happen is probably to sell off redundant stock. Either by selling to a third party, or through the possibility of returning the goods to the supplier.
Well, yeah, but you'd think, what if the demand picked up again? Where will I get the goods then? Yes, it's definitely important to have your e-shop ready. That's why it's a good rule of thumb not to increase stock unless its value is currently higher than the cost of storing it.
So the solution is either to reduce storage costs or to increase stock of goods that have a higher use value and are selling.
Reducing excess costs
Have you been trying to save money wherever possible from the start and now you think there's nothing left to cut? There's always something. Classically, these can be goods or services that add convenience and make your life easier. But when the going gets tough, you need to tighten your belt.
Do you rent a water tank in your office? Third-party apps that you're not using to their full potential? Extra office and storage space? Write it all down and cross off what you can get rid of. Particularly the things your business can do without and won't significantly limit your operations.
In the end, you'll find that you only need one project management app and that 2 of the 4 company benefits have never been used.
Fortune favors the prepared mind. Plan accordingly. Plan well ahead. What will you need to buy in six months? What goods will run out in a month? How much money should you have set aside for incidentals?
Plan it all out in advance. Have some money set aside and nothing will surprise you. Finance whatever you can from outside sources. Financing can be obtained in minutes, but you need to be sure that you will be able to pay in installments.
In the Czech Republic, it is not yet customary to borrow money to run a business. This is mainly because a lot of companies are not able to get operating finance from banks. Traditional financial institutions don't base loan approvals on accurate data and the state of the business, so they usually reject the loan application. Another reason why businesses don't venture into financing their operations through external sources is that such a process takes weeks if not months to confirm. Yet operating loans have many benefits and Flowpay has found a way to make business loans more accessible to more SMEs. It offers loans based on real data from the third party services you use (POS systems/ecommerce platforms). This way we know your repayment capabilities fully.
Why use operating loans?
A business loan allows small business owners and tradespeople to access more capital.
You can easily factor the cost of financing into the margins of the product/service.
Unlike financial backing à la Venture Capital, the lender cannot own a share of the profits. It has an interest only in the repayment of the loan.
A business loan is a quick and inexpensive solution to operating costs without the administrative burden.