Give your business cashflow a boost with American Express
The British Airways American Express® Accelerating Business Card offers a host of benefits that can help your business thrive
If you’re a small business owner, you’ll be familiar with the many pressure points that entrepreneurs have to deal with, from obtaining finance to attracting customers, and from managing costs to getting the right staff in place.
But perhaps the biggest headache is managing cashflow, and this is something that has become even more problematic since the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. In June, research by the Federation of Small Businesses found that nearly two thirds of UK SMEs had experienced late or frozen payments since the beginning of the outbreak.
“For a small business, cashflow is everything. Businesses fail when they run out of cash, so it’s absolutely vital that they manage it,” says Philip King, the UK’s Interim Small Business Commissioner, interviewed in the Business Class: Money Minutes podcast, powered by American Express. His office offers free advice to small businesses as well as mediation with late-paying customers. It also administers the Prompt Payment Code, which sets standards for payment practices between organisations and their suppliers.
King believes that communication is key when it comes to late payments. “The worst thing small businesses can do is sit and watch themselves not getting paid. It’s really important that they chase,” he says. “We have countless examples of small businesses who ring my team and say, ‘I haven’t been paid,’ and we say, ‘What did the buyer say to you?’ And they reply, ‘We haven’t talked to them, the money just hasn’t arrived.’ Well if you don’t ask, you don’t get.”
According to a report by QuickBooks, small businesses in the UK can waste up to a whole work week pursuing late payments, with 56 per cent of owners using non-work hours to do so. Technology can play an important role here in saving time: online accounting software such as Xero will automatically chase invoices on your behalf, nudging payments along preemptively.
There are also many steps a small business can take that focus on getting paid on time rather than having to chase payments. When first establishing a relationship with a customer, it pays to run credit checks, set clear payment terms and offer flexible payment options.
Once you have delivered your product or service, make sure you invoice promptly. And, if you’re working on a project with multiple steps over a period of time, arrange with your customer to invoice after defined stages. Also, consider offering prompt payment incentives, such as credit to put towards a future purchase. Fostering good customer relations is another useful tool: the more rapport you have with a client, the more likely they are to pay you on time.
The British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card can also help small business owners with their cashflow. Cardmembers can take advantage of American Express’ financial management tools to monitor spend and maximise cashflow management, with up to 56 calendar days to pay, without interest (if you pay your balance in full), or the choice to pay over time with interest. The Card can be used for everyday spending for all your business needs whilst earning you accelerated rewards.
Even the smallest expenses or purchases on your Card can earn rewards with two British Airways loyalty programmes, for both you and your business, whether you are travelling or not. (Interest rate for purchases: 22.2% p.a. variable. Representative APR: 80.3% variable based on £210 annual fee and assumed annual credit limit of £1,200.)
For every £1 spent on your British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card*, you’ll receive 1.5 Avios that you can put towards your future travel plans, whether they’re for business or leisure.
And, when you do fly, you’ll also benefit from British Airways’ On Business loyalty programme, which offers exclusive rewards and discounts for your company, letting you make the most of your business travel budget. For every £1 spent with BA on your Card*, you’ll also receive 1.5 On Business Points to help your business save on future flights. You’ll find that when you use your Card for business spending, your Points will quickly add up. As a welcome bonus, you’ll receive 2,200 On Business Points when you spend £3,000 in your first three months of Cardmembership* – that’s enough for a return reward flight to Amsterdam, Zurich or Frankfurt to take once you are ready.
If you want to hear more financial tips, the Business Class: Money Minutes podcast offers advice and insights from experts and business owners on a variety of money-related issues for small business. The first episode is aimed at how small businesses can better manage customers and suppliers who are not paying on time, in order to maintain a healthy cashflow. Listen to the episode on Spotify, Google Podcast, Amazon Music and all major listening platforms.
For more information on the British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card, click here.
Terms and conditions
Applicants must be UK residents aged 18 years old or over and are subject to approval. *The maximum amount of time for interest-free payment on purchases is 56 calendar days and is obtained only if you spend on the first day of the new statement period and repay the balance in full on the due date. If you only make a minimum payment every month, then interest rates will apply, and it will take you longer to pay off your balance. Terms and exclusions apply to collecting Avios and On Business Points. Reward flights and cabin upgrades are subject to availability. Taxes, fees and carrier charges apply. See americanexpress.co.uk for details. American Express Services Europe Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. All information including representative APR is correct as at 18 December 2020. Interest rates link to the Bank of England base rate.
If Cardmembers are not already members of the British Airways Executive Club (to collect Avios) and On Business programme (to collect OB Points), they will be automatically enrolled when they successfully apply.
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