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Managing Cash Flow In A Crisis

In times like these, cash is king. The coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by surprise and the main priority of many businesses, large corporations and SMEs alike, has shifted to cash flow optimisation and survival. According to the World Bank, Malaysia’s economy is likely to contract by 3.1 percent in 2020 – a scary statistic for many business owners. This, paired with JP Morgan’s findings that half of small businesses only have a cash buffer to allow them to stay in business for 27 days, necessitates a focus on cash flow for many businesses.


Here’s what Curlec has to say about effectively managing your business’s cash flow.

 

Wait… What is Cash Flow?

Cash flow is a measure of the amount of money that flows into and out of your business over a given period of time. A business can be cash flow positive, which means that more money is flowing into the business than out of the business, or cash flow negative, which means that more money flows out of the business than into it.


Operating, financing and investing activities cause changes in the cash flow of a business.

 

Why does it matter?

Managing and optimising your business’s cash flow effectively is essential in ensuring business survival, especially in times of financial hardship brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.


A wise (wo)man once said ‘cash is king’ and at Curlec, we second this view. This is why Curlec recommends Direct Debit to optimise your business’s cash flow.


Cash flow is essential for daily operations, paying bills and to cover day-to-day costs. Cash flow also gives you business greater flexibility – be it with purchasing decisions, debt management and credit acquisition. Moreover, in order to grow your business, you’ll need to reinvest and in order to reinvest, you’ll need cash.


Managing your business’s cash flow means that you know when money will be flowing into your business and optimising it means trying to get more money to flow into your business at a quicker rate.


The goal is to always be cash flow positive. Learn how Curlec can help with this here.

 

Tips on how to manage your cash flow…

First up, don’t panic! We know it can be stressful trying to keep your business afloat during these uncertain times but panicking isn’t going to help. Try talking to key stake-holders in your business and be transparent about the issues that you’re facing. Those who know your business well may be able to help you think of ways to increase the rate of money flowing into your business. Think outside of the box! We’re currently facing a global pandemic and nearly all of us are facing economic conditions that we’ve never faced before. You may need to be creative with your ideas in a situation like this.


Here are some short-term and long-term ideas to get you started.


Short-Term Solutions:


Monitor Your Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivable is simply any money owed to your business from your customers. The goal here is to expedite your receivables. The first step is to solidify the basics: timely and accurate invoicing and switching to electronic invoicing could be a more efficient option. Another option to consider is shortening payment terms, thereby allowing you to expedite your receivables in critical times like this. Your business’s payment terms and payment collections process is crucial in ensuring a stable and healthy cash flow. When you have more time, think about whether your payment process supports cash flow optimisation.


Read more about Curlec and how we can help with this here.


Extend Payables

This refers to the money flowing out of your business. Think about ways to reduce the amount of money flowing out of your business by delaying payments. We recommend caution when doing so. Be transparent with suppliers and communicate with them in order to preserve your supply chains.


Reassess Variable Costs

A simple way to do this is to reduce discretionary expenditure. Consider reducing full-time work to part-time work, if possible, in order to reduce labour costs or consider operating a work from home program, if you don’t already have one, to reduce commuting costs and potential rent expenditures. Some solutions could also be as simple as providing fewer snacks in your office pantry!


Long-Term solutions:

Select A Payment Method That Provides Long Term Cash Flow Stability

Cash flow stability means that you’re confident that more money is constantly flowing into your business than out of your business. Curlec is here to help you manage your business’s cash flow with Direct Debit. Automating your payments with Curlec means that you know exactly when you’ll be getting money from your customers and ensures that these payments are always made on time. If your current payment method doesn’t support cash flow stability, consider making a switch.


Request a demo from Curlec here.


Reassess Fixed Costs
In uncertain times like these, a good option is to consider converting fixed costs to variable costs where possible. Think about leasing large fixed assets instead of purchasing them and reassess your business’s investment plans. It’s probably not the best idea to be making risky investments right now and doing so could destabilise your business’s cash flow even more.


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the importance of a steady and healthy cash flow for all businesses. Cash flow optimisation is not always an easy task, especially when operating a business model with a heavy reliance on recurring payments.


Curlec is here to make your payments collection process seamless with Direct Debit. Get in touch with us to find out more about how your business can automise its payments collection process.

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Life at Curlec

Remote Internships Part 2: How Research & Analytics Interns Drive Data Driven Decisions At Curlec

Technology is rapidly becoming a driving force in the country’s financial sector. In saying so, the area of FinTech can be quite broad and will continue to expand as technology evolves and the number of financial offerings increases.


Today, we sat down with our Research & Analytics interns, Andrew and Min Qi as they share their insights on how their work drives data driven decisions at Curlec.

 

Andrew Lee

Andrew, who has recently completed his First Year in BSc Accounting and Finance at The London School of Economics and Political Science decided to join Curlec to learn more about FinTech and experiencing what a work-life culture would be like in a startup company.


Working closely with both Founders, Andrew enjoyed the mentorship he received from Steve and Zac, especially interacting with both founders on a daily basis towards completing his assigned projects.


“There is no limit on your learning curve! Due to the relatively ‘flat’ management structure, one has many opportunities to interact with the founders of the company to learn about their journey and listen to advice on dreaming and aiming high,” he says.


“During my first month with the company, I worked mostly with Steve to complete a comprehensive analysis to identify common trends within the payment ecosystem. Teaching myself the SQL programming language in the span of an afternoon on my first day was an amazing challenge. This opportunity emphasises the start-up nature of the company to me – that you learn on the go!” 

 
Min Qi Boo

Currently pursuing a BSc in Accounting and Finance at The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Min Qi is driven by the growth opportunity and learning experience a startup has to offer by joining Curlec.


Speaking about her experience with the company so far,

“The learning curve is steep since Curlec operates in a fast-paced environment. I am constantly learning on the job. Interning at Curlec has given me a sense of ownership of my role as we are entrusted with responsibilities which adds value to the business. Although we do not expect someone to hold onto our hands to guide us through every step of the way, the team is always willing to shed some light and provide guidance when we face challenges.”


“At Curlec, I was involved in the market research project, working directly with Zac and Steve, the main founders of Curlec. As Curlec is a Direct Debit provider, my research covers the payment landscape in Southeast Asia, identifying key trends in consumer behaviours and preferences in order to gauge Curlec’s potential addressable market. I was also given the opportunity to conduct market analysis and competitor research which forms part of the industry analysis,” she says.


Reflecting on her time at Curlec, she cites it as an intriguing and exciting journey.


“I was constantly placed in a fast paced environment filled with golden learning opportunities and many eye opening experiences, especially while conducting in-depth market research as well as having the chance to understand how cultural habits and lifestyles differ from country to country.”


“In my opinion, Curlec has been and will continue to revolutionise the payment ecosystem in Malaysia, and soon, in ASEAN. As we are moving from a product economy to a subscription economy, companies from various industries are starting to explore a subscription-based business model. The model payment collects on a recurring basis and engages with customers in a long term relationship. In this day and age, this is a major trend that can redefine the business landscape. This is where Curlec comes into the picture as the leading Malaysian FinTech player – providing an accessible Direct Debit service to businesses of all sizes,” she says.


“Working at a start-up can be a challenging experience, but more importantly, it provides you with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience that can accelerate your personal growth. My time at Curlec has been meaningful and valuable. This will forever be an experience that I will reflect back on with fond memories in the years to come.”


Want to work with us? Our team come from a variety of backgrounds and we always welcome diversity – submit your applications today by visiting www.curlec.com/careers

Categories
Life at Curlec

Remote Internships Part 1: A New Normal For Curlec Interns This 2020

As temporary job displacements reached a record high during the pandemic due to business closures and movement control orders, flexible and remote working arrangements have become a critical enabler to ensure both business and economic continuity.


Now, a few months down the line, as we attempt to adapt to the increasing demands of the new normal and go virtual, these circumstances have opened up new opportunities not only for our existing team, but also university students looking to gain first-hand working exposure as well as try a hand at the current job market, especially in FinTech.


At Curlec, we offer university students and fresh graduates the opportunity to learn industry traits in a robust programme that applies classroom theory to real-world challenges. Thus, understanding the ecosystem and technology that powers our products and services are crucial, and this is heavily infused in our work environment.


Today, we caught up with our new set of interns to shed some light on the working arrangements post Covid-19 and what they have learnt on the job so far.

 

The Interns Behind Curlec’s Technology

“As a first year Computer Science student at Swansea University, it has been fun working and learning with the team at Curlec. Throughout the duration of the internship, I have learnt to code Javascript, HTML, CSS and PHP to develop plugins which allow businesses to add payment gateways on their website.”


“Currently based and working remotely from Kota Kinabalu, I joined Curlec because I’ve always been curious about how things work in a FinTech startup and also would like to take this opportunity to learn about web development.”

– Lawrence Ngu Ley Chun, Kota Kinabalu


Having had no previous experience in web development prior to joining Curlec, Brandon Ho, an undergraduate student pursuing Computer Science at Imperial College London has always been interested in startups and FinTech.


“I really enjoy working closely with Curlec’s Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Steve and Subbu. The past couple of weeks have been extremely rewarding, juggling the production of working demos as well as navigating a new framework I just learnt.”


“Although I have been working remotely from Kota Kinabalu, I am really enjoying the experience so far. People often misunderstood that a job in Tech is very easy going, even though it’s not as easy as it seems. Technology is evolving everyday and along with it, we ourselves have to constantly upgrade our toolbox to stay ahead.”

Brandon Ho, Kota Kinabalu



 Taking up A-Levels at Kolej Yayasan UEM prior to joining Curlec, Jonathan has assisted on a variety of tasks, including both production and upgrade works on the existing system.


“This internship experience has enabled and motivated me to learn new technical skills in the fastest way possible. Having supportive mentors and teammates, in addition to the flexible timetable, the experience has been a rewarding one so far, especially when the work that you produce is put into actual use.”

– Jonathan Foo Jen Ji, Kota Kinabalu



 “Adaptability, willingness to learn new things as well as being able to make quick decisions are some of the qualities that everyone needs to know about working in the startup scene,” says James, a current undergraduate student from UCL.


“I am currently working on upgrading the system together with the team, and I am glad that I have mentors that are very friendly and helpful who are willing to take the time to teach us the ropes of the job remotely. Here, I am able to work closely with my mentors and peers in an environment where we can easily collaborate and ask questions regarding the work we have done.”
– James Ong Lee Jie , Johor Bahru


An Imperial College fresh grad with a degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering degree, Yee Hong is currently assisting with the cyber security program at Curlec from Penang.


Speaking about his first working experience since graduating, he cites:

“Competition is strong regardless of the company being a corporate or a startup. It is all about finding your niche and standing out from the crowd. I enjoy taking ownership of the projects assigned to me, having to lead them as well as advise the team on what needs to be done.”

– Low Yee Hong, Penang


Taking up IB at International School Kuala Lumpur with ambitions to pursue Software Engineering in the future, Evan came to Curlec with the hopes to get hands-on working experience as well as learn more about how coding works in the real world.


“At the start of my internship, I was looking forward to focusing on back-end coding, so i didn’t expect to be assisting the marketing team with the front-end work as well. It was a good surprise though, and I would never have realised how important front-end coding is without this internship.”
– Loo Hsien Rong Evan, Kuala Lumpur

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the feature as we caught up with our Research & Analytics Interns, Min Qi and Andrew on how their work drives data driven decisions at Curlec.