This article was written in collaboration with OCBC. All views expressed in this article are the independent opinion of DollarsAndSense.sg
Opening a business account is one of the first things you need to do once you plan to start a business. Even if you are going to be the sole employee in the company, or intend for it to be a side hustle, a business account is indispensable for keeping your business assets and expenses separate from your own personal accounts.
This makes it easier for you to track your business cash inflows and outflows, which will come in handy when you need to file taxes, claim for expenses, or if you are looking for external investors in the future.
But is having a regular business account that allows you receive payment and pay for your business expenses all you should be expecting from your business banking account?
Important Areas That Can Make or Break A Business
As anyone who has run a business would tell you, there are many things that need to be done right in order for a business to succeed. Managing even the most “straightforward” business can be a lot more complex than it looks like from the outside.
The simple fact is that even if you have a viable business model, there are many areas related to running a business that can still go wrong and ultimately, cause you to fail. As an entrepreneur, you must be able to handle each of these areas.
Cashflow: There is a saying that cashflow is the lifeblood of every business. As a business owner myself, I can tell you that this is absolutely true. Good businesses fail all the time because of poor cashflow management.
For example, if overheads for a video production business that you own is $40,000 each month, you will need $480,000 each year in order to continue operations. You win contracts worth $500,000 and this looks good. However, the payments for the contracts won will only be made 12 months from now. You have $80,000 in your account, which is only enough to keep the business going for two months. Your business fails, even though it is theoretically profitable on paper.
Employees: Every business needs talent. Whether you are starting an F&B outlet, a retail store or a B2B business, you need people to help you operate your business.
Using the same example above, your video production business wins contracts and everyone is ready to get started. Suddenly, two of your employees (in an already lean team of five) quit.
Now, not only are you unable to execute the work that someone is paying you to do, you first have to hire and train two more new employees. This will take time, money and there are no guarantees your new hires will pan out. If you fail to hire right, you will not be able to complete your projects on time and you don’t get paid.
Fail to solve this in time and your business could fail.
Growth: In the fast-changing business world we live in today, if you are maintaining the status quo, you are essentially moving backwards. Businesses today cannot afford to do that.
Your business has to evolve over time. These may include building deeper and/or broader capabilities, expanding your customer base and growing your overall revenue. These growth areas will take time to develop and would need to be managed and monitored closely. These are the areas that will ultimately keep your business competitive and sustainable in the long run.
Digital Business Dashboard – One Smart Dashboard For Better Decisions
To help entrepreneurs better monitor key areas of their business, OCBC has introduced an innovative Digital Business Dashboard that comes free with an OCBC business banking account.
Source: OCBC Business Banking
As an entrepreneur, this personalised business dashboard will allow you to monitor key areas of your business through a single login.
For example, if you are running a website, key metrics that you want to be monitoring on a day-to-day basis would include your website traffic, electronic direct mailer (EDM) subscriber base and the number of followers that you are getting each day from Facebook, Instagram, and perhaps LinkedIn.
Currently, what most entrepreneurs do is to login separately to different websites and apps to monitor these key metrics. Some may get their staff to provide them with the reports on a regular basis.
Through this business dashboard, OCBC intends to help entrepreneurs bring their business data together in one place to show key information about their performance.
To use it, all you need to do is to connect the apps that you are already using to your Digital Business Dashboard. Once this is done, you will be able to get an overview of your business so you can see patterns and trends, through one single dashboard. You no longer need to login to multiple separate accounts each day to monitor the metrics that matter to you.
There is an extensive list of apps that you can connect to your business dashboard. Depending on the industry your business operates in, here are some of the frequently-used apps that you may find useful.
Marketing & Media Related: Google Analytics, MailChimp, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram
Accounts Related: Quickbooks, Xero
Sales & Customers Related: Shopify, Zendesk, Capsule, LiveChat
And many more. You can check out the full list of apps available here.
Expect More From Your Business Banking Account
The entrepreneurship journey is not an easy one. Beyond the three key areas that we have discussed in this article – cashflow, employees, growth, there are probably many other areas that you need to consider.
Given the busy nature of running a business, many entrepreneurs may not be able to look at every single detail of their company as thoroughly as they would like to. Some of them may even get their staff to furnish them with the information that they want, which in turn increases the workload of their employees.
Digital Business Dashboard is not going to tell you how you should run your business. However, it can certainly help you monitor key areas of your business on a daily basis in a more convenient and quicker manner. This way, you don’t need to spend more time (which you may not have) checking on your business growth nor do your staff need to compile this for you.
With a single dashboard, you can get a quick overview of the areas you need to know. This can be done on-the-go, while you are on the way to work or shuttling between meetings during the day.
You can watch this short video to find out more about how this smart dashboard can help you make better decisions for your business.
In the fast-moving digital world that we live in today, entrepreneurs should expect more services from their banking partners. No longer should it be enough to simply look at your business account as a mere operating account, where you receive and make payments from.
The business dashboard can be an extra pair of eyes for entrepreneurs, helping them gather and consolidate key information so that they can stay on top of the important areas of their business. Try it out today to see how it can help you.
Digital Business Dashboard is available for free to OCBC Business Banking customers.
Read Also: Business Banking In Singapore: Then And Now