An Aesop Fable to Apply to Your Business

In a field one summer's day, a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest. "Why not come and chat with me, instead of toiling and moiling in that way?" said the Grasshopper. "I am helping to lay up food for the winter," said the Ant, "I recommend you to do the same." "Why bother about winter? We have got plenty of food at present", the Grasshopper replied.

But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.

When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing corn and grain every day from the stores they had collected in the summer. It was then that the Grasshopper realised where he had gone wrong....

The moral of Aesop’s fable: “It is best to prepare for the days of necessity”.

Act now to avoid future problems

From a business perspective this fable has never been more applicable in today’s turbulent business world.

The key for business owners is to act now to prepare for potential issues down the line:

  • Get finance sorted early – don’t wait until the last minute to renew facilities with funders. It may prove more difficult than expected and alternatives may need to be sought.
  • Prepare up-to-date cashflow projections to see where any potential shortfalls occur and seek to arrange finance for these ahead of requirements.
  • If the bank is unwilling to renew or extend the overdraft look for business finance alternatives such as invoice factoring or invoice discounting which can fill the cashflow void.
  • If your accounts are due to be filed and they are going to show a worse financial position, business owners should to speak to key suppliers to keep them on side, as they may look to reduce credit terms/limits if rating agencies reduce their suggested credit limit.

Business owners will often wait until the last possible minute to sort out potential issues or consider ways to increase cashflow, but this can prove to be more difficult to organise at the drop of a hat right at this moment. For many, it is becoming more difficult just to renew existing overdrafts, never mind obtain increased facilities!

This is why UK businesses should be looking to follow the advice in the proverb and look to prepare now for the days of necessity.

How to avoid funding issues

To avoid last minute problems with funding issues, I recommend:

  • Early discussions with key suppliers
  • Speaking with the bank to clarify their position
  • Considering business finance alternatives to speed up cashflow and increase availability of funding lines

If you'd like to chat to one of experts about your business' finance, why not give us a call on 0845 602 9354 or drop us an email at