Come hear from Governor Maura Healey as she addresses Chamber members as the 73rd Governor of the Commonwealth.
9:45am - 11:00am
The Westin Copley
Hear from a panel of professionals on how apprenticeship programs are creating a more robust and diverse talent pipeline.
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Another Age Productions
Join us for our highly anticipated Annual Meeting, Greater Boston's top business convening of the year.
4:30pm - 8:00pm
Boston Convention and Exhibition Center
Expand your DEI professional development with a virtual workshop focused specifically on LGBTQIA+ identities and inclusion.
Join our Transformational DEI Certificate! Our comprehensive learning & development offerings are designed to connect and grow strong leaders who lead both inside and out of the office.
Our Women’s Leadership Program enables you to take your leadership to the next level by arming you with the most in-demand leadership toolkit.
Our Boston’s Future Leaders (BFL) program provides emerging leaders with a socially conscious and civically engaged leadership toolkit, as well as the opportunity to apply their knowledge through experiential assignments.
City Awake empowers young professionals in a variety of ways that encourages these rising leaders to stay invested in the region’s future success.
We are developing an ecosystem of corporations and partners with the influence and buying power to transform economic inclusion for minority business enterprises (MBEs).
The Fierce Urgency of Now Festival brings Boston’s diverse young professionals together with business leaders, organizations and their peers to build connection, advance careers and ignite positive change.
BIMA (the Boston Interactive Media Association) serves a vibrant community of like-minded professionals from agencies, brands, publishers, and ad-tech companies with business interests in the New England market.
For nearly 30 years, the Chamber’s Women’s Network has connected female professionals of all background and career levels. Today, our Women’s Network is the largest in New England, strengthening the professional networks of women each year.
The Massachusetts Apprentice Network convenes employers, training providers, and talent sources interested in developing and implementing apprenticeship programs in occupations across industries and statewide in fields such as tech, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and more.
We support small business through public policy initiatives, events designed to connect small businesses in Greater Boston to their peers and established business leaders, professional development offerings, and free small business advising.
Explore our mission and values to better understand how we are leading the business community forward.
Our member directory is your resource to discover, connect, and engage with Boston’s businesses from every industry and sector.
A business can survive for a short time with low sales or profits, but not without a positive cash balance. Cash pays the bills and allows trading to continue. If you are growing and extending credit to more customers, the need for cash can be even greater. Here are three steps you can take to ensure you have the cash you need to run your business.
Review your budget to see where you can cut costs:
Raise more funds
Consider these moves to free up funds:
Seek outside investors
Investors will typically want an equity stake in your business before they part with any funding. They will also want to see a clear ‘value proposition’ in the form of a business plan and full supporting financial documents before they consider supporting your business with funds. A HarborOne Bank Business Team Member can help you create a lean business plan if you don’t yet have one.
Apply for grants and subsidies
You may be eligible for government grants or subsidies. Certain industries and regions are supported by government programs. Your local Massachusetts Small Business Development Center can help you identify what you may be eligible for, and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Programs and Grants is a great resource for loan, grant, venture, and other capital programs.
Cut personal expenses
As the owner, cut down on your expenses through the business and reduce your own salary. Look at the bare minimum you’ll need for living expenses and cut your salary down to that amount. Look at what withdrawals you’ve been making from the business, especially on a personal level, and ideally eliminate them.
Extract equity from property assets
Borrow on the equity you’ve built up in property, whether it is your home, your business premises or any property you’ve invested in. If you’re confident that your growth plans will pan out, then you’ll be able to rebuild that equity.
You don’t have to purchase all the equipment you need to get your business moving. Think about what items you might be able to borrow over the short term. Draw up a list of your asset needs and make a determined effort to borrow what you can, while shopping online for secondhand items that will save your business money. Are there people you know that are already in business who could lend you equipment or machinery long term?
Work from home
Depending on the type of business you have, you may be able to use a workspace that costs little or even nothing. Work from home using a spare room or the garage. It might even be possible to use a café or similar public place. Build up your clientele before paying expenses you don’t really need straightaway. Don’t forget many employees may prefer to work from home and be more efficient.
Bring cash forward
If you need to improve your cash flow temporarily, adjust your sales and marketing plans to suit:
Be aware that short-term incentives should be just that: short term. Offering discounts and incentives to ease your cash flow is fine but know it erodes your profit.
Teaming up with other businesses to work towards common goals is a smart way to increase capability, while sharing resources, costs, and risks. The internet has made accessing talent from around the world easier than ever.
Collaborating can help you:
Partnering with other businesses can be formal (a contractual obligation), informal (verbal agreements), significant (sharing suppliers and long-term customers), or ad hoc (coming together as and when you need). Research and evaluate all potential partners thoroughly. Seek out companies that share your business ethic and strategy, as well as common expectations of working together.
Make sure all parties are clear about expectations – spell out roles and responsibilities like ownership, people involved, and everything in between. Working alongside another business gives you shared responsibility – as well as other colleagues to work with and rely on. Having back-up in a crisis can offer assurance to you and your customers.
Make sure all your work is invoiced as soon as possible. With larger customers, try to get into their payment cycle or apply to be an approved supplier as soon as possible. Specify in the initial sales contract exactly what you will deliver. If you are asked to do more than the original quote, it is reasonable to negotiate additional payments If you haven’t already, sign up for accounting software to make it easier to send invoice reminders.
Connect with your bank
Develop a relationship with your bank to make sure you are getting the proper cash management services to enhance collections, save money, and earn interest on surplus funds. Your bank doesn’t have to provide you with credit to offer suggestions in these areas.
Request progress payments
When negotiating new contracts with customers be aware of setting payment terms that help your cash flow, such as deposits or progress payments.
An efficient credit control system speeds up your cash collection and reduces bad debt. Depending on the type of business you run, you may be able to reduce the number of credit accounts you offer and if possible, avoid extending credit at all. Some suggestions:
Using a debt collection agency or a specialist lawyer can be an effective method of dealing with non-payers. There are also software solutions that integrate with your accounting software.
The importance of multiple payment options
If you give your customers the options to pay on the spot, using the latest technology, they’re probably going to use it and enjoy the convenience. It means you do not have to spend time sending invoices and waiting for payment – the money is in your account and can be reinvested in business growth.
Payment in advance
Some businesses, such as ones operating over eBay or other auction sites, require payment in advance to provide protection against online fraud. Customers first pay the purchase price (including shipping costs) into your bank account. You then wait for the payment to clear before sending the goods or supplying your services.
Payment by installments
These can be useful if you’re working on a lengthy project, such as a building or a software development program. Payments made at keys stages of the project serve two important purposes:
Normal practice is to build staged payments into contracts, based on measurable milestones.
Early payment discounts
Early payment discounts can encourage people to pay on time. They’re more useful on higher margin products or services as the discount will have less impact on your profits than thin-margin products.
Contracts and debit orders
Businesses that offer regular services such as a gym or an accounting firm can benefit from offering customers a set annual (or longer) contract. The attraction for the customer is a price that’s typically lower than paying for each visit or service.
Accepting payments securely online
Accepting online payments is beneficial in several ways, both for you and your customers. Some benefits include:
A cash crisis is one of the many hurdles small business owners encounter, but you don’t have to go it alone. Building strong relationships with your lawyer, accountant, banker, and colleagues will help you to build a strong business that can withstand difficult times. For more free business help and tools, visit HarborOne’s Small Business Hub, packed with articles, videos, templates, calculators, checklists, and case studies.
For informational purposes only. There is NO WARRANTY, expressed or implied, for the accuracy of this information or its applicability to your financial situation. Please consult your financial and/or tax advisor.