Securing the right financial resources is important for small business success. Businesses require a robust capital foundation to fuel growth, innovation, and daily operations. Mastering this can be a complex task, but armed with the right insights and strategies, companies can secure the funding solution they need to flourish.
Commercial business financing encompasses a diverse array of funding options, each tailored to specific business needs and stages. Commonly, people tend to consider traditional bank loans as the primary solution for obtaining business funds. Nonetheless, these loans often come with rigorous eligibility criteria and a lengthy application process, which might not be the best fit for businesses in need of rapid financing. Venturing into the realm of alternative financing solutions, we encounter a range of innovative options.
Invoice Factoring is a dynamic approach where businesses leverage their accounts receivable to secure immediate capital. This solution allows companies to unlock funds tied up in unpaid invoices, ensuring consistent cash flow to fuel operations.
Merchant Cash Advances are tailored for businesses with fluctuating revenue streams. This option allows businesses to access a lump sum upfront in exchange for a percentage of future credit card sales. This flexibility suits companies that experience seasonal variations in income.
For businesses needing interim financing, Bridge Loans provide short-term funds that bridge the gap between immediate needs and more substantial, long-term financing. This solution is ideal for those seeking timely capital infusion during transitional phases.
Term Loans provide a classic financing approach, involving a lump sum borrowed and repaid over a set period, often with a fixed interest rate. These loans are versatile and can be used for various purposes, from expansion to equipment purchases.
Equipment Financing caters specifically to businesses that require machinery, technology, or equipment to operate. This option allows companies to secure funding while using the equipment itself as collateral.
In scenarios where a business receives a large order but lacks the funds to fulfill it, Purchase Order Financing steps in. This solution provides the necessary capital to fulfill orders, with the purchase order itself serving as collateral.
Crafting a strategic approach is imperative for businesses to navigate the realm of commercial financing effectively, tailoring it to their distinct requirements. The crux lies in clarifying the funding purpose—be it launching a novel product, expanding operations, or managing working capital. Such lucidity guides the financing selection and signals preparedness to potential backers.
Equally vital is comprehending the financial landscape. A profound grasp of the company’s current financial state, creditworthiness, and market position informs the choice of feasible financing avenues.
Mitigating risk stands as a pivotal aspect of any strategy. Furthermore, businesses should contemplate diversification—relying solely on one funding source can expose a business to unforeseen shifts. Through a blend of options, diversifying funding reinforces operational robustness and augments growth prospects.
Developing robust relationships with funders can be transformative. Networking within the business community and participating in industry events can lead to invaluable connections with potential financial institutions. Overall, these relationships offer insights, guidance, and even introductions to financiers who share the business’s vision.
Moreover, transparency takes center stage when approaching funders. Communicating the business’s financial status, growth potential, and how the funding will be utilized fosters trust and credibility. A meticulously prepared business plan that outlines the company’s strategy, market analysis, financial projections, and potential risks can present a compelling case for financial support.
The realm of commercial business financing continues to evolve, driven by technological advancements and shifting consumer behaviors. Navigating the intricate landscape of commercial business financing demands a fusion of strategy, comprehension, and relationship-building. With a spectrum of financing options at their disposal, businesses can tailor their approach to align with their goals and growth aspirations. Whether opting for traditional bank loans, alternative financing solutions, or a mix of both, meticulous preparation, transparency, and a commitment to fostering robust connections within the business and financial communities are pivotal. As the financing landscape continues to evolve, adaptable businesses stand poised to secure the funding essential for their flourishing.
Forward-thinking companies of all sizes continually seek innovative strategies to enhance their profit margins. One avenue that has gained significant traction in recent years is leveraging alternative financing companies. Alternative finance companies offer a range of financial solutions beyond traditional bank loans, enabling businesses to optimize their financial structures and, ultimately, maximize their profit margins.
The traditional approach to securing capital for business expansion or operational needs often involved navigating the lengthy and rigorous processes of traditional banks. However, alternative financing companies have emerged as game-changers by offering quicker, more flexible, and customized funding solutions. These companies encompass a variety of models, including peer-to-peer lending platforms, crowdfunding, invoice financing, supply chain financing, and more.
One of the primary advantages of alternative financing companies is their ability to provide businesses with rapid access to capital. Unlike traditional lending institutions, which may require extensive documentation and time-consuming approval processes, alternative financing companies have simpler application procedures and faster turnaround times.
Alternative financing encompasses an array of options tailored to different business needs. For instance, Invoice Factoring offers a solution for businesses that have outstanding invoices. By selling these invoices to a factoring company, businesses can access immediate funds instead of waiting for the invoices to be paid.
Equipment Financing addresses the specific needs of businesses that require machinery, technology, or equipment to function. This avenue enables companies to secure funding while using the equipment itself as collateral.
Purchase Order Financing, on the other hand, comes into play when a business receives a substantial order but lacks the funds required to fulfill it. This type of financing provides the capital needed to meet the order, with the purchase order itself serving as collateral.
Lastly, there’s the Merchant Cash Advance, which caters well to businesses with fluctuating revenue streams. This financing option allows businesses to access an upfront lump sum in exchange for a percentage of future credit card sales. This can be particularly helpful for businesses that experience seasonal variations in income.
Traditional loans often come with rigid repayment terms, which might strain a business’s cash flow. In contrast, alternative financing companies provide more flexible repayment options. For instance, revenue-based financing allows businesses to repay loans based on a percentage of their earnings. This ensures that payments remain manageable during both lean and prosperous periods.
Diversifying funding sources is a prudent risk management strategy. Alternative financing allows businesses to reduce their dependency on a single lender, minimizing the impact of a financial setback if one funding source becomes unavailable.
Many alternative financing companies specialize in specific industries or types of funding. Partnering with these entities provides access to their expertise, insights, and networks, which can prove invaluable when making strategic financial decisions.
Innovative financing solutions can empower businesses to take advantage of growth opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach. Whether it’s expanding to new markets, investing in research and development, or launching a new product line, alternative financing can catalyze innovation.
Different business objectives require different funding approaches. Alternative financing companies offer a range of solutions that can be tailored to align with specific profit-maximizing strategies. For instance, if a business aims to reduce production costs by bulk purchasing, supply chain financing could provide the necessary capital.
Effectively managing working capital is essential for optimizing profit margins. Alternative financing options like invoice financing can help bridge cash flow gaps, ensuring smooth operations even during periods of delayed payments from customers.
Increasing revenue is a direct path to higher profit margins. Alternative financing can enable businesses to invest in marketing campaigns, sales initiatives, and customer acquisition strategies that drive growth.
Operational efficiency directly impacts profitability. With alternative financing, businesses can invest in technology, automation, and process optimization, leading to cost savings and increased margins.
In the ever-evolving business landscape, timely investments can yield substantial returns. Alternative financing enables businesses to act swiftly when attractive investment opportunities arise.
In an era where agility and innovation are paramount, alternative financing companies offer a powerful toolkit for businesses aiming to boost their profit margins. From streamlined access to diverse funding options, enhanced flexibility to strategic expertise, these entities have revolutionized the financing landscape. By strategically leveraging alternative financing solutions, businesses can position themselves for sustained growth, increased profitability, and a competitive edge in the market. Remember, every business is unique, so carefully assess your needs, explore the available options, and chart a course toward maximizing your profit margins with the support of alternative financing companies.
With their stringent requirements and high-interest rates, small to medium-sized businesses are having a hard time securing a loan from traditional banks. Good thing that there are alternative financing options that businesses now can avail of to get the funding they needed.
What, then, is alternative financing? Alternative financing means obtaining funding from non-traditional funding or non-bank institutions. It has a different process of approving credit or funding, and the terms and conditions are different than those of a traditional bank. It caters to businesses of all magnitudes but small to medium-sized businesses could leverage the advantages that alternative financing brings.
While alternative financing has been around for quite some time already, there are still some misconceptions about it due to a lack of exposure to the products. Let us discuss here to dispel these misconceptions.
Small to medium-sized businesses are wary to try alternative financing because of the myth that they need to have high margins to be able to have access to these kinds of financing. This is definitely not the case. An alternative lender caters to businesses of all sizes, including small and medium-sized enterprises. Others even prefer small businesses as clients. Don’t let your current business margin faze you!
This myth is the one that stops small to medium-sized businesses in their tracks. But the truth is, alternative financing employs a more streamlined process. While traditional banks would require good credit standing, some alternative financing would not even look at credit scores in screening your business. Some would only require a list of your current customers, or even expected revenue streams. Seeing as these requirements are not difficult to provide, it’s easy to say that small to medium-sized businesses could opt for alternative financing easily.
Traditional banks usually have regulators that oversee their business. Seeing as these alternative financiers are not banking institutions, it’s easy to understand why many would think that they are unregulated. However, this is far from the truth. Transactions involving alternative financing involve contract and commercial laws and require adherence to federal and state laws regarding financial transaction disclosures and other regulatory issuance.
Credit scores pertain to your ability to meet your obligations to your creditors. A good credit score means that you were able to pay your dues on time and maintain a good record with your banks. Credit score entails your ability to pay your debts; alternative financing on the other hand is revenue-based financing, without the business incurring debts. Since there are no debts involved, transactions involving an alternative lender would not in any manner affect your credit score.
These alternative financing options fill the gap that traditional banks leave: they provide the much-needed funding for small to medium-sized businesses that are not qualified to avail loans from traditional banks, or even if qualified, are unable to do so due to a myriad of factors. It gives these businesses a lifeline that they can hold on to to be able to pursue their business goals, as well as access to additional funding for any immediate or urgent needs of the business. This is why these common misconceptions should be put to rest so more businesses would be encouraged to try and explore these alternative options.
There are already lots of alternative financing options out there that businesses can consider. Bearing in mind what’s best for the company. Here are some options:
Invoice financing – this alternative financing involves the sale of a business’s unpaid invoices to factoring companies. They pay a certain percentage of the invoice amount to the business.
Merchant cash advance – under this financing, the business owner receives a lump sum amount from the financier. In return, the business owner will pay the financier a certain portion of its revenue from credit card and debit card sales.
Credit card splits – in this financing, businesses can have a credit card split agreement where the financier will provide a lump sum amount for the business’ urgent funding needs. In return, the financier will have a portion, or “split,” on payments made to the business using a credit card.
These are but a few examples of alternative financing that are available for businesses. Moreover, it is not uncommon nowadays for banks to partner with alternative financing providers. This way, businesses need not navigate on their own to find the best funding that would suit their needs. For businesses, now is the best time to explore and get to know more about these alternative financing options.
Invoice factoring is a way for businesses to sell their accounts receivable to a factoring company in exchange for cash. Unlike a normal loan, invoice factoring services provide you with cash that is already owed to your business by customers. The process works in three easy steps.
First, you sell your outstanding invoices to a factoring company, who will give you between 70-90% of the invoice total. This advance can be used immediately for working capital.
Second, the factoring company will collect payments from your customers directly.
Lastly, once the total invoice has been paid off by your customer, the factoring company will send you the remaining balance minus a small fee.
Waiting 30-90 days for your invoices to get paid can be disadvantageous for a growing business. Additionally, some businesses may have to turn down big orders or they cannot meet necessary financial obligations. Fortunately, many factoring companies offer funding within the same day, which means you can keep your business running smoothly. Instead of waiting you can meet any short-term financing needs or have a safety net of working capital for any emergencies.
Getting approved for invoice factoring can be easier than a traditional bank loan. Credit score and loan history tend to not even be factors in approval. Factoring companies are more concerned with the creditworthiness of their customers – since they will be the ones making payments to them. Instead of waiting weeks for approval and having to submit collateral, with factoring services you can get approved in 24 hours with no collateral required.
A business can turn to factoring services as many times as they would like to. Due to this, you can always have ongoing cash flow. Since you do not have to wait for invoices to be paid when you factor, you can always have extra cash to expand your business.
A factoring company will determine your customers’ creditworthiness before approving your invoices. If they have a habit of not paying on time, they may be less likely to take on the risk of approving your funding. Additionally, depending on the factoring company, any non-payment from your customers may result in you having to pay for it.
Typical costs for invoice factoring are around 1 to 5 percent of the total invoice amount. The factor rate can be charged as a one-time fee or every week/month. This fee is a tradeoff for receiving immediate cash, but if your business is on a tight budget, it may not be beneficial for you to factor your invoices.
With CapFlow Funding Group, the typical fees range from between 1 – 2%.
For a growing business, it is essential to make the best decisions to support and continue growing. Invoice factoring can help a business get working capital quickly, which in turn can help them cover operating expenses and expansion. The costs of factoring may be worthwhile to have a consistent cash flow. However, you should look into a factoring company’s maintenance, processing, or advance fees before working with them to help determine this.
Invoice factoring is a type of alternative financing where a business owner (the client) may sell their unpaid invoices to a factoring company for cash. When an invoice is approved then sold, the factoring company would pay the business a percentage of the total invoice amount (the advance amount). The factoring company will collect payments directly from the client’s customer. Finally, once the customer has paid the invoice in full to the factoring company, the factor will pay itself back the advance amount plus the factoring fee due at that time. Invoice factoring is not a loan, it is simply an advance based on approved accounts receivable due at a later date. Ultimately, the advance provided by the factoring company is the business’s money, which they are just receiving faster than they normally would.
Invoice factoring services are available to businesses that have creditworthy customers, invoices to factor, and need quick working capital. The main reasons some businesses turn to invoice factoring are to get working capital to cover any operating expenses, grow your business, or simply have a stable cash flow. With improved cash flow, a business can make payroll, purchase new equipment, pay suppliers, fulfill larger orders, and more.
Consider invoice factoring services to improve your cash flow.
A common concern when businesses consider factoring their invoices is how a customer may react to this new process. Since the business would no longer be directly collecting payments from their customer, the relationship may change a bit. Reassure your customer that essentially the only change is that instead of making payments to you, they will make payments to the factoring company. Everything else should remain the same as it is only a change in the remittance address.
One misconception of invoice factoring is that customers may question the health of your company and choose not to work with you. However, most customers will understand how beneficial invoice factoring can be for a business. It is important to have effective communication with your customers. If they are confused about the process or believe your business may be failing, explain to them why you have chosen to factor the invoice and the minor changes they will face. Another misconception is that the factoring company are debt collectors who will harass them. At the end of the day, a factoring company’s relationship with your clients is just as important to them as they are to you. They want to operate in an ethical and reputable manner to continue working with your business and others. Communication between the factoring company and the customer is key in any factoring relationship.
In order to maintain a good factoring relationship with your customers it is important to carefully choose a factoring company whose values align with yours. Consider how long they have been operating, their business practices, and reviews from anyone they have previously worked with. Healthy customer relationships are one of the most important keys to success for any business. Another way to manage your factoring and customer relationship is to have open communication. Educate your customers on the process, alert customers about the factoring company before they send your customers a notice and ask them about their experience after they pay off their invoice. This will prove to your customers that you are putting in effort to maintain a good relationship with them.
If you are considering a factoring relationship but you are unsure or are feeling a bit overwhelmed about it, we can help. CapFlow Funding Group offers our partners personalized services and values the relationships we have established with all of our clients and their customers. While redirecting payments from your customers may be new to you, we care about your business objectives and will navigate this change with you. CapFlow does not harass your customers and will always communicate with you, the business, on any issues that may arise prior to contacting your customer.
As global and consumer prices increase, economists and entrepreneurs predict supply-chain hikes will continue through at least the rest of the year. As consumer prices increase, wages, the cost of raw materials, distribution costs, and more may also increase. This can be hurtful for businesses that may have poor financial health or were not prepared for the effects of inflation on their business. Fortunately, there are ways to manage and protect your business from inflation and remain profitable.
One of the most common reasons a business fails is due to lack of cash flow. Consistent cash flow is crucial to smoothly run a business and invest in new opportunities. Rising inflation can further add to the stress of maintaining a healthy cash flow. To improve cash flow during these times, you may want to start by reducing expenses. It would be beneficial to take a look at your monthly expenses and cut or reduce any expenses that are unnecessary. For any necessary expenses or contract you are in, you may be able to negotiate the price or find less expensive alternatives to preserve your cash flow. Additionally, encouraging your customers to pay faster will also help your cash flow. You can offer incentives for early payment, request an upfront deposit, or turn to an alternative financing company that will advance you a percentage of your customer’s invoices and handle the payment process for you.
During a rise of inflation, consumers will likely cut back on non-essential goods and services in attempt to save money. Not all businesses face an immediate fall during this period, but consumers may be hesitant to make larger purchases or opt for a cheaper alternative. Consequently, businesses may see a reduction in demand or a decrease in sales revenue. Keep this in mind when purchasing inventory to reduce waste and maintain efficiency.
It may be necessary to raise your prices to keep pace with inflation. However, if raised too much, this may repel consumers from purchasing your products. Instead, consider raising prices in small increments as inflation rises. Many consumers will expect a rise in prices, but slowly increasing them may keep them from looking for alternatives. Alternatively, if you have enough savings and feel comfortable enough to not raise prices, this could further help uphold the relationship with your customers. Consider the 4 C’s of pricing strategy: customers, costs, competitors, and cash. Ask yourself, how important is the pricing of your products to a customer? How has inflation affected your supply or labor costs? Has your competition increased prices? What is your current cash flow?
Another way to manage your business during inflation is to consider automating some tasks. There are many applications and services available for affordable prices that will help you automate any repetitive or small processes. You can simplify workflow with the use of technology which will allow for your employees to focus on different tasks. With warehouse automation, you can move inventory in, within, and out of warehouses with technology and little to no human assistance. Automating tasks can improve productivity and cut back on small expenses.
Businesses across the country were devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic and were in desperate need of working capital to stay afloat. The U.S. government offered a multitude of financial services to help businesses during these challenging times, one of which was an EIDL, or a Covid-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
EIDL loans, funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) were intended to help small businesses recover from the hardships of the pandemic. They were intended to be used by small businesses to cover operating expenses and were made appealing to them with accessible and borrower-friendly terms. The EIDL program offered two funding options: loans or advances.
EIDL loans were low-interest, long-term, fixed-rate loans. The interest rate was 3.75% per annum for businesses, and 2.75% per annum for nonprofits, both with a 30-year term, with payments deferred for the first two years.
The maximum EIDL loan amount was $2 million, and collateral was required for loans over $25,000, as was a personal guaranty (“PG”) for loans over $200,000. In addition to favorable terms, another benefit of EIDL loans was the relatively attainable requirements. For loans of under $500,000, the credit score requirement was 570. For over $500,000, it was 625.
Different than traditional small business loans, EIDL advances did not need to be repaid. In this respect, they were like grants. Because of these extremely favorable terms, EIDL advances were far more difficult to qualify for. They were reserved for businesses hit hardest by the pandemic and were for significantly less money than loans. To be eligible for an advance of up to $10,000, applicants had to be in a low-income community, have less than 300 employees and have experienced at least a 30% reduction in revenue during the pandemic. Additional advances of up to $5,000 were available to businesses with 50% revenue reductions with fewer than 10 employees.
Given the unprecedented degree of difficulty that all U.S. businesses were facing in the early stages of the pandemic, many of them were eager to jump on the opportunity for an EIDL loan or advance. Through April 28, 2022, nearly four million EIDL loans were approved for over a whopping $378 billion! The EIDL advance program was robust as well, with about 600,000 advances funded for over $6 billion, and approximately 450,000 supplemental target advances for over an additional $2 billion.
Unfortunately, the SBA is no longer offering new EIDL loans as of January 1, 2022. The SBA also stopped evaluating increased requests and closed the online portal in May 2022. However, if you already received an EIDL loan and want records of documents, you may contact the SBA directly. So how else can a small business, still recovering from the pandemic and now faced with the problem of high inflation, get funding? The SBA still offers a suite of traditional loan options. These loan options have competitive terms but also drawbacks, such as a slow approval process. Traditional bank loans are also a consideration for many small businesses but can be inaccessible due to the strict credit requirements.
In contrast, alternative financing offers financing services with less strict requirements. It can also be funded in as little as 24 hours!
One financing service that can be a great fit for businesses is invoice factoring. With invoice factoring, a company like CapFlow Funding will buy the right to collect your outstanding invoice. They will pay you the value of the invoice upfront at a slight discount. With invoice factoring, you can get working capital without having to wait months before an invoice would typically be paid. Invoice factoring is also less expensive than other types of alternative funding like a merchant cash advance. It will not leave you in debt. The knowledgeable team at CapFlow Funding will work with your company to form an efficient and effective funding plan.