As a small business owner, you have to manage everything related to your sales and operations. However, when talking about growth or expansion, are you doing the best thing for your company?
All too often, entrepreneurs believe that the only way to get financing for their business is to go to a bank or credit union and take out a loan. While this option does have some benefits, it’s not always the right choice. Many banks have stringent lending requirements that restrict borrower’s ability to access funds, and some loans can take up to 45 days or longer to fund, slowing your ability to conduct business.
In this article, we will discuss alternative lending resources that you may not know about to show how you can get the funds you need in a timely manner to take that next step in your operations.
Step One: Identify Your Objectives and Requirements
Determine the specific uses of funds. Let’s break down some of the most common reasons to borrow.
Cash Flow – Ideally, your business will have cash coming in that can cover expenses and add to savings. Many businesses need to build up stock at the same period that they have the least sales during the year. Accessing funds to apply to open-to-buy dollars or to pay invoices during a sale cycle is common in many retail related industries.
Expansion – If your business is doing well enough to upgrade to a new location, you have a choice to purchase an existing property, build a new property or rent and share tenant improvement costs with the building owner.
Equipment Purchases – While revenue can cover utilities and other expenses, you may not have sufficient funds to buy new or upgraded equipment or machinery.
Once you have a specific reason, you can look at various types of financing. As we’ll discuss, you can usually get funding for a particular need, all without having to wait for lenders or financial institutions.
Step Two: How Soon Do You Need Money?
SBA loans may have some of the best interest rates, but their time to close is more than a month. There are other options to access funds more quickly when business is operating at a clip. A loan broker can help you choose rates and lenders to get the right mix of speed and interest rate for your operation.
Step Three: Work with a Commercial Loan Broker
If you’re not sure how to get financing for a specific need, it can seem a bit overwhelming to find the right information. You’re busy running your business – let someone else handle the details.
Commercial loan brokers can alleviate the pressure of borrowing because they know the industry, and they have relationships with lenders.
Overall, using a broker can provide peace of mind, and you can get access to funding options you may not have considered. Here are a few of the methods that can help your business.
Rather than taking out a hefty loan and using it to buy gear outright, you can borrow against the equipment itself. While these loans don’t cover the full amount – typically, it’s 80 percent – they are much more flexible.
When it comes to cash flow, sometimes the problem lies in your accounts receivable. If clients are taking too long to pay invoices, you can outsource collection to a factoring company. These businesses will pay you upfront and then work with the client directly to get the balance. Once the client pays, you get the remainder, minus the factoring fee.
In most cases, the expansion of your business will be moving to a bigger or better facility. However, if you want to have total control over the building, you need to work with developers and investors. Construction loans enable you to break ground without having to borrow vast amounts. These loans are also structured to pay out based on milestones, thus protecting both you and the lender.
Sometimes, you need money to make a deal, but you don’t have enough cash on hand. A bridge loan is fast financing that you can use to pay for significant investments that will yield a hefty return. Bridge loans are typically for one year, and they do have high interest rates, but they move a lot faster than traditional business loans.
Lines of Credit
If your company has a good credit history, then your best option may be to get a line of credit instead of a loan. This way, you can borrow as necessary and pay it back as you go.
You need to be smart about financing your business. We specialize in helping entrepreneurs get the money you need while balancing out interest rates and repayment terms. Call us today to find out how we can assist with your business financing.