How Much Is Enough to Borrow for Your Business?

by Crestmark 25. September 2014 06:25

When you're struggling with meeting the financial demands of your business, you may need access to capital. Whether you're a newer business or you've been established for quite some time, a shortage in cash flow can hinder your operations. It's important to decide exactly how much you need to borrow when you're worried about making payroll, securing supplies for an upcoming special project, or when you need to take care of unexpected equipment repairs. If you borrow too much, you're spending more than you need to on interest and loan repayment and that’s money that you could be spending on other things. If you don’t borrow enough, you'll be scrambling to cover your expenses. 

 

      

Here are some tips for narrowing down your budget to help you determine the amount of working capital you might need:

 

Forecasting Your Future

Use conservative estimates on leads, conversions, sales and profit margins. 

Analyze previous monthly, quarterly and annual reports for a comparable estimate. 

Learn your industry's high and low seasons; not only when they happen, but why they happen. 

Make projections for company growth, in both employee needs, equipment needs, and customer growth.

When you're planning to borrow money for a new chapter in your company's history, factor in the method, fees and interest associated with your financing.

 

New Businesses

If your business is young, it can be even more difficult to estimate how much you'll need to handle growth. A common rule of thumb is to try to cover costs through the first six months of business, but it’s a good idea to build in a safety margin even above the 6-month mark.  Here are expense categories you should analyze: 

Payroll – Add up the salaries and wages for yourself, your employees and anyone else doing work for your company. Include sales, human resources and seasonal help. Don't forget the taxes and fees that must be paid to the government and to any associations.

Marketing and Collateral Expenses – Include the costs of signs and business cards, marketing materials, and product or service development.  

Overhead – Estimate costs for your office and operations, including rent or mortgage, supplies, insurance plans and utilities, business licensure, vehicle registration and long-term equipment. Consider all of the necessities you'll have to purchase, even furniture and computers.

Extra Expenses – Talk to someone experienced in your business or ask a mentor for advice. They would be a great resource for information about expenses, fees and pitfalls you may not have considered. Most business owners are willing to help with hints and experiences that will help other people avoid repeating their mistakes. 

 

Established Businesses

If you've been in business for a while, you may be planning to expand your operations. If you want to get a loan or business line of credit, it's important to organize your books and understand where all of your money is coming from and where it's going. Ensure that you'll have enough funding by making a list of your current and future expenses, as well as your sources of income. 

Start with your routine expenses that are part of your monthly budget.

If you're expanding, list any costs involved in additional personnel, equipment, office space and operating supplies. 

For special projects, total the amount of capital needed to fund. Look at supplies, personnel, shipping and transportation.  

Borrowing the right amount of money can help you grow your business without the aches and pain of overwhelming expenses. Once you've mapped out all of your costs and projected your income, you'll have a better idea of how much you need to borrow. While there's no exact science to estimating the right amount of financing, doing your homework will get you closer to a reasonable estimate.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to go through this process alone. The lending experts at Crestmark can work with you to determine the best solution. Give us a call today! 

 

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Business

What Type of Lender is Right for My Business?

by Crestmark 10. July 2014 05:54

When business owners or executives first realize the need for working capital, it can be difficult to know where to start. People often ask, “Should I call my local bank? What about non-traditional lenders? What’s the difference between the two?” We hear this all the time, and wanted to provide a resource to help! 

We recently released an Infographic titled “What Type of Lender is Right for My Business?” This provides a quick and easy reference piece for prospective borrowers to determine whether they’d be better suited pursuing a traditional bank line of credit, or to look into alternative financing. Each lending option has unique characteristics, and this infographic helps clarify how different business situations are best suited for certain lending options. 

The infographic follows a flow-chart format, and leads users through a series of yes / no choices about their business. Key points that determine the right fit include: 

- Does your business have three or more years of positive business history?

- Do you have limited or negative equity?

- Do you have limited or inconsistent profitability?

- Do your assets exceed your liabilities?

- Does your business have positive trends?

- Are there opportunities for growth?

By answering each of these questions, it’s easy to see whether your business may qualify for traditional or non-traditional lending. We are excited about this release, and hope that many businesses find this useful! 

              is alternate lending right for my business

Are you in the market for a business loan? If so, ask yourself the questions on this infographic and then give us a call to discuss! We’d love to help walk you through the process of figuring out what lending option would be best for you and your business. 

 

 

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Business

Crestmark Featured in 'The Secured Lender' Magazine

by Crestmark 2. June 2014 12:39

Asset-based lending and staffing agencies make good business partners. It's something that we've known at Crestmark for quite some time. The Commercial Finance Association's "The Secured Lender" magazine recently featured Crestmark's West Division President, Pat Haney, and East Division President, Steve Tomasello, in an in-depth look at how and why staffing agencies and asset-based lending companies are a good fit for each other. 

In short, the article "Perfect Partners" explains how asset-based lending companies like Crestmark are able to understand, work with and scale to the long-term needs of clients like staffing agencies that are in a position to grow quickly. While their financial outlooks are promising, staffing agencies have needs that can't be met by traditional lenders and standard bank loans. 

crestmark in secured lender

"Staffing's only going to grow. It's the second-largest segment in our portfolio, and we only see that continuing in the future," Tomasello explained in the article.

In select industries, companies are hiring workers, but only on a temporary basis at the moment. That means they need the flexibility of staffing agencies that can handle the recruiting and screening process until this growth becomes more permanent. Staffing agencies don't always meet the requirements of traditional lenders, making asset-based lenders ideal partners for meeting the rapidly rising costs of financing payroll, insurance, taxes and other related expenses.  

"Strong cash flow is imperative for the staffing industry," said Haney. "Without it, they may get so far behind on tax payments that they go out of business."

Both the staffing agency and the lender need to understand how the other company works, especially when it comes to the lag time between when the employee is paid by the agency and when the agency is paid by its client company.

As with all successful relationships, communication, patience and flexibility are key factors in making the partnership beneficial to both the lender and the borrower.

Want to see the full article in "The Secured Lender" magazine? Read "Perfect Partners" here.

 

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Asset Based Loans

Three Ways To Cover Payroll Funding

by Crestmark 8. October 2012 10:03

Payroll funding can be one of the biggest financial obligations that your business faces. Depending on your size and your industry, payroll financing may be one of your biggest expenses alongside materials. But how do you cover it? And what can you do if your staff frequently changes? The answer may be a line of credit. There are three major types that offer the flexible kind of funding that works best for payroll.

Accounts Receivable Financing

A/R financing, also known as a ledgered line of credit, is a flexible option that works for a wide variety of businesses. Every invoice you issue is recorded and funding is issued based on that. This structure means that it's a highly adaptable form of credit, but it also means that it can exactly match your current needs. As you issue more invoices, you're going to need to spend more to finance them – and accounts receivable financing provides the funds you need.

Invoice Factoring

Factoring offers flexible financing that functions very similarly to a line of credit but is not technically considered one. Under an invoice factoring agreement Crestmark structures your funding facility based on accounts receivable/invoices. The invoices are purchased at a discount to provide immediate availability of funds to your company.

Asset Based Lending

This form of line of credit is secured based on inventory, invoices, or a combination of the two. The amount available through a line of credit varies according to how much inventory is owned or how many invoices are issued. The main difference between asset-based lending and accounts receivable financing is how much funding is issued. With ABL, assets (including invoices) are reported in batches, whereas accounts receivable financing will involve submitting each invoice individually. 

Is It Important To Find A Finance Company That Specializes In Your Industry?

by Crestmark 23. May 2012 12:19

Are all factoring companies equally capable of financing every deal? From the perspective of someone seeking credit for your business, it can be tempting to knock on the door of every bank and non-traditional lender in your area and online. But is it really better to work with anyone who will give you the kind of loan you need?

Your Field Is Unique

Immersed in the daily reality of life in your industry, it's easy to lose perspective on just how unique your business really is. The flow of revenue for the transportation industry – punctuated by delays, spiking gas prices, and lag time between payments – is very different from the expected pattern in a staffing agency, which in turn is different from a retail business. Because non-traditional lenders are often relying on these patterns to provide financing, it's vital that they have an understanding of what to expect. Your explanations may not tell them what they need to know.

A Specialized Company Has Custom Solutions Ready To Go

Many fields have developed specific lending practices that are unique within that industry. For example, trucking has freight bill financing and fuel cards. Government contract financing has to understand the additional paperwork and disclosure requirements that are necessary when working with federal or state organizations. A company that has worked with your field before knows what to expect and has already created unique solutions that are designed specifically to meet your needs. You just won't find that level of service in factoring companies that don't know your business.

Crestmark has always been proud of our customized offerings for fields like staffing, manufacturing, transportation, apparel, and government contracting. Even when we don't have prior experience in your field (a rarity considering the diversity of our staff and years of lending across industries) we know the questions to ask in order to provide you with the right non-traditional lending tools for your needs. 


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