Business Equipment Finance – 4 Tips on How to Find the Right Provider

Finding good business equipment finance or an office equipment leasing company is a very important step in getting a good deal. This is because this type of deal leads to a long time relationship and if the business equipment finance provider is not genuine or competent enough, there is a chance your operations could get hurt.

In fact the right company can make a huge difference towards how your business operates and how successful it can be. Here are four tips which will help you choose the right business equipment finance company.

1) Choose the company which provides excellent service

Equipment financing is an attractive and economical business option. But without quality service, it can prove to be a big drag on your business. Your chosen equipment financing partner should be prompt and honest about the kind of service they can provide under different circumstances.

To take a measure of their sincerity, describe different circumstances you might encounter during the period of the equipment use and see what their response is. If they sound vague or overzealous, you should look elsewhere. You can also talk to their existing and previous clients and gauge their responses.

2) There should be an efficient process

If a business equipment finance provider knows its business i.e. is experienced in your sort of equipment financing deals, the processes must be already established and everything should go smoothly. Also they should be willing to help you out with the paperwork and other procedures and they should offer you a slew of options so that you can choose the best deal.

3) The equipment leasing plan should be flexible

No two businesses are identical, even if they are in the same industry and share the same location. The circumstances, needs, vision, mission and culture will have them differ like chalk and cheese. So there can’t be a fit-to-all solution.

The business equipment finance deal you get should be tailored to match the needs of your company, including your cash flow, capital, and tax situation. Moreover the payments and terms of the plan should be flexible and scalable i.e., it should fit you fine in all your business cycles, including periods of growth and downturns.

You should also get the freedom to lengthen the term or pay the loan out early without any fee or penalty. Of course, you have to negotiate hard for this but if you are a good candidate and your business fundamentals are sound, there is no reason why finance companies would like to lose a good customer like you.

These options will help you tide over the downturns without much pain as you would be able to free your cash flow by opting to stretch the term. Also when the going is good, you can save money on interest and pay the term out faster.

4) You should get freedom of selection

you are best placed to judge what kind of equipment your business needs. The business equipment finance company should have the wherewithal to allow you to choose the equipment your business needs so that your operations can run at optimum productivity levels. You don’t want to be stuck with outdated machinery and equipment, even if it is cheap, because it will eventually hurt your business interests in the long term.

A Different Solution for Business Inventory Financing

We feel sorry for you. Your firm is not in the service industry. They are the lucky ones with respect to inventory financing – there is no inventory! Unlike your business, which produces goods and carries inventory to meet customer order needs your services firms have no storage requirements!

If your firm has an investment in inventory then financing for that asset is often, if not always, vital. Financing via bank credit lines for the inventory component of your balance sheet is always difficult, if not in some cases impossible. Most business owners and financial managers know that of your two major current assets ( receivables and inventory ) that banks prefer receivable, aka a/r financing.

So how do you finance your inventory, and what are the requirements to get such a facility in place? The reality is that every business is different and your firm will have different categories of inventory – most commonly they are raw materials, work in progress, and finished goods.

Inventory financing in Canada is most often financed under an ABL facility. What is ABL is the next question our clients always ask. The acronym stands for asset based lending, and is a specialized type of financing that is mostly carried out by non bank institutions. Facility sizes tend to range from 250k and up, as it is not really economical for all parties (you and the lender) for finance amounts much under that.

Your ability to control, report, and purchase inventory most economically are key drivers in an inventory financing decision made by your inventory financier. Your ability to monitor, stock, and produce and bill and collect are the basic requirements for an inventory financing facility. We would point out that in many cases this facility also includes a receivable component, because, as we all known, inventory flows into a receivable which flows into… dare we say it… cash!

If you are unable to finance your inventory properly you can very easily get into what can best be describe as a ‘ cash trap ‘- and that’s not a good trap to be in. Typically each one thousand dollars of inventory on hand can cost you between 150 and 250 dollars per year when you take into account some obvious and not so obvious factors such as financing costs, storage, handling, insurance, and deterioration of the inventory which by its necessity forces you to do an asset write down.

The irony is of course that you can have too much inventory or too little, it’s a balance act.

When you arrange inventory financing you want to ensure you have reasonable levels of product – so you need to focus on both financing cost and order costs.

If you have inventory financing fast efficient turns are potentially more possible and you annual carrying costs can be dramatically reduced- don’t forget that the cash you invest in inventory could be put to work elsewhere and in many cases earn, for example, at least 12% more in profits. That’s a very typical number for a manufacturer.

Business Financing: Using Business Seller Financing

What Is Seller Financing?

When selling a small business, one of the most important things you need to consider is where to find your prospective clients, and how you can attract them to buy your business. Seller financing is one of the things you can offer to attract a wider scope of prospective buyers. There may be a lot of buyers who will be interested in your business and they have the skills to run and manage it properly, but lack of financing prevents them from buying it. You will surely sell your business faster for the price you want if you try to understand buyers’ motivation in purchasing your business, and if you are willing to accommodate the buyers’ inquiries.

What Is Business Seller Financing?

At some point in owning a business, you may admit that you just suddenly want to sell your business for X amount. You may have arrived at this estimated price by using a combination of valuation methods. These include analyzing the sale price of related businesses for sale in your location and other areas, determining the corporate assets’ value, and factoring potential growth of revenue. Whether or not the buyer agrees to your asking price also relies on a number of factors, but the most important of all is business financing. Not all aspiring entrepreneurs have enough cash on hand to buy a small business. Most of them have money for the down payment and they plan to pay for the balance via loan transactions. Credit unions and banks are the ones to turn to for business loans, but due to current condition of the economy, business and consumer credit markets have become strict and tight on providing loans. With this, aspiring business owners turn to business seller financing, where the owner of the business for sale acts as the lender.

Why Offer Business Financing?

The following are some of the reasons why you ought to consider seller-based financing when you sell a business:

The interested buyer intends to meet your asking price but is short on available cash to pay the amount in full.
The interested buyer has excellent credit and a solid knowledge of the industry. However, he is unable to get financing due to current economic conditions.
You wish to lessen your tax liability by receiving the profits of the sale in installments instead of a lump sum.
You want to retain some control over the company during the transition process to ensure its ongoing success.
Seller Financing: How Does It Work?

Being the owner of a small business for sale, you may want to check the credit status of every potential buyer of your business. The information you need to examine are net worth, credit history (commercial and personal), as well as the experience the buyer has in your industry. Surely, you want to be certain that the buyer will run the company successfully so he or she can pay you on your loan. Some business sellers ask for a higher down payment compared to banks and other credit unions because the risks are significantly higher. This process attracts buyers since you are willing to invest time and money for their success. Once you and the buyer have agreed on the sale price, interest rate, and loan period, you can offer 7 to 10 years payback duration.

There are different ways to set payments. Some have varied tax consequences on the seller so be sure to consult a tax attorney before completing the payment paperwork. A straight-line payment allows the same amount to be paid each month until the entire loan is settled. It is also quite rare to find provisions that penalize prospective buyers for paying off the loan early. Any interest paid by the seller is offset by quickly gaining the use of the entire loan amount. Another payment method is based on a performance-based schedule. With this, payments go up at times of higher than average net income, and decline when sales go down.