Although the recession has been technically over for a while, finding business financing remains almost as challenging as it was during the worst part of it. This is due to a combination of lending institutions being in bad financial shape and lenders being more conservative in their lending. In the end, they only provide business loans to companies that are in pristine shape. That means that companies need to have two to three years of positive financial statements, have strong cash flows, strong assets and a seasoned management team. However, few companies have survived the recession unscathed and most can’t meet these requirements. If a company is viable but has a less than perfect past – what are their options?
Most companies that look for financing tend to have a similar problem – poor cash flow. This problem starts (or worsens) when customers start paying their invoices late or asking for longer payment terms. Invoices that used to be paid in 15 to 20 days, now get paid in 30 to 40 days. Some customers may take up to 60 days to pay an invoice. In the meantime, the company still needs to cover all their current expenses.
This can put a company in a precarious position, especially if it does not have strong cash reserves. They risk missing a critical supplier payment or worse, missing payroll. One way to fix this problem without using a business loan is to use invoice factoring.
Invoice factoring provides an advance for slow paying invoices. This provides the company with the necessary funds to meet supplier payments and other expenses. More important, it stabilizes cash flow by providing predictable invoice payments, allowing the company owner to focus on growing the business.
When cash flow is tight, owners fret over taking on new business and adding customers because they are unsure if they will be able to cover expenses until the client pays. Invoice factoring solves this problem – allowing the business to take on new clients and grow.
Integrating factoring to a company is fairly easy. Usually, the factoring company will give you an advance of up to 85% on your invoice as soon as the work is completed. The remaining funds, less the fee, are rebated when your customer actually pays.
Qualifying for factoring is much easier than qualifying for other types of financing. The most important requirement to qualify is to do business with customers that have good commercial credit. Aside from that, your company needs to be free of liens, judgments and tax problems.
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