Business Cash Advance & Business Financing Alternatives 

Your Next Business Computer – To Buy or Lease?

Financing your office equipment with cash advancesIn contemplating getting your next office computer, one decision to weigh is whether to buy or lease your office equipment, specifically your computers. Each route has its benefits.

  1. Leasing: The lease option on either a refurbished or new computer has the advantage of allowing a faster tax write-off. At the end of the lease it can be turned in and a more up-to-date computer can be leased.An added attraction for the leased computer may be to purchased the computer from the leasing company for a nominal amount and then auctioned it off in-house to employees. This both allows the company to recuperate a little of the computer expense and helps build morale since an employee will get a good computer for a good price.
  2. Purchasing. The benefit of getting a new computer is, aside from being assured you have the fastest one on the market, is that it can be purchased with a longer parts and labor warranty period, usually up to 3 years. If your office has little tolerance for computer downtime, having the warranty that guarantees a new computer or replacement hardware part delivered in 24 hours is very helpful.

A new computer also has less risk that new software will not run on its dated operating system. The rule of thumb is that if your operating system is three generations old you will run into more situations where software companies drop off supporting the software running on that platform or do not make their new software backwards compatible to run on the older operating system.

If companies do not have security or support concerns with the Linux platform and the Open Office software suite with its spreadsheet and word processor that runs on Linux, then the age of the computer and the version of the operating system are less of a concern, since they are always being upgraded for free.

An additional option for businesses is to get a business cash advance to pay for the computer and use their future VISA/MasterCard sales to repay the cash advance. US Business Finance Corp helps many small businesses acquire needed financing for office equipment and manufacturing tooling using cash advances.

Taking these two points into account – to buy or lease – companies can better determine how their new computer will affect their cash flow and how quickly they can see a return on their investment.

Commercial Business Financing – Small Businesses Options

Alternate financing for commercial business funding needsCommercial business financing is the oil that keeps the wheels of commerce turning smoothly. Small business owners have an array of commercial lending institutions and programs from which to pursue their funding needs. US Business Finance Corporation has a solid history of helping small businesses leverage their assets and find commercial financing in difficult financial markets, because we understand both the small business needs and the capital markets.

Among commercial lending institutions there are the traditional sources of business loans, such as banks and credit unions, and the more aggressive financing sources in the venture capital markets, and then there is the cutting edge alternative business financing sources. US Business Finance Corp is an alternative business financing company that has connections to many traditional commercial financing establishments, but works to serve the small businesses that do not have the established business background necessary to get bank financing. This gives US Business Finance the ability to offer unsecured cash advances on the one hand and also help businesses secure traditional commercial loans with the other hand.

The array of commercial financing programs that alternative business lenders offer includes those demanding collateral, such as business equipment financing, commercial real estate mortgages, and accounts receivables financing or factoring. Financing options that may incur more risk are the unsecured business loans, loan applications with poor credit history, mezzanine financing and venture capital financing

Business cash advances are a commercial financing alternative to traditional loans made possible by the advent of the credit card industry. Where A/R financing and factoring are programs that utilize uncollected funds on past sales, business cash advances are pledged future credit card sales receipts. Specifically, US Business Finance Corp provides advances on your future VISA and MasterCard sales.

US Business Finance Corp has built a satisfied clientele of small business owners who have relied on cash advances more than once in place of getting a commercial business loan. Though cash advances are our specialty, we also use our financing experience to work for the best commercial loan or business equipment financing program to fit your business needs.

Whether you are searching for commercial financing for buying a business, starting your own small business, or have plans for expansion or renovation of your current business, call on US Business Finance Corp. We can help you through the entire financing process from application to funding and, for larger financing projects; we can assist in the preparing of your business presentation to maximize your ability to obtain your commercial loan.

Managing Your Company’s Cash Flow On A Shoestring Budget

Bootstrapping your business startupWhen bootstrapping your new business – making it pay for itself instead of borrowing operating capital or to make you borrowed capital go farther – knowing how to stretch a dollar is very necessary. The following tips help small business owners improve their cash flow and keep their expenses manageable.

  1. Use your credit line to your advantage. Even if your credit is not what a bank needs to see to extend credit, it is probably more than enough to get credit lines established with your suppliers. Even a small credit line opens the door to business and with prompt payments typically leads to greater extensions of credit in the future.
  2. Try to negotiate payment terms. Normal terms are net 30, but some suppliers will allow a discount for early payment. If the nature of your business demands and you are dealing with a large supplier it may be possible to negotiate a 45 days instead of 30.
  3. Limit and time your asset purchases. When outfitting your office, be it computers, software, or printers, find the best pricing, if possible wait for sales and then time your purchase so you are not paying for an item months before you actually use it to make money. Also, when beginning, many times older versions of software do the job just as well as the latest version, but for less money. Also, with the growing shareware and freeware, usable software for everything from graphics, web creating and office suites is available online. One caveat is to beware of free software that has advertising or spyware attached – it is never worth the headaches.
  4. Use your credit cards to your best advantage. With an eye to keeping balances below 50%, using your credit card can earn you reward points that can be translated into free air miles or hotel stays for your business trips. Your credit cards might also be used to turn a 30 account into a 50 day account by paying your supplier on the due date with your credit card and then paying the credit card bill when it comes due.
  5. Explore the barter economy. Trading services for services or products for services in a win-win deal can help both businesses. These successful partnerships can also bring in referral business. In this way, neither company has to outlay cash to achieve their goals, but both businesses benefit in monetary ways from the service provided.

Using these five ideas to help get creative with how you manage your cash flow pays off over time by increasing your cash on hand and keeping your interest on expenses to a minimum.

Five Steps to Improve Your Business’s Financial Statements

Prepare for financial review by your lenders.Small businesses looking for additional working capital can take steps now to improve their financial position and statements before approaching their banker. Most entrepreneurs are most at home in the salesman role and preparing their business for financing is not of the highest priority. US Business Finance Corp has found that following these five steps can help your business prepare great looking financial statements.

First step, create a monthly budget. Using a spreadsheet with a column for each month helps you keep important quarterly payments on your budgeting radar. The spreadsheet can often become your Cash Flow Statement used to obtain funding. Use the first column to list all the vendors or expenses and the second column for the bill due date (or the date you will pay it). The payment date column also helps keep your credit score at its best with no reported late payments.

Second, think of your employees as an asset! Their knowledge and experience enhances your company’s customer service level and a more experienced management and employee base shows banks that your business is stable and experienced. Also, new employees need to be trained – and if that training comes from the small business owner, that is costly in terms of the owner’s time.

Keep a lean inventory. Carefully weigh the benefits of buying more inventories at “bargain” prices against its impact on your cash flow, the “money cost” of holding the inventory, and time issues, such as perishable products, theft loss, storage costs or inventory going out of style.

Fourth, take the time to send out invoices in a timely manner – your creditors do! Keep your thirty days net to thirty days. You usually pay for the invoicing delay time with higher interest payments, not to mention the stress.

Lastly, take the time to go over your spending at the end of the month. Make sure the actual expenses are in line with your original budget. Avoid cash flow impacts of new purchases of inventory or equipment that are outside the budget constraints by lining up the ability to counter the expense with income prior to incurring the expense.

US Business Finance Corp has seen many companies avoid the lengthy loan process by using a Business Cash Advance to handle additional inventory or equipment costs as well as build in the ability to repay the advance from future VISA/MasterCard credit card purchases. Often, reducing expenses is not an option, so our cash advance will allow you the extra money for necessary spending without compromising your service or product availability that your customers have come to expect.

Talk to the funding professionals at US Business Finance Corp to see how easy it is to obtain your cash advance as your company grows in profitability each day.

See Your Business Cash Flow As Your Lender Does

Operating capital for improved business cash flowUnderstanding cash flow and your business’s liquidity – its ability to handle all immediate operating capital needs – is understanding the financial health of your business. Lenders look at your business either from a liquidity perspective or at your company’s “Current Ratio”. Seeing your business as your lender does is a financial education and a necessary preparatory step to pursuing operating capital financing.

Your company’s liquidity, or operating capital, is the difference between your assets, including cash on hand, accounts receivables and inventory, and your liabilities, including all the loans and accounts payables. If your company has $250,000 of assets and $200,000 worth of liabilities, your liquidity is $50,000.

Being aware of your liquidity, by keeping both the company’s assets and liabilities in mind gives you the most realistic perspective of your company’s financial health. A trap business owners can fall into is being aware of their assets and cash on hand, but forget about those out-of-sight liabilities. This is similar to the situation where children make their beds and then stuff all their toys under it and call the room clean, but Mom (just like your lender) knows that the liabilities are there.

The other method of measuring cash flow is the Current Ratio. This is a ratio derived from dividing your current assets by current liabilities. Taking the example above, the current ratio would be 1.25. A current ratio above 1 is healthy and the higher the number the better. Dun & Bradstreet calculate industry current ratio averages, so you can compare your business to others in your trade.

Knowing where your company’s Current Ratio is and what ratios are in your lender’s loan criteria helps you set sales goals and financial targets to bring your current ratio in line with what is necessary to get the best interest rates and financing packages.

If your cash flow situation is tight and bank loans are not an immediate option, US Business Finance Corp’s team of financing solution specialists will work quickly and efficiently to support your operating capital requirements. Fill out our simple Business Cash Advance Application or call us to see how easy and quickly we can help you deal with your operating capital challenges with our business cash advance program.

Venture Capital Still Strong In Hot Markets

Venture and alternative operating capital sourceIn its report that tracks venture capital trends, the Dow Jones VentureSource showed the 2008 first quarter overall number of deals and funds invested was lower than 2007, though up in certain hot markets. VentureSource is Dow Jones’ arm that provides financial data to the venture capital industry. Similar to the real estate market, only certain sectors of investment were down – usually the areas with bad news.

Venture capital poured into the California and the New York regions. The San Francisco area saw a 10% increase in venture capital funding. New York saw the amount of investments more than double from its 2007 level with 52 deals bringing in $602 million. Across the New York state line, New England weathered a lower investment rate, but still ranked as the fourth most active region in the US.

The newer technology area springing up around Washington DC also realized an increase of almost 100% with $241 million invested in 17 venture financing deals.

The Research Triangle area of North Carolina felt the pull-back from investment in life sciences companies with only four investment deals going forward for $19 million. Both the biotech and biopharmaceutical industries showed less investment, some of which can be attributed to the cyclical nature or that industry.

Deals that required late stage financing were also ahead of 2007, possibly signaling a more conservative approach to investment while the economy goes through its recovery from setbacks in the housing markets.

Small businesses looking for venture capital for “clean” industries in the energy, agriculture and specialty chemicals are in a good position to benefit from the strong interest in these areas from the private investment community.

US Business Finance Corp uses its experience in business planning and its connections in the venture capital arena to help small businesses, especially businesses that have an IPO as part of their exit strategy, obtain venture capital financing. Small businesses have depended on US Business Finance Corp for their programs that get them the operating capital they need when they need it and in the way that is best for their companies.