When Is A Working Capital Loan is Right for Your Company! Financing A Business For Your Working Capital And Funding Needs
Many business owners turn to working capital loans any time they need to get their hands on some quick cash. The truth is that this type of loan is better used when you need to stay afloat, cover general operating expenses, and pay bills with invoice financing. These products essentially buy you some time so you can come up with new ways to generate revenue based on your existing assets and resources.
Financing a business always seems to come back to that tried and true (cliché?) term of cash flow to finance the daily needs of your business. So when it comes to loans for businesses in Canada it is no surprise that cash flow is often called the lifeblood of your company day to day operations.
What Is A Working Capital Loan Used For?
It's all about your day to day operations, not long term financial commitments such as leases for equipment financing, term debt, etc. The most common day to day cash needs include payables, the financing of accounts receivable, salaries, and fixed costs such as rent, utilities, etc.
No matter how overused the term might be most business owners and financial mgrs would not dispute the need for the right amount, and type of business funding . That involves taking a hard look at your balance sheet and reviewing the relationship of the current ratio items, namely your short term assets such as a/r and inventory, as well as obligations such as payables, loan payments, etc. That current ratio drives your working capital and cash flow loan needs.
The downside of not having, or being able to arrange cash flow and working capital financing is simply that you have a lesser ability to grow sales, maximize profits and take advantage of new opportunities.
So what in fact are the working capital and financing issues that are raised on an ongoing basis for your business?
Factors To Consider When Financing A Business
Key is understanding how your receivables, inventory, and other assets come together to drive working capital and cash flow. And, to our point, how do you finance those assets and those needs?
What are the real drivers in funding need - typically it's growing revenues, expanding, and in some cases buying or merging with another business.
Although most business owners/financial mgrs can't imagine having too much capital for their business that overabundance would actually mean you are not using capital properly! The bottom line, as experienced by most business folks, is that financing a business is actually a balancing act when business capital is sought.
One of the main things you should focus on is your ability to pay your current debt - On the balance sheet, your accountant shows that as ' current portion of long term debt ' - You always want to be in a position to meet these obligations as failure to do that means you are bordering on insolvency. All of that snowballs into major issues with your bank, your suppliers, and other creditors such as leasing or finance firms.
So as we have said, you need to be able to calculate, or measure working capital, and then address how you will satisfy the need that comes out of those numbers. There are some easy calculations you can perform in measuring your overall cash flow - it's really simply understanding your inventory and A/R turns, as well as having a handle on your accounts payable days outstanding.
If it was a perfect world you could raise all the working capital you need internally. How would that work?! Well, using an extreme example if you collected your receivables in 45 days, and turned your inventory in 45 days, and were able to pay your payables every 90 days you would be very self-financing.
Sounds great, except you can hear your suppliers and creditors now I bet... Also, the profits that you generate out of your business obviously become a new additional part of the working capital component and would even further benefit your overall position.
But let's get back to the real world, which states that if you have more current assets than current liabilities you 99% of the time need external working capital.
Canadian business owners achieve that additional working capital in a number of ways - the most beneficial is bank lines of credit, or in some cases, if your firm meets the criteria, a cash flow working capital loan. If you are unable to meet bank criteria and are still in a challenged or growing position then we advise clients to consider a non bank working capital or asset based lending facility.
How To Get A Working Capital Loan
Numerous new solutions in financing a business have emerged in Canada. That includes cash advance merchant lenders as well as common subsets of what is known as alternative financing. Those subsets, actual real world solutions include a/r financing, working capital term loans, tax credit financing, inventory finance, and mezzanine cash flow loans for more established firms.
When it comes to the merchant advance lenders the focus is on typical business credit optics such as how long your company has been in business, what your annual revenues are, and the overall turnover of current asset categories such as receivables and inventory.
Depending on the size of the transaction the personal credit history of the owner/owners is also a subject point in the overall decision. As far as ' working capital loan repayment ' works the formula is actually quite simple - a short term loan based on approx 10-20% of your annual sales that is repaid monthly, or sometimes weekly based on a review of your cash inflows.
If those receivables we discussed tend to be your main current asset than a factoring or invoice discounting facility makes the most sense. Most Canadian business owners don't fully understand how factoring in Canada works, and are often confused by the costs and process. At 7 Park Avenue Financial our recommended funding solution in this area is Confidential Receivable Financing. This is not a receivables loan but a true sales based cash flow financing facility.
It is critical to ensure that you are matching your business financing needs against either a long term or short term solution. When your company needs new equipment, real estate, etc the business owner and financial manager must explore options such as equipment loans or commercial mortgages where payments are fixed and amortized over longer terms.
When it comes to an ' operating loan ' solutions for your company include a traditional bank revolving credit facility or in some cases an alternative lending solution such as a non bank asset based lending facility.
The Canada Small Business Loan financing program, unfortunately, does not cover working capital needs, although the government's crown corporation non bricks and morter entity does offer long term working capital loans that come with prerequisites of profits and a reasonable balance sheet.
Export Development Corporation ( EDC Direct Lending ) and the somewhat related financing of refundable tax credits are solutions, but these facilities take a significant amount of time to set up. When exploring government loans or related financings it is strongly recommended that you use the services of a business financing consultant with expertise in this area.
Alternative lending Canada based solutions are continuing to dominate Canadian business financing needs and compete regularly with traditional business offerings provided by Canadian chartered banks and are truly an advanced alternative lending solution when traditional financing doesn't solve your business capital needs.
So what’s our bottom line recap - it’s simple!
Understand how much financing you need - that means ' measuring' your needs, as well as what type of funding suits that need. Seek out and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor with a financing track record of success.
7 Park Avenue Financial :
South Sheridan Executive Centre
2910 South Sheridan Way
Click Here For 7 PARK AVENUE FINANCIAL website !
7 Park Avenue Financial provides value-added financing consultation for small and medium-sized businesses in the areas of cash flow, working capital, and debt financing.
Business financing for Canadian firms, specializing in working capital, cash flow, asset based financing, Equipment Leasing, franchise finance and Cdn. Tax Credit Finance. Founded 2004 - Completed in excess of 100 Million $ of financing for Canadian corporations.
Stan has had a successful career with some of the world’s largest and most successful corporations. He is an experienced
business financing consultant.
Prior to founding 7 Park Avenue Financial in 2004 his employers over the last 25 years were, ASHLAND OIL, ( 1977-1980) DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, ( 1980-1990) ) CABLE & WIRELESS PLC,( 1991 -1993) ) AND HEWLETT PACKARD ( 1994-2004 ) He is an expert in Canadian Business Financing.
Stan has over 40 years of
business and financing experience. He has been recognized as a credit/financial executive for three of the largest technology companies in the world; Hewlett-Packard, Digital Equipment and Cable & Wireless. Stan has had in-depth, hands-on experience in assessing and evaluating thousands of companies that are seeking financing and expansion. He has been instrumental in helping many companies progress through every phase of financing, mergers & acquisitions, sales and marketing and human resources. Stan has worked with startups and public corporations and has many times established the financial wherewithal of organizations before approving millions of dollars of financing facilities and instruments on behalf of his employers.