Business Financial Plan

How to Write a Simple Business Financial Plan

10:30 31 October in Business Funding

One of the most important documents you should have is a business financial plan. A carefully crafted, well-thought out plan can help you determine your current, and future cash needs. In addition, most businesses will be unable to borrow money, factor contracts, or establish lines of credit unless they can provide a financial plan to their lender.

What Information to Include in a Financial Plan

Your financial plan is not only necessary, and helpful for potential lenders or investors, but it can also be an invaluable tool for you to determine what steps to take in your business. The ideal financial plan will have multiple sections including:

  1. Current Financial Status– business assets, cash on hand, outstanding debts, and outstanding accounts receivable should be carefully recorded. Once you have completed recording all items, you should create a balance sheet showing your current financial status. SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) has a template designed for small businesses, but may be used for a business of any size.
  2. Prior Financial Statements– unless this is your first full year in business, your financial plan should also include your prior years’ financials. In most cases, a completed tax return will suffice, but it is also a good idea to have the complete breakdown of the monthly income and expenses available for review if requested.
  3. Projected Financial Analysis – it is important to project your income, expenses, and earnings out past the date you are seeking financing. In most cases, a three-year projection is sufficient; although in most cases, business owners are encouraged to look ahead five years. Ideally, your financial projections should contain the following:
Sales
Cost/ Goods Sold (COGS)
Gross Profit
Operating Expenses
Salary (Office & Overhead)
Payroll (taxes etc.)
Outside Services
Supplies (off and operation)
Repairs/ Maintenance
Advertising
Car, Delivery and Travel
Accounting and Legal
Rent & Related Costs
Telephone
Utilities
Insurance
Taxes (real estate etc.)
Interest
Depreciation
Other expense (specify)
Total Expenses
Net Profit Before Taxes
Income Taxes
Net Operating Income

Always keep your projections realistic; a lender will ask you the basis of your projections and you should always be prepared to explain why you have chosen the numbers you did. Remember, things like fixed costs of rent, insurance, and real estate taxes may increase over time; take this into consideration when preparing your projections. This section should be based on your current income, expenses, etc. Do not include any projections that would include funds borrowed.

  1. Develop a Cash-Flow Statement – using your financial analysis as a starting point, you will also need to develop a cash flow statement. This should cover the same period as your financial analysis but contains additional information. When preparing these statements, you should take into consideration the amount of money you are planning to borrow, changes in staffing, and any new investments you plan to make in equipment, or inventory. If you are planning on pursuing new contracts, any projects you anticipate will be successful should be carefully recorded as well.
  2. Breakeven Analysis – hopefully before you seek financing, your business is already profitable. However, if it is not, you should develop a breakeven analysis after you have developed the other parts of your financial plan. This is important; a lender will want to be assured their investment will bring your business towards profitability.

Financial Plans: Not Just Valuable For Lenders

When creating a financial plan, it is important to keep in mind, it is not only useful for lenders. Business owners can, and should review their financial plans from time to time to determine if they are on track with projections, or if they need to readjust their projections. Looking at where your business finances were in the past, and what you anticipate doing in the future can help you achieve realistic goals, and help you set new goals for your business. Business owners who set realistic goals, and have ideas for meeting those goals, are more likely to find long-term success.

Financial plans for your business need not be complex; however, they should provide actual data.

Secured Business Line of Credit

How to Get a Secured Business Line of Credit

10:30 24 October in Business Funding

A Secured Business line of credit can provide you with capital, but, more importantly, they provide flexibility. Unlike a traditional loan, when you use a line of credit, you are in control of how the funds are spent. In addition, lines of credit typically carry a lower interest rate than credit cards, offer low monthly payments, and can be used repeatedly as you make payments. This makes them an ideal funding option for many companies. However, for some, a lack of credit history, weak credit, or other factors may mean the only option available is a secured line of credit.

When business lines of credit are helpful

If you are doing business in construction trades, service industry or you are a wholesaler, a line of credit can make the difference between winning and losing a contract. Many times, you will need immediate cash to bid on a contract; you cannot do this if you have limited cash flow – a line of credit could give you that option.

A line of credit can also help you through temporary cash flow issues. You may have cash coming within a couple of weeks but need immediate capital to purchase a piece of equipment, make payroll, or purchase materials. Since a line of credit is renewable, you can spend it multiple times as long as you are making your payments, you have readily available cash for any purpose. Unlike closed end loans, you have complete control over how you utilize a line of credit. In many cases, a closed-end loan would result in the lender putting restrictions on how the funds may be used.

Benefits of a line of credit

In addition to being helpful to allow you to fund immediate needs, and address temporary cash flow problems, there are other benefits of a line of credit including:

  • Flexible payment terms
  • Access to cash on demand
  • Building business credit
  • Flexibility in using funds
  • Lower interest rates than credit cards
  • Improvement of cash flow
  • Control of cash
  • Separation of business and personal credit

As you can see, the benefits are significant and can help you ensure your business continues to thrive in a competitive marketplace.

Obtaining a line of credit

When you are unable to secure a standard loan, or your credit does not warrant an unsecured line of credit, you still may have options. Secured business line of credit are available for those  who may not have established business credit; depending on the lender, you can use various assets for security including equipment, real estate, and in some cases, future income through offering liens on invoices, or purchase orders.

Why a secured line of credit?

Keep in mind, secured lines of credit have numerous benefits; for instance, you may only be required to make interest only payments for periods of time. You may also borrow between 50 and 80 percent of eligible assets; this means more cash on hand to grow your business. There is far less risk when using a secured line of credit; while you are building your credit using this funding option, you are also not going to have to worry about what happens if something goes wrong and you cannot make a payment. This flexibility alone is often enough to warrant considering a secured line of credit. We understand you want maximum flexibilty; in some instances, this is not available with unsecured lines, or with more traditional funding methods.

Capstone Capital Group: Understanding your financing options

Capstone Capital Group, LLC, offers business owners numerous ways to access capital they need for their business. Whether you need to have cash on hand to meet immediate need such as payroll, or you need access to a line of credit to help you bid on an attractive contract, we can help. Contact one of our service representatives today, and discuss the various options we can offer your business. We will take the time to review your immediate, and future needs and find the right solution to those needs.

We help small and mid-sized businesses get the financing they need to ensure their business remains financially stable, and to help spur business growth. We can discuss the various ways Capstone can help. Contact us today, whether you are considering a secured line of credit, or other financing options for your business. See what a difference working with a solutions-oriented lender can make for your business.

Factoring Company

Avoid These Four Mistakes When Choosing A Factoring Company

10:30 17 October in Business Funding

Factoring is one of the financing methods you can use to get the working capital to grow your business. However, like any other type of financing, it is important that you avoid some of the common errors made when you are selecting the company you will work with. Remember, while the process of factoring may be the same, there are some things you should avoid while choosing a factoring company.

Working with a company who does not understand your business

One of the most important things you should verify is whether the factoring company understands your business. Keep in mind, many times, you need more than simply invoice factoring; if you need additional services, finding the right company is more important. Take the time to discuss not only the field you serve, but also discuss your business model with the factoring company. Remember, the right company may be able to offer you additional services. Find a factoring company that does not take a one-size-fits-all approach; it could be important later. Do not hesitate to ask a factoring company for references; most companies will not hesitate to provide you with the names and contact information of satisfied clients.

Ignoring the fine print in your factoring contract

While you may be tempted to accept an offer from the company that offers you the lowest fee, remember, you could be surprised by hidden fees. Review the contract completely and determine exactly what the company is offering, and what you are being charged for their services. You should also be wary of a company who asks for a long-term contract; remember, if you are tied to a long-term contract and the financial situation in your company changes, you could be tied to a contract that you no longer need, or want. Read the fine print; having an understanding of what you are agreeing to is imperative when you are working with any type of financing.

Not discussing customer service aspects of collection

When you enter a factoring relationship, you will be turning a portion, or all your accounts payable collections to the factoring company. You want to ensure your customers are treated with professional courtesy; remember, you could lose business if the factoring company staff members who are handling collection activities are not well-trained. Make sure the factoring company has well-trained staff; staff who uses best practices for collection, and customer service matters. This makes a difference.

Not understanding the terms of the contract

Once you have signed a contract with a factoring company, you are obligated to take certain actions. For example, you are required to ensure your customers are sending their payments to the factoring company, if you fail to do this, you could incur additional fees, or face other penalties. Additionally, you want to make sure you are forwarding the proper paperwork to the factoring company; if you are factoring invoices, do not send a purchase order and if you are factoring purchase orders, do not send invoices. Discuss all your obligations under your contract with your service representative so you fully understand what you have agreed to; this will prevent problems later.

Capstone Capital Group Has the Right Solution

We offer a broad range of products designed to suit your specific needs. Whether you need spot factoring of invoices, purchase order factoring, or lines of credit, Capstone has a solution designed to meet your needs. Because we offer such a broad range of products, we also work with a broad range of clients. We will take the time to ask you about your client base, your current payment schedules, and what your cash needs are going forward. Once we understand your specific needs, we will create a customized solution designed to provide you with the financial products that best suit your needs. We have also helped customers who need logistics assistance; and other customized services.

While you are looking for financing, contact Capstone Capital Group. Let us review your business, determine what products work best to meet your needs, and help you avoid many of the problems our clients have indicated they have had to overcome when working with other financing companies. We are happy to meet with you, review your invoices, and show how our products are superior. We also have a dedicated, well-trained team of customer service representatives; you will never have to be concerned about damaging your important customer relations – we believe the better your relationship with your clients, the better our relationship will be over time.

The Role of the Financial Industry in Rebuilding After Hurricane Harvey

11:00 12 October in News

Some of the leading scientists have estimated the cost of Hurricane Harvey’s trek through Texas could result in some $160 billion in damage. Homes, businesses and ports suffered serious damage; the rebuilding process could take months, and in some cases, could take years.

Many Firms Offering Donations

While many financial, and payment firms have currently stepped up and offered donations to the Red Cross, offered to match donations made by employees, and other efforts. Many payment processors have provided free equipment to businesses to enable them to take payments, reduced fees on donations, and taken other steps to help.  Banks and credit unions have also received some guidance to consider waiving bank fees, increasing ATM withdrawal limits, and more. But there may be more the financial community can, and should do to help business owners get back on their feet.

Relief For Home and Property Owners

As many readers recall, during the financial crisis, homeowners were unable to make mortgage payments in light of increasing interest rates, and slipping home values. Imagine being told you need to continue making your mortgage payment while your home is a cesspool of water, mold, or has no roof. To enable homeowners an opportunity to file insurance claims, get back to work, and rebuild their homes, the major mortgage insurance providers including FNMA, VA and the FHA have stepped up their efforts to help homeowners and property owners. There are various forms of relief available depending on the lender’s willingness to help including temporary foreclosure relief, payment deferments and credit maintenance assistance. These temporary measures may be sufficient for most Texas property owners to claim their insurance and begin the difficult process of rebuilding, or rehabilitating their homes.

Business Lenders and Their Role

Lenders who focus on small, medium or large businesses also have a role to play in rebuilding in Texas after Hurricane Harvey. Businesses that were devastated need time to rebuild, get their businesses back on track, and increase their inventory. Businesses in Texas have a lot of work to do from discarding damaged inventory, making structural repairs, and in some cases, helping their employees get back on their feet.

Businesses with loans may be asking for forbearance on payments, seeking additional lines of credit to fund needed repairs, and need money to rebuild their inventory. Many offices, and factories suffered extensive damage; there have been some companies that have offered temporary office space to help these businesses get back to work.

Some of the options lenders can offer include:

  • Modified credit requirements – since many businesses are unable to provide documentation on income, lenders may wish to consider lessening the requirements for obtaining new credit. Businesses can likely get prior years’ tax returns to show their income, but chances are high their documentation for the last 12 months will have been lost.
  • Renegotiation of terms – since businesses will take some time to rebuild and return to full operation, lenders may wish to consider renegotiating loan terms to allow missed payments during the rebuilding period. This type of assistance can make the difference as to whether a business can return to full operation.
  • Expedited processing – the loan process can be time-consuming and one luxury many business owners to not have is time. Money is needed to meet the demands of repairs, help ensure employees, many of whom are rebuilding their lives, are paid on time and that replacement equipment can be purchased as needed. Time is of the essence and lenders who can process loans quickly can help business owners get back on their feet faster.

Options for Business Owners

Businesses may see an increased demand for materials, products and services over the next several months as other businesses return to normal operations. However, this means more businesses than ever are going to need access to capital; it is often difficult to meet the demand of clients unless a business has immediate access to cash; it is necessary for every aspect of your business. You are going to need cash to pay employees, obtain raw materials, pay for shipping, etc. This is where Capstone Capital Group may be able to offer assistance to businesses in Texas, and those in Florida who are now facing the same type of devastation Texas faced a few weeks back. We provide a range of products designed to meet the needs of nearly any type of business including trade financing, invoice factoring, construction financing and factoring, etc.

During this period of rebuilding, Texas contractors will be assisting in the rebuilding of retail stores, office buildings, warehouses and more. We have specific programs designed to help contractors and sub-contractors get the cash they need in a short period of time. We offer fast approvals, we understand the challenges many businesses are facing during this period of rebuilding and we can help customize a solution that works to meet your needs.

If you are business owners, or a contractor in Texas, or any other area devastated by weather-related disasters and you need quick access to capital, contact Capstone Capital Group today and let us see if we can help you get back on a sound financial footing.

 

Factoring Decision

When Factoring is the Right Decision

14:20 05 September in Blog, Business Funding

Some business owners are uncomfortable about the idea of factoring their invoices; however, they are more uncomfortable about taking on debt. This means when a company is facing a cash flow problem, wants to hire additional staff members, or needs material to fulfill a large order, they may not know where to turn. One of the first things to do is identify the problem, determine what you need, and then find a solution.

Problem: Short-Term Cash Flow Problems

Immediate business expenses, such as rent, utilities, and payroll cannot be ignored. Let’s face it, if you are unable to pay your employees, you stand a chance of closing your doors; most people are not willing to wait until you get paid to get their paycheck. Your options are limited; you need a way to get immediate cash to meet your obligations.

Your solutions include borrowing money from your local bank, taking a cash advance against your credit cards, or factoring your invoices. Borrowing money from your bank, unless you have an existing line of credit, is time consuming and will likely not occur fast enough to assist you. Credit card advances are seldom a good idea; you will pay high upfront costs for the privilege, and the overall interest rate could be as high as 25 percent. This means factoring is likely your best option and here is why:

  • You can use spot factoring – business owners need not turn over all their accounts receivable for immediate cash needs. Instead, you have the option to factor only sufficient invoices to meet your immediate needs.
  • Timely cash disbursement – generally, receiving cash against your invoices occurs within a few business days. This can be very helpful if you need to have cash. Unlike a bank loan, once you have signed the proper documents, and have your invoices approved, you will have the cash you need to meet your obligations. Since factoring does not involve a bank loan, your company does not incur any additional debt.
  • Cost effective solution – unlike credit cards where you pay a fee to access cash, or loans where you may have to pay application, and other fees, factoring is a cost-effective solution. You can collect on your accounts receivable before they are due, and you pay a fee to the factor. Businesses of all sizes, and in all industries, have used this method of getting working capital when they are facing short-term cash flow problems.

Problem: Long-Term cash Flow Issues

Spot factoring is the ideal solution when your cash flow issues are temporary. However, some businesses have ongoing issues maintaining a sufficient cash balance to meet their obligations. In these cases, options are more limited; options include bank lines of credit, reducing the terms you offer customers, or factoring your accounts receivable. It is important to understand the pros and cons of each option.

While bank lines of credit can be helpful, you will have to accept the fact your company will be in debt. To compound this, chances are, if you seem to be facing regular cash flow issues, it may be very expensive, and potentially impossible to get a loan, or line of credit. Banks typically look for a strong balance sheet, excellent cash flow, and a proven track record. This means if you have a start-up, you may not have the option.

Reducing your customer terms is risky; if your customer base is accustomed to a 30, 60, or 90-day period to pay invoices, and you cut the time in half, or begin a cash-only process, you could negatively impact your bottom line. This means, over the long-term, your cash flow will be worse, not better.

Using accounts receivable factoring, can provide you the long-term solution you need. In effect, you reach an agreement with the factor, and they take over the collection of your accounts receivable. There is an added benefit to this as well; since you do not have to worry about collections, you can focus your efforts on building your business. Rather than having a staff member dealing with collections, you can use their talents elsewhere; this can provide numerous benefits for your business.

Nearly every business will face a cash-flow problem at some time; particularly in the early stages. Some businesses need short-term cash solutions because of seasonal business swings, or because they have just landed a significant contract. Think about the possibilities; and if you think that factoring may be the right decision to help you meet your cash-flow needs, contact Capstone Capital Group by phone at 347-410-9697 or by email at [email protected] and see how we can help you find unique funding solutions.

Telling Customers about Factoring

Explaining Your Decision to Use Factoring to Customers  

10:22 22 August in Blog, Business Funding

Once you have decided to use factoring for your cash-flow needs, one of the most important things you will have to do is communicate with your customers. Once you have turned over your invoices to a factoring company, your customers will receive a document called a Notice of Assignment indicating you have turned over the collection of their invoices to the factor.

It is important to ensure you have addressed this prior to this notification being received; and ensure that your customers questions are answered. Some of the common concerns your customers may have include:

Will this impact the quality of service and products I receive?

It is important to let your customers know that outside of invoicing, your relationship will not change. You will still be providing the highest level of quality products and services. Remember, customers want to be assured their business is not impacted by your decision. The more you can do to assure customers that most things will not change, the more likely they are to be comfortable.

Is your financial status in question?

Make sure your customers understand that your decision to factor is designed to improve your finances. Improved cash flow means more access to materials, ability to hire new staff for upscaling, and ability to pay your bills on time. Remind them that factoring is not a loan, that you are not taking on additional debt, and discuss the benefit of not having to track down payments; factoring allows you to continue offering the same terms they currently enjoy, versus cash and carry.

What changes does this make to my billing?

Your customers should be aware they will get their invoices from the factoring company, and they should remit payment to the address on the invoices. Explain to them the factoring company is merely taking over the function of accounts receivable management; this will help put them at ease. Customers will still contact you directly for new products, or services.

Offering Understanding of Factoring Benefits

Chances are, if you are a small, or medium-sized business involved in an industry unfamiliar with factoring, you may be asked about the benefits of factoring. There are some simple ways to educate your customers about these benefits including:

  • Ability to grow business— because you do not have to worry about waiting 30 to 90 days to receive payment, you are able to go after additional contracts and still offer payment terms to customers.
  • Regular cash flow— because you do not have to wait for payment from customers, you have cash when you need it. This means your suppliers are being paid, your employees are being paid, and you can meet your obligations without going into debt.
  • Freeing internal resources— when an external company is handling your accounts receivable, your internal staff is freed up to handle other tasks. This may include customer service, marketing, or help with research and development. This is a bonus; freeing up internal resources also means lower overhead; you need not hire additional staff members to handle tasks.

After Factoring Begins

Once you have addressed the initial concerns of your clients, it is important to let them know how payments will be made going forward. Ask if there are any documents they require from you to ensure the process goes smoothly. Address any concerns about changes in due dates, or other concerns they may have. Should any questions arise you are unable to answer, contact your account manager at the factoring company.

Keep in mind, you will still be in contact with your customers for many issues, including new orders, service needs, etc. Make sure they understand ahead of time, that billing issues, payment issues, or any issue related to payment or invoices should be directed to the factoring company.

Should You Change Methods

Just as is the case when you start factoring, if you should decide to end your relationship with a factoring company, it is important you speak with your customers. Any change in how they receive, question, or pay their invoices must be communicated to your customers.

Factoring your invoices can result in new growth, and a more stable cash flow you’re your business. If you have questions about factoring, or how it can work for your company, we encourage you to contact Capstone Capital Group today at (212) 755-3636. We are here to help you grow your business to its full potential.

 

Small Bank Crisis

The Crisis Facing Community Banks and the Small Businesses Who Rely on Them

16:13 21 August in Blog

Publicly traded banks recently hit record stock prices. The sudden increase in value was dubbed the “Trump Trade” because investors believe his policies will be positive for a growing economy and banks would—and should—be at the center supporting such an economy.

Since the election in November, bank stocks have risen around 24% and continue to remain positive as larger banks remain hopeful of soon to come tax reform and new regulatory relief.

What is seldom covered in the news is the negative impact that Dodd-Frank, aka “Too Big to Fail”, legislation is having on the community banking sector all across America. While activists touted this legislation as a safeguard for consumers, little thought was given to the effect on smaller organizations.

When the law was enacted, there were no provisions that discriminated by the size of a bank. The legislation, which included over 2,000 pages of reforms and regulations that all banks were required to implement, put a huge strain on the community banks to meet these blanket compliance standards.

The regulations were applied evenly to all banks, causing smaller community banks to have a higher regulatory burden than their multibillion-dollar competitors. The cost of compliance for community banks has led to a growing trend of mergers to bulk up and become larger regional banks.

What is Happening to Small Banks?

Midsize and larger banks are experiencing increased positive growth in accumulating assets and increased loan production to companies that meet all of the risk criteria outlined by Dodd-Frank. At the same time, community banks are struggling to meet the cost of compliance with the new regulatory scheme.

In order to cover the cost of compliance, small community banks are merging and are becoming regionally positioned banks to reduce the cost of compliance and overhead. Although this may be good for the banks as they are better able to handle the costs associated with compliance, it is a negative trend for small businesses as it limits their access to banking services and credit.

In most cases, the headquarters of the smaller bank is absorbed by the acquiring entity and the bank loses its proximity to the local business community.

Dodd-Frank made it almost impossible for smaller companies to borrow from the bigger money center and regional banks because of the risk rating system required by the legislation. The last bastion of hope for small businesses was the community bank.

Community banks are generally formed by successful members of a local community who pool their capital together to support and invest in their local community. When these institutions are forced to grow by regulatory forces, they often change their mission as they have a number of competing constituencies throughout their new region. While the merged bank may remain in the community, their mission frequently changes and the loans they make—or are willing and able to make—changes.  All of these changes are negative for the growing small businesses that have historically relied on the community banker for their financing needs like working capital, equipment leases, real estate loans etc.

Dodd-Frank policies have led to numerous mergers, allowing midsize banks to take over the operations of community banks. Larger bank take-overs means a change in business practices for the community banks involved in said mergers. In many instances, there are complete staff turnovers, and larger banks simply do not personally know the local markets and the small businesses previously involved with the community banks.

Currently, President Trump has ordered a review of the Dodd-Frank regulations by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Hopes are high in favor of a reform involving less complex regulations, but it is unclear what will actually come of these talks and how any alterations will affect the community banks and, in turn, small businesses.

This Negatively Affects Small Businesses

Historically, small business owners developed long-lasting relationships with community banks and relied on those personal connections to receive desperately needed funding and capital support larger banks would never consider providing.

Community banks have modernized their lending operations—as all financial institutions have—though they rely on the five C’s of credit: Character, Collateral, Capacity, Capital, and Conditions. With the new mergers, the larger banks heavily utilize algorithms that take these variables into account, as well as others, but it is not the same as a loan officer who lives in the community he lends to and who may be aware of a small business, its impact on the community, and the character of the owners.

Displacing small businesses from the bank puts these businesses in difficult situations. Many rely on the attentiveness and support of the community banks they use to maintain their liquidity and competitive advantage in the market in which they compete. However, with the decreasing number of community banks and the lack of access from midsize banks, these small businesses have very few places to turn for help.

This is Where Capstone Comes In

Capstone has seen a significant increase in clients who are seeking factoring and purchase order financing as a result of the community bank merger phenomenon. “The Castaway loans, those where the bank advises its client that it has three to six months to find a new lender, are increasingly crossing our desk”, said Joseph F. Ingrassia, Managing Member of Capstone Capital Group, LLC.

Castaway loans are typically larger than your average factoring transaction and require cooperation from the bank casting off the loan and the client. In many instances, the bank has to convert a portion of the revolving inventory and accounts receivable loan into a term loan to facilitate the client’s exit while Capstone pays off the preponderance of the revolving credit facility with a new factoring facility.

To accommodate these loans, Capstone has skilled staff that negotiates with banks to ensure they cooperate with our new clients and receive the substantial pay-down the bank is seeking. Term loans are rated differently than revolving credit facilities and are in terms of risk ratings under Dodd-Frank. Our staff understands Dodd-Frank regulations and what a cast-off bank can and cannot do. Successful negotiations result in a settlement that ensures the bank gets paid in full, the client’s business is not impaired, operations are not interrupted, and the new facility we put in place is sufficient to support the growth of the company for the next 12 to 24 months.

Thankfully, other options like factoring and purchase order financing help fill the gap and ease the burden of transferring debt to another lender by providing small business owners with vital cash flow quickly.

Capstone Capital Group, LLC specializes in providing business owners with options. Our factoring and purchase order invoicing services allow qualified business owners to gain access to necessary cash flow faster so they can stay afloat and remain competitive.

If you’re ready to learn more about the options available to you, call us today at 212-755-3636 or contact us online www.capstonetrade.com.

 

Merger articles

https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/03/27/945580/0/en/Two-of-the-Best-Banks-in-America-Join-Forces-in-Bank-Merger.html

https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/04/11/958795/0/en/Sussex-Bancorp-Announces-a-Merger-With-Community-Bank-of-Bergen-County-NJ.html

https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/03/23/943784/0/en/Northwest-Bancorporation-Inc-to-Acquire-CenterPointe-Community-Bank.html

http://www.mbvt.com/about-us/community-bank-merger/

Why mergers are big now

https://www.americanbanker.com/news/bank-m-as-super-shoppers?tag=00000151-16d0-def7-a1db-97f03ca50000

Resulting issues for small businesses

http://www.freep.com/story/money/small-business/2017/02/12/community-banks-hopeful-lawmakers-target-financial-rules/97690526/

https://www.icba.org/news-events/latest-news/2017/05/01/more-than-100-icba-community-bankers-meet-with-president-trump

Ways to keep Debt under control by Capstone

Getting Business Debt Under Control

09:00 08 August in Blog

One of the many reasons business owners are unable to grow their business is because they have too much existing debt. This can mean they are unable to borrow the funds they need to expand. Whether expansion involves new equipment, hiring new employees, or upgrading facilities, strong cash flow, and lower debt makes a difference.

Evaluate Your Current Debt

The first step in getting your debt under control is to understand the type, maturity, and cost of your current debt. Business owners who have resorted to using credit cards as an additional credit source could be paying in excess of 20 percent in interest. Create a table of the balance, interest rates, and monthly payments so you know exactly what you are facing.

Create a Plan

One of the first things you should consider is speaking with your creditors. Credit card companies, banks, and vendors are often happy to discuss terms with you before you start facing difficulty paying your debts. Here are some common tips:

  • Credit card and bank loans — consider asking for interest rate reductions. This may be effective if you have a good payment history, and if you have offers from other companies for your business. Additional offers can be used as a bargaining tool.
  • Talk to your vendors — if you have good relationship with your vendors, ask about changing payment terms. If you are currently paying invoices on a Net-15 basis, try to get a Net-30 agreement. This may give you more buying power, allow you to generate extra business, and give you some breathing room.
  • Discuss all aspects of financing — bank loans, lines of credit, and other similar loans often have a personal guarantee attached. You may be able to negotiate this out, change the amortization for a loan to reduce monthly payments, eliminate prepayment clauses, or change due dates to be more in line with your cash flow.
  • Consolidation of debt — if you have multiple lines of credit, or outstanding loans, look into the possibility of rolling the balances all into one loan. This could mean one monthly payment instead of several, and you may also be able to get a reduction in interest rates, or better terms.

Saving With Smart, Timely Payments

Getting your debt under control involves more than negotiating with your creditors. Another step you can take is managing how you make your monthly payments. First, payments should always be on time; this not only helps preserve your business credit rating, but it also helps you avoid costly late fees which merely add to your debt. Paying ahead when possible can also save you interest over the term of a loan, just be careful of prepayment clauses you have been unable to eliminate.

Boosting Business For Added Cash Flow

While it may seem counter-intuitive to work towards new business while attempting to get your debt load under control, the fact is more cash flow allows you to pay your debt in a more timely manner, and begin operating your business on a cash basis. This may require some creative financing solutions; for example, if you need immediate cash to invest in materials to deliver a large order, you may think you have no options but to borrow money again which seems counterintuitive to what you are trying to accomplish. There are some options however including:

  • Receivables financing — if you are like most small and medium-sized business owners, you are probably owed money from customers. Rather than wait the full 30 or 60 days until those invoices are due, consider selling some, or all those receivables for immediate cash. While you will get less than face value, this could provide an immediate influx of cash.
  • Purchase order financing — rather than use existing invoices, you may also opt to use purchase order refinancing. This method of financing allows you to get the much-needed cash to fulfill big orders by using the order to borrow money. This allows you to purchase the materials you need to fulfill the order without incurring additional debt.

Think About Your Business Model

If you are maintaining a large inventory for future orders, consider talking to your vendors about optional ways of doing business. Perhaps you can purchase materials as needed, or you can return excess product at the end of a job; remember, inventory on hand may be good, but if it is tying up your cash flow, it impedes your business growth.

Nearly all businesses have some debt, however, debt can cripple a business to the point of leaving you with no options. Capstone Capital Group offers a range of financing options for small and medium-size business owners. Contact us today, call us at (212) 755-3636 and speak with one of our highly skilled representatives and let us see how we can help your business get your debt under control.

Cash Against Documents - Capstone

Understanding Cash Against Documents (CAD)

10:30 03 August in Blog

Doing business internationally is risky. Suppliers and buyers alike face risks; for the buyer, it means putting up money without a guarantee of delivery and for sellers, shipping products without cash upfront could mean they lose product to non-payment. Cash against documents (CAD) is used to ensure an importer pays for goods before they are in receipt of those goods.

Minimizing Importing/Exporting Risks

The best explanation of how an import/export transaction works is to think about the process you go through when purchasing a home. There is an escrow agent that holds funds until the transaction is complete. Once the seller has signed the appropriate documents, and the buyer has signed the mortgage notes, then the escrow agent releases the funds for the transaction. This is similar to how an international transaction would work.

The seller of products maintains the ownership rights to the items they are selling until such time as the buyer makes payment. Prior to that, an intermediary, which is generally a bank, holds the documents that include import papers, invoices, and bills of lading. The intermediary also holds the funds for the transaction. Once the buyer has accepted delivery of the product, the funds are released to the seller.


Your  Partner for Import Financing

Capstone has extensive experience dealing with international transactions. We understand sometimes the best, cost-effective materials must be purchased overseas. We also understand, in many cases, you are buying large quantities of materials which can involve a significant investment. We can help you with a broad range of import financing solutions and assistance including:

  • Setting up the required import services
  • Assistance with air and sea shipping
  • Making inland freight arrangements,
  • preparation of shipping documents
  • Preparation of export licenses
  • Establishment of letters of credit

We provide these services to businesses in a range of fields. Small and medium-sized business owners often do not have the resources necessary to have an internal department to handle these challenging transactions; Capstone can help.

How Letters of Credit Work

A letter of credit has specific elements. The issuer of the letter of credit, acting for the buyer, agrees to pay the seller a specific amount of money under specific conditions. Before these funds are released, however, the seller must present the appropriate documents providing that the number of goods has shipped, the quality of the goods has been verified and the goods have shipped on time. There are time limits for meeting this obligation. Once the documents have been verified, assuming they conform to the terms and conditions set out in the letter of credit, and the buyer takes possession of the goods, the funds are released to the beneficiary, the seller.


How Does Capstone Help?

Capstone is committed to assisting clients with financing for their business. We understand how difficult international transactions can be and we are committed to ensuring your hard-earned money is protected. We can help provide you various services including helping you secure a letter of credit to ensure your international transactions go smoothly.

Our goal is to make sure you can get the presold goods you need without having to put up the full amount of the purchase up front.

Letters of credit can be used for a single transaction or may be used for ongoing transactions. We understand every business has different needs, and we also understand no two transactions are the same. We will customize a solution that works to meet your individual business needs.

Advantages of CAD Financing

Cash against documents provides a win/win for everyone involved. Most importantly, the buyer typically does not need a bank line of credit. The costs involved in these transactions are usually lower than with other international financing options. We also make sure the process is easy to implement and fast. We understand how important it is for you to have the materials you need for your business and the risks involved in international transactions. Let us help you take advantage of this important tool for your international business needs.

Capstone understands every business owner, business, and the transaction is unique. This is one of the reasons we work tirelessly to find a solution that works for your business. Whether you need a one-time customized solution for a big shipment, or your business will be accepting international deliveries on an ongoing basis, we can help. For more information on how Capstone Capital Group can help you with your international transactions, or to receive a quote, please email us at [email protected] or call us at (212) 755-3636 to speak with one of our skilled representatives today.

Accounts receivable financing

Help Your Business Thrive with Receivable Financing

15:29 01 August in Blog, Business Funding

Your vendors, employees, or landlord are unlikely to wait until your customers pay their invoices to get paid. Business owners who are just starting up, have just made an investment in new equipment, or are in the process of attracting new customers all have one thing in common: they need cash.

When Input and Output Collide

There is little doubt you need cash to keep your business operational. You must be able to hire additional staff members, invest in equipment, and make sure you deliver product to your customers on time. These matters require available cash; unfortunately, most business owners do not have a ready supply of cash when they need it most. This is why today, more business owners than ever before are turning to accounts receivable financing; better known as factoring.

Benefits of Accounts Receivable Financing

Cash — nearly immediate cash is the most significant benefit you will gain when you factor your receivables. Readily available cash can prepare you to land a new customer, pay your current debts, or help you expand your business. Receivables financing is a much different option than bank financing; specifically, it is faster, and depends on your client’s credit rating rather than yours.

Improved Options for Business Growth

Many business owners believe if they intend to use accounts receivable financing, they must do so with all invoices. This is inaccurate; there is a method called “spot factoring“, allowing businesses to get cash against specific invoices any time they need an influx of working capital. It is also important to note that while typical bank financing may have strings attached, telling you, a business owner, how you can spend the money they loan you. There is no such restriction with factoring; you can use the cash anyway you deem appropriate to ensure your business stays operational.

Avoiding Month to Month Money Crunches

Too much month left at the end of the money? Need to pay your business invoices, or employees? Chances are, you have customers who have not paid their invoices; many times, you have offered 30-day payment plans and they use every single day. This may work well for your customer, but it may not work as well for you. This is why spot factoring may be the answer to your problems. You can get nearly immediate cash when you spot factor; in most cases, you can get cash within 24 to 48 hours of submitting an approved invoice.

Time For Growth? Get Cash Fast

Expanding a business can be very exciting; the problem is it is often costly. Too many business owners must often decide between paying their regular bills, and growing their business. Our goal is to make sure you have the capital you need to expand your business. Whether it is time to hire new staff members, invest in new equipment, or you have a new client who has placed a large order, you may be suffering a cash crunch. We know you cannot wait until your customer invoices are paid, the opportunity could slip through your fingers. This is why spot factoring, or regular invoice factoring could be the answer for your business.

Invoice Factoring Versus Bank Financing

One of the biggest challenges business owners face is establishing a line of credit with a local bank. This is because banks often have lengthy applications, stringent credit requirements, and want businesses to have an established track record before making a loan. We often are told by small businesses that banks only want to help them when they least need the money.

Borrowing money from a bank often means onerous terms. You may face prepayment penalties if you are doing well and want to pay ahead, your bank may dictate how the proceeds from the loan will be spent, and you may have to provide a personal guarantee. Most of these issues can be avoided by factoring your invoices; whether you want to factor the invoices of one client, or every client, we can customize a solution to meet your specific business needs.

When there is forward momentum that means growth for your company, you need to maintain that momentum. This is why Capstone may be the answer to your financing needs. We work quickly, and we offer a range of business financing options, Contact Capstone Capital Group, LLC today and learn more about how we can help you grow your business.

Download our Two Guides - Restarting your Business Post Covid & Turning your PPP Loan into a Grant

Capstone Capital Group, LLC wants to help you make sure your planning is flawless, which is why we are offering these free guides to help you get back to business on a sound financial footing.

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