Is Invoice Factoring an option when starting a company?

12:24 23 April in Articles, Blog, Business Financing, Business Financing
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Every new business hopes to join the ranks of those famous unicorns that turn profitable right out of the gate. Sadly, most startups fail to meet this goal. Even worse, the best concepts often struggle or even fail within the first few years.

According to research cited by SCORE, almost all budding companies wrestle with cash flow problems — and problems with cash flow management represent the almost universal plague that leads to new business stumbles and even failures.

These startups may have succeeded at bringing ideas to market and even attracting customers; however, 82 percent of failed new businesses just did not have enough funding to grow or, in many cases, keep operating. And for just these kinds of startups, invoice factoring could provide a solution to improve cash flow in ways that would lead to thriving, growing young companies.

Yes, startups should consider invoice factoring as a new business financing option. Find out how invoice factoring will significantly improve cash flow, how it works, and if it’s the right solution for all startups.

How Invoice Factoring Empowers Startups

The most basic kind of invoice factoring refers to selling accounts receivable to a third party. In other words, startups can convert their unpaid invoices into immediate working capital.

New businesses won’t have to wait days, weeks, or even months for their customers to pay invoices. In turn, they can use this money to service more customers, develop new products and services, pay operating expenses, expand marketing, or in whatever way best suits their goals.

Some highlights of the benefits of invoice factoring for new businesses include:

  • Credit building capacity: Factoring can help establish a credit record for a business.  Generally, a new company has no existing credit record making it more difficult to establish lines of credit, negotiate additional payment time with suppliers, and negotiate new contracts. Since factoring depends on the creditworthiness and financial strength of the startup’s customers, it is a great option that allows the business to meet debt obligations promptly.
  • Streamline collections: Collecting payments can be stressful, but not with a dependable factoring company.  Since the factoring company will be in charge of chasing customer payments, the startup can invest its time in more meaningful activities.
  • Minimize risk for payment:  Many non-recourse factoring companies take the credit risk away from the business.  In this structure, they will shoulder all the risk of credit default once they purchase the invoice.
  • Improve cash flow: The business can offer their customers credit and still invigorate cash flow by getting immediate working capital from invoices.
  • Factoring is flexible:  Businesses have options when factoring their accounts receivable. They have the opportunity to include all eligible customer invoices or select a few customers because they have extended payment terms.

How Does Invoice Factoring Work for New Businesses?

Capstone offers flexible factoring options while eliminating hassles. That means startups can start enjoying the benefits of better cash flow and improved efficiency right away. This list explains all the steps involved in invoice factoring a common, flexible solution for startup businesses:

  1. Invoice customers as usual for goods or services rendered.
  2. Complete an easy application and approval process to get started.
  3. Submit copies of invoices (or any type of progress billings) along with required documentation on the receivables chosen for invoice factoring.
  4. Enjoy an immediate advance that usually amounts to 70 to 80 percent of the total invoice value, depending upon the agreement.
  5. After the customer pays, receive a rebate for the remaining balance, minus modest factoring fees.
  6. Repeat when needed.

What are the Best Businesses for Invoice Factoring?

In general, invoice factoring can provide the best solution for companies doing business with creditworthy customers but have delays in cash flow because of a time gap between invoicing for goods or services rendered and getting paid. Other typical characteristics include:

  • Working capital strain due to insufficient credit lines from banks and suppliers
  • Immediate growth opportunity with a product, customer, project, or market share
  • Sells finished goods or services to creditworthy buyers
  • Losing sales and missing sales opportunities
  • Backlog of orders or jobs
  • Trade cycle of 60 – 150 days, or more

 

How to Find the Best Financing Solution for a New Business

Capstone provides essential funding requirements to emerging and growth companies. Take a moment to learn more about Capstone’s flexible options for new business invoice factoring.

Invoice factoring helps new and established businesses manage cash flow and work more efficiently. New companies can discuss their needs and concerns with a Capstone representative to choose the best financing option for their unique situation.

Contact Capstone by email or phone to tell them more about your business needs and goals, so they can help you choose the perfect option.

letters of credit in trade finance

Letters of Credit in Trade Finance

15:50 13 April in Articles, Blog
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In its basic form, a Letter of Credit (or LC) is a document produced by a financial institution delivered to another financial institution that guarantees an Importer’s payment to an Exporter will be received on time and for the correct amount. The Importer is required to send payment to the issuing institution who then transfers funds to the Exporter’s advising institution or directly to the Exporter. In the end, the Exporter will receive payment as long as the transportation of the goods is compliant with the LC’s terms and conditions. Letters of Credit are most often used between Banks that are in different countries for international trade.

Trade Finance Process Flowchart

Trade Finance Process Flowchart

Trade Finance

Trade Finance assists with trade cycle funding gaps and allows businesses to obtain goods from a Supplier with cash upfront. When a Supplier abroad is exporting goods to a business partner elsewhere, they will want assurance that payment will be received in a timely fashion. Instead of the business owner paying for goods right away, the institution handling their import financing will instead produce a Letter of Credit that will be presented to the Supplier or their finance company. As previously mentioned, the Letter of Credit serves as a guarantee of payment when the conditions of the initial Supplier agreement are met. Upon receipt of goods, payment is made to the Supplier or their finance company.

This arrangement can be used for a one-time purchase of supplies or continuingly if there will be a lasting business relationship between the Importer and the Exporter.

Reasons to Use an LC with Trade Finance

There are a few key reasons why an LC should be used with Trade Finance

  • First, International Trade between countries is difficult due to a variety of issues including differing laws, customs, languages, currencies, and so forth.
  • In general, LCs offer a more secure method of payment for both parties involved.
  • Next, the financial institutions handling the transaction offer their expertise and resources for aiding the completion of the transaction.
  • The central benefit of using an LC is that it mitigates the risk of the buyer missing their payments, especially if the Seller is unsure of the buyer’s credit.

Need funding for trade? Capstone is here to help: Let us work with you today to help you find the best solution to your cash needs without taking on more debt. Whether you are facing an immediate one-time need for cash to secure a contract, or you require a long-term solution to cash flow, contact our skilled team of representatives today and let us work with you to find the best options for your funding needs.

 

 

 

Assessing your 2020 performance and setting business goals in the ‘new norm’ for 2021

12:11 18 January in Articles, Business Financing
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There is little doubt 2020 presented unique challenges for business owners. Across the United States, thousands of business owners were faced with rolling forced shutdowns, others had to adjust to fewer employees in their workspace, and still, others faced the potential of closing permanently.

Business owners that were lucky enough to have their business survive 2020 must now take stock of their past year’s financial performance to determine the goals that will set them up for success as they navigate the next twelve months. 2021 will not be just another year. The recent rollout of approved vaccines is good news for everyone. This is important because it will play a role in businesses getting back to financial “normal” and how we set our goals for 2021. Here are some of the things you need to consider when evaluating your 2020 performance and prepare to establish your goals for 2021.

Evaluating Your 2020 Goals and How You Adapted to Challenges

Chances are you first laid out your business plan for 2020 with certain projections, goals, and benchmarks which were quickly thrown out of the window at the first onslaught of the pandemic. Looking back on 2020 as a whole may have you feeling somewhat defeated. However, it is important to put the year into perspective. Since March of 2020, nearly every business owner has faced financial challenges due to the impact of the pandemic.

Those businesses who were able to stay operational because they could have their staff work from home were forced to increase spending on technology to use at home. Others were facing serious reductions in orders resulting in less income. Some businesses were faced with increased spending while grappling with decreased income while finding it necessary to invest in personal protective equipment to allow their operations to continue.

For some small businesses, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was a lifesaver. For those businesses who did not qualify for PPP, some are looking at their bottom lines and seeing a sea of red. It can — and will — get better if you put everything into perspective and prepare your plan for 2021. The message here is simple: Do not let the setbacks of 2020 cloud your vision for 2021. The time to prepare for 2021 is now and you want to set a realistic set of goals while keeping in mind the challenges you will likely be facing. Here are some steps you should be considering:

Understand the Landscape of Business

One of the factors you will have to evaluate is what impact COVID-19 will have on your business entering 2021. Even with vaccine distribution beginning, chances are your industry will face some impact from slowdowns either from your vendors or customers. While it may be challenging to accurately forecast the impact, make sure you have some plan in place for any slowdowns in distribution chains, manufacturing chains, and supply chains.

Businesses will have to face head-on the new reality and set their financial goals for 2021 based on what they know today — however, this also means many will be forced to reevaluate those goals should the landscape of business change. Ensuring financial stability in an uncertain marketplace will require businesses to address their finances in a way that is flexible. Developing a financial plan that allows for change as the market changes will be the key to continued success during 2021.

Preparing Financially for 2021

Naturally, one of the biggest factors for 2021 will be the capital needs of your business. Chances are your business may also be facing additional operating and overhead costs in the new year which have to be dealt with. Some ways to help you prepare to include:

  • Know the figures – have you accounted for all your financial activity in 2020? What are your profit margins and break-even points? Do you know the balances owed on all outstanding debts or balances owed to you?
  • Identify areas for business growth – determine if you have maximized revenue and profitability with your current client base. Customer needs may have changed so businesses should look for other goods or services to supplement their demand. You should reach out to your customer base and determine their foreseeable needs for the next three to six months.
  • Set short-term and long-term financial goals then prioritize them – this will help you make sound financial decisions when unexpected issues arise.
  • Create a cash flow projection for a minimum of four to six weeks and one encompassing all of 2021 – this will help you identify your immediate working capital needs and help you see the broader picture of your business’s finances. You may be able to reduce, cut, or reschedule expenses to give you time to collect on your receivables. Having a plan with sufficient reserves will help keep you on track to meet your financial obligations.
  • Avoid financial products that promise immediate access to cash or ones with lax underwriting requirements – chances are there are some unforeseen strings attached. Stay away from payday loans and merchant cash advances (MCAs). They typically come with exorbitantly high-interest rates and will create a never-ending cycle of debt. 
  • Establish a means for monitoring both the local and national impacts caused by COVID-19 – monitoring will be crucial. Stay up to date on current events and monitor your industry to ensure if additional shutdowns were to occur what that would mean for your business and how you could mitigate the risks associated with it. Better planning today means a brighter tomorrow for the success of your business.

Going into 2021, your business will have to adapt to whatever the “new” normal which everyone will be facing. The COVID-19 vaccines show promise, but we cannot expect a return to the “old” way of doing things for at least the first half of the year.

Do not allow yourself to overthink the issues you faced in 2020, instead look forward to 2021 with a realistic plan to ensure you can ride out the storms facing us. Being prepared is the key to your ongoing success. When you are thinking about capital requirements, contact Capstone, and find out how we can help you be prepared financially to adapt to whatever changes you may face in 2021. You can reach one of our representatives by contacting us at [email protected] or call us at (212) 755-3636 to speak with a representative today.

Available for Immediate Download: Payment Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Guide

12:23 13 October in Blog, Business Financing
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Every business in the United States faced some form of setback during the COVID-19 forcing shutdowns and slowdowns. In response, millions of business owners were forced to seek out additional sources of capital. Fortunately, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was available to millions of small businesses.

The Paycheck Protection Program launched with some confusion about how to apply, what the criteria was, and how the loans would eventually be forgiven. For this reason, many business owners are still uncertain about the process necessary to turn these loans into grants.

For those who took out loans under the PPP including those in construction, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and transportation and warehousing now have to be ready for their next big challenge — applying for loan forgiveness.

Some who were able to successfully borrow money under this program, there were also several changes meant to make it easier for businesses to use the program. This also meant that those businesses who obtained funds during the initial funding windows may not be aware of what steps they have to take to ensure their loans are “turned” into grants instead.

The 24-week period for applying for the forgiveness of the loans is quickly approaching for most businesses.

To help business owners — including tribal businesses, those who were self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofits which met specific criteria and more — navigate the unprecedented challenges you are facing, download our white paper, Payment Protection Program: Loans Forgiveness which will help guide you through the process to make sure you are fully prepared for the future.

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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