SBA Loans and Small Business Financing Alternatives for 2011

SBA Loans and Small Business Financing Alternatives for 2011

Managing a business is never easy, but it’s made more difficult when confronted with an uneven cash flow stream. Managing cash flow is a going concern for all businesses, regardless of size. Financing customer receivables is not only a cost in itself, but a tremendous drain on a company’s resources when they must meet their day to day operating expenses. So, what’s the solution? Well, business loans and credit lines are becoming less and less of an option as banks and lending institutions tighten credit limits and lending practices in response to the global recession. However, there is a solution and it comes in the form of receivables factoring. What is receivables factoring and how can it help businesses manage cash flow?

Receivables factoring simply involves a company selling its outstanding customer invoices, or receivables, to a finance company in return for the right to draw upon the receivables outstanding amount. In a sense, it’s a short term business loan without the added headache of high interest rates. In return, the finance company will proceed to collect on the invoice from the customer. Once the full amount is collected, the finance company will reimburse the company the difference and deduct a small fee for the transaction.

Payouts for receivables factoring depends upon the credit worthiness of the customer, their market or industry and the general likelihood that the finance company will be able to collect. Typically, initial payouts are anywhere from 75% to 85% of the receivables value. Aside from the fact that there are little to no interest rates charged, the overall benefit for business owners is ease of use. Factoring has been adopted by a number of industries in response to customers who have typically benefited from extended payment terms. Companies that use factoring have excellent bottom lines, are well managed and market leaders, but suffer from issues with customer payments. A perfect example would be the housing construction industry where construction requires a significant financial outlay with little opportunity to recoup that investment until the property itself is sold.

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Companies that have significant assets tied up in their receivables can turn those receivables into immediate cash. Finance companies are flexible in options and provide their customers with the benefits of using recourse & non-recourse factoring. Recourse factoring allows the company selling the receivables to secure a higher initial payout provided they guarantee the finance company is paid on the invoice. Non-recourse has a lower initial payout but allows the company to avoid any guarantees relating to invoice payout. Overall, factoring & accounts receivable financing is becoming a more viable option for business owners looking to avoid the high costs of business credit lines and loans. It is not an indication of a company’s overall health, but merely a solution to short term cash flow issues.