Factors To Consider When Offering Consumer Financing

Factors To Consider When Offering Consumer Financing

If you are like most business owners, you are consistently looking for ways to expand your business and increase your revenue. One option you may not have considered is consumer financing. In this case, your customers can purchase their products on credit, so they enjoy them now and pay for them over time. However, before you offer financing, consider these factors.

Is It Scalable?

Your growth strategies should be scalable, so they are just as effective when you are small as when you are large. In addition, they should apply across all your platforms. This is especially true with customer financing. You need to offer financing in your brick-and-mortar locations as well as your mobile apps, website and any other events you hold. In addition, the plan should expand with your business so that you can offer new customers financing as well.

Is Implementation Complicated?

As with any new strategy, your implementation needs to be smooth and successful. This may require that your financier offer tools to help you get your customer financing program started and going well. You probably want to avoid having to provide extensive employee training. However, you want the process to be easy for your customers as well. In fact, they aren’t going to like a lengthy process when they apply for their credit because it will increase their checkout time. This can also be frustrating for those behind them in line in brick-and-mortar locations.

If you offer financing in-house, your accounts receivables will become more complicated. However, using a third-party financing company shouldn’t increase these duties because you are paid when the purchases are made rather than over time.

What Does It Cost?

Every penny you spend on financing reduces your bottom line. This can make in-house financing attractive because you aren’t charged fees and you can collect interest on the debt. Finance companies often charge a percentage of the total bill in addition to a flat fee, such as six percent of the bill plus $0.50 per transaction.

If you finance your customers, you also won’t receive all the money upfront. Instead, it will be spread over the payment period. However, a third-party financier will give you the balance of the purchase less its fees immediately.

What Are the Risks?

In-house financing is risky. You have to have an established collections and billing process in place, and you still may not receive payment. However, financiers take most of the risk when they provide your customer credit. However, your finance company may still require you to reimburse it if customers don’t pay their bills.

As you consider your consumer financing options, do your due diligence and consider all your options.

Commercial Real Estate Mistakes to Avoid

Commercial Real Estate Mistakes to Avoid

If you looked at the portfolios of some of the wealthiest people in this country, you would likely find commercial property among their other investments. This is because these assets have lower risk and equal or higher returns than other investments, including the stock market. However, these are common mistakes you should avoid if you plan to invest in commercial real estate.

Not Planning for Your Taxes

Although real estate investors tend to pay little income tax due to depreciation and other deductions, they do have other tax responsibilities. The most important is property tax, which can cause you to lose your real estate holdings if they are not paid. In addition, these taxes increase each year. You will also encounter capital gains tax if you sell any of your properties for more than your purchase price.

Therefore, take the time to calculate your tax responsibilities before you purchase a property. Be sure you have the money set aside so that you can pay them, and plan for them to increase in the future.

Not Evaluating the Risks

Each type of commercial property (multifamily, retail, industrial, office, multi-use, raw land and special use properties) has different advantages and disadvantages. For example, multifamily units often have higher returns, but their management and turnover are greater. Office complexes may have longer leases and less management, but you may have difficulty filling them, especially in challenging economic times.

Therefore, learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each property type. Evaluate what you are willing and capable of doing, and choose the property that best fits your needs, risk tolerance and abilities.

Lack of Fiscal Responsibility

It can be tempting to purchase the best deal you can find, but if you become overextended, you can quickly get yourself into trouble. Set and stay within a budget. Consider the risks of the property and balance that with your finances so you have enough cash available for any unexpected expenses. Build a long-term strategy so you don’t assume too much debt upfront.

Not Calculating Expenses and Revenues Accurately

Many first-time investors overestimate revenues and underestimate expenses. This can cost you your property. Therefore, carefully analyze the seller’s expense and revenue reports. Consider the rental income and occupancy rates carefully. Have the building inspected to determine upcoming maintenance requirements. Review past expenses and consider increases, such as electricity price increases, in your analysis. Consider all renovation and repair needs. Also, determine whether you will use a property manager and account for these costs as well.

Don’t be afraid to dream big, but balance your dreams with your budget and risk tolerance. Choose commercial real estate that fits your needs and budget.

How To Use a Fix and Flip Loan

How To Use a Fix and Flip Loan

If you are interested in real estate, you may have heard about fix and flip houses. It is where you take a home that needs renovations, fix it, and then sell it for a profit. It has the potential to be lucrative, which is why many people are interested in trying it out. However, buying a house outright is not always possible. It is why loans for fixing and flipping are popular. Here are some tips for using this type of loan to get the most out of it and your time.

Use It To Buy a House

A loan for fixing and flipping a house can help you buy the property you want. A home in a popular area can bring in a lot of money when it is time to sell. Also, a run-down house with potential is another pick for this type of loan.

Keep in mind that it is essential to have an inspector look at the home before you buy it. It can reduce problems later on if you know about them beforehand. Before getting a fix and flip loan, ensure it covers the cost of the home you want to purchase.

Use It To Buy Furniture and Appliances

When renovating a home, you need to buy new appliances. The latest models can help you charge a higher price and make people more willing to pay. A loan can cover the costs of things like refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines. If you want to stage the home, you will need furniture. Choose pieces that suit the house and make it stand out. It can make it more appealing to potential homebuyers.

Use It To Fix Up the Outside

The outside of the home should not get overlooked, especially since that is the first thing people see. Paint the house, fix any damaged or old areas, and check the roof. You can also use the loan to make the yard seem more appealing.

If you have a front yard, make it more inviting and make the backyard more relaxing and comfortable. If your budget allows, you may want to add features like a pool or a gazebo. Choose items that fit the feel of the home and make it more valuable.

Fixing up a home does not have to cost you a lot of money. Take time to research which type of funding is best for you. A loan can help cover your upfront costs and help your home sell faster. 

Reasons Why Companies Should Be Checking Their Business Financials

Reasons Why Companies Should Be Checking Their Business Financials

One key to running a successful commercial enterprise is balancing the books. Thus, checking on business financials remains a wise practice. First-time entrepreneurs might question whether this task is truly worth the effort. The fact remains that ignoring this suggestion puts businesspersons at risk.

Automation Breeds Mistakes

Computerization is a double-edged sword. On the plus side, it helps reduce the element of human error. The downside is it triggers the assumption that everything is being handled properly. This can then lead to damaging oversights that throw off one’s budget.

Take automatic payments as an example. Scheduled electronic deductions block the possibility of forgetting to pay a bill. At the same time, people assume that invoices are being accurately paid. This encourages tuning out. Terms could change without notice, possibly resulting in a forced overdraft. An errant charge might suddenly appear. Speaking with a customer service representative is necessary to reverse it.

Financial Reviews Deliver Insights

Examining records may raise questions that are worthy of investigation. When the dollar figures that leaders expect do not appear, they don their sleuthing hats. A stretch of in-house research could uncover cracks in their standard operating procedures. Sadly, even employee theft may be the cause. The sooner such issues surface, the faster they are handled.

Combing through business financials may also reveal delinquent customers. Enterprises without dedicated accounts receivables departments are likely to overlook this matter. These owners must make a concerted effort to identify unpaid invoices. Once they do, they’ll know which clients need a bit of reminding or pressure to spur them into paying.

Badly-Timed Loan Requests End in Rejections

Independent ventures sometimes need extra working capital to keep their doors open. An emergency could arise that drains corporate savings. Often, a loan is the best solution. That said, a lending institution might wind up denying an application. Many times, poor fiscal oversight is the cause.

One way of reducing the odds of this outcome is by applying at the right time. Seasonal operations often have specific calendar periods when profits are at their peak. Success is more likely when cash flow is at its highest. Even if approval would happen anyway, the rates and terms are bound to be better. Greater profits also mean taking out a loan will be less of a cause for worry.

Wise entrepreneurship involves reviewing business financials with regularity. Thankfully, it is an easy task that leads to more than a few desirable payoffs.

3 Things to Know About a Bridge Loan Program

3 Things to Know About a Bridge Loan Program

Real estate value has risen for several years due to insufficient inventory. Everyone wanted to move, and businesses sometimes moved with their buyers and workers. While great for sellers, it proved harder for buyers, including investment properties.

An investor’s savings may be insufficient to get some properties they eyed during a seller’s market. If the company eyeing the parcel can’t get traditional financing, it may be necessary to get a loan to bridge the gap when purchasing a property. Bridge loans help any buyer to beat out the competition.

What Is It?

The bridge loan program helps borrowers with gaps in their funding for investment or commercial properties. Some lenders will refer to this loan as swing financing or gap financing. This loan type works best in the short term and comes with high-interest rates.

This finance product can help any borrower when they need extra funds to win a property or finish a construction project. A bridge loan may seem like any other loan, but it differs in how you use the financing itself.

How Do They Work?

These loans fund fast in comparison to other loan programs. So using bridge loans to support urgent gaps can help with a borrower’s critical real estate or different business needs. A lender will ask that you put the property as collateral in their loan terms.

Many different types of lenders offer this program, including banks and alternative lenders. Shop around to find the best terms and rates. Some loans will also provide prepayment incentives, which can help mitigate overall loan costs if the financing is paid early.

When To Get One?

Bridge loans are outstanding when you need fast financing for other things besides real estate. They can help with inventory needs or anywhere there is a funding gap. However, it is mainly used to help purchase or repair investment or commercial property.

Before trying to qualify, a business will want to look at its cash flow to confirm it can’t get a traditional loan. It needs to ensure it can pay off these loans on time. Not only is it high-interest debt, but it is secured on physical collateral.

This program may suit some situations, but the borrower will want to consider all options before taking a bridge loan. Many lenders can help with financing gaps and provide a bridge loan. Finding the right lender is crucial as these loans may become costly depending on the loan terms and rates.

Pros and Cons of Purchasing Investment Real Estate With a Hard Money Loan

Pros and Cons of Purchasing Investment Real Estate With a Hard Money Loan

Buying an investment property with a bank is difficult for some business owners. A traditional lender will need specific conditions met before lending money to you. When you start your business, it may not even be possible to meet the many mandated requirements of a bank.

A hard money loan may be a good option if you don’t qualify for a traditional loan. There may be a lot of pros and cons for this loan type. But if you aren’t ready for a conventional investment property mortgage, you can use a hard money loan to get started.


Hard money loans are a type of short-term bridge loan. A bank doesn’t work with this loan program. Individuals or companies will lend your company money using the property to secure the loan. If you default, the lender will collect the collateral.


Because this lending program is secured by real property, the lender will not look into your finances. The lending company for hard money loans will need to know how much the property is worth.

The process to qualify is nominal, shortening the time to obtain funds. Depending on the lender, you can expect to wait anywhere from a few days to a few weeks before you get your funds.

A hard money loan helps if you just started your business and can’t qualify for a traditional loan. You won’t need huge cash to purchase a property with this loan.


Your origination fees and interest rates are lower at a traditional bank than with hard money financing. Because this loan type is higher risk, a lender will want to protect themselves.

Short-term loan contracts require you to pay off the property, or you may lose it to the lender. Every arrangement differs for each loan, but the loan terms are much less than a bank’s.

Hard money loans come with high expenses, but the idea is to force you to pay them off as soon as possible. This allows the lender to get out of a potentially risky deal. The longer the loan term, the more difficult to both you and the lender.

Using a traditional lender may not be possible at first. You can use a hard money loan to bridge the gap until you are more established. Once you qualify for a traditional loan, it is best to roll over your hard money loan into a mortgage if you can’t pay it off before the hard money loan is due.

The Benefits of Equipment Financing

The Benefits of Equipment Financing

If you run a business that requires expensive equipment, you may find that buying new versions is not always possible. Instead, you can finance your equipment, and you do not have to spend a substantial amount of money at once. Many business owners have companies that could benefit from better equipment but cannot afford it. Instead of going without, try equipment financing to help your business thrive while saving money in the short term. Here is how this type of financing can benefit your company.

It Can Help With Upfront Costs

Instead of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars upfront, getting a loan for your equipment can help ease the burden of buying. You can use payments spread over time to help you afford your equipment. Financing your machinery can allow you to grow your business and make more money.

You can also get your equipment quicker since you do not have to save up to buy the item. Remember that financing could cost you more than just buying the items outright. However, if the upfront cost is not feasible, especially if you are starting a new business, getting a loan may be your best option.

It Can Help You Build Business Credit

Business credit is valuable to most business owners. It can help you get certain loans or make your payments lower. You need good business credit if you intend to use loans later in your career. For example, your credit could help you lease or buy a larger space for your company, which may lead to more customers and revenue. Equipment financing is one way to raise and build your credit.

You Can Buy New Equipment

Every business owner wants to have the latest equipment, especially if they are in a specialized field. The items you use can better serve your clients or customers or help your business run more efficiently. New machinery may run better than older models and help you complete tasks faster. It can lead to better customer service or better products.

Depending on your industry, it may be valuable to have the latest model, and sometimes it can be enough to have a relatively new model. For example, a restaurant oven may not need to be the latest kind, but a laser for manufacturing may be essential.

Financing your equipment can help your business grow and bring in new customers. Use some of these tips the next time you consider getting a loan for your machinery.

Tips For Raising Money at a Small Business

Tips For Raising Money at a Small Business

No matter what type of industry you are in, running a small business takes a lot of work. Hours might be long, margins may get pretty tight, and unexpected challenges are sure to come up along the way. As the owner of the business, the burden will be on you to steer the ship through any turbulent periods.

One particular and almost inevitable challenge for a small business is raising enough money. If your business is thriving, great! But downturns can come on quickly, and you may be forced to raise cash to keep the lights on and pay staff. Plus, the costs just of opening can be exorbitant, so raising money at the outset is almost always necessary.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to raise money. Whether you’re looking at SBA loans, a crowdfunding campaign, or another method, it’s good to consider your options. Read on to learn a little more about how to effectively raise money at your business.

SBA Loans

All entrepreneurs should be familiar with SBA loans. These are a class of loans that are backed by the government, and are geared toward entrepreneurs of all types. There are loans for buying property, disaster loans, lines of credit, and more.

Don’t know where to start? Contact your local bank or credit union to ask about SBA loans, and you may be able to find an option that works for you.


Crowdfunding can be another effective option for many small businesses. Crowdfunding, as the name suggests, involves raising cash from the “crowd” — typically either a large group of small-dollar donors or wealthy investors (like venture capitalists). Crowdfunding can be a way to get more people invested in your business and works particularly well if you have a sizable social profile. Of course, in some cases, it does require giving up an equity stake in your business, which can be difficult.

Asset-Based Loans

An asset-based loan is usually a quick secured loan, lent based on something valuable you put up as collateral. Maybe it’s expensive equipment that your company owns or a vehicle or piece of property. Whatever it is, asset-based loans can be pretty quick to secure and are often flexible about terms. Just be sure you’re in a position to repay, so you don’t have to forfeit the collateral.

While the challenges of small business ownership are real, the rewards are substantial. These tips can help ensure you have the funds to make it through difficult times.

Top Things To Know About a Line of Credit

Top Things To Know About a Line of Credit

Securing credit for a new business is challenging. You need an established credit history to qualify for some loans. It’s more complicated than showing your business plan to your local banker, and then if they like it enough, they will lend you money.

You need authorization from an underwriter for most loans, and they can mandate strict requirements before the lender will consider forking over cash to a new business. If you qualify, lines of credit can help a new business keep its money flowing while establishing itself.

How It Works

A line of credit functions similarly to a credit card cash advance. You’re approved for a certain amount of funds, which allows you to withdraw that cash for all your business needs. Unlike a credit card, it is not as simple as going to the ATM and getting a cash advance. You need to go to your lender to withdraw the funds.

You can use this type of credit for a variety of purchases. However, you have to use something other than lines of credit for larger purchases for the company because of higher interest rates.

How To Qualify

Unlike a credit card, you must meet stricter cash flow, collateral and credit standards with this loan type. The lender will base your creditworthiness on your or the business’s credit.

Most lenders will require a business operating period of at least two years to qualify for a line of credit. A newer company may need to find an alternative to this loan program for a little while until it’s more established.

If you choose to use your credit history along with personal collateral, you may qualify for lines of credit despite your business’s time in operation. Receiving credit approval may require that you sign your home or other collateral over to the bank, so their risks are limited.

How It’s Kept

Even after you get a line of credit, your lender will continually determine if you’re still eligible. The bank outlines stipulations they require to keep your line of credit in your contract.

These requirements can include a variety of things. The bank will look into timely payments, the business’s cash flow, and how you use the credit line.

Obtaining a credit line for your business can help boost your cash flow if you qualify. Knowing what it takes to prepare can help your company’s chances of acquiring this type of credit.

What Are the Benefits of a Merchant Cash Advance?

What Are the Benefits of a Merchant Cash Advance?

Anyone running an independent business needs working capital. If your quest for a loan has been generating denials, you’re likely feeling frustrated. Inadequate funds could be blocking you from branching out and blossoming into the success you envision. Thankfully, there exists an option that may solve the problem. Consider taking out a merchant cash advance. Besides offering greater accessibility, these loans include an impressive list of advantages.

Funds Arrive Fast

One of the most notable benefits is that the money arrives quickly. In most cases, you won’t have to wait more than a week for funds to arrive. Compare that with traditional loans, which often take weeks or even months to complete.

Depending on the situation, timing could be of the essence. Creditors could be breathing down your neck. There might be plans for seasonal business promotion. Under these circumstances, waiting is unacceptable. After securing one of these loans, a lump sum deposit should arrive in your business account practically overnight.

Credit and Assets Are Not at Risk

It is common for young businesspersons to have negative marks lurking in their credit histories. Major lenders often view mistakes as reasons for not working with someone. Cash advance providers care little about their credit scores.

The reason is that the money their customers receive depends on credit card sales. A part of the money generated with every credit card swipe goes toward paying down the loan. Thus, the frequency of sales using plastic is what’s most important.

Because of this arrangement, whatever happens with the loan is unlikely to impact your credit score. Also, since collateral is unnecessary, it will not trigger repossession.

Money Can Be Used Freely

Many loans come with restrictions. Most lenders are interested in making sure their money goes toward particular areas. Deviating from these mandates can result in fines or even termination of the loan.

In contrast, the dollars from a merchant cash advance have no limitations. The money may be used in any number of ways. Pay down debt, hire extra employees, or replace broken equipment. The choice is yours. Having the power to spend the cash in whatever way you see fit is especially welcome when an emergency arises.

Depending on your situation, a merchant cash advance might be the financial solution you seek. Those inclined to favor other financial resources ought to consider the benefits of one. The perks might make forging a deal worthwhile, including for those who have an array of options.