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The Business of Manufacturing: Loans & Financing | L3

The Complete Guide to Manufacturing & Factory Loans

The manufacturing process is complex, and starting a manufacturing business requires a high level of investment. Luckily, factory loans can help you get your new venture off the ground.

Taking into account overheads, raw materials, factory costs and equipment, it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to spend hefty six-figure sums to just get started.

Let’s jump into how to start a manufacturing business with no money and how to get approved for manufacturing loans that can help you make it happen.

What are Factory Loans?

A factory loan is a type of installment loan. You take out a lump sum for a predetermined period and make regular monthly repayments. With the cost of starting these types of businesses, production loans are not just an optional extra. They’re a requirement.

You can take out manufacturing loans for any business purpose, from sourcing the heavy equipment necessary to start manufacturing goods to the raw materials required to launch your first production line.

Common Costs of Running a Factory

When taking out a manufacturing business loan, you need to have a plan for what you’re going to use it for. Lenders specializing in these loans will want to see a comprehensive business plan and the reasoning behind why you need manufacturing financing in the first place.

So, what are the most common costs associated with running a factory?

  • Raw Materials – Everything from steel, wood, and oil is required to create your finished products. These are one of the most significant ongoing expenses incurred by factory owners.
  • Labor – Everyone from unskilled laborers to highly skilled craftspeople is required to keep a factory running. Experts command higher salaries, which can eat away at any struggling cash flow.
  • Equipment – Most manufacturing processes require heavy equipment. High capital investments are the primary consideration for startups in this sector. You also need to consider the repair and maintenance costs of the equipment.
  • Overhead – Finally, you have overhead expenses. These include everything from cleaning costs to employee benefits. Overheads are another significant ongoing expense you’ll have to meet.

Add everything together, and you’ll quickly see that starting a production facility amounts to some hefty costs. Business loans for manufacturers help you start your factory and give you the financial cushion you need to make it through those initial few years.

Types of Manufacturing Financing

There’s no single type of production financing. You’ve got a variety of manufacturing finance solutions available to you. The best lending option for you largely depends on what you need the money for and which lenders you qualify for.

Let’s take a closer look at the different factory loans available to you.

Business Line of Credit

Obtaining a business line of credit allows you access to a constant stream of revolving financing. You only pay back what you borrow, and every time you repay the money, the line of credit automatically refreshes itself.

Factory owners often use business lines of credit as forms of bridging financing or for covering short-term inventory costs.

Short-Term Business Loan

Taking out a dedicated short-term factory loan gives you access to a lump sum to be repaid in three months to five years. These are more flexible but expect higher interest rates.

Short-term business loans are excellent for covering any emergency expenses or expanding your business.

Equipment Financing Loans

Get the heavy equipment you need with dedicated equipment financing. These loans allow you to purchase any tangible asset necessary for running your factory.

Heavy equipment for factories is expensive, so these financing loans could allow you to launch your business and expand when necessary.

Traditional Bank Loans

Approach your bank for a loan and gain access to higher lump sums. Be prepared for a longer application process and a far longer repayment period. Many traditional bank loans for manufacturers may have a repayment period of up to 20 years.

The advantage of traditional bank loans is that you gain access to more competitive interest rates if you have a high credit score.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan Guarantee Program

While not a lender itself, the SBA regularly guarantees loans for qualifying businesses through their work with banks and credit unions. The SBA Loan Guarantee Program will essentially mean the SBA guarantees a portion of your loan.

If you qualify, you can potentially gain access to manufacturing finance options with a personal credit score of at least 680.

How to Get a Factory Loan

What are the steps you need to take to secure factory loans? The application process is generally the same as most other forms of loans. Make sure you read through the lender’s requirements before applying to avoid wasting your time.

  1. Compare and contrast different lending options.
  2. Fill out the lender’s application form. You’ll be asked about your projects, industry, business type, etc.
  3. Provide your recent company accounts (if you are an established business).
  4. Wait for the lender to get back to you. It’s not uncommon for lenders to ask for additional documentation when dealing with such sizable loan amounts.
  5. If accepted, expect your money to land in your business account within a few business days, depending on the lender. If rejected, seek out other lenders and apply with them.

Getting a factory loan relies mainly on tracking down lenders and preparing all your business documentation well in advance. Practically, production financing agents will want to see evidence that you’ve planned ahead.

Tips for Getting Approved for Manufacturing Loans

How do you increase your chances of getting your factory loan application approved?

Follow these tips to get started:

  • Improve your credit score. Your personal and business credit scores can be used to indicate creditworthiness. The higher your score, the more loan options you’ve got.
  • Increase your monthly revenue. Lenders want to see that you’ve got the money to make the repayments comfortably.
  • Boost your cash flow. High cash flows demonstrate that you won’t be left without the money to cover your monthly loan repayment.
  • Make sure you have a comprehensive business plan in place. Lenders want to see what your plan is for growing your factory.
  • Choose your lenders carefully. Review their requirements and only apply to the ones you comfortably qualify for.

Ensuring you get the production loans you need is a matter of hard work and dedication. Keep applying to different lenders and trying other financing options to get the investment you need to start your business.

Finance Your Factory Operations with L3

Starting a business in the manufacturing sector requires considerable investment and a thorough understanding of your business’s needs. Learning about your options and which financing solutions make sense is key to getting your business off on the right foot.

At L3 Funding, we specialize in providing financial resources, merchant cash advances, and more to get America’s entrepreneurs the capital they need to make their business dreams a reality.

Contact us to learn more now or apply for merchant funding with L3.

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The Business of Auto Repair: Loans & Financing Options | L3

The Complete Guide to Mechanic Financing

Starting an auto repair shop gives you the chance to enter a lucrative sector while providing a valuable and necessary service to your local community. However, as with any business, the start up cost for auto repair shops can be expensive.

Few small business owners have the funds available to start everything from scratch. Finding the right location, purchasing tools, hiring employees, and ensuring you meet all your jurisdiction’s licensing requirements are just some of the things you’ll have to factor into the start up cost.

Mechanic financing can help get you on your feet, but what does this process look like? Let’s delve into auto repair loans and how you can get one to kick off your new venture.

What are Auto Repair Loans?

Running an auto shop requires dedication and hard work – it’s not a job for the faint of heart. Part of the hard work includes securing and managing finances. Your expenses can vary wildly and it’s not just the startup costs you’ll have to consider, but your ongoing operating costs as well.

Cash flow is one of the biggest issues business owners face, especially when entering down periods throughout the year. A mechanic loan can provide you with a financial safety net and keep your business running through tough times.

Auto repair loans come in many forms. These are lump-sum installment loans with an interest rate and a regular monthly repayment like a vehicle repair loan. In the same way as any other type of business, you’ll need to approach auto repair financing companies, lay out your plans, and discuss your application with a loan professional.

Common Costs of Running an Auto Repair Shop

Auto repair shops that finance typically need to contend with the costs of their facilities, heavy machinery, staff, insurance costs, and more. Let’s discuss the top three costs associated with running a repair shop.

Equipment

Your equipment is what allows you to do your job. It’s not just the standard tools; it includes heavy machinery and expensive equipment. Air compressors, vehicle lifts, and engine hoists are essential pieces of machinery found in any professional garage.

Auto repair shops also need to think about how vehicles are getting smarter and more tech-focused. More and more consumers are searching for auto repair businesses to diagnose issues using advanced technology.

Regardless of the market you’re targeting, expect to invest thousands of dollars in purchasing the right equipment.

Insurance

Insurance is another significant expense that can affect your cash flow. Taking out an auto repair loan can preserve your liquidity and ensure you continue to meet your obligations. You’ll need to consider several insurance policies, including public liability, worker’s comp, and business insurance.

Note that your insurance requirements will differ based on which state you’re setting up your business in. Some require greater levels of coverage than others.

Rent

One of your most significant ongoing costs will be paying the rent. Unless you have the funds to purchase a building outright, your business will be renting a space.

Shortlisting buildings that have the necessary space and are in the right location is vital at this stage. You’ll need an office, parking spaces for customers, and a place to store vehicles that are currently being worked on.

Rent and the building’s associated property taxes can dent your budget.

Types of Auto Mechanic Financing

Mechanic auto finance options are available to get your business off the ground and provide financial assistance afterwards. Depending on what you need from an auto repair loan, there are several choices to consider.

Remember that it’s wise to show lenders that you’re committing your own money to your business to show dedication. Borrowing less will ultimately mean lower monthly repayments.

So, what types of mechanic financing are available?

Business Line of Credit

A business line of credit is an excellent financing option thanks to its flexibility. It comes with flexible, revolving funds that constantly refresh as you pay back what you borrowed.

Auto repair shop owners often use lines of credit for inventory costs and for bridging between invoices to preserve their cash flow.

Short-Term Business Loan

You’ll also find lenders offering dedicated short-term business loans to auto shops. Terms might range from as little as three months to five years. This type of financing offers more flexibility, but it typically comes with higher interest rates.

Short-term business loans are ideal if you need quick financing to cover any emergency expenses, such as a fire, natural disaster, or a piece of essential equipment breaking down.

Equipment Financing Loans

Equipment financing is designed to support the purchase of essential business equipment. Any tangible asset will qualify under equipment financing.

Your tangible assets could range from a lift to an alignment machine in an auto repair shop. Equipment financing loans are great options whether you’re just getting started or looking to expand.

Traditional Bank Loan

Alternatively, you may choose to approach your bank. Most bank loans will require some form of collateral, such as the business’s tangible assets. These loans can range from two to twenty years, so they’re a more long-term commitment.

If you’ve got a high credit score, you can take advantage of competitive interest rates. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for the application process to be slow and have stringent requirements.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan Guarantee Program

The SBA is not a lender, but they work with banks and credit unions via the SBA Loan Guarantee Program. If you qualify, the SBA will essentially guarantee a portion of the loan to convince traditional lenders to approve more loans.

You can qualify for these loans if your auto repair shop is already open and you have a personal credit score of more than 680.

How to Get Mechanic Financing

Applying for auto repair loans follows the same process as other loans. However, proper preparation will streamline your application and prevent headaches along the way. A lack of preparation is the reason many loan applications are delayed or outright rejected.

Follow these steps to get your auto repair loan:

  1. Choose your desired loan amount and compare interest rates and other terms.
  2. Fill in the application form provided by the lender. You’ll usually be asked to include information like business type, current revenue, and time in the industry.
  3. Provide your business’s checking account for inspection.
  4. Communicate with your lender. They may require further information before approving your loan. Most lenders use automated verification systems, so applications often pass initial checks within hours.
  5. Receive your funds. If approved, you’ll likely have the money in your account within a few business days. If rejected, start again with a different lender.

You’ll always have a greater chance of approval if your personal credit score is high. In the absence of an established track record for your business, your personal credit score will act as a substitute.

Tips for Getting Approved for Mechanic Financing

How do you increase your chances of getting your mechanic loan application approved?

Let’s examine some tips and steps you can take that may increase your chances of being approved for a loan for your auto repair business.

Increase Your Monthly Revenue

Loan providers will examine your monthly revenue for two reasons. First, they want to know whether you can comfortably afford the loan repayments. If it’s too low, they won’t offer you the chance to take out a significant loan.

On the other hand, steady growth indicates that your business is likely to stand the test of time. Remember, lenders are looking to reduce their risk.

Multiple recurring revenue streams are another way to reduce lender risk in their eyes. For example, your auto repair shop may have a subscription-based service for regular vehicle servicing. These income streams can enable you to overcome down periods in your business.

Get a Better Credit Score

Your credit score is fundamental to securing a loan for your auto repair shop. Your personal credit score will be what a lender examines when starting your business. On the other hand, your auto repair shop will also have its own credit score if you’ve already incorporated and launched your business.

A low credit score doesn’t mean you won’t get approved for a loan. It does, however, mean paying higher interest rates. Work on building your credit score to secure better loan offers going forward.

Improve Your Cash Flow

Your cash flow is the money you have available to cover your expenses. Also known as liquidity, a business that’s barely paying the bills every month is at risk of failing. A down period, a broken piece of equipment, or an essential employee leaving could all tip that business into the red and force it to grind to a halt.

Paper profits mean nothing until they’re sitting in your bank account. To lenders, businesses with poor cash flow represent a risk. It tells them that the business is either spending beyond its means or the business owner cannot prepare and manage a budget.

Focus on improving your margins and keeping a regular supply of cash to confront anything that hits your auto repair business.

Prepare a Plan

With most traditional loans, lenders will want to know what you’re using the money for and whether you have a growth plan. No lender wants to get stuck chasing repayments from a stagnant or declining business.

Make sure you have a comprehensive business plan and plenty of copies to distribute to specialized business lenders who ask for them.

Apply with Care

Study the lender’s requirements before applying. It makes no sense to apply for a loan your auto repair shop already doesn’t qualify for.

Automated verification systems mean your application will be instantly discarded and not seen by a pair of human eyes. Applying to the right lenders can save you considerable time and effort.

Finance Your Auto Repair Business with L3

Applying for a loan to build your auto repair shop from the ground up can be stressful, but securing the financing you need is key to becoming a fixture in your business community.

Work with L3 Funding to find the right financing sources and get tips on increasing your chances of securing a loan. We are the premier small business resource for dedicated and hard-working entrepreneurial communities.

To learn more about how L3 Funding can help you start off your auto repair shop on the right financial foot, contact us or apply for merchant funding today.

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Running a Franchise: Loans & Financing Options | L3

The Complete Guide to Franchise Funding

Starting a business from scratch is a highly challenging endeavor, yet building a recognizable brand from nothing is even more difficult. Running a franchise gives you access to a known brand’s trademarks, knowledge, processes, and name.

Brands from fast food to pest control have jumped into the franchising industry to expand their reach and boost their profiles rapidly. In fact, it’s estimated that the U.S. has 750,000 franchise businesses alone.

Today, we’re going to discuss how franchise business loans work and how to get a franchise loan.

What are Franchise Loans?

Franchises can do a lot for anyone who wants to start a new venture under their banner, but it’s crucial to develop a plan for financing a franchise.

The initial cost is paying the startup and licensing fee. These charges depend on the franchise, with more prominent brand names, such as McDonald’s, charging more than those who haven’t been in the business for long.

Franchise costs can range from a few thousand dollars to a few million dollars. Beyond the initial startup fees, you’ll likely have to pay ongoing fees to maintain control of your franchise. Entrepreneurs with little starting capital can obtain specialized franchise financing to cover these costs.

These loans work in much the same way as any other loan. You receive a lump sum and make regular monthly repayments until you’ve paid the loan off. These loans may be used for any associated business expenses.

Generally, financing a franchise will require you to put up at least 10-30% of the money from your personal funds. Lenders want to see that you’ve got some skin in the game.

Common Costs of Running a Franchise

With few limits on what you can spend the money on, what are the typical costs you’ll likely encounter when running a franchise?

Franchises put strict limits on business location, activities, prices, etc. Before committing to any one franchise, you’ll be able to receive an estimate on your build-out costs.

  • Franchise Fees – Franchising fees are the largest cost you incur during your first year. These commonly cost tens of thousands of dollars because you’re essentially renting the brand. A loan for a franchise can cover these fees and may also cover any ongoing license fees.
  • BuildOut Costs – Your build-out costs will vary depending on your business. For example, a mobile hotdog van or a pest control business will see few build-out costs. A new fast food outlet, on the other hand, will require all the equipment, fixtures, and fittings.
  • Working Capital – Most franchises will also provide detailed information on the amount of working capital required to keep your new business moving. A franchise loan can ensure you have the liquidity to maintain your business’s activities.
  • Supplies – Your basic supplies will be a regular ongoing cost. Again, the supplies and their cost will vary depending on the business. For example, a restaurant will need food, plates, cutlery, and napkins.
  • Inventory – Franchises will often stipulate a minimum amount of inventory to get started. Running a store may mean spending anything from $20,000 to $150,000 in stock to get moving.

As you can see, the costs of running a franchise go well beyond the franchising fees themselves. You’ll need a considerable amount of franchise funding to start all but the most minor franchises.

These are only a basic overview of costs. More formalized franchising programs may even require you to attend a training camp, which, again, can lead to you incurring travel and living expenses.

Types of Franchise Financing

There are lots of franchise funding options available, which means you need to weigh up your options and consider whether they fit your business plan. The right franchise loan can make your business, and the wrong one can break it. It’s essential to consider several options for franchise funds first.

Here are the main types of financing available to you.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans

SBA franchise loans cover up to 85% of a business’s loan amount. These loans are designed for small businesses to get off the ground. Although the SBA doesn’t offer financing itself, it works with banks, credit unions, and other lenders across the nation. They guarantee the loan, so lenders are more willing to support small business owners.

The security offered to borrowers and lenders is beneficial for both parties, making SBA franchise loans among the most helpful loan types in the country.

The best part is that you only need a minimum 500 FICO score, which is considerably lower than other lenders. You can also lend anything from $30,000 to $5,000,000. With no minimum monthly revenue requirements and payback periods up to 25 years, you’ve already got your business off on the right foot if you can obtain an SBA loan.

Startup Business Loans

Unfortunately, your franchise financing options are considerably more limited when starting a business from nothing. Startup business loans are an option if you’re searching for alternatives to fund your franchise.

Startup business loans are designed for those who have never owned a business before. They also offer super low-interest rates. Your existing FICO score will determine whether you’re eligible for financing.

Most lenders request a minimum of 680 on your credit score before they’ll consider lending. If you’ve got a poor credit score, you’ll need to work on building it up first.

Franchisor Financing

Some of the larger franchises may even offer their own financing departments. It makes sense from a financial standpoint because when franchise businesses pay interest rates and other fees under their banner, they create a recurring stream of income.

Franchisors that offer this service are free to divine whatever terms they like, so make sure you read through their terms and conditions carefully. Some offers of financing are better than others.

Different franchises will also have varying requirements. Some are more stringent regarding previous business experience and credit scores than traditional lenders. Read their Franchise Disclosure Document and study the brand before committing to anything.

Business Credit Cards

Taking out a business credit card will not enable you to cover the higher costs of doing business, but it can cover your smaller obligations.

For example, many businesses often put their supplies and some of their inventory on a business credit card to tide them over until the end of the month.

You’ll be able to obtain a business credit card when opening up your business bank account. Again, do your research and compare different business credit card offers.

How to Get a Franchise Funding

Securing a franchise loan doesn’t differ that much from any other form of financing. Applying for franchise financing is a matter of finding the right lender and sending them a strong application.

The basic steps for obtaining one of these franchise funding loans include:

  • Step One – Compare and contrast different funding options. You need the loan that best suits your new business. It’s always better to borrow less from the right lender than to borrow more from the wrong lender.
  • Step Two – Check the lender’s requirements. Make sure you meet those requirements before applying to avoid wasting your time. Many lenders use automated verification systems, so if you don’t meet the requirements, your application will never even be seen by a human.
  • Step Three – Submit your business plan. You obviously don’t have any current business accounts if you’re just getting started. Instead, you should have a comprehensive business plan explaining your franchise proposition and how you will grow that franchise.
  • Step Four – Wait for the lender to get back to you. Depending on which financing option you choose, this could be a few days or a few weeks. Be patient, and don’t be afraid to examine other options in the meantime.
  • Step Five – Get your money. If approved, you’ll likely receive the funds in your account within a few business days. If rejected, start the process again. Just because one lender didn’t approve you doesn’t mean another lender won’t.

Unlocking franchise funding is often the biggest hurdle entrepreneurs need to overcome. Be patient and be persistent. If you’re struggling to capture the interest of any lenders, you may need to work on your shortcomings as a prospective borrower and revisit once you’ve made some changes.

Tips for Getting Approved for a Franchise Loan

A loan for a franchise can launch your business and propel your career. Unfortunately, not everyone is an ideal candidate – at least initially.

Follow these tips to increase your chances of getting approved for a franchise loan.

Build Your Credit Score

Starting a new business means you don’t have a business credit score to fall back on. Instead, lenders will use your personal credit score to deduce your creditworthiness. Most lenders have minimum credit requirements, so make sure you obtain a free copy of your credit report first to find out where you lie.

So, what are some top tips for building your credit score?

  • Reduce your debt load
  • Improve your credit ratio
  • Make regular repayments on time

In many cases, taking out a credit card and making small purchases can build your score in the long term. If you have a poor credit score, this is an endeavor that could take months. Be patient and practice good credit habits until you meet the lender’s requirements.

Refine Your Business Plan

Lenders will want to see a copy of your business plan. It’s not just a roadmap for growth, but demonstrates your experience and commitment as a business owner.

The biggest mistake you can make is not being detailed enough in your business plan, with the second error being overstating your potential profits. Keep your plan modest and grounded in reality.

Increase Your Personal Capital

Lenders will seldom issue a significant loan for a new franchise business with no money down. It enhances the risk for the lender and, in theory, makes founders less motivated because they don’t have any personal financial stake in the business.

One way to get around constant rejection is to increase the personal capital you’re willing to put down. A few extra thousand dollars demonstrates to lenders that you’re serious about making your new franchise operation successful.

Get a Co-Applicant

Some lenders may also accent co-applicants on a loan application. A co-applicant is a guarantor of the loan, so if you fail to make the repayments, they will be on the hook to cover the loan. Think carefully about taking on a co-guarantor, as not every lender will accept them, and it can be tough to find a reliable one.

Start with a friend or family member and go from there.

Secure Franchise Funding with L3

Building a successful franchise requires hard work, time and dedication. Enlist the help of experienced professionals and have financial experts on your side. At L3 Funding, we specialize in supporting America’s small business community through intelligent resources, support, and financing options.

To learn more about merchant funding, contact L3 today. 

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Investment and Asset Management: Differences Explained

Investment Management vs. Asset Management: Which is Best for You?

Do you know the difference between investment management and asset management? Many people use the terms interchangeably, but there are some key differences. 

If you’re building a healthy savings account and looking to optimize it for later in life, it’s important to understand your options thoroughly. Read on to learn more about investment management vs. asset management, the roles of investment and asset managers, and which may be the best for you.

What is Investment Management? 

As your personal or company wealth grows, it should be invested wisely to ensure stability and maximum return. While asset management is part of this, investment management is much more all-encompassing. It’s not necessarily a case of choosing between asset management vs. investment management. Still, you need a firm understanding of the differences so you can hire the right people to protect and develop your capital. 

An investment manager’s job is to safeguard all of your investments to ensure returns. In addition to asset management, an investment manager will work to make the most of your money, incorporating tactics for:

  • Insurance relief
  • Retirement planning
  • Estate planning
  • Minimal taxation
  • Philanthropy
  • Qualified educational or medical transfers

The benefit of hiring a professional to take care of investment and asset management together is that you’ll end up with a well-rounded portfolio without any legal worries. After all, the financial landscape is constantly shifting. As a result, it’s not always feasible that busy professionals have time to stay on top of changing legislation and manage their own investments. Another benefit is that investment management/manager professionals have years of experience and data-driven insights that protect you from making poor or emotionally biased investment decisions. 

Each investor should have a customized financial plan that is revisited regularly. Because of this, many people prefer investment management vs. asset management.  This is because they see it as a more rounded and risk-averse portfolio solution. 

What is Asset Management?

An asset manager is responsible for handling investments on behalf of individuals and companies. But what is the difference between an asset vs. investment? 

Assets comprise the elements of investment portfolios that have tangible monetary value. When managed properly, these can accrue additional value over time. In other words, the main difference between asset management and investment management is that asset management does not encompass techniques to make savings on tax or donation-based financial activities, etc.

It focuses purely on the continual accrual of value through financial instruments like:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Real Estate
  • Mutual funds
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • Fixed income securities
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrency

While personal services are sometimes available, many asset management companies work primarily for trust funds, charities, and large institutions. Unlike Registered Investment Advisors (RIA) in the investment management sector, they are not legally required to put their client’s financial interests ahead of their own.  As such, sometimes, asset opportunities are limited to narrow or in-house options that don’t necessarily guarantee the best return. 

Asset Manager Vs. Investment Manager: How Do the Roles Differ? 

Though the goal in both cases is to help people make money, the client base and responsibilities of an asset manager and investment manager are quite different.

Asset managers prefer to work with individuals or large businesses with considerable amounts of money to invest. On the other hand, investment managers are generally accepting of individuals and companies of any size and income. 

Investment Manager: Primary Responsibilities

Primary responsibilities include: 

Evaluating risk – Keeping abreast of the changing economic climate to gauge specific risks in client target markets. 

Advising Clients – Reviewing data through thorough statistical analysis and recommending investment opportunities that may be lucrative.

Compiling Investment Reports – Keeping clients informed about how their portfolio of investments is performing.

Profitability Forecasting – Analyzing and subsequently maintaining or adjusting a client’s investment portfolio based on projected profits.

Asset Manager: Primary Responsibilities

Primary responsibilities include: 

Meeting with Clients – To discuss specific financial needs and analyze the risks associated with their assets. 

Chasing Goals – Managing client assets to meet specific short-term and long-term goals.  

Financial Reporting – Creating statements and reports that help clients visualize and evaluate improvements and decide on changes.

Developing Portfolios – Maintaining client portfolios so financial information is clear, organized, and up to date. 

Find the Flexible Funding You Need

Your decision on whether to choose investment management vs. asset management will ultimately depend on whether you are acting as an individual or corporate entity and how much money you have to invest. Either way, the plan you select should actively maximize return based on an acceptable level of risk. 

There are times when it’s prudent to borrow rather than pull money out of your investments. For example, if you get hit by unexpected expenses that damage your cash flow, you may lose more by altering your portfolio than you would by taking a bridging loan from a third party. 

At L3 Funding, we’ve been working with business owners for years to provide flexible, reliable merchant funding solutions. Contact us today to learn more about making the most out of your investments.

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Understanding Organic vs. Inorganic Growth

Organic Growth vs. Inorganic Growth: What’s the Difference?

Growth is a positive indicator that a business is doing well and can be measured in many ways, including sales, revenue, profit, market share, and share price. 

Expansion can be achieved by two different methods – inorganic growth vs. organic growth. Strategies are different for each approach. To discover the best tactics for your business, you’ll need to take a deeper look at organic and inorganic growth, and the pros and cons of each. 

Organic vs. Inorganic Growth 

Deciding between organic and inorganic growth strategies requires constant evaluation of the company, your industry, private capital markets, and personal objectives. Let’s start with some definitions of organic growth vs. inorganic growth and how they compare.

What is Organic Growth?

Organic growth is driven internally and usually takes longer than inorganic growth. Businesses measure results year-over-year by comparing revenues and share value. 

Strategies are typically based on a combination of the following tactics:

  • The optimization of company processes
  • The reallocation of resources
  • New product offerings
  • Favorable pricing strategies

What is Inorganic Growth? 

Inorganic growth is the opposite of organic growth in that it derives from external deals rather than an increase in business activities. Inorganic business growth is usually the faster method, although it’s not a quick fix for an existing decline. Furthermore, it is highly recommended that businesses are already stable before considering these tactics:

  • Mergers
  • Acquisitions
  • Joint ventures

Pros and Cons of Organic Growth

There’s no clear-cut answer on the best option between organic growth vs. inorganic growth, as each has pros and cons. 

Pros of Organic Growth

Let’s take a closer look at the pros of organic growth: 

Better Focus – Your management team is already familiar with your business plan, and it’s likely your teams already work cohesively together. Familiarity like this takes time to develop after a merger. 

No Restructuring Challenges – Avoid the layoffs, personnel changes, and transitions to new processes and products that come with an inorganic growth strategy. 

More Control – Entrepreneurs that stay true to their goals and avoid acquisitions and mergers (A & M) have more control over business direction. 

Investor Attraction – A business with solid yet gradual growth is often more attractive to investors than one with rapid inorganic growth. 

Sustainability – Consistency is key. Without organic growth, your business is unlikely to retain value or become an acquisition target in the future.

Cons of Organic Growth

With the pros of organic growth explained, let’s explore the cons. 

Speed – Organic growth is slower because it is limited by resources, personnel, and available support. 

Loss of Competitive Edge – In markets where competitors are growing quickly or where M&A are commonplace, it can be difficult to keep up with the pace–especially when competitors that have already merged lower their prices or allocate resources more effectively. 

Hitting the Wall – Businesses relying solely on organic growth may reach a capacity point where they no longer have the resources to continue on the same trajectory. 

Pros and Cons of Inorganic Growth

It is challenging for companies to achieve rapid growth purely through internal functions. This is why looking at an inorganic strategy is sometimes a necessity. 

Pros of Inorganic Growth

Pros of inorganic growth include: 

Fast-Paced Growth – Through M&A transactions, your customer base increases, and your client list is extended. 

More Assets – With inorganic growth strategies, you acquire assets and resources virtually overnight. 

Increased Market Share – You reap the benefits of new market penetration and simultaneously inherit data insights and client relationships. 

Increased Knowledge Base – Joining forces with other firms provides a broader skills and knowledge base and more top-level managers to continue pushing plans forward. 

Strong Credit – With the value of two businesses combined, you will likely have access to stronger credit lines. 

Competitive Edge – By growing more rapidly than your competitors, you gain strategic advantages in purchasing, pricing, and overall reach. 

Cons of Inorganic Growth

What are the cons of organic growth? These can include: 

Upfront Costs – If you don’t have cash readily available, you may have to take on debt to complete the M&A. This is risky if the takeover doesn’t go well and could deter investors. 

Scaling Challenges – Rapid growth leads to complexities in restructuring at all levels, affecting service, sales, and support. If not well managed, the integration may fail. 

Inadequate Operational Processes – Acquiring another business requires having organizational processes in place to ensure a smooth transition. Big changes to operating systems and processes can lead to confusion and company-wide inefficiency.

Acquire Funding to Accelerate Your Growth

There’s no need to choose outright between organic growth vs. inorganic growth strategies as a permanent business decision. Most companies find a combination is the best way to diversify their revenue base without relying too heavily on one method over the other. 

Need help getting funding? L3 Funding is the go-to financial resource for businesses looking to grow. We specialize in helping organizations understand their financial options and provide a range of solutions, each customized to your individual business needs. Whatever type of merchant funding you need, L3 Funding is here to help you succeed.  

Categories
Uncategorized

Inventory Management Techniques Explained

Whether you run a physical or online store, effective inventory control is paramount. Too much inventory creates storage problems and reduces your flexibility to offer new products. Too little, and you can’t fulfill orders, which leads to customer disappointment and loss of business. 

Knowing how much stock you have leads to better buying decisions. As a result, most smart businesses use inventory control management software to track inventory from purchase to sale. 

How Does Inventory Management Work? 

The ultimate goal of business inventory management is to gain accurate real-time information on stock levels and stock locations, reduce operating costs, streamline merchandise flow, and maximize revenue. 

Store inventory management systems utilize a combination of barcodes, RFID tags, scanners, readers, and software. Products are scanned at the point of purchase, and the information is automatically relayed to the software, which updates your stock list accordingly. This means you’ll always know which items are selling, how much stock you have left, and when to reorder. 

Computerized inventory control procedures are popular because they guarantee accuracy, remove guesswork, and save on labor costs associated with human error and outdated manual processes like updating spreadsheets. 

Efficient inventory management methods aren’t just about tracking sales and available stock, though. They also save you warehouse space and reduce the amount of cash caught up in the supply chain. In addition, many systems analyze data and can communicate directly with suppliers to automate reorders when stocks get low. However, there must still be room for human intuition and input. Otherwise, it’s impossible to account for seasonal variances, sudden surges in demand, or the intricacies of whichever inventory management techniques you choose to employ. 

Inventory Management Techniques to Streamline Your Business 

If you’ve done some research already or taken inventory management training, you’ll know there are several inventory control methods to choose from. The combination that’s right for you will depend on your business, the products you sell, and your location relative to your suppliers, customers, and warehouses. 

These are the most popular inventory management techniques.

Bulk Shipping

Buying in bulk is the cheapest way to acquire stock and is a good option for businesses with a consistent demand for specific products that they know sell quickly. However, if demand drops or sales are slower than expected, storage costs rise. This is particularly problematic for small businesses and e-commerce stores that don’t have a lot of warehouse space. 

FIFO and LIFO 

FIFO (first in, first out) and LIFO (last in, first out) are inventory management methods that determine the cost of stock. FIFO assumes that older inventory is sold first, which is best for perishable goods or products in unpredictable markets. LIFO assumes that prices always rise, so newer, more expensive inventory items are sold first to ensure maximum return on investment. 

Just in Time (JIT)

JIT inventory control involves the smallest outlay and maintains the lowest stock levels possible. It is popular with small businesses and startups because it uses working capital efficiently, saves on storage space, and minimizes waste. However, there are risks for potential shortages if you don’t order enough, as typically, JIT inventory is purchased just days before sale.

ABC Inventory Management

By grouping products into categories based on sale volume (A being the most valuable and C the least), businesses can prioritize orders to maximize their stocks based on performance. This is great for analyzing product popularity but is intensive on time. Plus, you run the risk of missing out on new trends as they emerge.  

Consignment

Consignment means taking stock from a wholesaler without taking ownership of it, so you don’t pay until you’ve sold the products. This is good for businesses operating in volatile or uncertain markets as it ties up minimal capital. Plus, because you can return unsold goods without penalty, you can test new products and gather insights on buyer behavior.

Dropshipping and Cross-docking

Dropshipping eliminates warehouse costs as the manufacturer or wholesaler ships directly to your customers. However, if cross-docking is required, it’s not that straightforward. Cross-docking involves unloading from a supplier truck onto your own vehicles for delivery. Depending on your location and distribution radius, this can inflate costs significantly. 

Cycle Counting

Many businesses use cycle counting in combination with other inventory management techniques. By sampling a small amount of stock at regular intervals, you can assess how accurate your inventory records are. This is time and cost-efficient but ultimately less accurate than a full stock check and doesn’t necessarily compensate for seasonal changes in demand. 

How L3 Funding Can Help

Making the move to inventory management software is a big step forward in your company’s growth, and we understand it can be a daunting financial commitment. At L3 Funding, our mission is to give business owners the tools and advice they need to do great things. 

Contact us today to learn how we can help you face your inventory management challenges and get the merchant funding you need to easily identify your best-fit products.

Categories
Automotive Business Loans

Auto Repair Shop Business Loan: How to Secure a Loan or Grant

Securing an Auto Repair Shop Business Loan 

If you’re opening an auto repair shop, you probably need a small business loan to manage your cash flow or deal with emergencies. During this guide, we’ll address everything you need to know about the auto repair business loan and grants for auto repair shops.

What Can You Do With an Auto Repair Shop Business Loan?

Automotive business funding can be used in a variety of ways, including:

  • Purchasing equipment. The barrier to entry in automotive maintenance can be expensive, and this is especially true if you want to be competitive with cutting edge competitors. With mechanic shop financing, you can purchase all of the high-quality equipment that will facilitate you in opening an auto repair shop.
  • Opening the shop. If you’re a trailblazer planning to open your own shop, or if you’re already in a partnership and simply want to take full control, you can use a secured auto repair loan to get the capital car shops require for success.
  • Training and hiring staff. You can also use a personal loan for car repair shops to hire your employees, train them, and pay your employee salaries.

Loan Considerations

When thinking about applying for grant mobile auto repair loans, you should consider the following about your business:

  • Is the money needed right away?
  • Do you need a lump sum, or will installments suffice?
  • What is the entirety of your capital requirement?
  • Do you plan to pay off the loan short term, or do you need more time?

Types of Loans for Auto Repair Shops

Listed below are some of the more common loans for auto repair shops:

Equipment Financing

Equipment financing is the way to go if you’re looking to tool-up your operation from the ground floor. Oftentimes lenders will finance you the entire cost of equipment if you’re able to provide them with an estimate of your costs from a trusted source. One of the major draws to an equipment loan is that it is self-secured, meaning that the collateral and the equipment are considered one in the same. This can be crucial for businesses that are just starting out, as every penny counts, and in most cases new businesses might not have established credit. 

SBA 7(a) Loan

An SBA loan is a great avenue for businesses that already have established their credit, and also don’t need the money immediately. Although these loans are competitive, if you qualify you’ll enjoy many perks including attractive terms, higher loan amounts, low interest rates, and longer payback time frames. These loans also have the luxury of being backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration for up to 85% of the loan amount. 

Bank Term Loan

Bank term loans are issued by a bank and usually have long-term repayment plans, which extend beyond one year. These types of business loans typically come with fixed interest rates, allowing banks to distribute funds in a way similar to business lines of credit. As a business owner, you can use a bank term loan to draw funds as you need them. You must pay a fixed amount based on the remaining balance.

Business Line of Credit

Another option businesses have is a business line of credit. Think of this as somewhat of a hybrid between a credit card and a traditional bank loan. Lines of credit are applied for and approved based on specific criteria, and once you’re approved you can withdraw up to a predetermined amount. You pay interest on any outstanding balance that you carry.  

Business Credit Card

Business credit cards are probably the most similar option to consumer cards, which you’re likely already familiar with. This is a great option for businesses that don’t have a proven track record yet, and they can start small and grow as the business grows. 

Tips for Getting an Auto Repair Business Loan

Even if you are mindful of your spending and also keep a savings account, unforeseen circumstances can lead to a need for additional cash. Keep the following tips in mind when you’re considering a business loan: 

  • Is your credit in good standing?
  • Will a seasonal peak in demand influence your need for capital? 
  • Is liquidity a problem at certain time intervals?
  • What is your operating income each year?
  • How long have you been in business?

Applying for an Auto Repair Shop Business Loan

The application process for auto repair shop loans usually depends on the lender’s requirements. Most lenders require extensive documentation, including proof of income, a business plan, and a list of the current assets in your business. The lender will also check your personal and business credit scores, and they will want to know how long you’ve been in business. Once you have all the documents together, you can start looking into different lenders. 

Keep in mind that applying for a business loan for your auto repair shop isn’t always a quick and easy process, especially if you’re going through a credit union or bank. Many businesses find it faster and simpler to use an online lender or secure a business cash advance.

If you need more advice on getting an auto repair shop business loan, contact L3 Funding for help financing your business.