Financing Your Business When You Are Out of Options
Most cash flow emergencies happen due to the difference in timing between income and expenses. Often, expenses happen first. Income then follows. Due to this, companies need to have a cash reserve to handle expenses. However, business owners sometimes overextend themselves and get into trouble.
For example, most companies sell their products/services to other businesses on credit because large clients demand it. So companies give their client 30, 40 or 60 days to pay their invoices. However, the company itself must still meet its obligations while it waits to get paid. It has to pay suppliers. It has to pay rent. And most importantly, it must meet payroll. Sooner or later, the company may face an unexpected expense and run into trouble. It won’t be able to wait until an invoice gets paid. That is when the problems start.
Asking clients to pay sooner seldom works. Few, if any, will agree. Most clients pay their invoices in 30 to 60 days because that is how they keep their own cash flow healthy. An alternative is to look for business financing. Most business owners will focus on trying to get a business loan. The problem is that business loans are hard to get – especially if the business is in trouble. The lending institution will usually need to see audited financial statements, strong assets and excellent growth prospects. Few companies with cash flow problems meet this criteria.
A better alternative may be invoice financing. Invoice financing is specifically designed to strengthen cash flow by providing interim financing until invoices are paid. It provides the financing quickly, usually a few days after invoicing, enabling you to cover your operating expenses.
One important advantage of invoice financing is that the financing company uses the commercial credit of your client (who is paying the invoice) as part of their decision process. This makes it a viable solution for companies whose major strength is that they work with creditworthy clients. Additionally, most invoice financing lines can be setup in around a week, making it an ideal situation for companies that need funding quickly to cover an emergency.