4 Tips To Managing Your Business Loan’s Interest Rate

How can you or your business better manage its current interest rates?Four tips:1) Should You Have A Loan In The First Place?Interest rates are essentially a cost of doing business. Thus, just like any other cost to your company, if your interest rate is too high compared to the returns that those funds will bring in via increased revenue or through cost savings – then you are better off not taking the loan in the first place.What better way to manage high interest rates then not to have to pay them.And, if you already have the loan in place (say to buy some new equipment or inventory), if the loan is costing more than it is worth to the business sell off those assets and pay back the loan. It will be better for your business in the long run.2) Understanding Your Interest Rate:Most rates are based on some risk profile of the borrower. Either credit history, cash flow realization or use of funds.Think about it. A borrower realizes that running a business is not all that easy and simply walks away from their business loan. That is a big risk especially in this economy.Or, a business’s cash flow is barely enough to cover the loan payment to begin with then has a slow revenue period. Will that business be able to make the next loan payment?Or, a borrower wants funding to open a new online business. But, that business is an online gambling site that could be shut down by the government at any time.If you understand how and why lenders price loans, then you can work to mitigate those risk factors (like improving your credit and cash flow or running a legitimate business).Thus, you take away their reasons to charge a high rate or increase your interest rate. Even if you have already taken the loan, when your situation improves, go back to the negotiation table and threaten to take your business elsewhere.You can only help yourself through knowledge.3) Protect Yourself Before You Take The Loan:Small increases in interest rates really should not effect your payment all that much (unless it is for very short-term loans like under 12 months).Example: Let’s say you have a $100,000 business loan at 8% for 3 years. Then, your rate increases to 10%. Your monthly payment will rise less than $100 per payment. Not great but not really all that bad either. Here is why:When making your decision to take a loan, you should always understand what you are getting in return for that new cost. If a $100,000 loan costs you $12,000 over three years in interest, then those funds should return much more to your company over that same period. If it does not, you should not take the loan.But, you should also create a buffer in your revenue estimates especially if you know the economy is in a rising interest rate environment.It your rate does not rise, then that is pure benefit to your company. But, if it does, you are protected or have managed for it.Let’s say your business requires a 30% return on investment and a $100,000 loan will cost you $12,000 over its life. Thus, your company needs to realize some $145,000 to achieve that 30% ($100,000 in principle with the remaining to cover your interest costs and return requirement). Thus, you make sure or look for projects that will return at least that amount.Or, if you think your rate will rise or we are in a poor economy like we are now, then add a cushions. Only accept or look for projects that will return $150,000 or more. Thus, your interest rate can rise a few percentage points and your business will still realize that 30% return.The goal here is to manage your interest with your decision before you request any outside debt or funding by picking the right projects or getting a business loan for the right situation only.4) Paying More:You can always manage your overall interest rate by paying more in principal. Thus, instead of paying more in interest over the life of the loan to your lender; work to reduce the principal that they can charge interest against.A $100,000 business loan at 10% for three years has a payment of $3,227. And, if you pay the loan out, your total interest would be $16,162.But, if you add a little extra to your payment each month (say $580 or 18% increase in your payment) then your overall interest for the life of the loan would drop to $12,811 – essentially making your interest rate 8% (not 10%).Here, you are paying more to reduce principal (to your benefit) then to your interest (their benefit).Further, you end up paying off the loan 7 months earlier.The higher your interest rate gets (say with a variable rate that keeps rising), the more benefit paying additional principal will help.The bottom line is that in a rising interest rate environment, your will pay more. But, you can also manage your business loans to ensure that what you do have to pay is being paid to your benefit and not just going to your financial company.

Telecommunication Business of Your Own Will Lower Your Phone Bill

A Telecommunication Business allows you the possibility of making money every time you pick up the phone, or go onto the internet. People say it is impossible, but is it? Telephone companies and electric companies have been doing it for over 100 years.When the government began to break up the telephone companies and made it possible for independent electric companies to compete, the door was opened to telecommunication business opportunities. This is really not a new type of business, and it not a get rich quick scheme. It is a highly respected and profitable home based business when treated as a business.You will need to do your research about the telecommunications industry before anything else. You will technically be buying a franchise, so you may incur start up costs that could be substantial. However, depending on the company you decide to go with will change the start up costs. Some have no fee to start while others can run into the thousands of dollars. See what each company offers and then decide which is best for you.When looking at these telecommunications companies you want to check several things. One that has been mentioned is the start up costs. Check also to see if there are any other fees that are incurred monthly. Another consideration would be compensation, and residual income.Compensation within each company is different. Their compensation telecommunication business affiliates runs from 0% until you reach a certain level in the company, up to 20% from the day you begin. You need to find a compensation plan that is right for you.You should also look at the residual income and see if it is offered. This is income that you will continue to receive even after you retire. There are companies who offer no residual income until you get to a certain level, and other companies that offer it for two generations after your death. You need to be comfortable with the residual income before you decide.You should also consider what services the company will offer to your customers. Each company offers general telecommunication services for their affiliates, but some offer additional services and have plans to expand. Check all of this out before deciding on the company.Something else you may want to consider is if the company will help you market your telecommunications business. Do you want a website, only word of mouth, or both? See what each company has to offer and decide which marketing option will fit you best.Hopefully one company will have many of the options at the levels you want. However, chances are you will have to compromise on one or more options. Decide what is really important to you before making your final decision.Once you have joined a company as an affiliate, you will want to switch your home and business telephone company to your own. If the service is available, change your internet too. The best way to save money and actually make money is to take advantage of the services yourself.Many affiliates focus on one group of customers, such as the general public, college students, older persons and families. Others focus on businesses, such as home based, small, mid-size, or corporate businesses. Choose a group or don’t play favorites. That is one of the best reasons to start your own business, the choices are yours and they are endless.It is imperative that you keep up with the trends in the industry. Go the parent companies website regularly, subscribe to newsletters and telecommunication business periodicals. By knowing the future you can expand your client base, and keep the clients you already have happy.This is definitely not a get rich quick plan. It does take a lot of work. Maybe start it as a part time job and as it grows you can change the goals and your life. The options are endless. With time and effort, this could be a rewarding career for people wanting to make a difference, and willing to work hard.Look into it now. Research the companies, and then decide if a home based telecommunications business opportunity is the right business for you.

Alternative Financing Vs. Venture Capital: Which Option Is Best for Boosting Working Capital?

There are several potential financing options available to cash-strapped businesses that need a healthy dose of working capital. A bank loan or line of credit is often the first option that owners think of – and for businesses that qualify, this may be the best option.

In today’s uncertain business, economic and regulatory environment, qualifying for a bank loan can be difficult – especially for start-up companies and those that have experienced any type of financial difficulty. Sometimes, owners of businesses that don’t qualify for a bank loan decide that seeking venture capital or bringing on equity investors are other viable options.

But are they really? While there are some potential benefits to bringing venture capital and so-called “angel” investors into your business, there are drawbacks as well. Unfortunately, owners sometimes don’t think about these drawbacks until the ink has dried on a contract with a venture capitalist or angel investor – and it’s too late to back out of the deal.

Different Types of Financing

One problem with bringing in equity investors to help provide a working capital boost is that working capital and equity are really two different types of financing.

Working capital – or the money that is used to pay business expenses incurred during the time lag until cash from sales (or accounts receivable) is collected – is short-term in nature, so it should be financed via a short-term financing tool. Equity, however, should generally be used to finance rapid growth, business expansion, acquisitions or the purchase of long-term assets, which are defined as assets that are repaid over more than one 12-month business cycle.

But the biggest drawback to bringing equity investors into your business is a potential loss of control. When you sell equity (or shares) in your business to venture capitalists or angels, you are giving up a percentage of ownership in your business, and you may be doing so at an inopportune time. With this dilution of ownership most often comes a loss of control over some or all of the most important business decisions that must be made.

Sometimes, owners are enticed to sell equity by the fact that there is little (if any) out-of-pocket expense. Unlike debt financing, you don’t usually pay interest with equity financing. The equity investor gains its return via the ownership stake gained in your business. But the long-term “cost” of selling equity is always much higher than the short-term cost of debt, in terms of both actual cash cost as well as soft costs like the loss of control and stewardship of your company and the potential future value of the ownership shares that are sold.

Alternative Financing Solutions

But what if your business needs working capital and you don’t qualify for a bank loan or line of credit? Alternative financing solutions are often appropriate for injecting working capital into businesses in this situation. Three of the most common types of alternative financing used by such businesses are:

1. Full-Service Factoring – Businesses sell outstanding accounts receivable on an ongoing basis to a commercial finance (or factoring) company at a discount. The factoring company then manages the receivable until it is paid. Factoring is a well-established and accepted method of temporary alternative finance that is especially well-suited for rapidly growing companies and those with customer concentrations.

2. Accounts Receivable (A/R) Financing – A/R financing is an ideal solution for companies that are not yet bankable but have a stable financial condition and a more diverse customer base. Here, the business provides details on all accounts receivable and pledges those assets as collateral. The proceeds of those receivables are sent to a lockbox while the finance company calculates a borrowing base to determine the amount the company can borrow. When the borrower needs money, it makes an advance request and the finance company advances money using a percentage of the accounts receivable.

3. Asset-Based Lending (ABL) – This is a credit facility secured by all of a company’s assets, which may include A/R, equipment and inventory. Unlike with factoring, the business continues to manage and collect its own receivables and submits collateral reports on an ongoing basis to the finance company, which will review and periodically audit the reports.

In addition to providing working capital and enabling owners to maintain business control, alternative financing may provide other benefits as well:

It’s easy to determine the exact cost of financing and obtain an increase.
Professional collateral management can be included depending on the facility type and the lender.
Real-time, online interactive reporting is often available.
It may provide the business with access to more capital.
It’s flexible – financing ebbs and flows with the business’ needs.
It’s important to note that there are some circumstances in which equity is a viable and attractive financing solution. This is especially true in cases of business expansion and acquisition and new product launches – these are capital needs that are not generally well suited to debt financing. However, equity is not usually the appropriate financing solution to solve a working capital problem or help plug a cash-flow gap.

A Precious Commodity

Remember that business equity is a precious commodity that should only be considered under the right circumstances and at the right time. When equity financing is sought, ideally this should be done at a time when the company has good growth prospects and a significant cash need for this growth. Ideally, majority ownership (and thus, absolute control) should remain with the company founder(s).

Alternative financing solutions like factoring, A/R financing and ABL can provide the working capital boost many cash-strapped businesses that don’t qualify for bank financing need – without diluting ownership and possibly giving up business control at an inopportune time for the owner. If and when these companies become bankable later, it’s often an easy transition to a traditional bank line of credit. Your banker may be able to refer you to a commercial finance company that can offer the right type of alternative financing solution for your particular situation.

Taking the time to understand all the different financing options available to your business, and the pros and cons of each, is the best way to make sure you choose the best option for your business. The use of alternative financing can help your company grow without diluting your ownership. After all, it’s your business – shouldn’t you keep as much of it as possible?