The Different Forms Of Small Business Finance

Any small business owner in operation today is actually an incredible and solid form of business ownership as well as being an integral part of the growth and health of the economy. Quite often, when public policy and economic decision making is undergone, they look at small businesses to see how they are faring and able to withstand the various different amounts of strain and tensions that the economy is being placed under. An incredible stress of any business is the financing options available to them which requires the knowledge of the various types of small business finance.

With any level of business financing, there are actually an incredible amount of options available that provide an incredible source of financing overall. Businesses must keep a very close eye on their options at all times in order to remain competitive and thing strategically regarding how they are able to move forward. Thus, understanding what all options are at all times is definitely a crucial element in this process.

Truly, at all times, any small business must maintain a solid grip on their cash flow. Being a good cash manage is often crucial for maintaining a level of financial well being as well as not having to depend as much on financing at all. Thus, this should always be a foundational business model process.

Debt financing is actually an incredible common form of small business finance available. Basically, this is where the finance company purchases the debt acquired by the business in exchange for repayment with interest. This is often performed at early stages of any small business.

For those that need more cash flow, business loans are actually often a very common source of business financing. This is basically much like a personal loan and requires a solid credit standing as well as an incredible amount of potential. This should actually be something that is reserved for the harshest of economic times for any business.

Investment in any business is also another incredibly common form of small business finance. Basically, this is something that involves a great deal of word or mouth and branding before it is offered to any company. Most businesses use this investment cash for expansion and upgrades to help the business grow and run efficiently over time.

Another form of business finance is through equity finance. Most often, this type of funding requires a decent level of credit standing as well as a very solid forecast of growth and potential to attract equity financiers. In this process, the business owner relinquishes a level of their ownership in the company in exchange for a set amount of financing that requires repayment and constant reporting to the equity finance company.

Finally, venture capital is often used as business finance for those wishing to take their business to the next level. This is acquired when a business is beginning the process of going public and wishing to sell themselves to the market. This funding is often used to increase the overall financial outlook of the company to make it more attractive.

How To Deal With Your Small Business Finance Needs

One of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks for any business owner is to finance even a small business. While it is considered an essential part of running and expanding a business, it should be done properly and carefully so that it won’t hinder the establishment of the business as a whole. Small business finance is basically the connection between cash, value, and risk. Maintaining the balance of these three factors will ensure the good financial health of your business.

The first step that a business owner needs to take is to come up with a business plan as well as a loan system which comes with a well structured strategic plan. Doing this will certainly result to concrete and sound finances. It is of necessity that prior to your financing a business, you figure out what exactly your needs are in terms of small business finance.

In trying to determine your business’ financing requirements, keep in mind that you have to have a positive mindset. As the owner of the business, you should be confident enough in your own business that you will be willing to invest as much as 10% of your small business finance needs from your own pocket. The other 30% of the financing can be from venture capital or other private investors.

In terms of the private equity aspect of your business, you would want it to be around 30 to 40 percent equity share in your company for a period of at least three years and a maximum of five years. But of course, this will still be dependent on the value of your small business along with the risk involved. Maintaining this equity component in your company will assure you majority ownership of the business. As a result, you will be able to leverage the other 60 percent of your small business finance needs.

It will also be easier to satisfy the remaining financing needs of your growing business. You may opt to get the rest from a long-term debt, inventory finance, short-term working capital, and equipment finance. Remember also that as long as you have a steady cash position in the business, many financial institutions will be more than willing to lend you money. In this respect also, it is recommended that you get an expert commercial loan broker who will do the selection of your financing options. This is also a crucial stage as you would want to find the most appropriate financing offer to meet all your small business finance requirements.

These are just some of the important considerations that need to be taken when financing a small business. There are, however, so many business owners who do not pay enough attention to these things unless their business is in crisis. As a business owner, what you should keep in mind always is how you can grow and expand. Therefore, have a small business finance plan as early as possible so that you can make sure that every financial aspect of your business is in good condition.

Business Finance Brokers: Knowing How They Can Help You

Planning to purchase a business unfortunately do not know where to start looking for finance? Are you currently a bit too busy to be undertaking some researching plus negotiating with business finance brokers? Have you been beginning to lose hope because you are always rejected by lending companies or banking institutions?

When your reply is a definite ‘yes’ to these questions then it could be the very best time and also a smart idea to obtain the aid of a business finance broker who is able to accomplish all the finance arrangements in your part.

It truly is significant that you get a very good business finance broker as a good broker provides a dedicated one-to-one service and keeps you fully up to date of the available alternatives, what every single option entails along with its benefits and downside. A good broker is knowledgeable in finding a wide range of suitable finance options without delay. In addition, he offers the expertise to negotiate a better deal than you can do by yourself.

A business finance broker is aware of which type of financing you need. The kind of financing that you will need will depend on your financial means, your expected profit margin, the sector you want to enter plus some other factors. A broker makes the whole process simple and easy; in most cases he gathers some basic information from you via phone and provides a decision in principle within 24 or 48 hours.

When you have determined which financial providers to approach, the brokers can help you tailor and present your proposals in the right way. In order to help tailor your proposals and also to avoid rejections they keep up to date with any policy changes at banks.

The method that you present your proposal can often be the cause of being rejected for finance.

The moment you ponder on raising funds to obtain a business, what comes first to your mind is to get finance from banks. Yet you ought to be knowledgeable that there are a myriad of lenders these days and some of which specialize in particular products or industries. For instance if perhaps you wish to purchase a garage business, it would make sense to request finance from a lender which specializes in funding garages.

A finance broker is knowledgeable with the diverse market for finance provision. Odds are that you’ll find the process complicated and time intensive and find yourself land up picking the wrong business finance provider. You need the aid of a broker to get the best deal.

In regards to raising finance, a one-dimensional approach can be a bad idea. Quite often, banks lend on inflexible terms and more frequently they turn down individuals who are with greatest need.

Business finance brokers aid you have a whole lot more options besides banks. He will likewise tailor a financial package that suits your needs as well as resources from a wide selection of finance companies and kinds of finance.

Because brokers are up to par and extensively knowledgeable of the financial provision market they are fully aware precisely how much leverage they have in negotiations. Thus the moment you have selected a number of providers, the broker can use his expertise in negotiating to obtain a deal with the terms and rates that best accommodates your needs.

Bear in mind that the choice is always yours. A broker is there to offer you options and also assist you have an understanding of them to produce a well-informed choice.

A business finance broker can help beyond purchasing a business – he can assist you obtain working capital as your business grows and expands. Brokers also offer assistance on business planning, consulting, management buyouts, business restructuring, and also buy-ins and turnaround finance.

By simply using the services of a reliable finance broker like Enable Finance you’ll save yourself money and time plus obtain a financial deal that accommodates you best.

Sources of Business Finance

Sources of business finance can be studied under the following heads:

(1) Short Term Finance:

Short-term finance is needed to fulfill the current needs of business. The current needs may include payment of taxes, salaries or wages, repair expenses, payment to creditor etc. The need for short term finance arises because sales revenues and purchase payments are not perfectly same at all the time. Sometimes sales can be low as compared to purchases. Further sales may be on credit while purchases are on cash. So short term finance is needed to match these disequilibrium.

Sources of short term finance are as follows:

(i) Bank Overdraft: Bank overdraft is very widely used source of business finance. Under this client can draw certain sum of money over and above his original account balance. Thus it is easier for the businessman to meet short term unexpected expenses.

(ii) Bill Discounting: Bills of exchange can be discounted at the banks. This provides cash to the holder of the bill which can be used to finance immediate needs.

(iii) Advances from Customers: Advances are primarily demanded and received for the confirmation of orders However, these are also used as source of financing the operations necessary to execute the job order.

(iv) Installment Purchases: Purchasing on installment gives more time to make payments. The deferred payments are used as a source of financing small expenses which are to be paid immediately.

(v) Bill of Lading: Bill of lading and other export and import documents are used as a guarantee to take loan from banks and that loan amount can be used as finance for a short time period.

(vi) Financial Institutions: Different financial institutions also help businessmen to get out of financial difficulties by providing short-term loans. Certain co-operative societies can arrange short term financial assistance for businessmen.

(vii) Trade Credit: It is the usual practice of the businessmen to buy raw material, store and spares on credit. Such transactions result in increasing accounts payable of the business which are to be paid after a certain time period. Goods are sold on cash and payment is made after 30, 60, or 90 days. This allows some freedom to businessmen in meeting financial difficulties.

(2) Medium Term Finance:

This finance is required to meet the medium term (1-5 years) requirements of the business. Such finances are basically required for the balancing, modernization and replacement of machinery and plant. These are also needed for re-engineering of the organization. They aid the management in completing medium term capital projects within planned time. Following are the sources of medium term finance:

(i) Commercial Banks: Commercial banks are the major source of medium term finance. They provide loans for different time-period against appropriate securities. At the termination of terms the loan can be re-negotiated, if required.

(ii) Hire Purchase: Hire purchase means buying on installments. It allows the business house to have the required goods with payments to be made in future in agreed installment. Needless to say that some interest is always charged on outstanding amount.

(iii) Financial Institutions: Several financial institutions such as SME Bank, Industrial Development Bank, etc., also provide medium and long-term finances. Besides providing finance they also provide technical and managerial assistance on different matters.

(iv) Debentures and TFCs: Debentures and TFCs (Terms Finance Certificates) are also used as a source of medium term finances. Debentures is an acknowledgement of loan from the company. It can be of any duration as agreed among the parties. The debenture holder enjoys return at a fixed rate of interest. Under Islamic mode of financing debentures has been replaced by TFCs.

(v) Insurance Companies: Insurance companies have a large pool of funds contributed by their policy holders. Insurance companies grant loans and make investments out of this pool. Such loans are the source of medium term financing for various businesses.

(3) Long Term Finance:

Long term finances are those that are required on permanent basis or for more than five years tenure. They are basically desired to meet structural changes in business or for heavy modernization expenses. These are also needed to initiate a new business plan or for a long term developmental projects. Following are its sources:

(i) Equity Shares: This method is most widely used all over the world to raise long term finance. Equity shares are subscribed by public to generate the capital base of a large scale business. The equity share holders shares the profit and loss of the business. This method is safe and secured, in a sense that amount once received is only paid back at the time of wounding up of the company.

(ii) Retained Earnings: Retained earnings are the reserves which are generated from the excess profits. In times of need they can be used to finance the business project. This is also called ploughing back of profits.

(iii) Leasing: Leasing is also a source of long term finance. With the help of leasing, new equipment can be acquired without any heavy outflow of cash.

(iv) Financial Institutions: Different financial institutions such as former PICIC also provide long term loans to business houses.

(v) Debentures: Debentures and Participation Term Certificates are also used as a source of long term financing.

Conclusion:

These are various sources of finance. In fact there is no hard and fast rule to differentiate among short and medium term sources or medium and long term sources. A source for example commercial bank can provide both a short term or a long term loan according to the needs of client. However, all these sources are frequently used in the modern business world for raising finances.

Your Bank and Business Financing – Reality Check

Business owners and managers want to compare equipment finance companies to their bank and for a good reason; a bank is a company’s first point of reference when borrowing money or financing equipment or an expansion project. A bank is the most obvious place to start and a secure place to store your money and use their multiple services. But what a bank does not do well, both historically because of their structure and the recent tightening of the credit market, is offer business financing for capital assets (equipment). Yet many people get confused when looking for an equipment loan because they are not seeing the whole picture; this is a case where you definitely want to compare apples to apples to get the best results.

Here are a few points to compare; these are not set in stone but based on years of experience, these trends apply a majority of the time.

1) Total Dollars Financed – banks normally require that you keep a balance of 20% or 30% of the equipment loan amount on deposit. This means they are only financing 70% or 80% of your equipment costs because you have to keep a certain amount of YOUR money in a fixed account for the duration of the loan. In contrast, an equipment finance company will cover 100% of the equipment including all “soft” costs and will only request a one or two month prepayment. No fixed deposits required.

2) Soft Costs – banks also will normally not cover “soft” costs like labor, warrantees, consulting and installation which means these costs come out of your pocket. An equipment finance company will cover 100% of the equipment price including “soft” costs and some projects can be financed with 100% “soft” costs which no bank would ever consider.

3) Interest Rates – this is the most popular question in the finance world; what’s my rate? If the bank requires 30% deposit in a fixed account then that automatically raises a 5% interest rate to a 20% rate. Now people will argue that you get that deposited money back at the end of the term but that is money which you do not have access to and has an opportunity cost associated with it. Equipment finance companies target their financing rates between 3-5% for cities and 7-9% for commercial financing which is a real fixed rate and not under-stated as the bank rates can be thus independent finance company rates are very competitive with “true” bank rates.

4) Process Speed – banks often take weeks to review and approve a finance request while independent finance companies normally only take a few days and can work much more quickly. Finance underwriters only review business financing while a bank has other types of requests clogging their channel.

Banks also have many more levels of approval and review to pass while independent finance companies normally only have two, underwriting and credit committee. Even with complicated deals, the finance company’s process is always faster.

5) Guarantee – banks require, as a standard part of their documentation, a blanket lien on all assets, both personal and business assets are used as guarantee against default on the loan. Your business assets, your home, your car, and your boat can all be on the line when entering into a bank transaction. This may also be the case with an equipment financing company but if your business operation is solvent then only your business will be listed as collateral and not your personal assets; this is known as a “corp only” approval.

6) Monitoring – banks require yearly “re-qualifying” of all their business accounts which means on the anniversary date of your loan each year, you must submit requested financial documents to assure the bank that everything is going well and nothing has affected your business in a negative way. Finance companies do not require anything during the term of the loan or finance as long as the monthly payments are made on time. Nobody will be checking into your business or policing what you do.

When comparing your bank financing to an independent equipment finance company, you have to make sure you are evaluating all the key parameters, not just one. Clearly, the fine print and terms of the transaction are more important than the big numbers. Banks work well within their space but have proven time and again not to be as flexible or solution-oriented as an independent finance company which solely focuses on business lending can be.

Finance Ministry speaks against offshore ban

The Latvian parliament on February 1 passed in the final reading the legislative amendments banning companies that are registered in low-tax countries, or the so-called offshore countries, from taking part in public tenders in Latvia.

The Finance Ministry, the Procurement Monitoring Bureau and legal experts reviewed the parliament’s decision and concluded that it was inconsistent with the international law.

“One cannot impose restrictions on business activities of a company based solely on its domicile,” Reizniece-Ozola said, adding that it would be different in case of tax evasion or money laundering but the country of incorporation alone cannot be the reason for declaring a company ineligible in public tenders.

The Finance Ministry is working on a report explaining its argumentation that it will ask Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis to consider before promulgating the bill.

“If the President promulgated the law, there will be litigations because those legislative amendments amount to discriminatory treatment of companies,” the finance minister said.

Unity and the Union of Greens and Farmers support the proposal by their partner in the ruling coalition, the National Alliance, to ban offshore companies from participation in public tenders in Latvia but are concerned about the proposal’s compliance with the EU directive.

The Latvian Chamber of Industry and Commerce supports the proposal to ban offshore companies and Latvian companies controlled by offshore companies from participation in public tenders.

Government moves to tighten up Latvia’s sanctions law

The draft law establishes the time of coming into force of national sanctions, provides for taking sanctions into account in public procurement, mandates the need for setting up internal control systems, supplements the list of competent institutions and creates their right to impose penalties for deficiencies in the internal control systems.

The amendments “are necessary to address the shortcomings identified during the implementation of the law, to improve transparency of the legislation governing sanctions-related issues, and to bring the Sanctions Law in line with international requirements,” the government said in a release.

Amendments to the Sanctions Law still need to be adopted by the Saeima, and in an unusual move that underlines the urgency of the action, the cabinet said the law “is expected by the end of the current parliamentary term”. The next parliamentary elections take place in early October, meaning it is planned that the law should be passed within the next three or four months.

Once passed, all natural persons and legal entities will be under an obligation to comply with and execute sanctions that are in force in Latvia and indeed will have a duty to prevent the violation of sanctions.

The draft law also lays down that national sanctions imposed by the cabinet on persons come into force immediately – on the date that the Prime Minister signs the Cabinet Order containing the list of subjects of sanctions. This instant application should help prevent the subjects of sanctions having a chance to move their assets before sanctions come into force.

The draft law also adds the State Revenues Service (SRS) and the Consumer Rights Protection Centre (CRPC) to the list of competent institutions, stipulating that the said institutions are in charge of control over financial restrictions and restrictions under civil law in regard to persons under their supervision as listed in the draft law;

Those under supervision by the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK), the SRS and the CRPC are obliged to carry out risk assessment concerning sanctions, whilst those supervised by the FKTK are obliged to establish an internal control system. However, the duty to set up an internal control system on sanctions will take effect only on 1 May 2019 “thereby giving time to the supervised persons to make the necessary preparations,” the release said.

In future there will also be stricter application of sanctions in the field of public procurement, imposing an obligation to check whether candidates or tenderers have been targeted by any sanctions, as well as the obligation to provide for in public procurement contracts the right to unilaterally withdraw from the contract, should its implementation be impeded by sanctions imposed during the contract period. This provision will not apply to procurements or procurement procedures launched or announced before the provision takes effect.

Finance Ministry raises economic growth forecast for 2018 to 4%

Compared to the previous forecasts on which the 2018 budget was based, GDP growth forecast for 2018 has been raised by 0.6% points, and the forecast for 2019 by 0.2% points.

The economic growth is expected to accelerate because of the favorable situation in external markets and increased investment activity in Latvia as the flow of the EU funds grows, the ministry said. In 2017 Latvia’s GDP rose 4.5%, according to preliminary results, and it was the steepest rise since 2011.

The Finance Ministry expects that in 2018 and in a medium term there will be strong export growth, while investments are expected to rise 10 percent. Private consumption will also be a strong drive, promoted by a strong wage growth and further reduction of unemployment level. The gross monthly average wage in 2017 increased by 7.5%, and might grow 8% in 2018, reaching €997 a month, according to the ministry. The steep wage growth this year will be determined by the growing demand for employees, and significant increase of the minimum wage as of January 1, 2018. In 2019 the average wage is expected to grow slower – by 6%.

Consumer price level in Latvia in 2018 will remain at the previous level at 2.8%. The comparatively high inflation level in 2018 will be determined by the strong economic growth, increase of wages, and excise tax hike on oil products, tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, while in 2019 inflation is expected to drop to 2.4%.

The Finance Ministry’s macroeconomic forecasts have been developed based on a conservative scenario, assessing risks of internal and external environments. The forecast risks are upward and may ensure a steeper GDP growth than projected in the base forecast. On the other hand, there are a number of serious negative risks, including the low investment level in national economy. Reduction of the number of working age employees creates a pressure in the job market and stimulates further increase of wages that may influence Latvia’s international competitiveness. Among external negative risks, there are also geopolitical instability, political uncertainty and the high fluctuation level in the world’s financial markets.

Personal finance: Five ways to make the most of your savings

Working out how to make the most of your savings might not be top of your to do list right now – but it should be. Here are five easy tips to get your savings working as hard as you do.

1. Create a savings plan
You know that savings are important and perhaps you have a figure in mind of what you would like to have in retirement or how much money it is going to cost to put the children through university but you probably do not have a clearly defined finance plan in place.

Approach your plan by considering if your saving aims are short or long-term. If you’re saving for the short-term, planning a luxury holiday or buying a new car for example, you’ll want to have your money somewhere easily accessible such as in a cash ISA.

If you’re saving for a longer-term goal, to help children through university or retirement, you could consider investing in the stock market.

2. Understand investment risk
Your risk profile is the amount of risk you’re willing to take with your money and your capacity to deal with any losses. For example, if you lose some or all the money you invest, what effect would this have on your standard of living?

Every investment has some risks. Putting money in the bank means you won’t experience a fall in your investment. However, you could find that the buying power of your money reduces over time due to the impact of inflation. Putting your money in higher risk investments such as shares and property could potentially lead to higher returns over a longer period but you need to be aware of the risks involved.

3. Choose the right investment
Once you understand your level of risk start to look at your investment options. Do you want to stay safe in cash or go high risk or are you somewhere in between? The most common types of investments are cash, fixed interest, stocks and shares and property.

Cash: We’d suggest that you should have at least a rainy-day cash fund that is easily available for any unexpected expenditure such as a new boiler or if you can’t work for any reason.
Fixed interest investments: These are also known as bonds and generally pay interest for a fixed period. They are mostly considered a lower risk asset than shares.
Shares: There are different ways to invest in the stockmarkets from buying shares in individual companies through to investing in funds. If you want access to shares but don’t feel your nerves can cope with the ups and downs of the markets, you could consider a with profits fund.
Property: Bricks and mortar have been a popular form of investment although they offer no guaranteed returns.
4. Spread your risk
Consider putting your money in a range of assets so that you won’t be dependent on any one type. If there are fluctuations in the stock market and your shares don’t perform as you’d hoped, you’ve still got funds invested in a cash ISA or property for example that may give you better returns. Many funds will also spread investments across different asset classes to diversify risk.

5. Review regularly
Once you have your savings plan in place make sure you review it at least once a year. Not only will this help you to ensure your cash accounts are offering competitive interest rates but you can also review any underperforming funds.

If you’re not sure where to begin with your savings plan or want to better understand the options open to you based on your risk level talk to a financial adviser who specialises in working with GPs. They’ll be able to work through your plan with you, ensure it stays on track and that your money is working as hard as you are.

Racing Awards, Medals and Customized Gear for Runners

Running, whether it be a 5k with the family, a 10k for an extra challenge, or a marathon for the elite runners, can be a very exciting and memorable experience. Running is a very personal sport to lots of people, as it can be great exercise and can make you look and feel very refreshed. Tons of awards are given out to winners at races each year. For people organizing these racing events, finding customized and personal running gear can be difficult, as well as finding unique prizes for running champions. When orchestrating a race, you want to have a memorable competition. Medals and unique prizes can help to make the race more exciting. Participants can keep prizes as souvenirs, and remember the experience better because of a keepsake.
The most important souvenir a competitor can take home is a winning medal. Those are worn with pride, and showed to family members and friends. They are often hung on walls, or shown off where they can be seen. Of course, medals need to be personalized, unique, and specific. You cannot award a running champion with a medal that doesn’t recognize what it’s for. It is often a perfect idea to find a company that will provide you with customized prizes for winners. Often, you can ask for customized medals that include the date, the name of the race, and the name of the company sponsoring and orchestrating the event. That way, when people proudly show their winning medal to others, the people who made the event happen will receive the credit and publicity they deserve.

In addition to medals, running apparel and gear can be a great way to make the race more memorable. Unlike medals, gear is commonly worn and would be used often. Passing out swag, such as customized shirts, jackets, hats, and bags can be a great way to add to the excitement of the race. Races with their own gear are viewed as more unique, as they have customized logos and attractive designs. Shirts can be given out to families, and jackets can be sold at the finish line. Hats can be passed out before the race to keep the sun out of the athlete’s eyes. And, of course, bags can be kept forever and used for multiple occasions. Having the name and date of your race on these items can help to increase publicity and help the runners remember what a successful and memorable race it was. Customizing these mementos can help to define a great race, and will definitely help a race to be more exciting and enjoyable.