Ask Why

One of the most powerful questions I’ve ever known, both in my personal and professional life is “why?”. That one simple word has saved my company tens of thousands of dollars, saved me from making irreversible mistakes, and allowed the avoidance of countless situations of wasted time, energy, or both.
Business Meeting So, why (see what I did there) do we not ask this more? Are we lazy? Too embarrassed that we don’t already know the answer? Or (and, unfortunately, I believe this to be more the case than not) have we just, as a human race, been trained to shut up and accept the status quo? We are told as children to trust our parents and teachers because their role is to inform us on the things we don’t yet know; we are told as adolescence to go to a good college and get a high-paying job because that is what will make us happy; we are told as employees in the work force to follow the direction of our boss(es) because they know the best intentions of the company; but still that question lingers: why?
One of the most powerful questions I’ve ever known, both in my personal and professional life is “why?”. That one simple word has saved my company tens of thousands of dollars, saved me from making irreversible mistakes, and allowed the avoidance of countless situations of wasted time, energy, or both.
So, why (see what I did there) do we not ask this more? Are we lazy? Too embarrassed that we don’t already know the answer? Or (and, unfortunately, I believe this to be more the case than not) have we just, as a human race, been trained to shut up and accept the status quo? We are told as children to trust our parents and teachers because their role is to inform us on the things we don’t yet know; we are told as adolescence to go to a good college and get a high-paying job because that is what will make us happy; we are told as employees in the work force to follow the direction of our boss(es) because they know the best intentions of the company; but still that question lingers: why? So, I encourage you, whether it be a process that is inefficient, an expense that is unnecessary, an accepted way of thinking that seems unsound, ask why. Ask yourself why more often than you ask others, but ask it out loud when the question needs to be vocalized (with proper timing and a respectful manner, of course), and surround yourself with others who encourage that way of thinking, as well. Why doesn’t end a conversation, it starts it. So much time, energy, and resources can be saved when we cut the BS and just get to the heart of the matter in one simple (or not so simple) word.
"Now that I’m the person in the driver’s seat, I foster an environment that it’s not only acceptable, but expected, for my associates and partners to ask why, give suggestions, insert their knowledge, wisdom, perspective, and opinions into everything we do here at Foundation Financing. I’m happy to say that some of the best initiatives (or killing of initiatives) have stemmed from this. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is famously quoted as saying, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” And trust me, I’ve got some geniuses around me, and I listen to them; I wouldn’t allow it any other way!" 

It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do

Steve Jobs
Apple CEO

Debt vs Equity

As someone who finances start-up businesses (as well as existing businesses), I often get approached by entrepreneurs looking strictly for investors to finance their business; angel investors, private equity, and venture capital funding. I always appreciate entrepreneurs with the courage to dream about investors being as in love with their idea and start-up as they are. There are, however, other options, that are oftentimes more realistic and attainable. It’s important that business owners truly understand the difference between debt and equity financing and what to consider when making this funding decision for their business.

Debt vs Equity Business Loans

What is equity financing? Equity financing is giving a portion of ownership in your company to someone in exchange for money; the most common form of equity financing is when a company goes public and sells shares of stock to increase their liquid capital (cash). Equity is the right fit for some situations, but private equity financing can be very difficult to obtain and generally you need to be an established business with proof of concept and revenue before you can attract that type of financing. The number I’ve heard quoted time and time again from investors is that fifteen out of every 1,000 pitches they hear will actually receive any type of equity financing; that’s only 1.5%, meaning 98.5% of those looking for equity capital will never receive a penny from an investor.

What is debt financing? Debt is sometimes looked at as a “4 letter word”, but debt is only negative when it’s used improperly and irresponsibly. Debt is simply money that is borrowed and needs to be repaid, generally with interest.

So, why use debt financing? Since there are so many options available for this type of financing, most business owners can find a capital solution that they qualify for and that meets the needs of the business for both its short and long term goals; it’s generally much more applicable to the needs of the average business owner and allows for more freedom with the use of funds and business decisions. Additionally, since there are many types of debt financing, you can utilize multiple solutions simultaneously, which allows for higher dollar amounts and more flexibility to accomplish your goals.

Something else that is vital to consider: although debt financing is money that needs to be repaid, you’re not giving up a piece of your company. I’ve heard so many stories of people giving up a majority share of their company and then feeling like they’re being held hostage in their own business, or that losing control of something they’ve worked so hard to build. I’ve also seen situations where people give up too much equity for too small of an amount of capital, when if they’d taken a loan to start with instead, they could use that capital to grow their business, making it far more valuable, and end up giving less equity for more money.

Handshake Business

Equipment Leasing: What Does It Mean?

You’re a tradeshow manager looking for equipment to help with an upcoming show or you’re looking for equipment to help with you current flourishing business, but, purchasing equipment sounds too costly. It’s until then a coworker suggests leasing equipment from numerous companies. Before you make any final decision, you decide to do extensive research on equipment leasing. What does it mean, is it expensive, and how it is more beneficial are all questions we will answer throughout the article so you don’t have to do endless hours of research.

Equipment Leasing 101

It can be a common mistake to assume leasing and borrowing are interchangeable terms under a business spectrum. One distinctive difference between these terms is the monetary compensation to the lender for leasing equipment. Generally, you pay a flat-fee rate with a fixed interest rate and fixed term. Many companies seek the leasing route compared to purchasing, especially if they only plan to use the equipment in the short-term.  Purchasing tends to be more costly and may not be worth a large payment as the equipment will continue to depreciate.

What kind of equipment can be leased? You may be imagining large tractors or machineries as equipment to be leased but equipment can be a broad term and can cover from pcs to vehicles for all types of businesses.

Pros

  • When leasing equipment, you won’t have to worry about a down payment or collateral unlike purchasing it. There is no requirement to contribute collateral so you will have the liberty to collect your cash and compensate easy payments.
  • Worrying about an application process undergoing a long strenuous time-frame is all overwhelming, but luckily, leasing equipment is an easier application process. There is fairly less financial paperwork compared to taking out a small business loan.
  • Leasing equipment offers a couple of flexible terms to choose from after the lease ends:
  1. You can purchase equipment at a fair market value and if you do, the lender will then relinquish the title to you.
  2. If your equipment has come to its last bit of usefulness, you can trade the current item to a brand new equipment piece.
  3. If none of the options above seem ideal to you, you can always choose to do the simple option, return the equipment.

Cons

After you’ve chosen to lease a piece of equipment, you begin your flat fee payments but you will also have to face an effective interest rate alongside it.

Another downside to leasing equipment is the cost of the actual equipment, especially when multiple factors are considered (credit score, annual revenue, age,etc.). There will also be a charge of equipment value and length of use for the equipment.

Need to Lease Equipment?

As we have gone over, equipment leasing provides various benefits for those who need equipment for a shorter period of time. Here at Strategic Business Loans, we offer numerous opportunities from small to big businesses to continue flourishing in their business without a financial predicament. Contact us today for equipment leasing and continue to grow your business.

Working Capital Loan: What Does it Mean to You?

It’s not uncommon for small businesses to find themselves in a dire situation when they lack sufficient funds to continue their business and daily functions. Luckily enough, a working capital loan helps those who need to purchase operational activities without risking your liquid assets. We care about all types of businesses in their success and offer several types of loans to support business owners like you. You may be wondering what exactly a working capital loan is and what it means to you and your business, throughout the blog we will overview the highlights of the capital loan and how it may save your business.

What is a Working Capital Loan

As previously said, working capital represents a type of loan to either small, medium, and large businesses who are in need of money to cover certain expenses. Whether it may be electricity expenses to short-term financial payments, working capital loan serves to help businesses strive in their market without the anxiety of overdue payments.

One common misconception about a working capital loan is it covers all long term assets and future investments. In truth, this loan only supports day to day operations and to overall, assists your business in its financial function. Fortunately, this loan does offer a low-interest rate so you can avoid another financial dilemma and begin financing your long term assets.

In order to decipher how much capital loan is needed to cover the rest of your expenses; all businesses require calculating a working capital ratio. The calculation is simple as is since a business will only have to calculate current assets divided by current liabilities. If your ratio is below a 1.2 then it’s time to consider reapportioning your budget and taking out a loan, but if it's greater than 2.0 then your business is right on track and all financial outlets are evened out.

Pros

 As a small business, it’s important to be informed on the beneficial factors to being financed by another loan. Earlier in the blog we mentioned the perk of low interest rate compared to other loans with high interest rates, but, capital loans offer other benefits as well.

  • No Collateral Required: Unlike other financial loans, working capital offers businesses the financial benefit of relief from expenses while no requirement for collateral. It’s understood the financial responsibility you must uphold and it may seem more difficult to provide collateral along the way, luckily, you won’t need to abide by these certain loans and instead focus on a steady low interest rate.
  • Immediate Loan: While other loans take weeks to months for approval, working capital provides an efficient process for those who seek financial assistance immediately. No longer worry about a tedious approval process and attain the appropriate amount of funding to continue your business.

 Cons

 As it is important to inform yourself of the beneficial factors to a loan, it is also dire to understand the financial risks.

  • Repayment Timeline: Just as you are able to take out a loan immediately, you are also liable to pay back the loan in a fast manner. Payments are low-interest rate but require immediate deposits.
  • Possible High Interest Rate: If you have a poor credit history then you may have to pay a higher interest rate with long term payments. Generally, lenders must ensure a low-risk of repayment by instituting a higher interest rate but do offer low interest to those who have a good standing.

Grow Your Business’s Potential

 As business owners, we hunger for growth and abundant opportunities for our business. It’s time you ensure the continuation of your potential by applying for a working capital loan, so you won’t find yourself in a financial predicament. Contact us today for future endeavors and expansion to your business.

Small Business Loan: Types of Loans

In the state of California, we are known to be one of the most difficult states to flourish in businesses; most particularly small businesses. California may be one of the most recognized states of struggling small businesses but it’s also famously known for employing more citizens in the past few years. Small businesses generally fail after a few years, if not carefully planned and financed optimally. Join the rate of successful businesses in California by taking out the appropriate loan for you.

You may wonder which loans can help best serve your business without finding yourself stuck in an abundance of debt. Look no further, throughout this article we will go over SBA, or most famously known as small business administration loans, and detail how these loans can help your business.

What Is SBA? 

Before we list the types of SBA and benefits to the loan, it's crucial to understand what small business administration loan means and what it can do for you. As the name suggests, SBA is meant for small business loans carried out by the SBA and banks acting as the lender by distributing an amount to small businesses.

The lenders or banks guarantee flexible terms and interest rates so you may continue to grow your business without being perplexed with overriding debt. There are several types of loans a business can qualify with different pros and cons for each one.

Types of Loans 

Curious which loans you qualify and the benefits to them? SBA offers various loan programs for businesses to flourish in but we will cover the 3 most common loans a business can apply.

  1. 7a Loan Program: Most commonly used, the 7(a) loan guarantees a term loan of up to $5 million. This loan can be used for either working capital, to refinance debt, buy a business, real estate, or equipment financing. Since they do offer a high working capital to businesses, there are more restrictions corresponding with the loan. Luckily, they do offer a long repayment with low interest rates to make your financial responsibilities affordable.
  2. 504 Loan Program: This type of loan is generally meant for those who wish to purchase or improve fixed assets. Fixed assets may include purchasing land, machinery, facilities, etc. Instead of one lender funding these projects, this type of loan requires two lenders, either one from a bank or traditional lender. The loan itself does not cover the entire fund but, instead, covers a majority while the borrower must include collateral damage for the rest.
  3. Microloan Program: While the other two loans are backed by traditional lenders or banks, microloan is supported by non-profit organizations who lend their finances to other small businesses. These funds cover working capital, inventory, equipment, business start-up, etc. Their maximum principle is about $35,000 with a term of 6 years while interest rates range from 8%-13%.

Want More Information? 

Businesses are requiring more funds as regulations and daily operations eat a large part of their financial stake. Let us assist you in this important financial time and help you relish in success. Contact us now for more information on small business administration loans and see which best suits your needs.