An often overlooked aspect of running a business is cost optimization. Cost optimization is a business-focused, continuous discipline to drive spending and cost reduction, while maximizing business value. This includes:
- Obtaining the best pricing and terms for all business purchases
- Standardizing, simplifying and rationalizing platforms, applications, processes and services
- Automating and digitizing IT and business operations
Leveraging financing at the right time to fund operations that are capital-intensive (a business process requiring the investment of a large sum of money) is one of the best practices of cost optimization. You’ve heard the cliché “cash is king”, it’s true, businesses need cash reserves in case of emergency or to get them through slim periods. It is important for business owners to have access to fast and convenient financing opportunities that work for them, rather than a lender’s bottom line.
The small business financing landscape is changing, and business owners have options beyond the traditional big banks with loan products designed to enrich lenders. While navigating the market and selecting a lender, here are some tips to help your business make the most educated decision.
1. Determine the principal amount and repayment limits for your business
Small business loans are a great tool to inject cash into your business, but with these types of loans you will be expected to make repayments immediately after funding. Therefore, it is very important to determine how much your business is willing – or able – to pay back on a monthly basis that doesn’t hurt your business’s cash flow.
2. Know the entire cost of the loan
When it comes to small business loans, merchants mainly focus solely on interest rates and use it as a main metric to compare available options. However, interest rates alone don’t determine what the total cost of the loan will be. Often lenders have additional costs associated with the loan such as loan origination fees, administrative fees, or other fees hidden from merchants. Make sure to clarify these!
3. Avoid Recurring Interest
The small business lending landscape is changing and small business owners have more options than their big banks and traditional predatory lenders. Recurring interest exists only for one reason; to enrich lenders. Acquiring a small business loan always comes with a cost (it costs money to borrow money) however, there are lenders who are willing to only charge a one time fee for lending you money. Avoid recurring interests and afford your business the flexibility it deserves.
4. Consider a non-fixed repayment option
Small business owners also have the option to use merchant financing services to avoid fixed payments. It is not reasonable for small businesses – especially those dependent on seasonality – to commit to fixed repayment schedules while their revenue deviates from the average on a month to month basis.
There are still merchant servicing companies who are willing to invest in their customers and prioritize their customers above the profit incentive that business owners can utilize.
Consider Gravity Capital from Gravity Payments: With no set monthly payments or compounding interest, Gravity Capital works with your credit card processing to make paying off your balance hassle-free. Learn more.
5. Ability to renew a loan during repayment period
Merchants who would like to borrow more as needs arise, but still have outstanding balance with their lenders can elect to renew their loan, allowing for more fluidity and flexibility.
Navigating through loan applications and procedures can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s best to use the factors above and prepare for your application in advance so you can increase your chances of being approved. Remember, lenders want to make sure that they get their money back and if you can help make that case for them, small business loan applications will be one of the easier parts of running a business.
Consider Gravity Capital for your next small business project.