Running a small business is demanding. It can often feel like you have so many jobs and so many things pulling you in different directions. One of the most important considerations for any small business owner is managing the finances.
Beyond just the simple fact that you need to make sure the business generates more revenue than it spends, there might be situations that require the business to take a loan. While loans can be useful for a small business, you should be careful. Different types of loans might work well depending on the circumstances.
Which type of loan should your small business use? Read on to learn about some of the borrowing options for small businesses.
This is one of the most common types of small business loans. The lender gives you cash, and you agree to make monthly payments over the term of the loan. These loans can be beneficial because they are usually affordable, and there is flexibility concerning the ways you can spend the money. These loans can also be secured and unsecured. It is a great option for borrowers with good credit.
Many small businesses rely on expensive equipment as part of their operations. Whether starting a new business or looking to replace old equipment, it can be difficult to fund these purchases. That is where an equipment loan can be useful. It is also important to note that there are different types of equipment loans. For example, if you run a moving company or some other business that uses large trucks, you might look for commercial truck financing.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers lending programs to help small businesses obtain the financing they need. The loans are still issued by conventional lenders, but the SBA guarantees them. Furthermore, there is more than just one type of loan.
There are several different types of financing available. These loans are often more favorable and affordable than other lending options. It can be one of the best borrowing options if your business can qualify. However, there are strict eligibility requirements.
Lines of Credit
A line of credit is similar to a credit card, but they usually have terms that are more favorable. With a business line of credit, you have an amount you can draw upon at any time. The borrower also only pays interest on the credit when they use it. If you pay it back, you can also draw on it again. This type of financing can be useful for businesses in many ways.
Lines of credit are flexible and offer a way to borrow on an as-needed basis. Having an open line of credit can make it much easier to manage business finances.
Working Capital Loans
Every business needs operating capital. You need to pay rent, cover salaries, pay utilities, buy supplies, and more. However, some businesses have issues with liquidity from time to time.
Even though you know the funds will come in, they might not be available in time to cover expenses. This is where a working capital loan can come in handy. Working capital loans are designed to help businesses meet their day-to-day financial obligations as they wait for funds to come in. They are short-term loans, and they can be great for bridging these gaps.
Invoice Factoring and Financing
Many businesses have invoices with long-term payment schedules. Even if you know the clients will pay, you might need the money sooner. What can you do in this situation? Options like invoice factoring and invoice financing can offer funds. With factoring, you are not taking a loan. Instead, you sell the invoices to a company that collects on them.
With invoice financing, the business takes a loan based on outstanding invoices. The financing company provides a loan, and you agree to pay it back when the invoices are paid.
Merchant Cash Advance
This can be an option for businesses that do a lot of business with credit card payments. It is also similar to invoice financing in some ways. With a merchant cash advance, businesses can borrow based on credit card receipts. The lender provides a lump sum payment, and the borrower agrees to pay it back out of daily credit card receipts.
It is a good option for obtaining fast cash when your business needs it. However, this financing usually comes with high fees and strict repayment terms.
Today’s small businesses can also take advantage of various alternative lending solutions. Many of them can be found online. For example, there are options like microlending and P2P loans. Some businesses may also benefit from various forms of crowdfunding. There are also online lenders offering quick and easy short-term loans for small businesses.
Small business owners need to be careful when taking loans. Selecting the wrong loan can have significant financial implications. Along with finding the right type of loan for the situation, you should also compare offerings from as many lenders as possible.