Supporting small business is what factoring is all about. Factoring offers small businesses access to capital that they would not otherwise qualify for through a bank or SBA loan. Factors are also willing to extend credit to your customers who may be small businesses as well, something that credit insurance companies typically won't do. At DSA Factors we are a small, family-owned business ourself, so we understand the pressures you face and are here to help you as best we can.
For any business owner, there is nothing worse than when you sell a product to your customer and then they don't pay you for it. Unfortunately, this is something that happens to everyone, even if you perform your due diligence prior to offering net payment terms to your customer. The solution to this problem is of course to acquire credit insurance, so that you are covered in these situations. However, just like health, home, and auto insurance, credit insurance also has premiums, deductibles, minimums, maximums, and other rules that you need to abide by. This article will examine many of these different aspects and help you understand if credit insurance is really worth it for your business, or if there may be a better option.
It goes without saying that you are going to have to pay a premium to get credit insurance. How much that premium is depends on your coverage, diversification, and quality of your customers. One thing to keep in mind is that as your coverage increases so does your premiums, although not at the same rate. Basically, as your coverage increases, your premium increases with it, but the premium as a percent of total coverage decreases. Like anything else, you get a better deal when you buy in bulk.
However, while premiums might appear to be your main expense, they certainly aren't your only expense, and may not even be your largest expense. Most likely your credit insurance company will charge you a fee for each account you want them to cover and set a credit limit for. As a result, if you sell to lots of different accounts, while your premium may be lowered because you are highly diversified, paying $50 to get each account approved could potentially cost you even more than your premiums do each and every year.
Another cost to consider is your deductible. While you aren't going to pay your deductible, if you have a $10,000 deductible, then you need to sustain the first $10,000 in losses each year. So if your losses are $0 for a the year, then of course it doesn't matter what your deductible is, but at the same time you paid a bunch of money for insurance you didn't need. However, if you do sustain losses, you are then responsible for the first $10,000 of them, and this is an additional expense.
After that, you have to look at co-insurance. Oftentimes co-insurance is 10%, meaning that the insurance company will only fund you 90% of the claim amount. So assuming you have met you deductible and you now have a claim for $50,000, your insurance company will only fund you $45,000, you are responsible for 10% or $5000, which is just one more expense you need to factor into the overall cost.
Finally, while it may not be a cost, there is also the time that it takes to get paid on a claim by the credit insurance company. First, you need to follow all of their rules, failure to do so will result in forfeiture of your coverage. However, assuming you can follow the rules, most likely you will not be able to file a claim until an invoice becomes 120 days past due. Then once you file, your credit insurance may not fund you for 90 days as they try to collect. If successful in collecting, then they will penalize you and maybe only give you 50% of what they collect, so you better be pretty confident that they will not be able to collect. However, if they can't collect, when you add up the terms of the invoice, waiting until the invoice is past due, and then waiting to get paid on the claim, it can take you 8 months or more to actually receive your money. If it is a large claim, waiting 8 months to get paid can severely strain your cash flow and require you to borrow funds temporarily, adding further expense.
When you purchase credit insurance, you are purchasing a particular amount of coverage which should be equal to your annual sales volume of insurable accounts. Because you don't know how much your volume will be in the coming year, you have to do your best to guess. If you underestimate your coverage, you will have to buy additional coverage later and won't receive the benefit of a lower premium rate for purchasing a larger coverage amount. However, if you overestimate, you will wind up paying for coverage that you don't need.
Of course, just because you pay for a certain amount of coverage, doesn't necessarily mean that all of your accounts will be covered. Each account you want covered has to be approved and assigned a credit limit. If you have borderline accounts, they may not be given a high enough credit limit, or even worse, not approved at all. In this situation, if you still choose to sell to them, you are responsible for any amount above the credit limit, or for the entire amount in the case that they don't get approved at all.
Aside from coverage limits and deductibles, which are applied across multiple accounts, minimums affect each individual account. Most likely your insurance company has a minimum claim amount. If this minimum is $5000, and you have a customer who didn't pay you $4000, then you can not claim it and it doesn't even count towards your deductible. In other words, this means that credit insurance does not cover your smaller accounts so you will want to eliminate these accounts from your coverage. Of course, with any insurance company, you can lower or even eliminate these minimums, but that of course is going to result in much higher premiums.
Then you have an overall policy maximum for the year. If the maximum for the year is $100,000, then if you even if you sustain losses of $150,000 and all the accounts are within their credit limits, your still will only receive $100,000. Plus any other losses you have for the rest of the policy year also won't be covered.
By working with an insurance company, you may be able to reduce some of your expenses in performing due diligence on your customers since your insurance company is doing this for you. If the insurance company is providing one of your customers with a credit limit of $10,000, then there is no need for you to pull credit reports on that customer, so long as their orders don't exceed $10,000. Of course, if you have a minimum of $2500, and a customer places an order for $2000, you are still going to need to pull a credit report on that customer since the insurance company won't cover them. So while you will still need to subscribe to a credit reporting agency, you won't be pulling as many reports which should reduce the amount of your subscription. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that you will be paying the insurance company a fee to provide a credit limit, and that fee is most likely a lot more than what a credit rating agency charges you for pulling a report.
Like any other type of insurance, the insurance company is not in the business of losing money. So in a good year, you won't sustain any losses, or those losses won't meet your deductible, and you wind up paying for something that you didn't need. In a normal year, you may sustain losses that are more than your deductible, but they won't be more than the premiums that paid that year. It is only in a really bad year, one in which you have several major losses, that it pays off to have credit insurance. Of course, having credit insurance in years like that might make the difference between staying in business and going out of business. It is also important to figure out how much you will save by pulling fewer credit reports as that will help offset the price of insurance.
It is also important to consider if credit insurance is right for your business. For a very small business, it is probably counterproductive. The premiums, cost of assigning credit limits, and deductibles might add up to 20-30% of your annual volume, and certainly if this is the case then it does not make sense to get credit insurance. Credit insurance is most beneficial to very large corporations as their premiums are at a lower percentage of their annual volume, and they have more negotiating power when it comes to credit limit fees, deductibles, and minimums. Credit insurance could also be valuable to companies whose customer base is located primarily overseas. But regardless of your company's size and where their customers are located, a credit insurance company is not in the business of losing money. While in a particularly bad year you might come out ahead of the game if you have credit insurance, over the course of a decade there is very little doubt that you will have spent more on credit insurance than you would have lost without it. The real benefit of credit insurance is that it allows you to spread out the cost of a major loss over a longer period of time, making budgeting easier.
There is an alternative to credit insurance, and that is non-recourse factoring. With non-recourse factoring you are selling your receivables to a factoring company so it is their responsibility to collect from your customers, and they are on the hook if a customer does not pay. If you choose the right factoring company to work with, you won't have to worry about premiums, deductibles, co-insurance, credit limit fees, minimums, or maximums. With non-recourse factoring your receivables are fully insured.
With non-recourse factoring you also don't have to worry about rules established by credit insurance companies. Credit insurance companies require that you contact them at certain points throughout the collection process to make them aware of what is going on. Should you fail to do this, then your receivables are no longer covered by the insurance company. They also require you to file within a certain period of time, usually within 120 days of an invoice becoming due. Once this time period has passed, you are no longer covered.
Non-recourse factoring also carries additional benefits. Because there are no minimums, there is no need for you to subscribe to a credit rating agency, your factoring company will perform all the credit checking for you. Your factoring company will also handle of your collections for you, meaning that you won't need to spend time valuable time on collections efforts. Finally, the main benefit is improved cash flow, your factoring company will fund you the same day you ship and invoice your customers. So forget about having to wait 8 months to get paid by an insurance company, your factoring company is funding you 30 days early on all of your receivables.
As for the cost of factoring, for a larger company whose annual volume is well into the millions, factoring will probably cost more than credit insurance, although the additional benefits of factoring could easily offset any additional costs. For smaller businesses, factoring is often times much cheaper than credit insurance, plus it offers them all of the additional benefits that you don't get with credit insurance alone. Whatever the size of your business, the benefit of improved cash flow is oftentimes much more important than the benefit of credit insurance.
At DSA Factors we are proud to offer our clients non-recourse factoring. Whether you are looking to insure your receivables, need improved cash flow, or simply want to outsource your accounts receivable, give us a call at 773-248-9000 and learn how factoring can help your business grow.
Many startup businesses will only take credit cards from the customers. Assuming that their customers are small, and the orders they are receiving are small, there is certainly nothing wrong with taking a credit card for payment. However, by restricting your only payment method to credit cards, and not offering net payment terms, you are also restricting the type of customers you are selling to and the size of the orders they will place with you. As your business matures, and especially once it starts to grow, offering net payment terms is crucial to the success of your business.
Net payment terms are when you offer your customers a fixed amount of time to pay you back. The most common terms offered are Net 30, or in other words, offering your customers 30 days to pay their invoices. Although terms aren't restricted to Net 30. Net 60 and Net 90 are also common, as are Net 45 and Net 75. In some industries that are seasonal terms can be even longer and sometimes rather than a number of days include a date. Terms of Net May 15 means that the invoice is due on May 15th. For larger orders, you may even want to offer a sort of payment plan to your customers, such as 30-60-90. 30-60-90 means that a third is due in 30 days, another third in 60 days, and the last third in 90 days. Finally, it is not unusual to see terms that offer a discount if an invoice is paid early. 2% 10 Net 30 means that if a customer pays within 10 days, they can take a 2% discount, otherwise the invoice is due in 30 days and they need to pay it in full at that time.
While its true that paying on a credit card gives your customers additional time to pay, the amount of time they get is dependent on when their billing cycle is. Furthermore, when a credit card becomes due, if it is not paid then your customer is immediately charged late fees and interest. If a customer is afraid that they may not be able to make a credit card payment if they give you a large order, they might reduce the size of the order so that they don't fall behind on their credit card. However, when offering net payment terms, it is generally understood that paying a bill a few days late, or waiting until it is due to place a check in the mail, is generally tolerated and your customer will not be charged interest. That said, your customers should not be paying you excessively late, if they do, you do have the right to charge them interest.
Another issue with credit cards is that they have a strict credit limit, if your customer is buying merchandise from other vendors on their credit card, that credit limit is getting divided between all of them. So, while you may be willing to give a customer a $5000 credit line, if they only have $1000 available on their credit card, they may not be able to place as large of an order as they wish.
Of course, the main benefit of net payment terms is landing those large orders from customers who will not pay you with a credit card. If you want to sell to a national retailer such as Amazon, Target, Walmart, or TJX, they are going to demand payment terms, and if you don't give them what they want then they will simply find another vendor who will. Oftentimes, these large retailers will even ask for extended terms, such as net 45, net 90, or even net 120. Part of the logic in asking for such extended terms is not because they need additional time to pay, but because they are testing you. If you are able to accommodate these longer extended terms then it shows to them that your company is financially sound and will be able do business with them for a long time to come. These companies are looking for long term relationships, the last thing they want to is dedicate shelf space to a product that they won't be able to restock.
It is up to your customer to determine what the payment terms are, they should be stated clearly on their PO (Purchase Order). If the PO states payment is via credit card, then you should not be offering that customers terms, likewise, if the PO mentions net payment terms, you should not be asking for a credit card. If a PO states the terms are Net 60, then when you invoice that customer you need to state that the terms are Net 60. Now of course you can always negotiate the terms with your customer, if you only offer Net 30 you can tell your customer that, and then the choice is theirs as to whether or not they want to accept Net 30, place a smaller order, or cancel the order altogether. It is important you know who your customer is, while a family owned business should always be negotiable, larger corporations are not always as negotiable. If you happen to sell a seasonal product, you can expect credit terms to be longer since retailers may place the orders prior to the start of the season, but won't generate any sales for several months.
Yes, there are risks with offering your customers net payment terms. While it may not be the same as a 30-year mortgage, or even a 48-month car loan, whenever you offer someone time to pay you are giving them credit and there is risk associated with it. One potential risk is that the company can declare bankruptcy. While it seems unethical for a company to place an order that they know they won't pay for, sadly is something that happens all the time, and not just with small businesses, but with major nation-wide companies as well. To make matters worse, even if you do get paid by a customer, should they file for bankruptcy within 90 days of making that payment to you, it may be considered a preferential payment and you will be required to return those funds to the bankruptcy court. Of course, a customer doesn't need to file for bankruptcy, or even go out of business, some businesses are just deadbeats and don't pay their bills.
It is common for many smaller companies to require that a new customer provide a credit card for their first order, and then are offered net 30 day terms on subsequent orders. The logic is that if they can pay on a credit card then they can easily pay you directly the next time around. However, this is flawed logic. First, you have no idea if this new account is paying their credit card in full each month, if they are making minimum monthly payments, or if they are not paying their credit card bill at all. In the same way that a business may place orders prior to a bankruptcy filing, they may also rack up their credit card bills as well. Another issue, if the customer wants net payment terms, making them place their first order with a credit card, may make them consider purchasing from a different vendor.
As a result, when offering customers net payment terms, it is very important that you do your due diligence. Typically, this requires subscribing to credit reporting agencies and paying for credit reports on your customers to make sure that they are creditworthy. Credit reports aren't cheap, and depending on which agency you pull from and how many reports you pull, they may cost $35 per report or even more. Many agencies may require an annual subscription where you prepay for a fixed number of reports, and if you don't use all the reports in the course of a year, then you lose them and are out that money. Of course, the data in these reports is usually at best one or two months old, so even if the customer looks god in the report, you are still taking risk in offering them terms, and the longer the terms are, the greater the risk is. Not to mention, no single credit agency has data on every business in the country, it is very likely that if you are using a single credit reporting agency, that they won't have data on all of your customers.
Another option for mitigating risk is to insure your receivables. Insurance, of course, is not free, and your customers need to be insurable. Simply having an insurance policy in place doesn't mean that you can offer net payment terms to anyone. Generally, your insurance company needs to approve your customers, and the order needs to be within their credit limit. Not to mention, depending on your policy you may have deductibles, minimums, and copays that you will be responsible for.
When you offer a customer net payment terms, they should be paying you either via check, ACH, or wire. Since they are already be given time to pay their bill, they should not be using a credit card, and you should not accept a credit card as you shouldn't have to pay the processing fees. Of course, just because an invoice becomes due, does not mean that your customer is going to pay it. Typically, you will need to remind them that the payment is due. This process is called collections and can be a very time consuming, and not always an enjoyable process. A good collections process usually incorporates a variety of methods, such as emails and phone calls. When an invoice becomes due these attempts to collect should just be friendly reminders, after all, these are your customers who you hope to sell to again. Although if an invoice becomes very late you may need to alter approach and in extreme situations you may need to take a less friendly approach to collections, especially if you have reached the point where you no longer want to do business with the customer ever again.
For many small businesses, waiting 30 days or longer to get paid can cripple your cash flow and hinder your ability to take on additional or larger orders. Although there are options available to companies who offer net payment terms but can't afford to wait to get paid. Getting a small business loan (SBA loan) or line of credit with a bank could give your company the funds it needs to operate while waiting to get paid. However, applying for these can take several months, and many companies who apply do not qualify. If you are approved for a loan or line of credit, in general the credit limit is based on the amount of business that you have don't in the past, if your company is growing, or has plans to grow, the credit limit will not go up, and you may find that you need to turn down orders if you don't have sufficient working capital to produce them.
However, there is an alternative to the traditional financing options offered by the banks, that is accounts receivable factoring. With accounts receivable factoring, you get funded for your receivables the same day you invoice your customers. The best part is that the cost of factoring a net 30 day invoice is no different than a credit card processing fee. So, if you can afford to take a payment with a credit card, you can also afford to offer your customer net 30 day terms.
While getting paid the same day you invoice may be the main benefit of factoring, it is far from the only benefit. First, as soon as you get an order, you will submit it to your factoring for credit approval. It is your factoring company's responsibility to check out your customer's credit and determine an appropriate credit limit. As a result, you don't have to worry about subscribing to expensive credit reporting agencies. Part of the way that factoring companies keep costs down is that they may have several clients selling to your customers, so they can split the cost of the credit reports across multiple clients. Factoring companies are also pulling a larger number of reports and receiving volume discounts from the credit agencies, and by sharing their valuable data with the credit agencies receive even greater discounts.
Factoring companies also handle all of your collections for you, meaning you don't need to take time out of your busy schedule or hire additional staff to make collection calls. Factoring companies employ professional collectors who are effective and courteous to your customers. They already have software in place for managing past due accounts. Plus, factoring companies have greater leverage in collecting, not only because they report data to credit agencies, but because if a customer does not pay one of your invoices, they are at risk of losing a handful of other vendors who also work with your factoring company.
Finally, if your factoring company offers non-recourse factoring, then your receivables are fully insured. No need to worry about minimums, deductibles, or copays. If a customer is unable to pay for an invoice, you have nothing to worry about, the funds you received from your factoring company are yours to keep. And the best part, there are no premiums to pay, insurance is included in the factoring fee.
Getting started is easy, give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000 and we can answer all of your questions about factoring. If it sounds like something that you would like to do, we will send you our simple application and can be funding you in as little as 24-48 hours.
You've developed a product or service that everyone loves. You've marketed it. You've sold it. Now all you need to do is get paid for it. It seems like this should be the easiest step in running a successful business, but as many entrepreneurs quickly find out, this step is actually one of the more difficult ones. It's bad enough that your customers want you to wait 30 days to get paid, but the real problem is, most of them aren't going to pay that bill without a gentle nudge. Welcome to the world of collections.
Getting paid seems simple enough, but having A/R doesn't pay your bills and now you need to convert your receivables into cash. For most people, collections are not fun, and sometimes can be downright awkward. After all, you are asking your customers, who you hope will be long-time, repeat customers, for money. It's like lending a good friend some money, but then they never pay you back. Unfortunately, collections are something that need to be done if you want to get paid, and everybody wants to get paid!
Of course, the question is how do you go about handling collections. Collections aren't something that you can improvise a system for, you need to have a system in place for handling them as well as software for managing them. You need a reliable way of knowing who is past due at any given time, and how far past due they are. If all you do is keep a pile of invoices on your desk, you will spend all of your time just looking through each invoice every day to see if you need to contact a customer or not. You will also want a way of taking notes on the account, after all, if they told you they mailed a check yesterday, there is no need to be calling them today. Plus, there are multiple ways of contacting customers such as emails, faxes, regular mail, as well as phone calls. Of course you don't want to do all of these at the same time, but have a process in place where you do each one according to a particular schedule. In the case of email, fax, and regular mail, your customer may have a particular preference that you need to be aware of.
You also can't just use a one-size-fits-all approach, you need to take a different approach based on the situation with your customer. Is this your first time dealing with a customer, or is it the hundredth time? Is it a family business or a Fortune 500 company? Have they paid other invoices but just skipped one invoice? Was there an issue with the particular order that is causing a delay in payment? Most imprtantly, how past due are they? Certainly there is a big difference between a company that is 5 days late (and perhaps the check will be arriving in today's mail), and a company that is 45 or 60 days late. Even if some of your communications are automated, you need to have multiple options and have your software determine which one is best given the situation.
Collections is a lot of work, and without it, you aren't going to get paid. Most businesses need to hire an extra employee just to manage their accounts receivable. Although even with a dedicated employee, some companies are still going to pay slow, and if you aren't careful and performing credit checks on your customers, you're bound to find a few that won't pay at all.
Nobody ever said that running a business was easy, unless of course they've partnered with a factoring company to manage all of their A/R. When you work with a factoring company, you no longer need to worry about collections as they wil handle all of that for you. Plus, factoring companies have more leverage when it comes to collecting as they probably factor for other vendors who sell to your customer, so if they don't pay your receivbales, they run the risk of losing a handful of their vendors. Not to mention, factoring comapnies report directly to multiple credit rating agencies, meaning that by paying a factor slowly it will have a direct impact on their ability to get credit in the future. However, the best part for you may be the next time you call one of your customers, you won't need to ask them for money, but instead can ask if they would like to place another order.
Factoring however isn't just about collections, there is a lot more to it as well. Your factor will handle all of your credit checking, so you'll no longer need to subscribe to expensive credit rating agencies such as Dun & Bradstreet. Your factor also insures your receivables against non-payment, so even if they can't collect, you aren't out the money. Finally, by working with a factor, they will fund you for your receivables the same day you invoice your customer, giving your cash flow a 30 day boost!
If you want to learn more about how factoring can make your life easier, lower your expenses, and improve your cash flow, give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000.
There are many different ways to fund your business out there, but choosing the correct funding method for your business can sometimes be difficult. What makes it tricky is that you can only work with a single funding source. Since you don't know what the future holds for your business, being tied down to funding method that meets the needs of your business today, doesn't mean that it will meet your needs in 6 months or a year, especially if your business is growing. However, there are two funding methods that can be combined together and scale at the same rate as your growing business, they are accounts receivable factoring and purchase order financing.
Traditionally, getting a line of credit from a bank has been the "go to" method for funding a small business. Of course, it has always been a slow process, and qualifying for a line of credit has never been easy small business owners. However, there has always been one very significant problem with a bank line of credit, that is the bank looks only at what you have done, and not at what your business will be able to do in the future. As a result, a line of credit almost always will meet your current needs, but as your business starts to grow, a line of credit can actually restrict how much you can grow. To make matters worse, even if other funding options become available to you, in order to work with them you would have to pay off your and close your line of credit with the bank.
Finding a funding method that can actually grow with your business is crucial for anyone who has large aspirations for their business. A good solution to this problem is factoring. Accounts receivable factoring is a very unique funding method in that it is not a loan, it does not take your credit into account, and the amount of funds available scales with your growing business. The way factoring works is quite simple, if you business invoices other businesses and offers them net payment terms, such as 30 days to pay, then you can sell those invoices to your factoring company and get paid on them 30 days or ealier or more. Because your factoring is purchasing your receivables, you are not taking on any debt and it is your customers who are responsible for paying back your factoring company. This means that credit decisions are not based on your credit, but rather on your customers' good credit. It also means that as your business and receivables grow, the amount of funding you receive from your factoring company also grows with it.
Of course, while you can use the funds you receive from factoring to purchase more product and take on larger orders, it is possible that if you received an extremely large order, say from Walmart or Target, the funds you receive through factoring may not be enough to pay your suppliers for this very large order. In situations like this, you will probably need purchase order financing. Now just like a bank loan or line of credit, if you are factoring your receivables then you won't be eligible for other sources of funding. However, if you work with a factoring company that also offers purchase order financing, then you will be able to get funded for your receivables 30 days earlier, and receive a loan so that you can pay your suppliers when you receive a very large order. As a result, when choosing a factoring company, it is very important to consider all the services they offer because you never know what you might need in the future.
If you are wonderng how factoring and PO financing can work together, it is really quite simple. You provide your factoring company with a PO and tell them how much money you need. They then provide you with the funds neccesary to pay your suppliers. Then once the order is produced and received, you ship it to your customer and invoice them as usual. At that time you provide a copy of the invoice to your factoring company just as you normally would when you factor an invoice. Your factoring company will purchase the invoice, apply a portion of it towards the loan they gave you, and fund you the remaining balance.
At DSA Factors we are proud to offer our clients both accounts receivable factoring and purchase order financing. While for the majority of our clients factoring is more than sufficient in providing them with the funds they need to run their business, we have been able to help many of our clients with purchase order financing as well. Purchase order financing has been most beneficial to our clients when they receive a large order from a big box store, or when they are trying to get a large order into their factory prior to Chinese New Year. If you have big plans for the future of your business, give DSA Factors a call today to learn about how accounts receivable factoring and purchase order financing can give your small business the funding it needs both now and in the future.
Running a small business isn't easy when times are good, but if you find yourself in a cash flow crunch you may find yourself having to make difficult decisions and possibly even turning away business and losing some customers. While it would be great to get a line of credit, most small businesses have trouble qualifying for a line of a credit. Even if they may qualify for one, the banks move so slow that by the time they get a line it is oftentimes too small or too late. However, if your small business has receivables, factoring them and getting funded 30 days earlier (or more) may be just what your company needs.
Factoring is a very different process than applying for a line of credit. For starters, your factoring company is giving credit to your customers and making decissions based on their good credit, so even if you may not qualify for a line of credit, you will qualify for factoring. So rather than you trying to get approved for $25,000, a factoring company simply has to approve 25 of your customers for $1000 each, a much simpler task.
Factoring also moves very quickly, after all, waiting months to get funded doesn't exactly help your cash flow. As a result, factoring companies make credit decisions in a matter of minutes, and will fund you the same day you invoice your customers.
Another benefit of factoring is that there are no minimums and no maximums. Micro factoring works for companies that are just getting started and may only have several invoices for a few hundred dollars each. But as your business grows, the amount you can factor grows along with it. Unlike other forms of financing that have strict credit limits regardless, the amount you can factor scales directly with the amount of business you are doing. So whether you are doing $50,000 a year or $5,000,000 a year, factoring is a solution that works for your business.
Of course the best part of factoring is that when you factor your receivables you are not taking on any debt. With lines of credit and other types of loans, you need to pay back the lender over a fixed period of time, and there may be minimum payments that need to be made each month regardless fo whether or not you have the working capital available to pay them. With factoring there is nothing to pay back, you are simply selling your receivables to your factoring company, and it is your customer's responsibility to pay once the receivables become due.
Want to learn more about how factoring can help improve your small business's cash flow? Give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000, and you could have healthier cash flow tomorrow!
The trade war has been all over the news for months now, and the uncertainty these tariffs are creating a wreaking havoc on small businesses all around the country. Trying to keep up with the constantly changing tariff rates is nearly impossible, but even more impossible is creating a business plan around the tariffs because all it takes is a single tweet and the tariffs change once again. Sometimes tariffs change so fast that you might have an order in production or already on a boat that you are going to now have to pay more for when it arrives at the port. But of course, there is one thing that is perfectly clear about who is going to pay for the tariffs. It won't be China paying for the tariffs but the entire levy is falling directly on American small businesses.
There is no doubt that times are tough for American small business owners. When that ship arrives at the port, you are the one who has to pay the tariffs, and you are the one who has to decide if they come out of your margins or if they need to be passed along to your customers and ultimately American consumers. Your options to choose from are bad and worse, and most likely there is no one clear cut choice but rather you will need to make compromises everywhere. In the end you will have smaller margins, a higher priced product, and will be doing less volume. To make matters worse, if the tariffs get lowered or removed on product you already have in inventory, all of a sudden you have to discount all of your merchandise and that may completely wipe out your margins.
Perhaps you can find a new factory in Vietnam to avoid the tariffs, and maybe you will even save some money by moving in the long run. It's a great idea, but don't think that you are the only one who has it, everyone else is also looking at Vietnam, as well as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and India. What does this mean for you? Well if you are used to getting 30 day lead times from your factory in China, your in for a big shock when you learn that Vietnam's lead times were 60 days at the start of the year, and have now increased to over 120 days. Combine that with the fact that you need to find a new factory that is able to produce product to your quality standards and, even more difficult, is willing to take on new business. Those of course are just the initial hurdles you need to overcome in finding a new factory, nevermind that many of your raw materials may still be coming from China and subject to tariffs. Of course the worst part is that you have probably spent years developing a good working relationship with your factory, and if you leave now, you will be back to square one.
There is no doubt that these are tough times for small businesses, and you are probably being faced with difficult decisions everyday. Regardless of which route you decide to take, there is no debate that you will be the one paying for these tariffs, and you will have to do so with lower volumes and thinner margins. So the question is how will you be able to pay for them. At DSA Factors we are proud to offer our clients purchase order financing, so that you have the funds necesary to pay both your suppliers and the tariffs.
With purchase order financing we will provide you with the funds you need when you need them. That means you choose how much money you need and when you need it. You can borrow some money for the deposit to start production, more money to pay for the completed product before it ships, and even more when it arrives at the port and you need to pay the tariffs. Or maybe you have the funds necesary to pay the factory for the product, you just need a little cash for the tariffs. Whatever your situation, our goal is to make sure that you have all the necessary funds you need to keep your business running, but charge you the lowest fees possible so that you can maintain healthy margins.
Want to learn more about how purchase order financing can help get your business through tough times, give us a call today at 773-248-9000.
One of the greatest challenges for any startup business is securing the financing necessary for day to day operations as well growth. Typically banks are unwilling to finance startup businesses, oftentimes the only way a bank will help with financing is if the founder of the company is able to offer enough if their own personal assets as collateral, and even then the amount of financing offered is very limited. Venture capital is another form of financing that many startup businesses try to acquire, but just like a bank loan it is very time consuming and difficult to secure, and if you can secure venture capital, it comes with many restrictions. However, many young entrepreneurs are unaware that there is another form of financing that is quick, easy, and readily available to startup businesses, that is invoice factoring.
While getting a bank loan or SBA loan is a great way of financing a business, it typically is not an option available to startup businesses. Banks like to look at your track record of what you have done and if they are willing to give you a loan, the amount is based on your company's history. If your company is truly a startup, then you have no history and therefore nothing to base a loan on. If your company has been around for a few years and is now on the verge of growing, it is possible that a bank might consider giving you a loan, but the amount would be based on how much business you had done in the past, not how much business you can potentially do in the future. Of course, the application process for one of these loans is extremely time consuming, and then the bank will take even longer to make a decision, by the time you might actually receive funding you may have already missed your opportunity to grow your business. Really the only way of securing bank financing for a startup would be if the founders of the company can qualify for a home equity loan, and are willing to put up their home as collateral.
Venture capital is oftentimes an appealing option for startups, but again it is something that typically is not readily available for true startups. Anyone who watches the show Shark Tank knows that the sharks always want to see a track record of growing sales before they are willing to invest money in order to take your business to the next level. While you may be able to convince family members to invest in your new business, venture capitalist are taking a very big risk on someone who they don't know to use their money wisely.
If you are able to convince venture capitalists to invest in your business, you still need to be very careful, after all, there is a reason why the call the TV show Shark Tank. Due to the risky nature of venture capital, these "sharks" are going to expect a very high return on investment and you may very well be paying annual interest rates in excess of 50%. They also won't provide you with all of the promised funding until you reach certain benchmarks which may be set at a very high level. Additionally, venture capitalists will most likely tell you how you need to run your business, and should you disagree and try to run your business the way you prefer, the venture capitalists mat oust you from your own company or put your company into liquidation. So accepting venture capital means that you are basically handing over your business to the "sharks".
Rather than putting up your home as collateral or handing over control of your business, a better solution may be turning your receivables into cash. If your business is billing other businesses, whether you are a wholesaler or service provider, most likely your customers are going to be requesting payment terms such as net 30, net 60, net 90, or longer. For many startups, having your capital tied up in receivables is the reason why you need financing in the first place. There are several solutions to this problem.
One popular option is to ask your customers to pay you with a credit card. Not only do you get paid right away with a credit card, but you don't need to worry about not getting paid should a customer go bankrupt or out of business. Of course you will need to pay credit card processing fees which are around 3% for Visa and MasterCard and closer to 4% for Discover and AmEx.
While credit cards may prove popular with small mom and pop businesses who like receiving points or miles on their credit cards, it does have its drawbacks. When you offer net payment terms, it is generally understood that if an invoice is paid a few days late it isn't a very big deal, therefore, most companies tend to take 45 days to pay for a net 30 day invoice. However, with a credit card, when the bill is due it has to get paid or you will get assessed late fees and interest. Your customers of course know this, and if they are relying on your product to sell in their stores in order to pay for it, then they may be hesitant to give you a large order on a credit card or to reorder product as quickly. For your larger customers, including online retailers, national retailers, and regional chains, they will be unwilling to give you a credit card and you will risk losing their business if you stop offering net payment terms. In fact many of these customers will ask for extended payment terms such as net 60, net 90, or even longer.
Another option is to offer your customers early payment discounts. This is typically cheaper than a credit card processing fee, but the drawback is that you don't get paid as quickly. There are several ways that your customers can receive early payment discounts.
One way is to offer your customers 2% 15 net 30 day terms, which means that if they pay within 15 days they can take a 2% discount, otherwise they need to pay the full amount in 30 days. Of course this is a discount that you are offering to your customers, however, in order for them to take advantage of it they would need to have adequate cash flow in order to pay you early. Should they choose to take the discount, they still have 15 days to pay, many companies may hold onto the check for several more days before mailing it, another week for the post office to deliver it, and then several more days for it to clear the bank. So you will still be waiting 25-30 days before your receive payment at a 2% discount, and again only if they choose to take advantage of your offer.
Another option is that many businesses, especially the larger ones, work with supply chain financing such as C2FO. This is very similar to 2% 15 net 30, only this is an offer from your customer to pay you early at a discount. Of course, you are relying on them to offer this to you and typically it takes them a week to enter the invoice into their system and determine whether or not they want to offer you early payment. If they choose to offer you early payment, you then need to offer them a discount which they may or may not accept. If they don't accept it you will then need to offer them a larger discount the following business day in hopes of getting paid early. While you probably will get paid faster than you would with 2% 15 net 30 day terms, most likely you'll be offering them the same 2% discount and of course you are still relying on them to even offer early payment.
However, with both of these options there is risk associated with it. If the company you are selling to goes bankrupt within 90 days of when they pay you, bankruptcy law will require you to return the funds you received to the bankruptcy court unless you can prove that you received these funds in the normal course of business. Given that you offered them a discount to pay you early, you would have a very difficult time proving that you didn't receive preferential treatment from them and you will most likely needs to return the funds. This was an issue with Toys'R'Us who used C2FO prior to their bankruptcy. Their vendors were offering very large discounts, in excess of 25% to get paid early, and those who got funded were required to return those funds to the bankruptcy court.
Many startup businesses have never heard of invoice factoring, but oftentimes it is the best and most affordable way to finance their business. With invoice factoring you are still offering your customers net payment terms, however, your factor will fund you for your receivables the same day you bill your customers. As a result you get funded just as quickly as you would if you took a credit card, but you are able to offer your customers the net payment terms they are requesting. As a result, both you and your customer benefit as you get improved cash flow, and they have more time to pay. Best of all, a factoring fee is pretty much the same as a credit card processing fee so if you can afford to take a credit card, you can afford to factor a net 30 day invoice.
Factoring also comes with another advantage that you don't get with an early payment discount. Your factoring will handle all of your credit checking, collection work, and insure your receivables. And unlike banks or venture capitalists who could take months to make a credit decision, factoring companies work quickly, typically making credit decisions within 30 minutes or even faster. In other words, your factoring company makes offering payment terms just as safe and easy as taking a credit card. Plus you no longer need to subscribe to expensive credit agencies or spend valuable time making collection calls.
Qualifying for factoring is also quick and easy. In most situations you can get your initial funding within 24 hours. Because the factoring company is purchasing your receivables, you are not taking on any debt, your factoring company is extending credit to your customers based on their credit, not yours. As a result, it is very easy for startup businesses to qualify for factoring.
As you can see, there is financing available for startup businesses that is realistic and affordable. If your startup business can benefit from improved cash flow then perhaps you should try invoice factoring. At DSA Factors we have worked with many startups over the years and helped them to grow into larger businesses. We have no minimum volume requirements so no matter how small you are now, we will be able to help you out both now and in the future as your business grows. Give us a call at 773-248-9000 to learn just how easy it is to factor with DSA and get your startup business the financing it needs today!
You may have noticed Amazon Lending in the news recently. According to Bloomberg, Amazon has given out more than three billion dollars in loans since the inception of the Amazon Lending program in 2011, with one billion of those dollars being lent in the last twelve months. They have reportedly given loans to 20,000 businesses throughout the US, UK, and Japan in amounts ranging from $1000 to $750,000. Their loans supposedly carry a very modest APR between 6% and 14%, which would make them cheaper than most other Fintech lenders out there. But just like with PayPal Working Capital, there is a catch. While the APR may be low, Amazon makes up for this by taking a large sales commission. As a result, Amazon Lending may work for very small businesses, but if you're ready to take the next step in growing your business, accounts receivable factoring may be the better option.
You can not request a loan from Amazon Lending, rather Amazon makes loan offers to sellers on Amazon Marketplace, and those sellers can either accept or ignore the offer. It is unknown what criteria is used to determine when a loan offer is made, how much the loan offer is for, what the term of the loan will be, or what the APR on the loan will be. However, Amazon bases the loan on the seller's sales history on Amazon Marketplace, so you can probably assume that if you don't have large and steady sales figures, you probably won't be offered a loan. Furthermore, if you sell directly to Amazon, then you do not qualify for these loans.
While shoppers who use Amazon will see all the products available from both Amazon and Amazon Marketplace every time they search for something they want, the platforms are very different from a wholesale point of view. If you sell direct to Amazon, it is like selling to any other retailer. They give you a purchase order, you ship the merchandise and invoice them, and when the invoice is due Amazon pays you. However with Amazon Marketplace, it is kind of like selling your product on eBay. Amazon will list your product on their site, and will take a commission for each sale you make. If you would like your product to qualify for Amazon Prime, then you need to ship your product to Amazon warehouses, pay storage fees, and when the product sells, you are charged a shipping fee as well. Basically you are giving Amazon merchandise on consignment, and you may be paying them additional fees as well.
Commissions are based on what type of product you are selling. Commissions can be as low as 6% if you are selling computers, and as high as 45% if you are selling an accessory for an Amazon device, for example a Kindle cover. In general, commissions are typically around 15%. In addition to these commissions, Amazon may charge you either a monthly fee or a transaction fee on each sale. If you let Amazon warehouse your product so it qualifies for Prime, you will be paying storage fees and shipping fees as well. If you ship yourself, then you are responsible for paying for shipping. Additionally, Amazon will also charge you a closing fee for each item sold.
Only you can decide whether or not a loan is correct for you. If you sell your merchandise on Amazon Marketplace and wish to continue doing so for the term of the loan they offer you, then you are already paying their commissions and the loan may carry an attractive APR. The loan gets repaid automatically as you sell more merchandise through the Amazon Marketplace, so as long as sales volume remains steady you won't need to worry about paying off the loan. However, if you would like to start selling directly to Amazon or any other retailers, then this loan probably isn't right for you.
Accounts receivable factoring is another form of alternative lending that works with small businesses. Unlike Amazon Lending, accounts receivable factoring works with companies who sell directly to Amazon or other retailers, both online and brick and mortar. With accounts receivable factoring you get funded for your receivables the same day you invoice your customers. Plus, since your factoring company is purchasing your receivables, you aren't taking on any new debt.
Amazon Marketplace may be a great way to introduce your product to the market, and Amazon Lending might allow you to purchase more product to increase your sales volume. However, if you really want to grow your business and want to take the next step, you will have to start selling direct to Amazon and other retailers. If you are ready to take that next step, then give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000 and find out how we can help you fund your growing business.
There are many different financing options available to businesses that could use improved cash flow. Two of the more popular options are purchase order financing and accounts receivable factoring. Often times PO financing and factoring are considered alternative financing options, as the process is much faster and easier to obtain than a traditional SBA loan from a bank. While these two methods are related, have similar benefits, and often times can even work together, they still are very different forms of financing.
While both purchase order financing and accounts receivable factoring are great ways of improving your cash flow, the main difference is when you receive the improved cash flow. With PO financing, you receive funding to pay your suppliers with once they provide you with a purchase order. With factoring you get funded once you invoice your customers.
Since the money is out longer, and isn't backed up by a receivable yet, PO financing is typically more expensive than factoring. However, for very large purchase orders, traditional accounts receivable factoring may not be able to provide you with enough cash flow to pay your suppliers so that you can fulfill the purchase order. In these situations purchase order financing may be necessary. As a general rule, accounts receivable factoring is a better way to maintain healthy cash flow for your business, while purchase order financing should be used for extremely large purchase orders.
Another big difference between purchase order financing and accounts receivable factoring is whether or not you are taking on new debt. In the case of factoring you are not taking on any new debt, instead you are selling your receivables at a discount in order to get improved cash flow. With PO financing, you are taking on new debt. PO financing provides you with a loan based on a purchase order. This loan can get paid off if you factor the resulting receivable, or once your customer pays you for the resulting receivable. However, it is still a loan that uses the purchase order, and resulting receivable, as collateral. As a result, you are taking on new debt with purchase order financing.
Since accounts receivable factoring and purchase order financing are both alternative forms of lending, they don't come with the strict credit limits that a traditional loan from a bank would assign you based on your company's credit. Accounts receivable factoring is probably the only form of financing that does not come with any credit limit. With factoring there is no limit to how much your factoring company can advance you. Since factoring is an ongoing relationship, as your receivables grow so does the advance you receive. Factoring is based on your customers' ability to pay, not your own. With purchase order financing, it is typically looked at on a case by case basis and the amount of the advance is limited to a certain percent of the purchase order's value. So similar to factoring, the larger the PO, the larger the loan. However, you will not receive one hundred percent of the purchase order value.
Whether or not you receive credit insurance is another difference between purchase order financing and accounts receivable factoring. If your factoring company offers non-recourse factoring, then that means that you receive credit insurance when you factor an invoice. With purchase order financing, since there is no receivable yet, you are not receiving credit insurance. That said, if your customer you are looking for PO financing on is not credit worthy, then their purchase order may not qualify for PO financing. On the other hand, once a purchase order is fulfilled and invoiced, by factoring the invoice you will receive credit insurance on it.
When you factor an invoice, you are doing much more than just receiving an advance and getting credit insurance, you are also outsourcing your accounts receivable. Your factoring company will perform all of the credit checking as well as collection work. This can result in significant cost savings as you will not need to subscribe to expensive credit agencies and also may allow you to avoid hiring extra employees to manage your accounts receivable. With purchase order financing, most likely the company providing you the funding will still run credit checks on your customer, they do not manage your accounts receivable for you. You are still responsible for sending out account statements and making collection calls.
There is no clear cut answer to this question, it depends on your needs. For most small to medium sized businesses accounts receivable factoring is not only more cost effective but also provides you with additional service such as credit insurance and accounts receivable outsourcing. However, while factoring allows you to maintain healthy cash flow, it may not provide you with enough cash flow if you need to pay your suppliers to fulfill a larger purchase order. In these situations purchase order financing may be necessary.
At DSA Factors we actually recommend using accounts receivable factoring to maintain healthy cash flow and reduce costs. The cash flow you receive from factoring may provide you with enough funds to avoid needing purchase order financing. However, you may still use purchase order financing from time to time as needed. As a result we offer our factoring clients the ability to obtain PO financing when needed.
While there are companies that only provide purchase order financing, they often times may take a week to a month or more to provide you with funding. Typically they only work with foreign suppliers and finished products that are being shipped directly to your customers from overseas. Their interest rates tend to be variable and often times higher than what a factoring company might offer you on a similar loan.
By factoring your invoices and having your factoring company provide you with purchase order financing as necessary, you will most likely receive a better rate and a quicker response when you need purchase order financing. At DSA Factors we make PO financing decisions in a matter of minutes, and can fund you the same day you call us about a PO. We also don't require you to work with foreign suppliers, we don't require you to be purchasing finished products, and you can ship to your customers yourself. Because you are shipping to your customers yourself, if the order isn't for a full container, you will be able to fill up the container with additional merchandise for smaller PO's or just for inventory. Since we will also be factoring the resulting invoice for you, we can also offer you a lower interest rate on the loan you receive and reduce the time that the loan is out for. Plus you get all the benefits that come with factoring, credit insurance and accounts receivable outsourcing.
Another benefit to working with an accounts receivable factoring company is that by factoring invoices on a regular basis, you are developing a healthy working relationship with a financial partner. In the future, as your company's needs change, your factoring company may be able to offer you additional services to facilitate growth. By securing purchase order financing through a PO financing company, it is typically a one-time deal, and you don't get the opportunity to develop a working relationship with them.
To learn more about how accounts receivable factoring and purchase order financing can be used together to help grow your business, give DSA Factors a call at 773-248-9000. We are a family owned and operated business that works with clients nationwide. Whenever you call DSA, you will always be able to speak with a principal, whether it is Ben, Max, or Howard Tolsky. With over 30 years experience offering factoring and PO financing to our clients, we have money to make your company grow!
This week saw the return of the International Home and Housewares Show to McCormick Place in Chicago. As usual Ben was walking the floor to represent DSA Factors. During the show he visited with clients and met with prospective new clients. Overall, based on the crowds in attendance and reports from our clients at the show, the show was a success. While we had some clients who reported not too much activity, others reported tons of activity and have picked up quite a few large accounts at the show. We also met with a large number of startup businesses who are expecting a lot of business as a result of the show. DSA Factors has been providing factoring for the housewares industry for over 30 years now, and it's always good to see that the industry is performing well.
If you were at the show and met with Ben, we hope that you learned a little bit more about accounts receivable factoring and how it allows you to finance your business without taking on any new debt. If you didn't get a chance to meet with Ben, we are sorry he missed you, but we would still be happy to talk to you about how we can improve your company's cash flow.
Now that the show has come to an end, if you have received some large orders, or plan on receiving them in the coming weeks, now would be a great time to get your financing in place. With DSA Factors, not only can you get an advance on your invoices with accounts receivable factoring, but we also offer purchase order financing as well. Call us now so that we can make sure that when those large PO's come in, that you have the financing you need to take them on.
We hope that the International Home and Housewares Show was a huge success for your company, and look forward to seeing you back in Chicago this time next year. Until then, if you have any questions, or would like to learn more about your financing options, fell free to give Ben a call at 773-248-9000 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Often times for a new startup business, it can be difficult to obtain financing. SBA loans are usually out of the question as banks will want to see a track record and will require collateral that a startup business most likely wouldn't have. Venture capital is an option, but is usually reserved for tech companies that have a huge potential for growth, plus often times it requires you to give up ownership of your business. However, accounts receivable factoring is a great way for a startup to finance their business without having to give up any ownership or taking on new debt.
Accounts receivable factoring is a type of financing where you sell your receivables to a factoring company for a discount. For startups the main benefit is that you get funded the same day you invoice your customers rather than having to wait 30 days or longer for them to pay you for goods or services that you have already provided them. As a result you have healthy cash flow so that you can take on more orders as well as larger orders without having to worry about how you will pay your suppliers. Since you are selling your receivables to your factoring company, the funds they provide you with are yours to keep, there is no need to repay your factoring company as your customers will be paying them once their invoices become due. As a result accounts receivable factoring is one of the few financing options available that doesn't require you to take on any new debt.
While improved cash flow may be the main reason a startup business would use accounts receivable factoring, it isn't the only one. Since your factoring company is relying on your customers to pay their invoices in order to get repaid, your factoring company will also handle all of the credit checking for you. For a startup business the last thing you want to do is spend several thousand dollars subscribing to a credit agency so that you can determine whether or not an order you receive is from a credit worthy company. Your factoring company will also handle all of your collection work so there is no need for you to spend time making collection calls and no need to purchase accounts receivable management software. Finally, with non-recourse factoring, your receivables are insured against non-payment for financial reasons. So if one of your customers goes bankrupt or out-of-business you still get to keep the funds that your factoring company gave you.
Unlike a traditional bank loan, accounts receivable factoring is not a loan, your factoring is instead extending a line of credit to your customers. As a result, your factoring company isn't too concerned with your company's credit or your personal credit, but rather with your customer's good credit. So as long as you are selling to reputable businesses you qualify for accounts receivable factoring.
With accounts receivable factoring there is no limit to how much funding you can receive. The amount you are funded is tied directly to how much you have in receivables. So as your receivables grow so does the amount of funding you receive. While your factoring company will assign credit limits to your customers, since you are not receiving a line of credit there is no limit to how much you can get funded.
Obviously there are fees associated with accounts receivable factoring and these fees can vary based on which factoring company you choose to factor with. At DSA Factors we offer a flat rate factoring fee, meaning that we do not charge you interest if your customers do not pay their invoices on time. The factoring fee we charge is very similar to a payment processing fee that you would pay to take a credit card. So if you can afford to take a credit card, you can afford to offer your customers net 30 payment terms with accounts receivable factoring. While every factoring company charges a factoring fee on each invoice they purchase, these rates do vary and you may be subject to other fees as well. At DSA Factors we do not have any annual fees, there are no fees for setting up new accounts, we have no minimum volume requirements, and we have no long term commitment. Please read our article on how to find the lowest rate for accounts receivable factoring to learn more about what types of fees you can expect to pay for factoring.
Sometimes waiting until you invoice to get funded isn't enough, especially if you need to pay your factory for a container before they will release it. In situations like this your factoring company may offer you purchase order financing. Purchase order financing is a short term loan that allows you to pay for a container in order to fulfill a large order. Even though you may not qualify for a business loan, since you have developed a relationship with your factoring company, and you will be factoring an invoice as a result of the purchase order, your factoring company may be willing to give you a short term loan to finance the purchase order.
Factoring is a fast and easy process where credit decisions are made in minutes, not months. Getting started is easy, give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000. With just one call you can be well on your way to getting the financing your startup business needs to succeed. We can be funding you for your invoices in as little as 24 hours.
Micro factoring is just like normal accounts receivable factoring, only it is on a smaller scale. If you are self employed, it can be very hard to find financing in order to grow your business. Even worse, as your business begins to grow, you are bound to experience a number of growing pains. While the most obvious growing expense may be rent as you outgrow your small office, basement, or garage, other expenses may include book keeping software, subscribing to expensive credit agencies, and you may even need to hire some employees to help you keep the business running. While micro factoring can't help you cut your rent expenses, it can help you with cutting all those other expenses, while making paying the rent a little bit easier as well.
Factoring is simply selling your accounts receivable, or invoices, to a factoring company. So rather than needing to wait 30 days to get paid for a product or service you have already provided your customer with, when you factor your receivables you get funded the same day you invoice. The improved cash flow you receive can be used however you want since the funds you receive from factoring are not a loan.
Besides the improved cash flow, factoring offers several other very important benefits. Your factoring company will handle all of your credit checking for you, eliminating the need for you to subscribe to expensive credit reporting agencies. You factoring company also handles all of your collection work, meaning that you don't need to spend all of your free time making phone calls to customers who haven't paid their bills yet. Plus, since your factoring company has a large client base, they most likely have several other vendors who sell to your customers meaning that they have more leverage in receiving prompt payment for your invoices. Finally, with non-recourse factoring, you also receive insurance on your receivables. That means that if one of your customers is unable to pay due to financial problems, you still get to keep the funds your factoring company gave you.
Micro factoring is great for new start ups and single employee businesses. With micro factoring you are able to receive the cash flow you need to grow your business without having to borrow the money or spend your own personal savings. It is also great for businesses that are growing as the improved cash flow can be used to pay your suppliers, rent, attend trade shows, or anything else.
For small businesses it can be very difficult to work with most factoring companies as they may require long term commitments and have minimum volume requirements. If your factoring company has a minimum volume requirement of half a million dollars, and you only factor a quarter of million dollars or less in any given year, then your factoring company will still charge you fees based on half a million dollars. With micro factoring you do not need to worry about meeting minimum volume requirements each year. Even if you only have $20,000 in annual sales, you only pay factoring fees on the invoices you factor. At DSA Factors we are proud to offer our factoring services to companies of all sizes and never have any minimum volume requirements. Furthermore, at DSA Factors we have no long term commitment, so you can stop factoring at any time and there is never any penalty for doing so.
While factoring provides you with funds for merchandise that you have already shipped to your customers, sometimes it isn't enough to help you taken on larger orders. Rather than turn down large orders from large retailers, with purchase order financing you can get a loan based on a purchase order so that you can produce the merchandise required for a large order. With purchase order financing you will receive a portion of the future invoice's value up front so that you can produce the merchandise, and then when you actually ship the merchandise to your customer and invoice them, you will receive the balance of the invoice's value. Even if you don't have any large orders yet, it is important to factor your existing customers so that you have already established a relationship with your factoring company for when you do get that first large order.
At DSA Factors we realize that we aren't the only factoring company out there, but we offer exceptional service at very competitive rates. As on of the few family owned and operated factoring companies out there, you can always speak with one of our principals anytime you call, you will never just be handed over to an account manager. We have been factoring for over 30 years and understand the industry and what it takes to help our clients grow their businesses. We can handle any size client, we have clients who do as little as $30,000 in sales each year to clients who do millions in sales each year. Plus, we have no long term commitment so you can always stop factoring at any time if you decide that factoring isn't right for your business. So give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000 and learn just how easy it is to receive the funds you need to grow your business.
For most small business owners, obtaining a line of credit from a bank has never been easy. In recent years a number of technology companies have discovered this problem and it has led to the emergence of fintech, a form of online lending. However, what many small business owners don't realize is that there is another alternative to the banks, which is factoring. Factoring companies however offer a whole lot more than the fintech companies, but also have much more experience and knowledge, better customer service, and typically cost less.
Fintech companies provide their customers, who don't qualify for a small business loan from a bank, with short-term, high-interest loans using their receivables as collateral. Because they are using receivables as collateral, companies such as BlueVine claim that they provide accounts receivable factoring, but really they are just providing their customers with a loan. Other companies like Fundbox claim they provide invoice financing, which they differentiate from factoring. While it is true that they do not provide factoring, what they don't realize is that invoice financing and accounts receivable financing mean the same as factoring. This demonstrates a very big difference between fintech and factoring. These fintech companies are really young IT start-ups with little or no experience in the industries that they serve; in fact, they may not even know basic industry terms. Factoring on the other hand has been around for hundreds of years, even Christopher Columbus used factoring. While most factoring companies haven't been around quite that long, they all have quite a bit of experience and a background in the industries that they serve. For example, DSA Factors started off as the consumer finance arm of a retail furniture store under the same ownership. Eventually they decided to start offering factoring services to furniture and bedding wholesalers who they bought from. As the factoring business grew they started expanding out to other industries such as giftware, housewares, apparel, and trucking. Now, having factored for over 30 years, they are still helping small and medium sized businesses grow.
While the goal of both fintech and factoring is to help you improve your cash flow, perhaps the biggest difference between fintech and factoring is how they accomplish this. A fintech company provides you with a loan, meaning you are taking on debt. Furthermore, the loan has a very short term and if you offer extended terms, such as net 90 days, to your customers, it is quite possible that the loan will become due before you receive payment on the invoice that was used as collateral. With factoring, the factoring company is purchasing your accounts receivable, or invoices. The funds you receive from a factoring company are yours to keep and spend however you like. Even if one of your customers pays late, you don't need to worry about paying back the funds you received.
Of course services provided are another really big difference between fintech and factoring. Fintech companies seem to pride themselves on how they will never contact your customers; they seem to think that you will appreciate this. However, all that this means is that if your customers don't pay them, they will come after you. With fintech you still need to stay on top of your accounts receivable and send out statements and make collection calls. For a small business this means that the owner typically needs to spend a lot of time just trying to get paid by their customers. For medium sized businesses you will probably need to hire another employee just to manage your accounts receivable, meaning additional payroll. With factoring you are outsourcing your accounts receivable. Factoring companies have already invested heavily in the software necessary to manage A/R, and are able to do so because they manage A/R for many clients. They have professional and courteous collectors who are able to make the phone calls for you. Plus, because your customers may purchase from several other vendors who factor their receivables, a factoring company has a lot more leverage in collecting from a customer who may not be willing to pay. The fintech companies try to scare you by saying that factoring companies can ruin your relationship with your customers, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Factoring companies are not collection agencies, they understand the importance of the relationship you have with your customers, after all, they have a similar relationship with you. As a result, your factoring company provides your customers with gentle reminders that payment is due, and always treats your customers with the respect they deserve.
Another big difference between fintech and factoring is the insurance they provide. With Fintech you receive no insurance on the invoices you put up as collateral, if the invoices don't get paid, you still have to pay back the fintech company. However, many factoring companies, such as DSA Factors, provide non-recourse factoring, meaning that you are insured in the situation where one of your customers is unable to pay due to financial problems. Furthermore, since your factoring company is insuring your receivables, they also handle all of your credit checking for you, meaning that you don't need to subscribe to expensive services such as Dun & Bradstreet. While it is possible to purchase credit insurance separately, it of course comes with additional fees, and typically only covers large orders for very creditworthy companies such as Amazon or Walmart. If your customers are mom and pop stores, or your invoices are smaller than five or six figures, credit insurance is not something that is readily available to you.
Of course, for many small companies simply getting funded for your invoices isn't enough. For a company that has just received their first six figure purchase order, it may be very difficult to put that order together. To make matters worse, if you are unable to accept such a large order, it is unlikely that the company placing the order will come back to you in the future. If you manufacture in China you typically need to put 30% down to start production and then a month later when production is complete, pay the remaining 70% to get the merchandise put onto the boat. It will be another month before the container arrives in the US and you are able to ship and invoice your customers, and a fintech company will not provide you with a loan until you do so. For service companies you may need to hire additional labor and will need to meet payroll long before you complete the job and invoice your customer. If use fintech for your financing they won't lend you the capital in advance, and you won't be allowed to take out a loan with a bank. However, many factoring companies, such as DSA Factors, will provide their clients with purchase order financing, which is a short term loan based on the PO so that you can fulfill a large order.
Finally there is one more major difference between fintech and factoring companies, and that is customer service. Fintech companies are all about technology; they integrate with business software such as QuickBooks, and believe that customer service is about giving their customers fancy online tools. Of course this means that you too need to use QuickBooks or whatever other software they may integrate with. Factoring companies on the other hand realize that a big part of doing business is developing a relationship with the people they work with. Perhaps factoring companies don't offer all the fancy technology and software integrations as the fintech companies do, but they aren't dinosaurs. Nearly every factoring company has an online portal where their clients can login, request approvals, and view a variety of reports. While there are some large bank-owned factoring companies, there are also plenty of family-owned factoring companies such as DSA Factors. At DSA Factors you can always call and speak with a principal, no need to deal with account managers or low-level employees who can only answer simple questions. As a result, factoring companies are able to work with you creatively and aren't restricted to just the 1's and 0's of the digital fintech world.
When it comes to financing your small business it is important that you look at the big picture. While fintech may be new and exciting, you get a whole lot more with factoring. Plus, with factoring you most likely will save money as well!
If you would like to give factoring a try, call DSA Factors at 773-248-9000 and either Ben, Max, or Howard will be available and able to help you. There is no obligation or long-term commitment, and you can start receiving funds in as little as 24 hours. Start growing your business today with a time-tested and proven method that works, accounts receivable factoring.
It used to be that you would purchase a product and on it would be a tag featuring the stars and stripes and would say "Made in USA". However, as our shopping habits have evolved, with more and more people doing their shopping online, and big box stores becoming pretty much the only option for traditional brick and mortar shopping, that "Made in USA" label is becoming harder and harder to find. Despite these changes and a rapidly developing global market, it should come as no surprise that the old "Made in USA" tag is becoming more and more sought after. Many Americans have even joined the "Shop Local" movement and make an effort to do as much shopping as they can at mom and pop stores in their community.
While you probably have seen "Shop Local" stickers in suburban downtowns and throughout the neighborhoods of big cities, there is a lot more to the movement than just shopping at a store whose owner happens to be your neighbor. Many of these stores will strictly source merchandise that is manufactured here in America. So by shopping locally you aren't just helping out your neighbor, but you are also helping out your fellow Americans by creating manufacturing jobs right here in the states, rather than outsourcing those jobs overseas.
Just how important is it to consumers to purchase an American made product? According to research done by Consumer Reports, eight in ten Americans would prefer to purchase an American made product over an import, and six in ten would even be willing to be 10% more for a product that was made here at home. Furthermore, two in three consumers prefer to shop in stores that advertise American made products. However, more than half of consumers still believe that American made products are too costly.
There are many reasons why consumers prefer to buy products made in America. One reason is patriotism, a lot of consumers take pride in the fact that the products in their home were made in America. Consumers also like that they are creating jobs and supporting the American economy when they buy an American made product. However, the most important factor may simply be the quality of the product, most consumers believe that when they buy a product that is made in America that it is something that will last for a long time.
Despite the fact that consumers prefer American made products, the cost of labor in America is the reason why most manufacturers still prefer to produce their products overseas. It has nothing to do with America having a high minimum wage, in general most factory workers in America are skilled professionals who get paid at a much higher rate than minimum wage. In addition to this they also receive benefits such as health insurance and 401Ks, along with paid vacations and sick leave.
Then there is the question of materials, its one thing for a product to be assembled in America, but it's another thing for it to be assembled in America from parts or materials that are also American made. If a factory is purchasing metals, plastics, or fabrics that are made in America, their suppliers also have to deal with higher expenses which of course impact the price of the raw materials that manufacturers purchase.
Despite these higher costs, there are still many advantages to producing merchandise here in the USA. It isn't just the quality of the product, but also the quality control. If a product is being made overseas, the importer may have little control over how it is being made, and may not even be aware of any issues until it arrives at an American port a month after it has already been paid for. Of course the most obvious benefit is that the product does not have to be transported from overseas. This not only saves money, but it also saves time. It doesn't need to spend a month on a ship and then go through customs before you have access to it, and that's assuming that there aren't any port slow downs. You also don't need to fill an entire container in order to receive your product.
Of course the most important benefit to American manufacturing is consistency. American factories can produce goods 365 days a year. Yes, employees request time off for vacation, but those vacations are staggered so that a factory is never short-handed. In China, and other parts of Asia, factories have to shut down for an entire month as employees return to their homes to celebrate Chinese New Year. Even worse, when Chinese employees return from New Year celebrations, they tend to find a new job at a different factory. As a result you not only need to train an entire team of new employees every year, you never have any employees with the experience required to make high quality products.
When you consider all of these factors, you actually can put together a pretty good argument for American manufacturing. However, in the furniture industry, manufacturing in America becomes even more important. By offering American made products you can also offer custom made furniture, allowing consumers to choose the configuration and sizes they want along with the finishes or fabrics they want. With overseas manufacturing you would be left with lead times of art least 10-12 weeks, but with domestic manufacturing lead times may be cut down to 4-6 weeks, which coincides very nicely with how long it usually takes a home buyer to close on their new home. These reduced lead times are also very important if a replacement part needs to be ordered and your local store doesn't have any in stock.
As a result of these benefits, American manufacturing definitely plays a very important role in the casual furniture industry. According to Casual Living, three quarters of outdoor specialty shops carry American made lines, and four in ten consumers prefer to purchase American made products. The only features that are more important than where the furniture is made are price, comfort, and style. Again the main reason why consumers prefer to buy American is because they believe it is higher quality, and as a result, most high end merchandise is manufactured in the USA.
The only thing that may surprise you, despite the Shop Local movements strong grass roots efforts and social media presence, only 10% of Millennials believe that it is important to buy American made products. This number is slightly higher among Millennials that are married and have families, as well for those who live in the North and the West. However, there is another figure that does bode well for American manufacturing. 93% of all Millennials are willing to pay more for an American made product, with the vast majority willing to pay 20% more for a product with a "Made in USA" tag on it.
If you are an American manufacturer and need help making payroll or paying your suppliers, look no further than DSA Factors. Our accounts receivable factoring program can provide you with the cash flow you need to grow your business. We are family owned and operated business based out of Chicago, Illinois who provides nationwide factoring services. Your customers prefer to Shop Local, so you should to. Partner with DSA Factors and you can outsource your accounts receivable to a family owned business right here in the USA!
There are a lot of different accounts receivable factoring companies out there, and for most businesses looking to factor, the biggest concern is how much factoring will cost them. While a low factoring rate is very important, it is also important to make sure that when you get two different rates that you are comparing apples to apples. It isn't only looking at services such as advance rates, approval rates, or recourse vs non-recourse, but also looking at fees and interest charges. So while you could call five, ten, fifteen, or even twenty factoring companies to find out their rates, it might not be so clear-cut as to which company is the cheapest and provides the best service. This article will show you how to find the best factoring company for your business.
There are two different types of rates that a factoring company may charge you. The most popular type of factoring these days is adjustable rate factoring. With adjustable rate factoring the factoring company will offer what seems like an impossibly low rate, they may advertise anything from .5% to 1% as a base rate for factoring your invoices. However, they will then charge you interest from the day they advance you the money until payment is received and then they will add an additional 10 days for payment to clear the bank. The way that this interest is computed can vary, but it is most common for factoring companies to use blocks. A block may be a period of 10, 15, or 30 days. For each block that passes, the factoring company will charge you an additional fee. For example, if a factoring company offers a .5% base rate and uses 15 day blocks and charges 1% for each block, this how you would be charged for factoring an invoice. Lets say the invoice is purchased on July 1st, then you will be charged the base rate of .5% for factoring on that day, in addition you will also be charged 1% for the first 15 day block. On July 15th if payment has not been received yet and cleared the bank, then another 1% will be charged for the 2nd 15 day block. Lets say payment is received August 10th, you will be charged another 1% on July 30th, and on August 14th, since the factoring company is still waiting for the funds to clear the bank, you will be charged a final 1%. As a result, your overall costs for factoring the invoice will be 4.5%.
With a flat rate factoring program your factoring fee is much easier to compute. If you are offered a rate of 4% then that is exactly how much money you will pay for factoring the invoice, regardless of how long it takes your customer to pay your factoring company. While the base rate may appear much higher with flat rate factoring, the actual rate you pay to factor an invoice is typically lower, especially if your customers don't pay their invoices early.
While the overall rate may be the main reason why you choose to go with an adjustable rate or flat rate for your accounts receivable factoring, it is also important to consider the service that goes along with these two different rate structures. With an adjustable rate, the longer it takes your factoring company to get paid, the more money they make. As a result, an adjustable rate factoring company has little motivation to collect from your accounts until they start to become seriously past due. With a flat rate factoring program, your factoring company is very motivated to collect from your accounts when the invoices become due. This motivation to collect doesn't just affect how much you pay for factoring, but can also affect if future orders from your customers get approved. If a customer is past due on your invoices, then they won't get approved until they catch up. As a result a factoring company with an adjustable rate may not be able to get you approvals in a timely fashion causing your customers to become upset.
Perhaps the most important reason why companies want to factor their invoices is because of the advance that provides them with the improved cash flow they need. When choosing a factoring company, the most important question should be if they provide an advance and how long it takes. Most factoring companies should be able to provide you with an advance on your receivables within 24 hours, or even the same day. A factoring company who is offering you rates to good to be true may not be providing you with an advance. After that you need to look at the rate of advance. All factoring companies hold back money in reserve, but some companies hold back more than others. However, rather than advertise how much they hold back, factoring companies prefer to advertise how much they advance. So if a factoring company holds back 10%, then they have an advance rate of 90%. Advance rates can vary anywhere from 75%-90%, so it is important to make sure that you are getting a high advance rate.
Another benefit of factoring is the insurance that it provides on your receivables. A company that offers non-recourse factoring will insure your receivables against non-payment for financial reasons, meaning for example, that you will not be on the hook if a customer of yours goes bankrupt. However, if your factoring company only offers recourse factoring then they are not providing you with any insurance, and you will be have to pay them back if one of your customers files for bankruptcy.
Because a factoring company may be insuring your receivables, they are also assuming some risk. How much risk they are willing to take can vary. As a result it is important that you choose a factoring company with a high approval rate. It is also important to learn about how your factoring company assigns credit limits. It is important that your factoring company assigns your customers a credit limit based strictly on your business with them. Some factoring companies assign a single credit limit to a business that applies across all of their clients, as a result, if another client has orders that reach that credit limit, your orders will get turned down until that other client's invoices are paid off.
Of course the last thing you want is to get a bill from your factoring company asking you to pay a bunch of hidden fees. Many factoring companies may charge you fees for day-to-day operations such as running a credit report. Other companies may charge you annual fees or fees for not meeting minimum volume requirements. While some companies may lock you into a long-term contract and will charge you fees if you choose to stop factoring or want to change factoring companies. Another thing to consider is whether you are required to factor all of your accounts. Some factoring companies will require you to factor all of your accounts, including ones that pay on credit card, meaning that you will be forced to pay factoring fees even on accounts that you don't factor. It is important that you look at these fees as they of course affect the overall rate that you are paying to factor your receivables.
Finally, the last thing you need to look at it is the service and benefits that your factoring company can provide you with. When it comes to service, many larger factoring companies will treat you simply as a number and assign you to an account manager who may not be able to make difficult decisions. Often times these larger factoring companies are owned by banks or are headquartered overseas, meaning that it may take them a long time to make simple credit decisions. With smaller factoring companies, and especially family owned companies, you will always be able to speak with one the companies principals, and quick turn-around times on credit decisions or anything else are another advantage that they offer. Of course, sometimes you need a little bit more than just factoring, so it is important to look at some of the other benefits factoring companies may offer.
Sometimes when you get a large order from a major retailer you may need a little extra help fulfilling the order. As an importer you may need to pay the overseas factory to start production, and certainly they will want payment in full before a container is released. As a manufacturer you may need funds to purchase additional materials so that you can start production. Whatever the case may be, some factoring companies offer purchase order financing, which is basically a short term loan based on the purchase order so that you have no problem getting the order fulfilled. Even if you don't need purchase order financing right now, it is important to choose a factoring company that offers it to their clients as you never know if you one day may need it.
Some factoring companies may even offer their clients small business loans in addition to factoring services. If you might need a loan from time to time, whether you need to pay to attend a trade show, or you are developing a new product line, it is nice to know that your factoring company may be able to help you out. Since you will have established a working relationship with your factoring company, they will be much more likely to offer you a loan than a bank, and will also make a decision much quicker.
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into choosing the right factoring company for your business. At DSA Factors we offer low, competitive, flat rate factoring fees with the personalized service that you would come to expect from any family owned and operated business. Our clients receive non-recourse factoring with a 90% advance rate. Furthermore, we have an approval rate of over 95% and most companies get approved instantly when submitted on our web page. We have no hidden fees, no minimum volume requirements, and no long term commitments. We also offer purchase order financing to our clients and have offered small business loans to clients who we have developed a working relationship with. DSA Factors is well known throughout the factoring industry as one of the best companies to work with, earlier this year we were named by Factoring Club as the Best Micro Factoring Company for 2016. If you are looking for a factoring company to help grow your business, give DSA Factors a call at 773-248-9000, and find out just how easy factoring can be.
Recently DSA Factors has been named the Best Micro Factoring Company by Factoring Club for 2016. While this comes as no surprise to us that we would receive such an honor, its always nice to get the recognition that we deserve. Thank you Factoring Club.
According to Factoring Club, DSA Factors is the best factoring company to use if you have annual sales of $200,000 or less. It is true, at DSA Factors we have no minimum volume requirements. Most factoring companies require you to factor $500,000 or $1,000,000 every year, and even if you don't reach these volumes will still charge you fees based on these volumes. DSA Factors understands that not everyone is huge, and we would never charge you fees for invoices that you don't have.
At the same time, DSA Factors also handles larger volumes as well. If you do several million dollars a year in sales, DSA is still here to help you out. No matter what your volume is, when you factor with DSA you will always get a low flat rate fee for all of your receivables, outstanding service, and same day funding. So if you are in need of some improved cash flow, give DSA Factors a call today and we can be funding you tomorrow!