factoring, small business financing, invoices to cash

New Business Financing Option I Just Discovered

As a business person, I am always interested in new financial products that help me finance my various businesses. I just found out about this new way to get small business financing without the hassle and waiting time of SBA loans, nor the shady and high-interest rates of some alternative lenders, namely sketchy factoring.

Every day my manager would check the mailbox and hope for a check to pay the bills, often disappointed.  Instead, we applied and got an account at Fundbox, which got good reviews.  Now directly from within a mobile phone app we can finance any invoice in our online accounting system Quickbooks and get the money into our checking account the next business day.  Now our bills get paid on time, avoiding late fees and no longer do we have to pressure our customers to pay – avoiding those uncomfortable collection phone calls I hated to make!

I had heard of old-fashioned “factoring” as a finance option. This is where lenders, some a bit shady, would “buy” your open invoices and then they would proceed to collect from your customers. There were a few things that went wrong here.

Investopedia defines a factor as a financial intermediary that purchases receivables from a company. Thus a factor is essentially a funding source that agrees to pay the company the value of the invoice less a discount for commission and fees. The factor advances most of the invoiced amount to the company immediately and the balance upon receipt of funds from the invoiced party.

 

First, they tacked on all sorts of fees and interest charges which made this type of short-term capital very expensive. Secondly, there was the often customer relationship destroyer of aggressive collections by the factor.  Thirdly was the invasion of privacy revealing your company financing to your competitors who could use it to discredit you in your industry. As such I dismissed this financing option right away.

Now smart lenders have reimagined this type of financing in a new and better model.

Instead of the factoring system, modern lenders use invoice financing to lend businesses money at reasonable rates, in a line of credit type of revolving fund.

I liked how they removed the connection between the factor and my customer. Invoice financing, in most companies, do not contact your customer ever and your banking needs are kept private away from your competitors and industry gossip mill.

Wrongly I had assumed that this type of financing would be only open to manufacturers who sold to large companies (Walmart and Target, etc). Happily, I was wrong. Even small companies such as my web design agency with unpaid invoices from other small businesses are now eligible.

For example, last month my internet marketing and web design agency had over $50,000 in outstanding invoices that we “financed” and got cash advance. This type of small business financing is especially advantageous for new companies who have little or poor business credit because the lender does not use the owner personal credit ad the sole determining factor for approval. Usually, your customer’s credit, whom you are invoicing, is a greater factor in financing approval than your credit history – business or personal.

 

Each lender has slightly different rules and regulations regarding their invoice financing, sometimes called account receivables financing.

 

 

 

best loans for restaurants, bars, pubs, coffee houses

I Invested in a Restaurant Loan – Here’s Why

Are you like me, always dreamed of being a part owner in a chic restaurant? I love cooking at home and consider myself a good chef (my wife says so!).  My good friend is very successful by owning a chain of steakhouses in our area.  Every time I go for dinner, it is such fun and it looks like his work is so enjoyable I have been envious for years.

2018 marks the year that I decided to follow my dream after I returned from my Costa Rica trip and invested in the risky, yet lucrative restaurant industry.  After carefully reviewing the possible return on investment, coupled with the cool factor of getting a great table any night I took the plunge -investing $50,000 in my buddies steakhouse.

Restaurants of all types, from coffee shops to high-end French restaurants take a lot of work and long hours.  Some of the work is glamorous and fun but plenty of it is not such as handling drunks, negotiating food prices and getting and retaining top talents in chefs and managers.

In our financial meeting, my friend told me that the best restaurant loans for the working capital that he could find had APR – annual percentage interest rates of upwards of 80% in some cases.  This is traditionally because of the high risk of business closures and reinvestment needs.  Additionally, there is the danger that cash businesses face for theft and loss.

best loans financing for restaurants short termIt is precisely because so many lenders shy away from restaurant loans that smart investors can make a killing.  Perhaps you have read about the highly profitable firm Kabbage which makes loans to restaurants and other small businesses such as beauty salons, retailers, and online e-commerce sites.

Founded in 2009,  headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia Kabbage loans have been named in the top percental of America’s fastest growing companies according to Inc magazine.  Over the past three years, they have an awesome 979% growth rate. This is WHY I choose to make this restaurant loan to get a piece of this high growth and high-profit investment opportunity for myself.

The key to success in restaurant loans is to only invest with partners that you know, trust and have solid proven business skills running profitable companies over time.

Don’t be fooled by thinking great chefs are also great business people – very rarely is that the case.

To protect myself, and my investment I required constant accountability and detailed shareholder agreements which spell out everyone’s responsibility clearly.  Also, we have weekly meetings (over a delicious steak and glass of red wine) to review all expenses and sales figures to spot and fix any issues right away before they grow into large unsurmountable problems.

People who lose money in restaurants often go into the industry to make lots of money fast, not work so hard and meet women. Good luck.

 

 

 

What I’ve Been Up to This Year

This year has been a trying one, to say the least.

I’ve had a lot of time to ponder my next move as I keep my blog updated.

Well, if you are reading this, you know I haven’t done such a good job at that!

So, I owe you all an explanation…..

First off, I’ve been trying to get in shape.  I’ve lost 14 pounds this year and am finally at a weight that makes me feel happy and comfortable.  I followed the tips I read about right here.

I’ve also spent more time with my family.  So that’s a big thing for me, since we’re all getting older and there isn’t that much time left for most of us and every day above ground is a good day.

I’ve also been studying some Internet Marketing courses in hopes of making this blog somewhat of an income producing blog.  I started taking this course, which hopefully pans out and gives me some ideas on how I can monetize this site into something that will keep me motivated to come back and update it more.

Other than that, it’s been a lot of reading.  I read this book about selling online.

I don’t rate it very highly, but hey, your mileage could vary.

So other than that, not too much to report.  Just the same old, same old.  When I come back with some new stuff to say, I’ll come back with a vengeance.  Until then, you all keep on doing what makes you happy, okay?

The Down Low on Investing in Real Estate

Real estate investing is not as complex as it sounds but it does have its own rules and dynamics otherwise it can cause a great deal of your liquid cash to go down the drain. Land or real estate basically means buildings of any sort such as houses or warehouses etc and anything attached to those establishments such as grounds or sheds and so on. Real estate investing can take place in many forms be it industrial, commercial or residential and it all depends on the purpose you have in mind.

I caught up with the Breia Real Estate Investors Ryan Kuhlman, who shed some further light on the scenario and helped out with this article.

As far as investment vehicles go, real estate is the most common way that people use their money to obtain a profit or secure a higher financial return in the future. This has become more common in the last few decades and many people have made a lot of money by being able to understand the dynamics of the real estate market successfully.

Basic rental properties are bought for the simple purpose of renting them out so that a running income can be created. The purpose for which they are rented depends on the specification of the property itself and what type it is registered as. If it is an apartment then it can only be used for residential renting and so on. Larger pieces of real estate give larger returns such as warehouses for example.

Of course for the rent plan to work you need your real estate to be in an area where people are looking to rent and where you are likely to get good rates. Finding a tenant that is trustworthy and will pay on time along with looking after the property is very important. If you have not purchased the property in its entirety and are paying mortgage payments, the rent will have to be high enough to accommodate these payments along with yielding a good amount of profit.

Real estate investment groups are today’s ideal situation when it comes to investing as you buy shares with the firm and the firm itself maintains the property or the living space you co-own for a small fee. This enables you to spend the least amount of time in managing the property. Also since the investment firm personally looks into all the properties, you are minimizing your risk at the same time.

You get a lot of leverage when you invest in real estate and this you would not have if you were buying stock for example. In most cases you only need to pay 25% down payment and depending on the location you may even need to pay as less as 5%. This gives you all the time in the world to pay the installments and side by side generate a sizeable income from the property by renting it or using it for some small business venture (this depends on the nature of the property).

For people who have made real estate their profession, there are endless possibilities as they usually own nothing but enable lots of real estate transactions. If they do own something they can sell it at a profit or make a business of buying and selling properties.

Traveling to Costa Rica

If you’ve ever thought about traveling to Costa Rica, what is your main reason?

I’m about to embark on a journey through several Central American countries, and I’m most excited to visit Costa Rica.  I’ve seen a lot of good things posted about it and read many reviews of where to go on this San Jose Costa Rica website.  It’s the most informative resource I’ve seen online in quite some time, and has reviews of restaurants, beaches, sightseeing, and even brothers.  Yeah, I probably won’t be visiting much of them, being a woman and all, but I am going with a friend who is in real estate and he’s recently single.  Never know!

Things I’m looking forward to doing include visiting the Poas Volcano, one of the only active volcano’s in the country!  I wonder if it will erupt when I’m there?

Another thing I’m going to try to do is make sure I see the crocodile feeding while going on a crocodile tour in the Tarcoles River.  This is something you’ll see on national geographic, it’s very famous.  Here is a video below so you know what I’m talking about.

In addition, I’ll probably hope to see some monkeys down near Manuel Antonio Beach.  Apparently the country is FAMOUS for howler monkeys, and being from Florida, well, we don’t have many of those around!

Another thing on my “to do” list is to visit a coffee plantation.  Did you know that most of the coffee in Starbucks is made of Costa Rican beans?  It’s true!

So it’ll be coffee, monkeys, crocodiles, and a lot of food. The local cuisine doesn’t have me too excited, being it’s rice, beans, and pork.  I am more of a sushi person but I suppose being so close to the ocean we have to have a good chance at getting some fresh fish, right?

Staying downtown doesn’t really appeal to me, but the Capital City of San Jose has a gold museum and a lot of historic buildings, so we’ll be doing that as well.  Escazu is supposedly the “Beverly Hills of Costa Rica, ” so my real estate expert friend will most likely have to guide me through there and show me some value.  It’ll be interesting to see his take on the area and see how it stacks up to that of South Florida.

A few updates for all of you who submitted comments.

  1.  Looks like the link to that site I got information from is down.  Rats.
  2. I was thrilled to have joined in a Costa Rica bachelor party experience while I was there.  Wow, the good times had by all were amazing!  What a place for a fiesta!

I’ll be going back soon, no doubt about it.