Cash flow is critical to all businesses, but it can be of particular importance to small to medium-sized businesses that have only been established for a few years. They often find themselves in the working capital ‘trap’ of having plenty of potential business opportunities, but not enough cash available to exploit them. Factoring can be the perfect answer in this situation.
Factoring provides cash for the business as soon as an invoice is issued. It also has substantial benefits in terms of reducing management time spent on accounts receivables. There are also two other important aspects of factoring that are useful to the growing business:
They do not require personal guarantees
They work with your customers’ creditworthiness, not your own
How does factoring work?
After the initial setting up of your account with a factoring company, you will issue invoices in the normal manner, but they will be stamped to show that they are payable to the factor. The factor will then provide you with immediate access to funds, typically about 80% of the face value of the invoice. The balance will be credited to your account (less a small service charge) when the cash is actually collected.
From that point on, the factor will take over responsibility for managing your sales ledger and accounts receivable. The very fact that they are involved will usually bring about a reduction in the time taken to pay invoices, as suppliers know that factors often report delinquent payment performance to the major credit agencies, whereas companies supplying the services do not.
Factoring companies are very careful about selecting and training people to handle collections professionally, as they are acutely aware that the task must be handled sensitively, but firmly. They understand that customers are the lifeblood of your business, and that their goodwill must be maintained.
A good partnership with a factoring company can be one of the most valuable assets of a developing business, particularly in the early years, when there can be a danger of over-trading if adequate working capital is not available.
Andrea Lucas is CEO of Celera Financial, LLC , and has over 20 years’ financial experience working with small and medium-sized businesses, both internationally and in the USA. Andrea can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org or call (703) 651-3168.