Survival. Growth. Are they different concepts? Business financing in Canada addresses of course both those basics. And one type of financing, the financing receivables offered by business finance companies seems to address both those issues very well thank you, in the SME sector. Let’s examine how that works, what are some of the key benefits, and if in fact one optimal solution exists with this type of financing.
Clients we talk to are often frustrated in their attempts to achieve cash flow and working capital financing in an efficient, simple matter. They are looking for both flexibility, and speed in closing a solution – unfortunately they don’t always find it.
Receivables financing fits somewhat perfectly into solving the desires of Canadian business owners and financial managers. However the array of types of business finance companies that offer that solution, and how that solution is delivered can sometimes be confusing to clients.
So, the basics… a receivable finance (aka invoice discounting/factoring) facility is the sale, on a one of, or ongoing basis of your billed receivables. That sale allows you to receive cash, in advance of course, of the collection of that receivable. We’ve been watching the age of Canadian business receivables get older and older of the years and while the norm ‘ in the old days’ used to be 30 the new norm is of 60-90 days… unfortuantely!
Clients are always asking when the correct time to consider such a facility is. Some key factors that will help them achieve both survival and growth are as follows – double digit growth in sales, requests from customers for extended terms, pressure from suppliers for accelerated payments from your firm, etc. Any or all of those points can come together in a final decision to include a receivables financing strategy into your survival equation.
So if in fact you made that decision can you expect to receive benefits that are tangible and offset the cost of this financing, which is very typically higher than bank finance rates? The answer is ‘ yes ‘!
Key benefits include the ability to achieve higher revenues due to the working capital infusion you have just arranged. Your cash flow now becomes very predictable given that you receive funds as you generate sales – a lot of the seasonality and bulges around your business ups and downs disappears. And, contrary to what some clients believe, you’re not borrowing funds and incurring debt, you are simply monetizing the left side of your balance sheet. Your A/R account simple reads ‘ cash on hand’! and that’s a good thing.
So what about the cost of this financing? In Canada it’s typically between 2-3% per month. That cost can be offset in a number of manners. The challenge we see clients face is in the way in which financing receivables in Canada is in fact presented by business finance companies. Rarely is the fee represented in a one time clear explanation – its masked with various miscellaneous issues.
Is there one type of facility that we recommend as optimal to clients? There is. It’s a confidential working capital/factoring financing that allows you to bill and collect your own receivables. You maintain the benefits of this type of financing, while being in control of your own destiny, and that growth and survival we spoke of!
Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can help you steer your way through the myriad of offerings in the Canadian business space.