At one point or another, nearly every business will seek financing. It is the most proactive and effective way to grow your business, and there is something available and more suitable for every type of business.
If you are searching for retail financing solutions, you have options for everything from quick cash advances to specialized equipment leasing. Consider the options below and get quotes before you finalize your financing strategy.
If you have been in business for at least two years, have a good business credit score, and are looking for a more significant sum of money upfront, you may benefit from a business loan. Term loans essentially come in two types:
- Short-term loans are commonly used by businesses looking for more consistent cash flow. As the name implies, short-term loans are paid back quickly, usually within a year, and the application process is often straightforward. You can sometimes get approval within a few days and receive funding right away. The loan amount is usually not very high, but shorter loans tend to lean toward higher interest rates.
- Long-term loans are frequently repaid in installments over a 10 to 30-year span. Of course, the payments are lower the longer the term is, but businesses tend to go for a long-term loan when they need substantially more funding. The application process takes longer because the qualifications are often more strict, but the interest rates are usually lower than short-term loans.
Each type comes with risks and rewards, but short-term loans are generally less risky for small businesses.
Business Line of Credit or Credit Card
A business line of credit offers a great deal of flexibility for businesses that need to use the funds at will without racking up interest. It functions much like a credit card because the lender provides you with a predetermined amount of available credit, but you can withdraw as needed and only pay interest on what you removed. In addition, you make monthly payments like you would on a credit card, and the same amount is available to you when you need it again.
Every business should also have a standard business credit card. It helps you establish your business credit history, and it is convenient when you need fast funds but do not want to interrupt your cash flow. Additionally, business credit cards often come with many perks, and many options are available. Most are very easy to get.
If you can meet the high standards required for an SBA loan, you reap the benefits of low-interest rates and flexible repayment terms. You can apply for an SBA loan through a private lender, but the federal government acts almost as a co-signer. If you default on the loan, the government will pay, but you may need to put up your assets as collateral.
There are several different types of SBA loans:
- SBA 7(A) loans are intended for working capital and significant expenses, such as real estate and equipment.
- SBA 504 loans are intended for long-term buys, such as land and facilities.
- SBA Express loans are for borrowers that need fast funding.
- SBA Microloans are for small business purchases, such as inventory and supplies.
Recent changes increased the cap for some SBA loans, but the SBA 7(A) loan is awarded the most often.
Merchant Cash Advance
If you are just starting out, financing retail stores may seem overwhelming. Most lenders want to see some proof of revenue to give them faith that your business is successful. If you have only been in business for a few years, you may want to consider a merchant cash advance. You receive a lump sum of cash upfront and make payments via a cut of your future sales. Retail businesses primarily receive payment through credit and debit cards, which is ideal for a revenue cash advance.
You have two structure options for a merchant cash advance. You can make payments through a daily percentage of credit and debit card sales, or you can set up automated payments that come out of your business bank account weekly. This form of financing is better suited for small revenue advances.
Equipment Financing or Leasing
Equipment financing or leasing is a more specialized funding solution. With equipment financing, you purchase equipment for your business, and the lender places a lien on it until you pay off the loan amount by a predetermined date. Equipment financing is the best option if you need the money for something specific to your business. For example, if your retail company sells clothing from a storefront, you may need clothing racks, cash registers, and shelving installations. You could purchase those things with equipment financing and pay them off quickly. Since the equipment acts as collateral, the interest rates and fees are often low.
Equipment leasing is slightly different because you still receive the equipment you need, but you are essentially renting it. This form of funding is excellent for a business that requires equipment that may become outdated quickly or is only required for a short time. You do not own the equipment. Therefore, you can return it, lease it again, or purchase it at a discounted price when the lease term ends.
Inventory Retail Financing
Inventory financing is very similar to equipment financing. Inventory financing is a great option if you own a retail store that sells many items and needs to stock up quickly but does not have the cash to support an enormous buy. You can buy the stock you need, and the items act as collateral for the loan. If you default, the lender can confiscate the items and sell them. Small retail businesses will likely have the best luck looking for lenders online.
Before you decide on a financing option, take the time to shop lenders and compare quotes. If you have an established bank, you may get a great deal there, but that is not always guaranteed. Alternative financing is a growing industry that can get you the funds you need for your business faster than a traditional business loan; you can get quotes quickly online and have the funds you need in a matter of days.