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Stories Tagged ‘Invoice Factoring’

There are more and more lenders entering the market of constrction factoring. This should be good news for construction companies and it may well be, however, there are some real potential pitfalls for companies that use this form of finance.

For many construction contractors this form of finance may present a real lifeline and an opportunity to finance growth but it is imperative that you understand how it works and how charges can mount.

One frustration I have is that businesses who are on the fringe of the construction industry can be assisted by more traditional factoring providers. Unfortunately lenders with specialist construction factoring products will ‘force’ these businesses down this route as it reduces their risk, reduces their exposure, increases their fees and ultimately provides a better return for their shareholders. There seems to be little benefit for the business that is ‘forced’ down this route.

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Recently we were approached by a landscape gardener than needed assistance in raising some working capital. The family owned business has issues as they were working for the well known house builders. These clients would take a long time to pay and in the meantime they had to pay their workers weekly.

They had approached their own bank who were unable or unwilling to provide an overdraft facility. They referred them to their invoice finance arm who were unwilling to assist as the business was considered to be in the construction industry as they were required to submit applications for payment to the house builders like any other contractor. From there they had approached several independent invoice finance providers who were unwilling to help for the same reasons. The landscape gardener then approached us at Funding Solutions UK.

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If you are looking to improve your business cash flow their are a few things that you can do and we will talk through these separately. In essence you are looking to speed up the flow of cash into the business while slowing down or eliminating the flow of cash out of the business. Let’s take a look at the different areas that can assist:

Credit control – if you are offering credit terms to your customers then it is important to ensure that you are paid on time. You have provided a good service or product and you are entitled to be paid. You have even been generous enough to offer credit terms so it is not asking a lot to be paid on time. Slow payers can have a real impact on the cash flow of your business. In reality if you are dealing with large organisations that have payment runs, etc.. it can be hard to dictate payment terms but you should still stay on top of it. Efficient credit control improves cash flow and importantly reduces the risk of bad debts.

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As a small business factoring can be an ideal solution for your working capital requirements. Factoring does not require you to be well established or even profitable. To qualify for a factoring facility it is more important that your business has the right processes in place, is in a suitable sector and has good quality customers.

Processes

A small business needs to ensure that it’s invoicing procedure is suitable for invoice finance. This means you should create a good audit trail. Agood audit trail for a factoring facility will differ from business to business. For a wholesaler it will include a purchase order, a proof of delivery and an invoice raised in arrears of the delivery. A temporary recruitment company will have a signed agreement, signed time sheets and then invoices submitted on the back of those timesheets. The key is to prove that your product or service was requested, prove that is was delivered to the satisfaction of the customer and as already described that the invoice is then submitted in arrears of the service or product being provided.

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Invoice discounting has often been reserved for larger, well established businesses and smaller businesses have been forced to accept invoice factoring.

The good news is that invoice discounting can be accessed by smaller businesses.

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If you have a business that offers credit terms you can spend a lot of time worrying when you are going to get paid. Cash flow is probably the major challenge for any business and this is why more and more businesses in the UK are starting to use invoice factoring.

Invoice factoring offers businesses the opportunity to access up to 90% of the value tied up in unpaid invoices. This means that by using invoice factoring a business can smooth cash flow and access cash to pay salaries and suppliers when needed. Not only does this eliminate stress it also allows a business to grow and prosper. Invoice factoring also offers the opportunity to outsource your credit control function to a professional business that will chase your outstanding invoices with a system of letters, month end statements and phone calls where necessary.

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We are often approached for finance by someone starting a new start recruitment business.

New start recruitment companies can range from an individual setting up on their own through to large organisations with ambitious recruitment plans and everything in between. Whatever the size of the business cash flow is key to ensure that contractors wages can be paid on a weekly basis. This is why finance is important.

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Trade finance is a great product for importers of goods to the UK. When combined with an invoice factoring facility trade finance can help to finance the whole trade cycle. This means finance can be provided right the way from the confirmed order from your customer right the way through to your customer settling the invoice.

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