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Stories Tagged ‘Invoice Factoring’

Cash flow problems within your business can be solved by looking at several solutions.

Some of those solutions for cash flow problems are financial solutions and involve borrowing money or restructuring existing facilities. The others are operational changes in terms of how you operate your business. Let’s look at each of them briefly:

Working capital facilities

You could look at an overdraft, invoice discounting or factoring facility. If one of these is already in place you could look to restructure to ensure the maximum amount of cash is generated for the minimum cost.

Asset Refinance

If you have any assets within the business you can look at refinancing these assets. This will mean an injection of cash however it can prove costly in terms of interest costs and you should consider the cash flow implications of the monthly repayments. If you already have asset finance facilities in place it may be worth refinancing to reduce the monthly repayments.

Remortgage

If you have a mortgage or an unencumbered property you could look to refinance this to raise money or reduce the monthly repayments.

Collect in money owed

If you have a debtor book it is important to ensure that debts are collected in on a timely basis. Your credit control skills could vastly improve your cashflow. Can you offer a settlement discount to get paid quicker?

Supplier Terms

Can you negotiate better terms from your existing suppliers or can you approach alternative suppliers with a view to obtaining extended terms?

Cost Cutting

Can you cut costs within the business by cutting out unnecessary services, insurances, staff members? You may need to make some tough decisions but you have to protect your business.

Trade finance facilities such as a letter of credit combined with a factoring facility can provide an ideal solution for importers. This combination can allow importers who take confirmed orders from reputable customers to pay their supplier. By funding the full trade cycle it allows them to raise finance from order right through to when their customer pays.

How does this work?

  • The importer receives a confirmed order
  • They place that order with their supplier
  • A letter of credit is raised in favour of the supplier
  • Good are shipped and when received the supplier receives payment from the LC
  • Goods are delivered and an invoice is raised
  • The factoring facility repays the LC
  • When the customer pays the factoring facility is repaid

Requirements:

  • A confirmed order
  • from a credit worthy customer
  • usually a 20% profit margin is required

Security

Some banks require tangible security in the form of cash cover or a charge on property. However, within the market there are lenders who will happily raise an LC on the back of a confirm order.

Cheap factoring for small businesses is now available. Typically the minimum fees levied by lenders made factoring particularly expensive for small businesses with a turnover less than £500,000. Some may argue that there is no such thing as cheap factoring no matter how big your business is but I believe that a cost effective solution now exists.

At Smart Factoring Quotes we have a bundled fee solution which means that you pay one simple fee as opposed to a seperate service fee and discounting fee. For a recourse factoring facility this fee is 1.95% of the each invoice. If you wish to include credit protection to protect you against bad debts this fee increases to 2.95%.

This has been well received by virtually all small businesses that I have spoken to. The benefits include:

  • up to 85% prepayment against your invoices providing valuable working capital for your business
  • no minimum fees which can prove expensive when turnover dips
  • easy to calculate fees which can easily be priced into your product or service price
  • optional credit protection to protect you from bad debts

Typically my advice also includes an explanation about hidden costs as detailed in other posts on this forum but with this facility it is easy to use, transparent and easy to understand.

Selective factoring was recently set up by Smart Factoring Quotes for a security company based just outside Chester in the North West of England. They had landed a large contract worth over £400,000 over 3 months. They had to invoice monthly on 90 day terms and yet they were paying their security staff weekly.

They approached with a view to spot factoring the 3 individual invoices. We looked at their options and found that selective factoring was by far and away a cheaper option. Selective factoring means that you factor all the invoices of a particular debtor whereas spot factoring means you can pick and choose individual invoices. The difference in this instance is subtle but the difference in cost was dramatic.

Selective factoring worked out almost 10 times cheaper in this instance. The facility will allow our client to take on a lucrative contract and meet it’s weekly wage demands. Profits will be increased because of the selective factoring facility.

Smart Factoring Quotes are proud to announce the launched of their new and improved website.

Our aim has always been to provide business owners with a balanced view on invoice finance. The new site is more informative and we want to be the preferred source of online information for business owners looking for an invoice finance facility. We want to empower business owners to make an informed decision. That informed decision can be about choosing whether or not to use a form of invoice finance, which facility to use or which lender has offered the most competitive terms for their business.

If you are a business owner who is considering entering into an invoice finance agreement or reviewing your existing arrangements make Smart Factoring Quotes your first port of call.

Factoring Companies in the North East include the invoice finance arms of the major banks but also there are a number of independent factoring companies with local offices.

Some actually have operational offices in the North East while others simply employ sales people who are based in the region. In all fairness if you have a business in the North East of England most factoring companies within the UK will be able to assist you. The geographic distance between yourself and you client manager is not a major issue in this day and age.

Smart Factoring Quotes have an office in Ryton in the Tyne Valley just outside Newcastle and offer free, impartial and independent advice about factoring in Newcastle and around the North East. We use a nationwide network of lenders from across the UK to ensure that your business ends up with the lender best placed to meet your needs.

We already have clients in Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham and the surrounding areas and would be delighted to hear from you.

As an invoice finance broker I speak with a lot of businesses who are looking for cash flow solutions for their businesses.

It would be fair to say that their is a real mixed reaction towards invoice finance and especially factoring. A lot of this relates to the perception that factoring is a last resort and I would argue that this is certainly no longer the case.

However, having read various posts on several forums their seem to be some common complaints about factoring companies. These include hidden costs, actual prepayment not been as high as quoted headline rate, reserves and retentions, lengthy contract periods and poor service levels. Unfortunately in a lot of cases I feel that this business owners do have a valid case.

Another area that received a lot of publicity on the FSB forums is the hefty collect out fees and early termination fees that can be levied by lenders. These can often be totally out of sync with the work load required to collect in any outstanding debts and many view these charges as opportunistic.

If you have any valid complaints and you wish to air these experiences we will accept posts on this forum – please use the comment box below. However, we will not allow “witch hunts” so please do not name individuals and please try to stick to the facts.

If you are looking at an invoice finance facility in Edinburgh your first port of call should be Smart Factoring Quotes. Smart factoring Quotes specialise in arranging factoring and invoice discounting facilities and we understand which lenders are best placed to help businesses in Edinburgh.

Our approach is as follows:

  • we explain in full what your options are
  • We explain all hidden costs and other things that you should be aware of
  • our aim to allow you to make an informed decision
  • we aim to structure facilities to maximise cash generation and minimise costs

If you are a business based in or close to Edinburgh please give us a call. Our aim is to save you valuable time and money by taking the stress and uncertainty out of arranging an invoice finance facility.