Cash Flow Financing : Different Working Capital Finance Solutions For Different Problems

Cash flow financing means different things to different business owners. But when your overall business finance strategy isn’t working your mission, (should you choose to accept it) becomes accessing working capital finance strategies that make sense specifically for your firm. Let’s dig in.

In the world of business survival small problems can become large quite quickly, and no example is better than the one of running out of cash. Top experts tell us those owners, investors, lenders, suppliers focus on ‘ cash flow ‘ to gauge whether a company is winning or losing.

That’s the big picture, but on a day to day basis working capital financing is relevant because it allows you to meet demands of clients, as well as having the opportunity to take on larger deals, contracts, etc.

If a business is growing the problem of proper financing is very visible quickly. That’s because the internal workings of the company are not allowing sales to translate into cash as quickly as is needed.

Key to understanding your ‘ cash flow fix’ is the ability to separate long term needs from short term requirements. Also, the business owner/manager has two options for the fix – borrow and take on debt, or monetize assets.

Actually there are three options we suppose – the other is to inject new owner equity into the company. Unless you’re a company that is considering ‘ going public ‘, or desiring to have new private capital come in that 3rd strategy is highly … undersireable! It dilutes ownership per cent age.

Accountants tell us that the working capital part of the balance sheet is represented by ‘ current assets ‘ in your financials. Typically they are receivables and inventory. Managing and financing these two assets are your closest chance to achieving cash flow nirvana!

Financing of current assets can be done both traditionally through Canadian chartered bank lines of credit, or alternatively through non bank independent commercial finance solutions.

What are those solutions? They include:

Factoring / Confidential Receivable Finance
Inventory financing
Business line of credit via a non bank asset based line of credit
Monetizing tax credits (SR&ED loans)
Sale leaseback of fixed assets
Purchase Order/ Contract Financing

Those are all ‘ asset monetization’ strategies – they don’t bring new debt to your balance sheet, and bring you one step closer to ‘ cash in the bank ‘.

Owner/Managers also have the ability to consider a working capital term loan. If your business has the cash flow to support such a transaction it’s a fixed term loan with monthly payments that inject ‘ permanent’ working capital into the business.

The good thing about having a flexible cash flow financing solution in place is that it allows you to eliminate the ‘ emergencies’ that arise out of sales opportunities or bulges in working capital needs.

The best way to assess your needs is to spend some time always looking at sales growth, seasonality in revenues, needs for new assets, and how much A/R and inventory you will carry or need based on that sales analysis.

If there is any ‘ good news’ in the cash flow conundrum it’s simply that there are analytics and solutions available to business owners/managers.

Seek out and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who will join you on ‘ the mission’.