Isn’t it ironic that business can be actually quite good… or even great..? which then becomes a problem only because in business survival and growth it’s all about financing working capital… turning those current assets of your firm into loans or monetization facilities for cash flow.
In a perfect world Canadian business owners want to be able to meet their day to day operations, make any loan or lease payments and be able to plan for upcoming expenses or growth. How could one statement like that induce so much stress!
A lot of that planning comes from the ‘ current assets ‘ category of your financials, simply speaking your liquid assets such as cash on hand, receivables, and inventories if in fact your business has inventory. (Some services businesses just have A/R).
Small and medium sized businesses in Canada rely on either capital from their owners personal resources, or their decision to take on loans and debt of some sort.
But what type of loans makes sense when it comes to liquidity? Perhaps a better re phrasing of that question would be ‘ what is ‘ good’ working capital debt? In our personal credit lives we think of good debt, i.e. a mortgage, and bad debt ‘ credit cards’!
Naturally considering new ownership or additional equity in your company or business (taking in a partner, etc) is simply a dilution in the long run and somewhat downsizes the overall incentive for all owners to grow the firm.
And when it comes to debt the amount of ‘ debt’ or loans your firm can take on is certainly often limited relative to your own current financials and the state of borrowing in Canada , which vacillates from great to not great as you may have noticed!
So, whats the solution? Is financing working capital the way to go? (As opposed to term loans and more debt) It’s not as complicated as you think. And it all comes back to our friends, those two guys known as ‘ current assets ‘!
A large part of working capital financing in your business can come from yourself. Real basics such as ensuring you aren’t paying your payables before you’re collecting your receivables… if you’re doing that you’re simply creating a working capital shortage that you have self imposed.
And let’s discuss your solutions for working capital constraints. We get a huge kick out of receiving newsletters from banks which focus on how to manage your cash surpluses when they are writing about working capital and cash flow. We haven’t had one client come in today with a cash surplus problem, but it’s only noon….
Canadian business owners and financial managers challenged with financing working capital have a solid handful of solutions. Naturally in a perfect world (you mean it’s not?) you would prefer to not take on a term loan for permanent working capital. But back to that perfect world… that might mean you have an overdraft or bank line of credit. For many small and medium sized businesses that simply is not attainable – or if it is it’s not quite enough.
Real world solutions for financing working capital and current assets, without loans involve what we call the monetization or cash flowing of those current assets, That typically is a working capital facility, non bank in nature (yes they are available and exist!) that allows you to draw daily, as needed on your a/r and inventory in the form of a business line of credit. Larger facilities of this nature are termed ‘ asset based lines of credit ‘ – we call them ‘ABL’s … and them often are superior to bank facilities for a lot of different reasons.
More esoteric working capital solutions, but nonetheless real, are financing your tax credits, purchase order finance, or securitization of your contracts or receivables.
Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor on the right method of leveraging cash flow from your assets and business. Today would be a good timeframe!