Working capital loans enable you to get things done. Every auto repair shop owner has dreams. But you have day-to-day responsibilities too. It takes money to manage your business and turn your dreams into reality. Small business loans are a financial management tool. You can use them to build your business right now and long-term.
Here are five ways your auto repair shop can benefit from working capital loans
1. EXPAND YOUR SERVICES
You may be familiar with the auto repair shop experts at Elite. They say “automobiles are being built better, and as we all know, service intervals are constantly being extended by the manufacturers. Although this is all good for consumers, better-built vehicles means they’ll need fewer repairs, and extended service intervals means you’ll be seeing your existing customers less frequently in the coming years.”
It takes money to send your techs to advanced training. But you need every competitive edge you can get these days. Elite recommends three essentials to continue building your auto repair shop business:
- Check out every opportunity to offer new services for your customers
- Make sure your service advisors are very well trained
- Develop and implement a marketing plan that is strategically targeted to the customers you want most
Small business loans can give you working capital to support all three of these recommendations. You’re investing in your future by making your shop more appealing to customers.
2. EXPAND YOUR FACILITY
Sometimes you need more space as well as more expertise. Working capital loans are ideal to fund expansion. You can use the money to:
- Enlarge your shop space to serve a higher volume of customers
- Build a new facility, or add a second location
- Upgrade your customer waiting area.
These upgrades will help you earn more revenue. That means more working capital for other improvements. Upgrades also help retain customers. A clean, comfortable waiting area implies your working space is clean and up-to-date, too.
If you expand, you’ll need more equipment for your auto repair shop, too. There are small business loans for that. But should you lease the equipment instead? Either option helps preserve your working capital. You’re making monthly payments instead of paying cash up front.
3. QUICK RECOVERY
Things go wrong. Usually at the worst time. Equipment quits on you. The water heater breaks. Your tow truck breaks down. Working capital loans can be a fast fix. You can get the money you need within a couple of days. That reduces expensive downtime and keeps customers happy.
Sometimes you need money quickly to capture an opportunity. Your parts supplier is offering an “early bird” special on snow tires for your winter inventory. You can save money by spending now. Without a working capital loan, you could miss this opportunity.
4. SMOOTHER CASH FLOW
You need working capital to operate your shop. Payroll. Overhead. Marketing. You have regular monthly bills. The problem is, your cash flow is not regular. If you do auto body work, you have to wait for insurance company reimbursements. They’re slow. No matter what type of work your shop performs, you cannot predict customer volume. Sometimes income is high, sometimes it’s low. Small business loans smooth your cash flow. That way you can stop worrying about paying your bills. You can focus on building your business.
5. BOOST YOUR BUSINESS CREDIT SCORE
This is true whether your shop has good credit or bad credit. Even with a strong credit history, your business has to show ongoing ability to pay its bills on time. A business loan can help do that and give you working capital at the same time. That doesn’t mean you should borrow unnecessarily, though.
You can get working capital loans even with bad credit. That’s because alternative financing is based on your receivables. Or the ongoing income you generate. Not your past history. A solid repayment history on your new loan helps correct that. And if you’ve overextended your shop with too many debts, a debt consolidation loan may be the answer.
WORKING CAPITAL LOANS ARE GIVE YOU FLEXIBILITY
Unless you’re buying real estate or making a major investment in equipment, conventional bank loans are not your best source of working capital. Besides, the bank loan process is too slow to meet many working capital needs. But that’s OK, because there are plenty of alternatives. You might consider:
- Short term business loans. Get smaller amounts without all the hassle. Pay the loan off in a few months.
- Accounts receivable factoring. Selling outstanding invoices may be a good option if your shop does a lot of contract work on fleets. Or if you have enough insurance-based income. You get the money right away. And usually the lender takes over collections, so you save time and headaches on that, too.
- Merchant cash advances. This can be a great option for auto repair shops. It’s based on credit card sales. The lender offers you cash up front, in return for a percentage of your future transactions. They take their cut until your loan is repaid. There’s a fee built in, of course. That can be pretty high. But the quick cash and affordable repayment may outweigh the cost.
- Business credit cards and business line of credit. You may not think of these as “working capital loans,” but that’s exactly what they are. You always have instant access to cash (up to your limit) – as long as you pay off the balances quickly.
Each of these has pros and cons. Which of them are the best choices for you? That depends on your situation now and your long-term business goals. United Capital Source is here to help you figure that out. We’re interested in your future success, not today’s quick deal. We’ll help you honestly assess your options. Then we can match you with the working capital financing that’s in your best interest.