Here at United Capital Source, we work with small business owners who have been in business as little as six months. Young entrepreneurs often assume that they won’t need small business loans once their business becomes well-established. This misconception can be especially common among health care professionals. After all, an established medical practice should generate plenty of revenue, right? So why would you have money problems?You don’t have to be in practice long to see the problem first-hand. The billing process for insurance companies and the government is cumbersome. And these entities are usually slow to pay. It can take 60 or even 90 days to receive your reimbursements. Meanwhile, patient deductibles are increasing. That means you have to do more individual collections. And patients can be slow-pay, too.
But you still have to pay your staff and your overhead. You still have to purchase supplies and medications. And pay your insurance premiums. Ideally, your practice should be setting money aside, too. Building cash reserves. You’ll need that cash for larger purchases, office upgrades, etc. in the future.
5 WAYS WORKING CAPITAL LOANS ARE LIKE A HEALTH SUPPLEMENT
- Fill in the gaps
Cash shortages come from slow-paying insurers and patients. But cash can also be short during certain times of the year, when your practice typically sees fewer patients. Right after the first of the year, for instance.
- Boost everyday operations
To grow your medical practice, you have to take advantage of every opportunity. You want to hire the best staff possible. The latest technology and medical devices. You have to market your practice to attract new patients. You may need to stock up on extra medications, such as back-to-school or flu vaccines. Sometimes that takes an extra infusion of cash – like a booster shot for daily operations.
- Business expansion
Your goal is to grow your medical practice. So at some point, you’ll need more space. You may want to remodel. Or move to larger digs. Or add a second location. Purchase your building. You’ll need more medical equipment. And more people. This is a significant investment – usually more than you have on hand. Medical practice loans can provide that money.
- Reduce debt
You probably use a variety of small business financing tools to manage your practice. Business credit cards, a line of credit, periodic short-term loans, perhaps you also have a commercial real estate loan. Debt sneaks up on you. Too much debt harms your practice credit score. And of course it diverts incoming cash. A bill consolidation loan can give your practice the working capital to reduce your debt load.
- Disaster recovery
Sometimes working capital loans are a survival tool. You can’t control everything that happens. Suppose your facility suffers a disaster of some type. Or your practice loses a key partner. These things have an immediate negative effect on cash flow. You need money for repairs, or to bring on a new practitioner. You also need money to carry you through this transition. The right business financing can get you that money, right away.
BETTER PLANNING BOOSTS WORKING CAPITAL
Health Care Practice Partners says, “Healthy cash flow is as important to achieving a successful medical practice as offering excellent patient care.” They go on to note, “Planning is key for all elements of medical practice management, and cannot be overlooked as the main ingredient for maintaining financial stability.”
Planning allows you to effectively manage your cash flow. And make smart decisions about when and how to borrow money. Planning also includes uncovering ways to reduce business expenses. Saving money gives you more cash to work with. For example, you might follow the lead of Dr. Stuart Gower, veterinarian and owner of Woods Avenue Animal Clinic. United Capital Source introduced him to a new credit card processing system that not only saves him money, it pays him faster.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT WORKING CAPITAL LOANS
As a medical professional, you have to carefully select the right treatment or medication for each patient. As a business borrower, you have to carefully select the right financial resource for each need. And know how much working capital is enough.
There are several types of working capital loans. There are pros and cons to each of them. What is exciting is that you have so many choices. Even if your practice has less-than-stellar credit.
Here are some possible options you may not have considered before:
- Accounts receivable factoring or discounting
- Merchant cash advances
- Short term business loans
- Traditional bank loans
- SBA-backed loans (including SBA Marketplace loans)
- Equipment financing
- Bad credit business loans
THE BIGGEST BENEFIT OF ALL
No matter how productive your medical practice, you will need to borrow money at some point. For certain investments, a traditional business loan may be your best bet. But often alternative business financing makes more sense. Working capital loans give health care professionals the support and flexibility you need.
Before you borrow, you need to understand what extra cash can do for you. And how to get the money cost-efficiently. That way you can invest soundly in your business future. And see the best possible return on your investment.
Finding a working partner you can trust to help you provides the biggest benefit of all. Savvy borrowing is much more complex than shopping for office supplies or other basic business needs. The future of your practice is at stake.
Every day, our United Capital Source lending experts hear from physicians, surgeons, and other types of medical providers and practice managers. It saddens us that, like our client Cindy, so many cannot find a lender who “gets it.” They say lenders don’t understand their practice as a business. So they can’t figure out how to structure a small business loan program that will support both operations and growth.
Cindy owns an urgent care center. When she found UCS, she found the partner she had hoped for. She and her account rep George talk often. She knows he always has her best interests at heart. Isn’t that what you want? And need?