It would be nice if your dental practice generated an even flow of income. Day after day, week after week. But it doesn’t, does it? For dentists, a common cash flow barrier is collections. Insurance companies can take weeks or months to reimburse your claims. Thankfully, you collect from most self-pay patients at the time of service. Many of them pay by credit card. That makes your dental practice an ideal candidate for merchant cash advance.
Merchant cash advance, or MCA, is a fast, simple way to improve your cash flow. This is not a loan in the usual sense. With traditional dentist business loans, you borrow against specific assets. Or your good name and credit. You repay out of future earnings. Merchant cash advance is just what the name implies – an advance against future sales. In the case of an MCA, those are credit card sales.
Every small business needs cash to operate. Smoother, more predictable cash flow makes it easier to manage the business side of your dental practice. But it has longer term benefits, too. Effective cash flow management allows you to set goals to grow your practice and improve your lifestyle. And there’s more. Cash flow is often the basis of valuation when it comes time to sell your practice. Obviously you want to look as strong as possible to potential buyers.
Writing for Dental Economics, Amy Morgan says cash flow is “arguably the least understood and most dreaded subject for dentists.” But you don’t have to be helpless in the face of erratic cash flow. You can get it under control. Then you can put that money to work building your practice. You can budget for the things you really want and need, not merely what you can afford today.
Borrowing money isn’t a bad thing. Every small business needs money to grow. That’s true for your dental practice, whether you’re still relatively new or you’ve been in practice for many years. When you need working capital, an MCA can be an excellent alternative to other forms of borrowing.
SO HERE’S WHAT MERCHANT CASH ADVANCE CAN DO FOR YOU
I talk to dentists around the country. They tell me they wish they had the money to:
- Reliably cover ongoing operations expenses
- Comfortably cover unforeseen expenses
- Purchase additional inventory or supplies
- Upgrade their office or equipment
- Purchase new technology
- Bring on more staff
- Do more marketing
- Improve staff compensation (or stop worrying about making payroll)
- Improve their own compensation
Merchant cash advances can help you do all those things.
- It is far easier to qualify for a merchant cash advance than a traditional business loan. Even if your practice has good credit and meets other bank requirements, you may be out of luck. Banks don’t like to lend what they consider “small” amounts. They want collateral – maybe your personal guarantee, too. Ad it’s a very slow process.
- Merchant cash advance is an excellent option if your dental practice is not well-established yet. Or if you have bad credit. Bank loans a strong credit score and payment history. Plus you’ll have to put up collateral in case you don’t repay. None of that matters with an MCA. It is based entirely on your future credit card transactions.
- Repayment is always affordable because it rides with your credit card sales. The lender’s share is automatically deducted, so there are no “payments” for you to make.
- Merchant cash advance is flexible. You can borrow a small amount for an immediate need. Or a larger amount for a bigger need. The exact amount you are eligible to borrow depends mostly on how much credit card business you do. Obviously you can take longer to repay a larger amount. But we’re talking a matter of months, not more than a year.
- An MCA is fast. Here at UCS, you can apply in minutes online, without fees. Approvals usually take 24 hours and you can be funded in 72 hours. That allows you to respond quickly if you need money for repairs or have a sudden need for additional supplies, etc.
- You can get the money you need, even if you have bad credit. There are many reasons why small businesses run into credit problems. Some are beyond your control – the Great Recession was a glaring example. Or a fire or natural disaster might put you out of business for several weeks or months. No matter how tough the times, you still have bills to pay. If you can’t, your credit suffers.
That said, bad business credit usually reflects poor cash flow management. An MCA can help with that. It can even help repair your bad credit:
- Pay off or get current with existing small business loan(s)
- Pay down the balance on your business line of credit
- Catch up with unpaid vendor invoices
Relieving cash flow challenges gives you more peace of mind. An MCA can tide you over if you’re going through a slump. And when collections are especially slow. It gives you ready cash to handle emergencies and take advantage of last-minute opportunities. Instead of worrying about paying your bills you can focus on your patients.
If you’ve been in practice at least six months, our UCS team can help you get the money you need to smooth cash flow and grow your practice. We can help you understand the pros and cons of merchant cash advance as well as other types of small business loans. We can help you compare options to find the best one for you.
When your cash flow is under control, you can build your dental practice in the way you’ve always dreamed. Spend more time with patients – the reason you chose dentistry in the first place. Build a comfortable life for your family. And meet other business and personal goals. Merchant cash advance can be one of your most valuable tools in achieving those dreams.