Why would an auto repair shop have cash flow problems? Everyone pays when they pick up their car, right? Don’t you wish. If you own an auto repair shop, you know that cash can be just as elusive at your place as it is for most other small businesses. But accounts receivable loans can help. They can put cash in your hand when you need it. And that can have your shop running like a finely-tuned Ferrari.
WHY AUTO REPAIR SHOPS HAVE CASH FLOW PROBLEMS
At UCS, we know that a lot of your customers pay with a credit card. So you may not get the money right away. If your customers are large firms or government entities, you have to bill them. You get your money on their schedule, not yours. That could be 30, 60 or even 90 days down the road.
Wayne Gretzky says, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Everyone knows Wayne as a famous former hockey player. But he is also an astute and successful businessman. He knows that without adequate cash flow, your business is not firing on all cylinders. You’re missing shots every day.
HOW ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE LOANS HELP
Small business owners used to think A/R loans were a last-ditch option for dying businesses. Now they know these loans can act like a turbo-booster – giving their business an extra shot of power, immediately. It’s a simple process: a special type of lender called a factor purchases your outstanding receivables, at a discounted price. They give you most of the money now, and give you the rest after they collect from your customers. Their fee is the discount they charge.
Yes, you lose a little revenue on the deal. That’s no different than paying interest. Plus you save the time and headaches associated with collections.
Smoother cash flow enables you to pay your bills on time. You can plan ahead more efficiently. You can build up a cash reserve. With money in hand, you can negotiate up-front-payment discounts with your vendors and suppliers. Paying a cheaper price puts more cash back into your business. Or into your pocket.
For many auto repair shops, improved cash flow can make a dramatic difference. For example, what if:
- You have an opportunity to lease the space next door to expand your shop?
- You need to stock up on chains and snow tires for the winter season? That’s a big cash outlay, and you won’t sell those things for months.
- You have a chance to hire a fantastic new mechanic who can expand your shop’s expertise? That would expand your customer base.
- You just landed a big fleet contract?
- Your shop’s tow truck unexpectedly blew its transmission?
If you had smoother, more predictable cash flow, you could handle all these things with confidence. But traditional bank loans don’t make sense for this kind of financial need. Save the bank for when you need a big, long-term loan. Say, to build a brand new facility. Or buy out a competitor.
That said, accounts receivable loans make a lot of sense. They not only help build your business, they help build your business credit.
Accounts receivable loans are not your only option to smooth cash flow. For instance, you might also use merchant cash advance. This follows the same principle. You get money now, and repay it through a percentage of future credit card transactions.
Not sure whether an A/R loan is right for your auto shop? United Capital Source is here to help. Look at it this way: I don’t know anything about building an engine. Spread those parts out on the floor, and I’m stumped. But that’s OK, because I don’t have to know. I can call on you for help. When it comes to small business lending, we know how all the parts fit together to build a well-oiled financing plan. Even if your business has bad credit.
We will explain the best uses for accounts receivable loans and other borrowing options. That way, you’ll know which financing option is best for your auto repair shop. We also offer a quick application and approval process. That means we can save you time and frustration by matching you with the right lender for your business loan.
NON-LOAN STEPS TO IMPROVE CASH FLOW
Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is often quoted. He once advised, “Live out your imagination, not your history.” If bad business credit is throttling your ability to grow, you’re living your history. Do everything you can to repair your credit. Then you can focus on transforming your imagination into reality. What does your auto repair shop vision for the future look like, anyway?
Also, keep your foot on the gas when it comes to marketing. You can’t improve your cash flow without generating more cash. And by the way, you can use accounts receivable loans to fund your marketing, too.
In a recent post for BizJournals.com, Clifford Jones wrote about the importance of cash flow. “Now more than ever it’s time to hone in on core disciplines,” he said. “Getting lean and managing your small business with a heightened awareness on maintaining or building cash flow.”
Jones founded and manages Conversion Marketing Experts, a sales and marketing consulting firm based in Scottsdale, AZ. He says, “the nature of most small businesses is…most often about creating cash flow and maintaining a lifestyle and comfortable quality of life; living on your own terms.” Here at United Capital Source, we can relate to that, and we know you can, too.
It takes cash to grow your business. Using accounts receivable loans wisely can bring your auto repair shop up to speed and get you rolling in the fast lane toward future growth and your ideal lifestyle.