The common wisdom for many complicated problems is often a variation of “it might be time to get back to basics”, and working capital loans currently represent an ongoing example of this advice for small business owners. Working capital management is the universal art and science of short term cash management for businesses. Because of the recent ineffectiveness that prevails with commercial banking, working capital financing can no longer be taken for granted by any business owner.
Because of declining sales occurring simultaneously with decreased availability of bank financing, ensuring adequate business cash flow has become a higher priority for most businesses. In one common occurrence, borrowers are likely to attempt to juggle the timing of expenses whenever possible in an effort to match receipt of business income. Business owners will realistically be forced to “get back to working capital financing basics” because this is not an ideal solution under any circumstances.
A primary alternative for any business to explore in their efforts to deal with a mismatch of income and costs is business expense reduction. Credit card processing is a significant cost to evaluate. This is frequently an expense area that is overlooked because the credit card processing provider was chosen for convenience or perhaps because they were recommended by a banking or other professional relationship. Analyzing alternative providers in conjunction with obtaining a business cash advance is one of the most practical methods for reducing this cost. By combining efforts to obtain additional working capital (via merchant financing) with a change of processing services, a dual cash flow benefit can be achieved by receiving commercial financing while simultaneously reducing a major cost. Certainly there will be those who say that this is easier said than done, and it is appropriate to emphasize that this process should involve the close involvement of a business financing expert who is familiar with all aspects.
Looking at whether it is feasible to reduce overall bank financing is another potential cost reduction. For almost every conceivable commercial finance service, many banks are increasing their fees. Businesses should increasingly try to reduce their business debt levels to avoid some of the bank fees altogether. The option of firing a current bank and replacing them with a new bank charging more reasonable fees will need to be emphasized when this is not practical.
Small business owners will quickly realize when they review working capital basics that the most effective commercial financing sources have changed during the past few years. The more active role that banks have traditionally played in providing both working capital loans as well other forms of commercial loans has been quietly stopped (or significantly reduced). Commercial borrowers might need to be alerted that there are both “new basics” and “old basics” for most working capital management situations, and this is the rationale for making the last observation. The entire process of reviewing “working capital basics” will help businesses realize how other business financing options are likely to be more effective in resolving their predicament than the traditional bank solution of taking on more business debt to resolve the described problems.