As a contractor or small business, keeping sales coming in and operations running smoothly is sometimes a challenge. The upfront money for starting a new contract rarely covers the costs of the supplies you need to do the job, or you may find yourself waiting for the payment at the end of a big job to fund the supplies for the next one.
Small projects that net a quick turnover can help bridge those gaps, but sometimes, those projects don’t come through, leaving you financially vulnerable.
Here are a few solutions to fill those cash flow gaps.
1. Budget and Manage.
You can create a plan showing when the busy season and slow season each arrive. Setting up a budget, forecast and savings plan for the year can help overcome the times when cash flow gaps occur.
This solution might be hard to maintain if your situation is somewhat unpredictable. Budgeting is always healthy, but it sometimes limits the ability to expand business.
When you start to feel overwhelmed it is more than likely an indicator that it is time to expand your business in some fashion by either purchasing more efficient equipment, increasing your workforce by hiring additional workers or outsourcing work through independent contractors.
2 Business Credit.
Using your business credit card can be beneficial and quicker than taking out a loan. The ability to pay off the amounts on time will help your business credit score and can earn points on some business credit cards.
Be aware of the high interest and fees accrued as you may be paying out more. The average credit card interest rate for people with fair credit has hit a shocking 21 percent, according to CardHub.
Ensure that your business credit report information is accurate and up-to-date. Check your payment history, if there are no late payments your credit may be good for a business loan.
3 Short-Term Working Capital Loan.
Most small businesses cannot afford long-term debt and high interest costs. This is the time when a short-term loan or a line of credit is the answer.
In this case, the debt is only short-term, which leaves your business open for growth and other opportunities. This can help your business generate value and net worth and allow your operations to continue without a hitch. Think of it as an investment that will help generate healthy cash flow.
Here is how Capital Funding’s client uses the short-term working capital loan for her painting company.
Michele uses funding often and just for a few weeks at a time. She has funded several loans to assist in starting up new projects to buy materials. As soon as a project is complete, its loan is paid off with no pre-payment penalties. She loves the short-term working capital program because there is no long-term debt which can tie up her money. By revolving the funding monthly, Michele’s business saves a tremendous amount of interest.
Before you turn down a potential job, consider a short-term working capital loan to help your business, as Michele has done.
Express Capital has a working capital loan that are designed specifically to help contractors and small businesses. The loan can be repaid as soon as cash flow permits, saving on high interest. Another option is a line of credit, which would allow you to tap into a fund as you need it and pay it back quickly to avoid unnecessary costs.