Real World Lessons On Inventory Financing From Purchase Order To Cash

It’s possible. It’s certainly not easy though, but inventory financing and purchase order finance are two little known and under utilized Canadian business financing strategies for business owners and financial managers.

In certain industries, probably yours if you are reading this!, inventory is one of your key assets. The turnover and financing of that inventory play a key role in your sales and profit growth. You ability to purchase and turn inventory are key to the earnings you generate. That’s why when clients ask for information on their ability to finance purchase orders and inventory it becomes critical that they understand their options and the cost of those options.

It’s worth stepping back a bit and focusing on the fact that your ability to manage your inventory will play a key role in the ability to finance it. Simply speaking your ability to demonstrate turnover of product, controls in purchasing, and as important, and your firm’s ability to demonstrate reporting around this key current assets on your balance sheet.

The purchase order/contract and sales generation is of course the ultimate balance act for any firm – no inventory, or improper levels wont allow you to fulfill sales, too much inventory can drain cash flow.

Financing inventory in Canada really boils down to two essential solutions, your bank, or independent finance firms who are willing to take greater risks and offer you additional leverage on financing your products. Why do they take more risk – simply because it’s their business to understand your industry and the nature of your products and the ultimate salability or liquidation value? Their expertise in this area translates into greater borrowing power for your firm – and that’s a good thing!

Investing and monetizing your inventory is a good thing, provided that the inventory produces a solid rate of return – therefore financing and management of your products is key to overall business success.

Inventory financing and purchase order finance is Canada is available, it’s also specialized. As your firm generates new contracts and purchase orders that you are having a challenge in fulfilling (because of finance and cash flow pressures) you should consider finding an alternative source of financing based on your overall current business financing with your senior lender, typically a bank.

Specialized inventory financing and purchase order finance firms are most likely your problems solution. Funding is provided to fund the cost of your products with your suppliers, and the actual day to day finance strategy is much focused – payments are made to your suppliers, often directly, allowing you to receive product, and ship, thereby generating a receivable. Receivables turn into cash and the cycle is complete.

Inventory finance works best when it involves a holistic approach of collateralizing the purchase order, the inventory and the receivable that you generate as sales revenue.That by its necessity typically involves a non banking institution, i.e. the private independent finance firms we’ve discussed. One tool, an asset based line of credit which collateralizes inventory, A/R, and even equipment is often the total solution you are looking for.

Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced business financing advisor to ensure you understand solutions available to inventory and p o financing for long term sales and profit growth.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

In House Financing Programs Making A Comeback

In House Financing is making a comeback in the Canadian market. When I first entered the car business in 1995 there were very few options for people who had credit issues such as bankruptcy, written off accounts, judgements or collections to be able to obtain financing for a reliable vehicle. I was lucky enough to work for a dealership that had an in house leasing company and we were able to sell cars to these people before the sub prime lenders came on the scene.

Over the past several years there have been many companies come into the Canadian automotive financing market to fill the need for most of these customers. They are relatively large national and international financing companies. They have signed the majority of the dealerships across the country to refer business to them. In 2005 there were no fewer than 7 such companies doing business all across the country with many others doing business in certain markets in the country. At the time of writing this article in 2010 there are only 4 remaining and they have tightened up on their lending practices because there is less competition in the marketplace. Of note the 3 sub prime lenders that were doing business all across Canada that are no longer in the marketplace were international lenders with 2 or the 3 based in the United States. When the financial crisis occurred in America we lost them due to their parent companies consolidating their operations into the United States.

It has been this tightening up of lending practices that is beginning to make a need for In House Financing at the dealership level once again. Today there are more and more clients who have credit problems and are in need of special financing solutions as they no longer qualify for financing from the mainstream sub prime lenders.

Many car dealerships are growing tired and frustrated at spending a lot of time and money in advertising to get customers into their dealerships to sell them a car just to have the lenders turn their customer down. It has been this frustration that has led many of them to take another look at an old concept and begin financing these customers themselves. So slowly but surely there are In House Financing, In House Leasing and Buy Here Pay Here programs starting to pop up all across the country to service this new marketplace.

There is very little difference in the various financing programs from a consumer point of view. They all work basically the same way. You have to give them a down payment that the dealers require to offset the risk they are taking in financing these type of high risk clients. Most of the down payments range between $500 – $2000 and are either used as money down on the loan in the case of In House Finance and Buy Here Pay Here programs. The out of pocket money is used as a security deposit and first payment in most In House Leasing programs. The security deposit can be used to buy out the lease at the end of the term without having to come up with any money out of your pocket at that time. No matter what the money you give the dealership is called, by the end of the term it is used to pay down on your vehicle.

The other major difference in these programs is how the vehicle is registered by the Registry of Motor Vehicles in your province. With the In House Financing programs the vehicle is registered in your name on the registration and a chattel mortgage is placed on the vehicle at the Registry of Deeds in your province. The chatel mortgage make it possible to repossess your vehicle if you default on the loan the same way a bank or finance company can. With the In House Leasing programs the vehicle is registered in the name of the leasing company with you being registered as the plate owner of the vehicle. The Buy Here Pay Here programs are usually run by a smaller dealership and they sometimes register a chalet mortgage the same as the In House Financing Programs but often they get the customer to register the vehicle in their name and then return to the dealership with the ownership paper and sign it over to the dealership. This way if the customer defaults on the loan the dealer simply registers the vehicle back into their name and repossess it from the customer. At the end of the day it really doesn’t matter which program you choose to use if you don’t make the payments they will repossess your car but if you make your payments you will not have any problems. Remember all of these dealerships are interested in you keeping your vehicle. They are usually understanding if you are going to be a couple days late with your payment as long as you let them know beforehand and make arrangements to get caught up right away.

These dealers live in the areas they work in and are usually very helpful and are willing to work with you. Most of these dealerships require that you place full coverage insurance on your vehicle but some of the smaller Buy Here Pay Here dealers will allow you to just have basic car insurance because the vehicles they sell are usually fairly inexpensive and full coverage insurance just doesn’t make sense.

The hardest thing about financing a vehicle through these dealers is usually finding them. With so many dealerships advertising Guaranteed Auto Approvals, Bad Credit – No Credit Car Financing and the like but most of them do not have any options for you if you are declined by the national finance companies. You end up spinning your wheels looking for a dealer who will work with you causing you to either give up or get frustrated and buy a cheap car privately with whatever money you can come up with.

To try to fill this problem with finding these dealerships there is a new website launching called [http://www.inhousefinancing.ca]. Its sole purpose is to connect people who need special in house financing options with dealerships in your area that provide in house financing. The majority of the dealerships on the website will have their own in house financing companies with some of the dealerships having the Go Plan program. The Go Plan is a special financing program through Carfinco is a national financing program that is very close to an in house program.

A word of caution about these programs. Remember that these programs are designed to help you re establish your credit and get you into a reliable vehicle at a reasonable payment. It would be extremely rare that one of these companies will finance a 2009 Chevy Silverado Diesel or 2010 Ford Mustang GT to you because their programs just are not designed for that. But if you are serious about buying a vehicle and re establishing your credit they are a good option for you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Is The Wrong Type of Equipment Finance Company Bad For (Business) Health?

They are all the same, aren’t they? Absolutely, positively… not! We are of course talking about the equipment finance company industry in Canada and how your selection of the right partner can determine which advantages and disadvantages you can enjoy… or suffer with. We prefer positive advantages that your business can benefit with, not Canadian business financing decisions that you will suffer via the wrong choice of a lease partner for your specific needs.

Ok, so what in the heck are we talking about? Essentially there are four types of asset finance partners in the equipment leasing industry in Canada. And you thought that a lease finance company was a lease finance company!

The first type of partner is the ‘captive’ – no you are not the captive! The term refers simply to finance companies that are owned and literally situated within various manufacturing firms. When clients ask us about lease finance options and they mention specific equipment we are always reminding them to ensure they determine if the manufacturer captive finance firm offers asset financing. If they do we can assure you it is probably the best financial terms you will be able to come up with, as well as a better chance for overall approval re rate, structure and other general terms. Why is that?

It’s to do with motivation – the captive finance firm is motivated to finance and promote the sale of products using financial options such as leasing to get the products out to the marketplace. Want to know a secret that should surprise most business owners and financial managers? It’s simply that captive finance firms in a competing industry will finance their competitor’s products, often at better rates, terms and structures. That is simply because the financial transaction will probably give the competing mfr a foothold into your business to promote and sell their own products. So don’t think that a great firm such as IBM CREDIT CORP. is the only firm that will finance your products you purchase through them. Others will also!

The second main group of asset finance firms in Canada is our chartered banks – Two major banks have leasing arms that are very significant, others employ lease finance to varying degrees. Our real only comment here is that the credit bar is high and more often than not you have to be a customer of the bank to enjoy the great lease and finance structures they offer.

The third main category of the Canadian equipment leasing company market is actually the largest and most robust. It also requires the maximum amount of knowledge and navigation by Canadian business owners and financial managers. This is the Independent lease finance market, where there are tens of firms that offer lease financing based on various criteria of asset size, credit quality, geographical preference, industry specialization, etc, etc, etc.

You have a great choice with our category 3 partners, the independent finance companies. You can spend tens or hundreds of hours determining their credit criteria, additional collateral they require, the size of deals they do, the different lease structures they offer, or… alternatively.. use our final category for lease provider, the independent lease finance advisor who are knowledgeable intermediaries who know the market, have a strong reputation with lease providers, and can match the advantages you seek in an equipment finance transaction to the right provider. Subtle nuances in your overall lease structure, depending on the size of your transaction, can save you thousands of dollars and untold grief at the end of the term of your lease.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Starting a Franchise? Looking For Business Money To Finance A Franchise?

The priority of securing business money when you have selected and are starting a franchise becomes even more important as you focus on getting the business started and up and running.

Let’s discuss some of the sources of capital in the Canadian franchise environment, and we’ll share some tips and strategies that have helped many other clients looking for Canadian business financing in the franchise environment.

There are actually 5 sources of capital that will successfully allow you to complete the financing of your new business. They include your own equity injection into the business, i.e. your down payment, bank and institutional financing (its not what you might think, so stay tuned on that one ), asset financing via an independent finance company, and finally a potential vendor take back from either the franchisor of the existing franchisee from whom you are buying the business.

Let’s therefore backtrack a bit and hopefully give you some solid tips and new information around how this financing is, in our words ‘ cobbled together ‘ to give you a total financing solution for your new business.

It’s always the same question when we talk to clients… ‘How much do we have to put in ‘… they are of course referring to their owner equity investment into the business. The truth is that the amount varies when it comes to the financing portion of your business. That amount is flexible and can vary anywhere from 10 – 50 per cent depending on the size of the financing and the amount of working capital you want to have on hand d on day once that will allow you to finance the business properly.

Another tip we’ll share in the above mentioned ‘ owner equity ‘ area is simply that in many cases some franchisors will actually mandate how much you ‘ have ‘ to put in. We therefore recommend to all clients that they get a clear understanding up front so there are no surprises. In defense of the franchisor they are probably relying on their own experience that allows them to have determined over time what it takes to successfully run and grow one of their units in their franchise system.

So how exactly do the banks in Canada participate in the starting of your franchise? Is it as simple as approaching your bank and determining what business money they will lend to finance a franchise? Not really we tall clients. We have rarely if ever seen a direct term loan to cover the financing of a franchise. But yet the banks do participate in most of the franchise financing in Canada. How? They piggy back on a special government program called the BIL/CSBF programme. This loan is underwritten by Ottawa, and has very generous terms and conditions around rate and structure. Unbelievably you are actually only guaranteeing personally 25% of the loan, which is another benefit.

So our cobbling together of a financing package is getting there – another great strategy is to finance separate individual assets with an independent lease firm. This type of asset financing is easier to get approved, and can cover a significant portion of any assets that need to be financed.

We spoke of a potential vendor take back from the franchisor or existing franchise as part of the purchase package. We will share with you several tips and comments on this one – namely that you should not fully rely on getting this type of financing in place. Occasionally you might be successful, may times you wont. Why? Simply because the franchisor or existing franchisee is motivated to sell you a franchise, not finance it!

Speak to a trusted, credible, and experienced Canadian business financing advisor in the area of starting a franchise and getting the right business money in place to allow you to complete your new role as a Canadian entrepreneur.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments Off

What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

The results of this past election proved once again that the Democrats had a golden opportunity to capitalize on the failings of the Trump Presidency but, fell short of a nation wide mandate. A mandate to seize the gauntlet of the progressive movement that Senator Sanders through down a little over four years ago. The opportunities were there from the very beginning even before this pandemic struck. In their failing to educate the public of the consequences of continued Congressional gridlock, conservatism, and what National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles of Confederation would do led to the results that are playing out today.. More Congressional gridlock, more conservatism and more suffering of millions of Americans are the direct consequences of the Democrats failure to communicate and educate the public. Educate the public that a progressive agenda is necessary to pull the United States out of this Pandemic, and restore this nations health and vitality.

It was the DNC’s intent in this election to only focus on the Trump Administration. They failed to grasp the urgency of the times. They also failed to communicate with the public about the dire conditions millions have been and still are facing even before the Pandemic. The billions of dollars funneled into campaign coffers should have been used to educate the voting public that creating a unified coalition would bring sweeping reforms that are so desperately needed. The reality of what transpired in a year and a half of political campaigning those billions of dollars only created more animosity and division polarizing one extreme over another.

One can remember back in 1992 Ross Perot used his own funds to go on national TV to educate the public on the dire ramifications of not addressing our national debt. That same approach should have been used during this election cycle. By using the medium of television to communicate and educate the public is the most effective way in communicating and educating the public. Had the Biden campaign and the DNC used their resources in this way the results we ae seeing today would have not created the potential for more gridlock in our government. The opportunity was there to educate the public of safety protocols during the siege of this pandemic and how National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles of Confederation provides the necessary progressive reforms that will propel the United States out of the abyss of debt and restore our economy. Restoring our economy so that every American will have the means and the availability of financial and economic security.

The failure of the Democratic party since 2016 has been recruiting a Presidential Candidate who many felt was questionable and more conservative signals that the results of today has not met with the desired results the Democratic party wanted. Then again? By not fully communicating and not educating the public on the merits of a unified progressive platform has left the United States transfixed in our greatest divides since the Civil War. This writers support of Senator Bernie Sanders is well documented. Since 2015 he has laid the groundwork for progressive reforms. He also has the foundations on which these reforms can deliver the goods as they say. But, what did the DNC do, they purposely went out of their way to engineer a candidate who was more in tune with the status-quo of the DNC. They failed to communicate to the public in educating all of us on the ways our lives would be better served with a progressive agenda that was the benchmark of Senators Sanders Presidential campaign and his Our Revolution movement. And this is way there is still really no progress in creating a less toxic environment in Washington and around the country.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off