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Turn your invoces into cash with debt factoring

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

As the economy heads out of recession many businesses will experience an increase in turnover. There are a few signs that this is already starting to happen in certain sectors of the economy. Go to the bank for an increase in bank overdraft in order to fund your working capital requirement and your request will probably fall on death ears. Thankfully invoice factoring can potential release up eighty five percent of your unpaid invoices within twenty four hours. In addition the amount and level of any factoring facility is not restricted by the strength of your balance sheet and any available security but by the amount of your outstanding invoices. The facility will grow with your business to give you the financial freedom that you require.

In addition debt factoring will provide you with a credit control service to ensure that your invoices are paid within the usual ninety day credit terms. The cost of providing such a service starts from as little as a few hundred pounds per month. And as your business grows the cost of such a service is potentially a fraction of the cost of employing a full time or even a part time credit controller. as well at the cost of the credit control an interest charge at a rate of base or libor is charged at a rate comparable to bank overdraft facility.

It must remembered that the provision of a full factoring facility is a value added service product and as such not all factoring companies are the same. The most important part of the service is ensuring your outstanding invoices are collected in a timely and professional manner. Not all finance providers provide the same level of service and as such it is important that the right finance company is chosen for your particular requirements. This is where XL Business Finance can te in and help your provide the most appropriate funding partner.

Invoice factoring a new start business

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

It was once said that eight  out of ten businesses went bust not because they were not profitable but because they ran out of cash and were unable to manage their cash flow adequately. Any new start business will probably go to their bank as a first port of call and try and arrange a bank overdraft. If you have a sympathetic bank manager and if he likes you allotyou might get a £10k facility. Anything over and above that they will want personal guarantees , register a debenture over the business and will need to take a charge over your personal property providing you have enough equity.

The next obvious step for additional working capital would be to apply for an invoice factoring facility which will release up to eighty five percent of your unpaid invoices. Now in our opinion the banks are not the best at providing factoring to new start businesses. You will be a very small fish in a very large sea and as such service and accessibility may indeed frustrate you somewhat.  However because you have a small overdraft and a debenture registered you will be railroaded into using the banks in house factoring company because to use a third party funder you will need to repay the overdraft to get the debenture released. A debenture is a fixed and /or floating charge over the book debts of the business. Any cash flow facility either invoice factoring or overdraft will require that the lender has a debenture.

Ok the bank would seem the obvious choice however as soon as the business starts to grow you may find that your overall limit is restricted and you end up with less cash with the banks overdraft and factoring facility compared with a independent factoring facility who traditionally will fund your invoices to a higher level. In addition as your turnover starts to grow the problem increases further whereby it is difficult to get cash. You then start looking around for a more flexible funder and hopefully in the meantime cash flow isn’t affected beyond repair.

Changing Invoice Factoring company

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

There are many reasons as to why a business would want to change their invoice factoring company. The main reason is through a lack of flexibility when it comes to credit limits against individual customers. It may also be that the factoring company that you are using restricts the overall funding limit. It may also be that they are no good at collecting your debt. Whatever your gripe it is not unusual for a business to want to change a factoring company and hopefully this blog will provide some information as to how to do it.

First things first, most finance companies will sign up a business on factoring for at least a 12 month contract and in some instances we have seen two or even three year contracts. In addition there will be a 3 month notice period. However some of the banks offer one month rolling contracts to customers unsure if they require the service or not. Anyone on a longer contract and feels that the relationship has totally broken down between themselves and the funder may be allowed to leave. This is unusual as most factoring companies don’t allow customers to leave that easily. It may also be possible to do a deal with the exiting factoring ompany and in addition the new factoring company may contribute to the costs of the move. The cost of moving needs to be compared with the amount of additional cash a move could release so you can decide whether a move is worth it  or not.

As we have mentioned with previous blogs not all factoring companies can be all things to all men. Bank owned factoring companies operate completely differently to independently owned factoring companies. We tend to find that with factoring that requires that the funder provides credit control the independents are superior to collecting the debt.

Factoring Finance explained

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Factoring Finance is the means of obtaining cash against outstanding or unpaid invoices. Most factoring and invoice discounting companies  will release up to 85% of unpaid invoices. On payment of the invoice the finance company will pay you the remaining 15% minus a small service fee and any interest due.  The funding is usually provided for a maximum of 90 days however in some circumstances there are one or two finance companies that will provide funding up to 120 days. The factoring company will take a fixed and floating charge over your book debt and when you raise an invoice to your customer you request that the proceeds are paid direct to the factoring company and you provide their bank details. Factoring will also provide credit control whereby the finance company will chase your invoices on your behalf.

Once upon a time there was a stigma surrounding factoring and invoice discounting however it is fast becoming the preferred means to provide working capital and is recommended by many professional advisors as an alternative to a bank overdraft. The problem with a bank overdraft is that the level of the overdraft facility can be restricted by the length of time your business has been trading, its profitability and the amount of security available. Factoring will grow with your business and will provide you with a lifetime of working capital.

Beware not all invoice factoring companies are the same. Factoring is very much about adding value to your business. Not only does it provide the necessary cash flow but the credit control side is just as important. There is no point going with a really cheap provider if they are useless at collecting your cash. Thew banks only tend to phone the top one or two companies whereas the independents tend to specialise in this product and as such do a proper job when it comes to credit control.

Invoice factoring and overpayments

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

We all know that an invoice factoring can provide immediate cash of  up to 85% of unpaid invoices. This provides valuable cash and working capital when a bank overdraft might not provide enough of a working capital facility. However there are instances when this might not be enough. Depednding on  the seasonality of your business and timings of payments to key suppliers and Vat returns etc there might be occasions when an overpayment is required. Therefore it is imperative that when choosing a factoring or invoice discounting facility that the flexibility and approachability of the finance company must be taken into consideration. Not all finance companies are the same and a proper invoice factoring company will be able to help you in times of need.

XL Business Finance has helped many business find the most appropriate and flexible finance company. As a rule the larger independents tend to be a little more flexible and as such they are more amenable to overpayments. They would normally only advance up to 100% of the outstanding debtor book unless there is additional security available to provide the necessary cover. Try and approach yoyr local bank manager to organise an overpayment. It just wont happen. With a independent provider you are never more than one or two phone calls away from a decision maker and as such they are far more flexible.

When we say independent finance company we mean one that isn’t bank owned or doesn’t borrow money from the banks to lend money. There are plenty of so called independent invoice factoring companies that borrow money off the banks and as a result tend to have the same sort of restrictions that the banks have. A rue independent is one that does not borrow any money off the banks and it is these that tend to be more flexible.

Why Invoice Factoring is better than a bank overdraft

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Hopefully now that we are out of the recession we will once again start to see businesses grow and to flourish. The benefits of invoice factoring during a period of growth are obvious however many businesses will be tempted to go down the overdraft route which in the long term may restrict a businesses cash flow and ability to operate from a liquidity point of view. It is also important that we choose the right factoring or invoice discounting company because not all of them are the same and they don’t offer the same level of funding and flexibility.

The two main problems with bank overdraft the level of the facility is often restricted by the amount of security available. A token overdraft facility without providing additional security  may be available depending upon the level of profitability however more often than not it is never enough. Therefore as a business grows and you need to increase the amount of working capital it may be difficult to obtain an increase. Secondly overdrafts are repayable on demand. Until the recession I don’t think anyone believed the bank would pull overdrafts however during the credit crunch and the recession the banks have shown their true colours. We have heard horror stories about the banks withdrawing overdrafts and forcing companies into administration. With factoring or invoice discounting, so long as you don’t breach the terms of the facility it is not possible for the facility to be withdrawn. And even if you breach the terms of the facility it is more likely that your factoring or invoice discounting provider will work with you to a satisfactory solution.  It is therefore important that you choose your factoring or invoice discounting company carefully to make sure they are approachable and potentially flexible. It is more likely this will not be a bank owned provider but this doesn’t mean a facility will be more expensive.

Invoice Factoring (4)

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Invoice factoring is still rone of the most buoyant forms of finance available in the UK today. There are still plenty of finance companies offering various forms of invoice finance. Unlike the asset financing and leasing market which seems to have dried up somewhat the choice and availability in the invoice factoring market appears to be plentiful with plenty of options and choices. A quick search on the internet search engines will reveal numerous finance companies offering invoice factoring. There are just so many to choose from. How do you know which product is best for your business and how do you know which invoice factoring company will be best suited ti delivering the right sort of service to your business. In short a good independent factoring broker will be well placed to advise you of the may products and services available. XL Business Finance provides a free factoring and invoice discounting service which ensures  the most suitable finance companies are recommended to your business.

OK it is free in that we will not charge you a fee however we do take an introductory commission from the finance company. We are confident that we will provide y0u with the names of  two possible finance companies that are most suited to financing your business. Unlike some independent invoice  factoring brokers we are not tied into any one particular finance company. We have access to over twenty or so different finance companies. Brae some factoring brokers ( particularily  the ones that have different finance company logos on their site) take an introductory commission just for passing the referral. Nothing else happens except you get bombarded with loads of calls. By using XL Business Finance we control the referral part of the process which keeps appointments and provision of information to a minimum. If you happen to read this blog before the end of Jan 2010 you will be entitled to a free Mars bar!!!!!!!!

Is it Possible to get overpayments with invoice factoring

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Invoice factoring provides cash against unpaid invoices. Most finance companies will pay up to 80% of unpaid invoices and give you credit of up to 90 days. Before the credit crunch it may have been possible to obtain up to 90% of your  sales ledger however this is very uncommon in the the era of  very cautionary finance companies. When choosing an invoice factoring company it is important to take into consideration how flexible they may or may not be.

 Imagine coming to the month end and there are not quite enough invoices in the pipeline to draw down enough cash to pay the wages. However you have a few big  jobs around the corner and you know you will catch up the following week. If you are with a bank based factoring or invoice discounting company and you need a bit of extra cash then good luck trying to find a decision maker. If you have chosen a smaller and sometimes independent factoring company you will have a much greater chance of getting an overpayment. At XL Business Finance we do have clients who have moved to bank based factoring companies and have moved back to smaller independent for this very reason. They know at the end of the month that if here are going to be any short term cash flow problems they need a flexible finance company that they know that after one phone call and no more than 24 hours later they have some extra cash.

An independent factoring company is one that is not bank owned and therefore does not have the same red tape and bureaucratic hierarchy to go through to get decision done. They have usually been set up by quality guys that have been within the factoring and invoice discounting industry for many years. The MD will sit in the same office as all the other staff so special requests and help can be obtained by walking straight into his or her office.

Factoring a new start business

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Arranging factoring finance for a new start business should be relatively straight forward however not all factoring companies are the same so it is imperative that if you are starting a new business that you choose the correct type of finance company for your specific requirements. A well run factoring service will release up to 80% of your unpaid invoices and provide you with much needed working capital.  

The most important aspect of a new start business is to get a proper level of funding and that the finance company collect your debt as quickly as possible. It is important that you are never more than one or two phone calls away from a decision maker. XL Business Finance has been helping clients choose the most appropriate invoice factoring company for many years and as such we have added value to many new start businesses.

As a rule we would not recommend a bank for factoring although there are instances when we would. One bank in particular is quite good at financing  contractual debt and another is quite good at financing foreign debt. Typically an independent based factoring company provide a much better service than a bank based factoring company. Most independent s will telephone all your customers whereas a bank might only phone the top 3 customers

It is also worth finding out where your account will be run from as there is no point in dealing with a factoring company at the other end of the country when there could be an excellent finance company located within a few miles. We will take into consideration other factors when helping you choose the most appropriate finance company.

The quality of your sales ledger, the number and concentration levels will all help to make a recommendation. It will not take long to do an assessment of your business and we will give you a few funders to have a look at . This service is free!

Invoice factoring (3)

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

It has always been said that the biggest problem that any business will face is getting cash out of their customers. Most SME’S will go bust because of inefficient cash flow. Can a business really rely on its customers paying within the normal 30 day credit terms. Probably not.  And is it really wise relying on a bank overdraft which will be capped depending on the level of security available. In addition a bank overdraft can be withdrawn at a moments notice and is potentially always repayable on demand! Invoice factoring will provide a evolving credit facility for up to 90 days against 80 – 90% of your unpaid invoices.

Invoice factoring is a form of cash flow facility which includes factoring with credit control, invoice discounting and confidential invoice discounting. An asset based invoice factoring company may also provide stock and asset based finance. These forms of cash flow products will grow with your business and provide far more working capital than any bank overdraft will be able to provide. Which type of facility is best for your particular requirements depends on how long your business has been trading, the number and the quality of your invoices, the location of your business, if you require credit control and whether your business is profitable or not!

In addition there are over 50 factoring and invoice discounting companies all offer similar products and services. By asking a few simple questions XL Business Finance can  narrow the funders to two or three of the ones most suitable for funding your business. We have over 10 years of experience in helping many requirements with their own particular and unique set of circumstances. The good news is that this will not cost you a penny. Our service is absolutely free!  Please feel free to give the Managing Director Mark Redman a call on 07748 635 206 to find how we can help you.

 
 
 

XL Business Finance Ltd is a privately owned and independent business financing company with established links to many of the UK's leading finance houses. XL Business Finance provides a viable alternative to high street banks that lack the flexibility and imagination to provide a solution to most business users requirements. XL Business Finance can provide a full range of business financing solutions and we ensure a high level of customer service and pride ourselves on quick decisions. Our independent status will ensure any offer of funding and asset finance leasing is best suited to our customer’s needs.

XL Business Finance, Eaton Place Business Centre, 114 Washway Road, Sale, Cheshire M33 7RF UK.

 

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