Looking for business finance? We compare your options to help you make the right decision.
Cash flow has never been a business staple, and this makes finance vital for many business owners. Whether they’re expanding, purchasing equipment, getting through a difficult period or just starting up, it’s important that business owners find the right finance option for what they need.
This guide will take you through some of the options that are available to help you narrow down the right one for you.
Business credit cards
A popular choice because of their simplicity and familiarity, business credit cards can be an easy and efficient way to make regular payments. With several varieties, there is a card to suit most businesses, whether you want rewards from paying your debts early or need a long-term repayment plan for large expenses.
Some require balances to be paid off in full each month while other cards allow for debt to be carried over each month, with just the interest being cleared. Backed by advanced fraud protection and liability insurance, business credit cards are secure and can be used online, over the phone or in person.
Weigh up the benefits and drawbacks
- You can easily track expenditure online through your bank.
- Rewards can include discounted express shipment and access to a chauffeur service.
- Certain payments can be eligible for tax deductions.
- Having cards for every partner and manager can streamline your business.
- Credit cards are a constant source of debt that need regular attention to avoid large penalties.
- Fees attached to business credit cards can be high.
- Maxing out your credit card could hurt your credit rating and incur high penalty rates.
An overdraft can provide instant cash flow, whether you need it to pay employees and make purchases or are looking to expand your business. Functioning like an ongoing line of credit, overdrafts are linked to your company’s transaction account.
Both secured and unsecured overdrafts are available, with lower fees and interest rates usually on offer if you are prepared to tie your overdraft to company assets. There are varied repayment plans available as well as no restrictions on the length of the term. Overdrafts provide one of the most flexible and customisable avenues for bringing in additional funds to your business.
What are the pros and cons?
- An overdraft offers the security of having cash available without paying interest on anything until you’ve used it.
- Flexible repayments mean that you can pay back what you owe when you have it available, instead of adhering to a set schedule.
- Overdrafts can come with high rates and fees.
- Lenders can maintain the right to withdraw the overdraft at any point.
With a simple application process and funds transferred to your account within 24 hours, unsecured loans are a popular choicea for companies in need of immediate cash to pay employees or other creditors. Unlike secured loans, you won’t need to provide any kind of guarantee in the form of assets, as long as your company has evidence of stability and annual earnings.
The good and the not-so-good of these products
- Loans for any amount up to $500,000 are available
- You can find loans with flexible repayments.
- To access additional funds you will need to apply for another loan.
- Most loans come with a set date by which the money must be repaid.
A selection of unsecured business loans
Invoice factoring can be a convenient way of providing your business with a steady and secure flow of income. Outstanding invoices are sold to a third party at a discounted rate, with your company receiving its funds when the invoice itself is paid.
As a business grows and your invoices increase, so does your income, but there’s no need to make repayments on the loan or secure any of your assets. You simply receive funds you would have received from the invoice ahead of time and pay a fee for doing so.
Weigh up the good and bad before applying
- No repayments means you can devote more time to running your company
- There are no interest rates or penalties to pay.
- Invoice factoring doesn’t allow the same flexibility to choose exactly how much you need and when.
Is there anything you should avoid?
All of these financing options are effective at getting you access to finance, but the key is to not overextend your business. This is what can cause fees and interest to skyrocket and what will ultimately lead to further debt.
The right loan for your business will depend on your needs and situation, so it’s important to understand and compare all of your options before you submit your application.