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How to increase cash flow during the coronavirus outbreak
Low-cost and fast funding to keep your business up and running.
Small businesses likely need to consider both short- and long-term solutions to cover operating expenses during the coronavirus outbreak. The government has started offering low- and no-interest financing to small businesses affected by COVID-19. But you might also need to apply for more traditional financing to tide you over as you wait for these government applications to be processed.
Cover your payroll with a 1% APR Paycheck Protection Loan — and get up to 100% forgiven. Apply ASAP before funds run out.
9 ways to increase cash flow during the coronavirus outbreak
Business line of credit
A business line of credit gives you access to a credit limit that runs anywhere from $5,000 to $5 million in some cases. Rates can start at around 8% and go as high as 80%, depending on your business’s financials and your credit score. Once you’re approved, you can access cash as needed — usually no later than the next business day.
This makes it ideal if you expect to need funding, but aren’t sure how much or how long that need will last. It can be less expensive than a credit card in some cases. And it can cover a wider range of expenses, like rent and utilities.
Online business loans
Online business loans can get cash in your bank account as soon as the same day, depending on the lender. These tend to run from $2,000 to $500,000 with rates from 6% to 60% APR depending on the lender, your credit score and business financials.
Online loans are faster and easier to qualify for than their bank counterparts. But they tend to come with higher rates than other loans. And some come with daily or weekly repayments, which can be inflexible if you’re struggling with cash flow.
Find an online business loan today
Business credit cards
Many business credit cards come with an intro APR of 0% for the first six to 18 months — if you can qualify. This gives you access to interest-free financing, as long as you’re able to pay off the balance before the interest rate kicks in.
If you don’t think you’ll be able to pay off the balance before that date is up, a loan or line of credit might be less costly, since they tend to have lower rates. You’ll also generally need excellent credit and a strong history of business financials to qualify.
Business insurance claims
If you already have a business insurance policy, reach out to your provider to find out what’s covered during a pandemic. If you’re already covered, you could receive a claim to help cover operating costs. The size of your claim depends on factors like your location, the size of your business, what industry you’re in and the insurance company you’re working with.
You could also explore a specialist insurance policy. A handful of companies are offering pandemic policies to help businesses hit hardest by the coronavirus, like James Allen Insurance. These include healthcare, hospitality and retail companies.
Don’t already have insurance? Starting a new policy now won’t help — you won’t be covered for events that happened before you had insurance.
Invoice factoring involves selling unpaid invoices from other businesses or government contracts at a discount to a factoring company. Typically, you receive between 80% and 95% of your unpaid invoice balance up front, and then the rest minus a fee as the invoices are filled. Generally, it’s more expensive than a term loan or credit line.
Invoice factoring might be costly, but it could be easier to qualify for since eligibility depends on your clients and their invoices. It also doesn’t involve debt repayments, which can hamper your business as it tries to recover from a loss in revenue. But it can take anywhere from a day to a few weeks to get your funds.
Compare invoice factoring providers today
Consider nonrecourse factoring
When exploring your options, try to find a lender that offers nonrecourse factoring. This means the factoring company takes the loss if your invoices aren’t filled. With recourse factoring, your business is responsible for paying back the funds if your customer doesn’t fill their invoice in time — which is highly possible during the coronavirus outbreak. Nonrecourse factoring tends to come with higher fees, however.
What about invoice financing?
Invoice financing allows you to take out a loan using your business’s invoices as collateral. You pay off the loan plus interest and fees, ideally as your clients start filling invoices.
This is usually less expensive than factoring. But if your repayments mainly depend on clients filling their invoices on time, this option could set you up for default in a time when businesses are struggling to stay on top of their bills.
The federal, state and local governments have started offering interest-free and low-interest financing to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. For example, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering two types of offering low-interest loans to cover overhead costs: SBA disaster loans and Paycheck Protection Loans.
Apply for a Paycheck Protection Loan today
Below is a list of online lenders offering SBA Paycheck Protection Loans. We recommend applying as soon as possible, since funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Can the coronavirus stimulus package help with cash flow?
Yes, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act offers several options that you can use to improve your cash flow. This includes establishing a new Paycheck Protection Loan program, expanding eligibility for disaster loans and offering the option to get $10,000 of your disaster loan fast, in the form of a grant. This comes in addition to tax breaks, payment subsidies and more.
Negotiate with suppliers and creditors
Many lenders and credit card companies are waiving fees, deferring payments and offering other financial assistance to help businesses cope with the financial fallout of the coronavirus outbreak. But many of these are only available on a case-by-case basis, so you’ll need to call to learn what your options are.
Suppliers might also be willing to negotiate new payment terms to make sure they don’t lose your business. But get in touch as soon as you can. Skipping payments without communication can hurt your relationship with your supplier — and hurts its ability to run its business.
Cut back on expenses
Go over your business’s balance sheet to see where you can cut back. Especially if you’re paying for something that you no longer need if you have employees working from home — like a corporate Seamless account. After you qualify for financing or see an uptick in revenue, you can start adding back programs if they make your business operations run more smoothly.
A handful of local governments and private companies are offering them as of March 19, 2020. If you need a grant, look locally — many are only available in specific geographic areas and have business size requirements. For example, New York City is offering grants to businesses that have fewer than five employees. Amazon is offering grants to businesses within a few blocks of its three campuses in Seattle with fewer than 50 employees.
Check with your local department of business and large corporations in your area to learn about the options available to you.
5 tips to manage your cash flow
These strategies can help you make sure you’re getting the most out of your sales.
- Discount early payments. Provide an incentive for your clients to pay ahead of time by offering a discount. You won’t bring in as much, but it could avoid the need for costly financing.
- Sell equipment you aren’t using. Instead of letting old equipment sit around, turn it into a profit — or trade it in if you’re applying for financing and it’s an option.
- Ask for a deposit on orders. To avoid that gap between receiving an order request and payment, ask for customers to provide a deposit of at least 50% on large orders. This can help cover production costs and avoid the need for financing.
- Negotiate costs and terms. When possible, give a counter offer when ordering supplies or renegotiate the terms of payment to better fit your business’s monthly cash flow.
- Offer subscriptions. A subscription can translate into more consistent revenue than one-off sales.
WATCH: How your business can survive the coronavirus
There’s a chance you’ll need to combine multiple types of financing to cover your operating costs during the COVID-19 outbreak, since the low-cost options take a while to come through. But communicating with your creditors and suppliers right away is key — they might be able to adjust your repayments so you don’t have to borrow as much.
Read our guide to business loans to find other options to apply for today.
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