You’ve determined that your business needs a new piece of equipment. Great. You’ve already found the perfect machine – it’s shiny and new (or maybe shiny and used), but you don’t have cash to pay for it. No big deal. You’ll just finance it. No problem, right? You’ll just call up your local bank. You know the one. The place where you do your personal banking, have your checking and savings accounts, maybe even your mortgage.
But what do they know about your business? And what do they know about your equipment? If either answer is nothing or very little, keep reading.
Understanding Your Business
A business is a business, right? And shouldn’t a bank know business? Of course. But, the intricacies of some businesses – construction, manufacturing, transportation, waste – have a profound effect on your ability to obtain financing and manage your debt service.
For example, will the bank understand there can be seasonality in many heavy equipment industries and the effect this may have on cash flow? Most banks won’t take seasonality into consideration when setting up financing payments, using a straight-line payment schedule for the life of the loan. A knowledgeable equipment lender might also know your equipment vendor, suppliers and maybe even your customers.
A lender that is intimately familiar with your business, can structure a loan to accommodate seasonal or project specific issues with respect to your repayment schedule, providing outbound cash relief for those times when inbound cash is tight.
Knowledge of Equipment
Strong equipment knowledge is a key component to finding the right equipment finance partner. If a lender understands the type of equipment you use, its functionality, its value, and its importance to the business, they will be better able to structure a financing deal that makes the most sense for your company.
To provide a loan structure that makes the most of your equipment equity, a lender needs to understand equipment lifespan, depreciation, value and the type of work being performed.
When searching for funding, you should consider the benefits of a long-term financial partner – one that provides more than just simply financing the purchase of a new piece of equipment. As your business grows, so do your financial needs. A partner that offers debt consolidation, refinancing, and working capital loans can help you manage and balance your equipment portfolio and long-term cash flow needs, help you take advantage of new opportunities or deal with unexpected headwinds.
Getting to Know You
Why does it matter if your equipment lender gets to know you? This is a business deal, right?
Getting to know you and understanding how you are invested in your business helps credit managers respond to your needs quickly and efficiently. Additionally, when you need something from the lender quickly the better they know you, the more apt you are to get the attention you need when you need it.
Does the lender have local representatives who will meet with you in person to explain your options and review paperwork? Or do you need to take time out of your day to drive to their office and meet them? Or is everything handled only via email? A real financing partner will work with you on your terms and accommodate your schedule.
Finding the right equipment finance partner can be difficult and there are many options available. To ensure a good, long-term relationship, it’s helpful if the lender has the following characteristics:
- Understands your industry and your business
- Knows the equipment with which you work
- Provides a variety of financial services
- Establishes a personal relationship with you
Ultimately, you must determine which of these are most important to you. CCG has all these characteristics, and we’d love to be your equipment financing partner. If you want to explore further, contact us here.
If you aren’t ready to contact us, but want to use our handy Financing Partner Checklist, print it here.