Finance Solutions For Companies Venturing In The Import Industry

Importing pertains to the process of bringing in goods or services from another country. They come from foreign countries and are usually brought in for resale. Many companies find this type of business quite attractive since the products or services from other countries are really affordable and they can be resold for a nice profit margin.

Although the process of importing and reselling goods seems like a simple concept, entrepreneurs who are considering starting this kind of business will have to overcome various hurdles. One of these is finding the right financing solution.

At present, there are various finance solutions or methods you can choose from. The most recommended one by finance experts are:

Factoring in accounts receivables.

Also known as asset-based loans, this method involves selling your credit accounts or accounts receivable to a bank, lending company, or other financing institution. Accounts receivables are usually sold at a discount, between 80-90% of the face value of your credit accounts. An advance payment will be given to you by the factoring company, about of 2-3%, for the accounts you would normally have to wait on for payment.

Purchase order financing.

This method has similarities with asset-based loans. The main difference with this financing solution is that you take your invoices or purchase orders and assign or sell them to a financing company. This company will then assume the risk and the task of billing and collecting. When the goods are produced, the financing company collects the payment from the customers, takes its cut of the proceeds, and pays you the profit. This option is highly recommended if your profit margin is high enough on the goods you are importing. Having a good and reliable supply chain and creditworthy customers are important factors to consider as well.

Inventory financing.

Although inventory financing is an expensive solution, it is still a highly effective way of financing an importing business. Under this method, you will have to use your present inventory to secure a loan that will permit you to buy the imported goods your customers want or need. Because of this, you can effectively increase your inventory without impacting your cash flow. However, with this option, it is crucial to make sure that you can service or repay your debt. Inventory financing comes in three types: blanket inventory lien, floor planning, and field warehousing. Choose the type that best meets your requirements.

Asset Loans and Accounts Receivable Financing Solutions

Canadian business, during its search for new and innovative financing solutions keeps hearing about asset loans and accounts receivable financing solutions. These two types of financing for Canadian business owners and financial managers are a subset of what is known as an asset based line of credit.

The financing is newer to Canada, growing in traction and popularity, and still widely misunderstood as a total financing strategy for your company. Let’s clarify some of those myths and explore some of the benefits of these terms.

One of the main differences of an asset loan is that typically is financed through a non bank arrangement. You should seek this type of loan if you are unable to generate sufficient working capital to finance your business in a traditional Chartered bank environment in Canada.

In essence your receive financing and operating facilities, depending on how they are structured, around the various asset categories of your business – the two main asset categories are:

Accounts receivable

Inventory

In many circumstances you can also leverage equipment, and occasionally real estate.Clients then ask us why this is different from what they are used to – which is bank financing around these same assets. The answer is that a very strong focus is placed on the true underlying value of your assets – less reliance is placed on balance sheet rations, loan covenants, outside collateral, etc.

Most leases and operating facilities in a traditional bank environment are very cash flow focused. The irony of these types of calculations is very evident to the business borrower – that irony being that historical cash flow is used to forecast future cash repayment abilities. That quite often doesn’t work for many companies who are experiencing temporary challenges.

Asset loans, and asset based lines of credit focus on the collateral. Many clients we deal with have the collateral in A/R, inventory, purchase orders and new contracts, equipment, etc but can’t satisfy traditional cash flow lending requirements. That is why they are prime candidates for an asset loan, an asset based line of credit, or at its simplest and most basic form, a receivable financing that fully margins their accounts receivable with no set limit on future growth.

So now we understand what the facility is. How does it work on a day to day basis our clients ask? The answer is simply that it’s a facility that goes up and down, frankly every day, with your borrowing needs. As your receivables and inventory fluctuate you draw down against their current value. This optimizes the amount of cash flow and working capital available for sales growth and profit generation.

The security mechanisms around these facilities are very similar to any type of bank financing – that is to say that a first charge lien is placed on the assets being financed. Advances rates on accounts receivable and inventory are established and as cash is advanced and then repaid by your customers the cash is turned over to pay down your revolving balance. It’s as simple as that. The true beauty of the facility is that as you grow your facility grows with you – that is probably the most powerful aspect of such a financing.

These working capital facilities, predominately A/R an inventory based are becoming more traditional in nature ever day. Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced advisor in this area – if you are not getting the financing you need to grow and prosper competitively then this type of solution may be exactly hat you are looking for.