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The New Normal For Small Business Financing and Working Capital Management

With business financing options changing significantly during the past two years, it is appropriate to review what the “new normal” looks like so that small business owners will be prepared to cope with the challenges they now face with commercial lenders. Business borrowers are more likely to find commercial financing success by quickly accepting the fact that a “new normal” way of doing things has emerged.

The dramatic reduction in the number of commercial lenders that are actively making small business loans is one of the most significant changes in the business finance lending environment. Banks continuing to insist that they are still providing small business financing when in reality they have reduced or eliminated their commercial lending programs is an equally important part of the “new normal”.

A recent report showed that commercial lending activity fell by the biggest amount since records have been kept. This trend seems likely to get worse before it gets better because based on Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation accounting, almost one out of every ten banks is close to failing. The shaky current financial condition of many banks is further documented by reports from the Federal Reserve and United States Treasury Department that over 50 banks did not have sufficient cash flow to make their November 2009 payments for loans made by the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The payments in question are due quarterly, and over ten banks have missed three consecutive installments. Unlike banks which have tripled and quadrupled interest rates for individual consumers missing a credit card payment, presumably the government regulators are simply hoping to get their money back from the delinquent banks.

Banks have far too often conducted business as if they have a monopoly on their small business financing services. The “new normal” for small business owners should increasingly reflect the growing realization that banks can be replaced when they stop providing an adequate level of service to their business customers.

As a direct result of the continuing shortcomings of banks in providing an adequate amount of small business financing help as noted above, for most business borrowers the “new normal” will involve a new bank or at least a new commercial lender (which might not be a bank at all). Even though banks would like their small business owner customers to keep believing that only a bank like them can help business borrowers, this is truly a myth created by the bankers themselves.

For many essential commercial finance services such as commercial mortgage loans, numerous banks have indicated that they will no longer provide such financing anymore. For specialized business finance services such as working capital management, business consulting and business cash advances, banks only rarely provide a cost-effective and realistic option for commercial borrowers. For business owners which have commercial loans or working capital financing due to be refinanced within the next three years, planning ahead will be increasingly important to the success of their small business financing. With the “new normal”, if commercial borrowers wait until their bank decides to pull the plug on future small business finance programs, the timing is not likely to be as conducive to business refinancing.

Is it Worth Spending on a Small Business Finance Software?

When is it important to buy small business finance software packages?

Indeed, many of small business owners feel besieged when they think of handling their company’s finances. One of the first thoughts that cross their mind at the first moment is to sign up a book keeping facility to maintain the overall finance properly.

Practically, this strategy may not prove to be a cost effect choice in case that your business is not into profits. An alternate solution would be to opt out for small business finance software. Obviously it would not work as an accountant, but it can be a bit cheaper.

What is the cost of small business finance software?

First, you should know that you can buy the software from the office supply shops. There are indeed a large number of sites on the World Wide Web that provide business management software for personal or small business use. They sell a business accounting software from about $40 for simple versions and around $10,000 for complex ones.

In this context, going with the cheaper version of this software is more apt for smaller businesses. This is especially true since their basic aim is to fulfill their utility needed to perform simple office tasks like payroll and book keeping for the company. Later on, in case you are satisfied, then you can opt out for professional versions.

How to choose the right software?

Indeed, deciding what kind of small business accounting software to buy can be a bit complicated task and time consuming as well.

To save the stress, it is wise to consult a well-known accountant for taking some recommendations of buying the easy to use business financial software that fits your business needs the optimal way.

What is the mistake that you should avoid doing here?

After purchasing the product, one should get ready to use the software in intervals. Once your business finance software is selected, it is wise to learn how to use it in a step-by-step fashion.

Trying to know all the software modules at one shot can be really confusing to one who is not aware with working with numbers.

How can you customize your software?

The main purpose behind any business software is to make proper financial assessments along with processing and recording your accounting transactions.

They even permit small businesses to keep going more effectively. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of companies that are willing to offer training on the usage of this software.

Here, it is worthwhile to know that there is user friendly finance software available in the market. In case your business has special requirements, which are not available, you can ask for a customized version.

What is the benefit of having this tool by your side?

This tool can also get you a complete picture of your business regarding the performance of all departments. In addition, it can provide details on the deficiencies and excesses of your business.

Adding to this, a proper control of funds owed in and out is yet extremely complex without the knowledge to know how important such figures are.

And finally, here are my parting words for you!

Small business finance software can help you to reduce your extra burden of finance transactions by getting more accurate results.

So, reduce your stress and carry out your finance transactions with the help of the best available small business finance software. This is a sure shot way to save your time, energy, and cost as well.

Small Business Finance – The Next Big Banking Problem?

For the past year, most banks and lenders have been subject to both disastrous operating results and negative publicity. Actual commercial lending activity reported by banks conflicts with the usual attempt by politicians and bankers to portray banks as normal and healthy. Most bank financial results have been disappointing after working hard to solve massive residential loan problems. It is reasonable to ask if commercial banking has more potential disasters about to emerge based on what has been seen and reported so far.

Based on a number of business financing statistics, commercial lending to small businesses is already on life support. In many cases, without government bailouts many commercial banks would have already failed. As bad as that perspective might sound, this report will provide an even more negative outlook for the future of small business finance programs. Unfortunately for banks and lenders, it does appear that business loans will be the next big problem.

During the past year or so, several banking problems have received significant publicity. The largely avoidable difficulties were primarily tied to increasing home foreclosures which in turn caused various investments tied to home loans to decrease in value. Such investments lost value so rapidly that they became known as toxic assets. When banks stopped making many loans (including small business financing), the federal government provided bailout funding to many banks to enable them to keep operating. While most observers would argue that the bailouts were made with the implicit understanding that bank lending would resume in some normal fashion, the banks seem to be hoarding these taxpayer-provided funds for a rainy day. By almost any objective standard, commercial lending activities have all but abandoned small business finance needs.

Small business financing appears to already look like the next big problem based on commercial finance statistics recently released by many banks. The general decline in commercial real estate values during the past several years is a major factor in this conclusion. Because many large commercial real estate owners could not make their commercial mortgage loan payments or refinance business debt, this has resulted in some significant bankruptcies. The resulting bank losses are clearly having an impact now on commercial lending to small business owners even though these difficulties were primarily happening with large real estate owners and did not usually involve small businesses.

Bank losses on large commercial real estate loans have caused many banks to reduce or stop their small business financing activities, and this has clear similarities to the earlier situation of residential mortgage loan toxic assets causing banks to stop normal lending because of capital shortages. The bank losses from large commercial property investors are producing a ripple effect that has caused small business financing to effectively disappear until further notice. While small business owners did not cause this problem, they are suffering the immediate consequences when banks are unable or unwilling to provide normal levels of commercial financing to them. This bad situation is made even worse when we learn that many banks are hoarding cash and approving fewer commercial loans to allow them to quickly pay bailout funds back to the federal government. The primary logic for this approach is that it will allow banks to resume excessive bonuses and compensation to their executives.

Unfortunately one problem will lead to another, as is common with complex circumstances. The failure to obtain normal business financing will most likely lead to an increasing number of commercial loan defaults by small businesses. Prudent business owners should begin to take action now in a timely manner to avoid such negative consequences. The most serious small business finance problems can be anticipated and avoided with appropriate action.

Even if they do nothing else, business owners should have a straightforward conversation with a small business finance expert to assess how exposed their business might be to the brewing commercial banking problems. If recent events are any indication, the banks themselves will not be very forthcoming about problems with their commercial lending practices. For many small businesses, the most objective business financing expert is not likely to be their current banker. To increase the chances that they receive sufficient small business loans in the face of ongoing lending problems, a healthy amount of skepticism and caution will be helpful for business owners.