While the Financial Crisis of 2008-09 affected small businesses nationwide, the economy has undoubtedly improved and small business optimism is increasing. However, ripples from the recession are still being felt. The ripples mainly consist of banks and their small business lending efforts. While big bank lending to businesses is swelling, it still isn’t in a position where businesses feel confident and comfortable inquiring about funding. Credit scores and collateral are still the prime indicators for loans, and business owners simply do not have the requisite credit rating or collateral required to secure a loan.
However, in recent years, alternative lending has begun to make waves and take some of the market share away from banks. Alternative lending is, in a literal sense, an alternative to traditional lending. The main difference that separates alternative lending from traditional lending is the speed of the application process. An alternative lender will normally get working capital in only a few days; with a bank, there’s no telling when a merchant will receive the money. Additionally, alternative lenders offer high approvals while collateral and high credit score are not required. Therefore, many business owners who generally would not qualify for a bank loan almost always are eligible for an alternative financing solution.
Once you receive financing from an alternative lender, you’ll find that it will open a range of possibilities for your business. So what can your body shop do once you with the money once you receive it?
Inventory/supplies/equipment: Body shops have a multitude of supplies and equipment that need to be bought, fixed, and updated on a regular basis. However, money is always a factor when it comes to these things and often times you may find your shop doesn’t have enough cash flow on hand to make the necessary purchases you need. But with alternative lending, you can receive the money you want to purchase supplies and then some.
Advertising: One aspect of alternative financing that some tend to forget is that the money can be put towards a local advertising campaign in your community. Print, radio, and television ads are commonplace for small enterprises like yours, and the money you get from an alternative financing program can be used to increase your brand awareness across multiple channels.
Digital Marketing: Email campaigns, social media, SEO…huh? Digital marketing concepts can often be foreign to small business owners, but you can use alternative financing to hire a marketing agency. A marketing agency can perform these tasks for you and increase your presence on the web while helping you show up higher in Google search rankings.
Hiring employees: Do you want more skilled and experienced mechanics in your shop? You can use alternative financing to add employees to your staff. You can also use the money to enroll employees in safety and training programs. Safety, whether it’s working on a vehicle or handling materials, is paramount running a smooth body shop.
Expansion: Have you ever considered adding on to the physical location of your business? Perhaps you’ve wanted to add a new section to your garage or renovate your waiting area for customers. Alternative lending can be used for anything type of expansion you seek for your business. For instance, you could consider adding refreshments and cable television in the waiting room for your customers so they have something to watch while you perform maintenance on their vehicle.
If you’re a body shop owner looking for alternative lending, there are plenty of solutions available for businesses like yours. AmeriMerchant, a leader in alternative lending since 2002, can get you the money you want in days. Call us today at 1-800-267-3790 for more information.
This article was originally published by AmeriMerchant