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Stabilize Your Startup

Stabilize Your Startup’s Cash Flow

In the years since EMB was founded (to serve both traditional and high-risk businesses), we’ve seen many young companies struggle to stabilize their cash flow. Sales and revenue spike in some months, and dry up in others. Slow periods mean businesses can struggle to cover payroll and monthly operating expenses. What these businesses need is a source of financing that can even out cash flow. The problem is, traditional lending institutions often consider start-ups too risky.

In the early stages of any business cash flow can be highly variable. Funding growth, even paying the bills, can be difficult.

Funding for start-ups can be difficult to obtain.

We see a lot of businesses struggling because of cash flow issues, as they have already used up the resources available to them. They’ve generally used every source of capital they could find; everything from credit cards to home equity loans, to investments from friends and family.

When that capital is gone, they often run into problems obtaining funds from traditional lending sources. Banks and other lending institutions are heavily regulated and risk averse. They won’t lend to companies with very little history; they want extensive documentation and credit assessments. Not only do many start-ups not qualify, the ones that might qualify don’t have time to wait weeks or months for a decision to be made.

The situation can seem bleak. Luckily there are a number of non-traditional business funding solutions available to help start-ups stabilize their cash flow.

Peer-to-peer lending

Peer-to-peer lending services directly match lenders with businesses in need of funding. Typically the service attracts a variety of lenders who offer loans and set rates. The borrower is essentially running an auction to find the vendor with the best fit and the lowest rates.

Peer-to-peer services operate online and so they have lower costs than traditional financial institutions. Usually this means they can offer funds at lower costs to borrowers—even after fees. They specialize in quick turnaround on loan applications. Sometimes delivering decisions in as little an hour, with funds following within days.
Online lending services may be able to match businesses who don’t meet stringent traditional loan requirements with a lender willing to take on the risk.

When it comes to stabilizing start-up cash flow online, lending services are good options for firms who don’t have the credit history required by traditional lenders. The loan may be cheaper than traditional lenders can offer. However, keep in mind that online services charge a fee for their service. And, the loan will be repaid on a set schedule. Which means you have a fixed cost to deal with each month, even if cash flow slows.

Merchant Cash Advance

In a merchant cash advance a company essentially buys your future credit card sales and extends you funding the same day. It’s not a loan, so it’s not subject to the same regulatory standards for approval as a traditional bank loan. If you already have a credit card processing account, approval can be granted quickly on the basis of your existing history.