Does the Global Economy Matter to Your Small Business?

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Your small business may operate out of a cozy corner store on Main Street, a nondescript office space in a towering high rise or from a computer on a card table in your spare room. It may feel as if your sphere is small, your market is medium, or maybe the world is just getting to know you. So when institutions like Morgan Stanley start making predictions about the global economy in 2015, should you be paying attention? Does the global economy affect your business?

The answer is yes.

In a recent presentation of Morgan Stanley's annual forecast, economists predicted for 2015 to be "bumpy, below par and brittle." While the U.S. will see relatively strong growth, Europe, Japan and other countries will still encounter weakness, causing an "out of synch" global expansion. They are tossing around words that business owners understand, like inflation, the expansion of the money supply, or more recently generalized as rising prices. Deflation, falling prices, or as many economists say economic poison that causes consumers to delay making purchases.

 

What is Lowflation?

A relatively new term on the economic scene is "lowflation," a situation in which prices are rising, but not fast enough to boost the economy the way inflation does. In European countries struggling with deflation, lowflation is responsible for higher interest rates but less relative price adjustment. Economies are unsettled in a state of lowflation.

 

Why does it Matter to You?

When large, developed nations' creditworthiness–or lack thereof–is questionable, small businesses feel it. Governments have to pay more to borrow more and the trickledown effect is felt in the lending arena, where banks tighten their lending policies. Everything from manufacturing and imports feels the slowdown. Resources from abroad are tighter, strings tighten on lending opportunities. Bottom line is without a reasonable opportunity to borrow, to keep cash flow moving and invest in the future of your business, your business can feel the swing of the global economy.

Based on predictions by economists at Morgan Stanley, if you own a small business, be conservative as the new year progresses, with an eye on the global market for ups and downs.

 

Considering your options for fast alternative lending? Call 844-700-5363 or check out Lendini for information on business cash advance and merchant cash advance solutions today.

 

LENDINI WELCOMES SOLE-PROPRIETORS WHEN OTHERS DO NOT

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As the Merchant Cash Advance industry grows, more and more sole-proprietors are turning to business cash advances to secure working capital.  Sole-proprietors present unique challenges to advance providers because such businesses are very different from businesses organized as corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies (LLC’s).  A Merchant Cash Advance is designed as a business-to-business (B2B) transaction.  An advance provider such as Lendini purchases future receivables from a business for an immediate cash price.  Its return on the investment is the difference between the amount of the advance and the value of the receivables purchased. 

No matter how small a business might be, if it is organized as a corporation, partnership or LLC, the states and the federal government recognize that business as a separate entity from its owners.  This protects the owner from losing his personal assets if the business sustains a loss – the so-called “corporate veil”.  It also means that a different set of laws apply to the transaction.  Businesses do not benefit from consumer protection laws, are often exempt from usury statutes and are considered by most courts to have a greater sophistication than a consumer would when entering into a contract. 

Sole-Proprietorships, though, are generally not considered to be separate from their owners.  In fact, many states do not even have a means to register them as a business at all.  And while a few states look to the purpose of an advance to determine whether a merchant is an individual or a business, most do not.  When they do not, an advance provider faces significant challenges because, again, the product is designed for commercial, rather than consumer, use. 

Unlike many merchant cash advance providers, Lendini welcomes sole-proprietorships.  Lendini adjusts it underwriting and the parameters of the advance it offers to conform with state consumer protection laws.  While the product is not a loan, Lendini takes care to offer advances to sole-proprietors on term that would pass muster if a court or regulator were to treat the purchase as a credit transaction. 

In conclusion, you do not need to be incorporated to do business with Lendini.  You simply need to be “in business.”  So to those small business men and women who do not qualify for a bank loan and who may not get a merchant cash advance because they are not incorporated, I say look no further.  Lendini is the best match for you.

A Look At Nonbank Lending Through the Years

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"The Great Recession" causes many a hearts to flutter, still. In the wake of that debilitating economic time, officially from December 2007 to June 2009, the $8 trillion housing bubble burst, consumer spending declined, business investments collapsed and the U.S. labor market lost $8.4 million in jobs. Many acknowledge the rise in alternative lending solutions to the recession out of sheer necessity. Banks weren't doling out any money to startups or small businesses. There wasn't money to lend.

 

That's actually a myth, says Dailyfunder in a recent article. "Small businesses seeking less than $150,000 have been underserved for decades." Nonbanks have not been in the business of stealing customers away from traditional banks, rather they've been trying to serve a market that was otherwise ignored.

 

Technology Brings Opportunity

One of the barricades to nonbank lenders was technology. Pre 2010, before APIs and algorithms, nonbank lending and merchant cash advance processes were powered by human labor. As technology has blossomed, Dailyfunder notes the growth of financial companies using daily payments throughout the years:

1998    $9,000,000

2010    $524,000,000

2014    $4,500,000,000 (estimate)

You may recall a familiar tagline that gained fame in the mid-90s by Joseph Goryeb, "When your bank says no, Champion says yes." Nonbank funding options have been a big yes for small business for decades. At the moment there might not be a headlining catchphrase, but online lenders like Lendini are saying yes through merchant cash advance and business cash advance options. Possibilities for start-ups who can't qualify for traditional loans, businesses with less than perfect credit, and merchants needing a small, quick boost in cash flow exist, and are growing. There is a faster way to fund.

 

Learn more with Lendini. Call 844-700-5363 or visit online today.

Independent Workers on the Increase in the U.S.

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The number of independent workers in the U.S. has been projected to grow from nearly 30 million today to 40 million in 2019, according to the 4th Annual State of Independence Report by MBO Partners, a firm that provides office support to independent workers. What's an independent worker? MBO Partners defines them as consultants, contractors, freelancers, temps, on-call workers, self-employed, "side-giggers," and small business owners who employ fewer than four employees. "Side-giggers" is the newest addition to the independents list, also known as those who work less than 15 hours a week.

 

Whether working towards financial independence, supplementing a salary or transitioning to shorter work day or work week, people who make the plunge are doing so on their own account, according to MBO Partners, who found that only one in seven independent workers chose that lifestyle due to layoff or illness. As this trend develops, businesses will need to further adjust to accommodate and incorporate independent workers into the workforce, and lenders will need to extend more opportunities to fund the ambitions of the growing number of self-employed.

 

Independents: Who and Why?

The picture of an independent worker is increasingly showing older Americans, with 44% of the current independent workforce over 50, boomers, even workers into their late 60s. Financial stability, a well-developed expertise and established networks for referrals lead employees from full-time positions. Also, independent work fits into lifestyles versus a professional fitting his or her desired lifestyle into a traditional job. With independence comes autonomy, flexibility and control.

 

For businesses, hiring freelance or consulting folks can lower overhead costs. It reduces salary and benefit costs, can reduce the amount of physical space and office supplies needed. Workforce size can increase or decrease depending on workload.

Ultimately, it's about satisfaction. The study reports 82% of responders being satisfied, despite worries over workflow, consistent earnings, job security and retirement concerns.

Taking the plunge depends on resources, like this How-to Guide to Starting a Side Gig After 50, confidence, a solid network, and a plan. How are you preparing to join the 30 million independent workers?

When Technology Overwhelms Small Business

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Everyone has uttered it: “I love technology. When it works.” Networks, connectivity, apps that tie all of your information into one convenient place, they’re all terrific when they function properly. But when there’s a misfire and suddenly you can’t access your information, you can’t communicate with clients or your website has gone funky, technology becomes the enemy if you can’t fix the problem in a hurry.

Small businesses are often sans-IT departments. Many can get by with the office computer “expert” who enjoys toying with them on the side. But what to do if you encounter a problem bigger than the typical reboot can handle? What are your options?

IT Options for Small Business

  • Call the manufacturer’s technical support number. This may be your first move, as the technical problem might be a simple redirect. On the downside, it’s sometimes tricky to translate the manufacturer’s instructions into reality and solutions often include a program re-install, causing costly downtime and the loss of company data.
  • Utilize the skills of an intern from a nearby college or university. A potential win-win for your organization while you draw on the newly-learned and most up-to-date information; however a student’s learning curve may slow your company’s return to functionality.
  • Work with big box retailers like Best Buy’s Geek Squad or sidle up to Apple’s Genius Bar for tech support. Quick access and face-to-face interaction are the pros to this approach, but the revolving door of less-than-qualified technicians does not lead to relationship building, so the next time you have an issue, you’ll likely start all over again.
  • Partner with an IT Consulting firm. Having local, knowledgeable collection of professionals whose business is to provide IT service to small businesses is a safe and reliable answer to keeping your IT systems up and running. Of course contracting such services is a cost that may or may not fit into your operating budget.

Technology can make or break productivity. When your business is your expertise, not the software and hardware, networks and apps that keep it running smoothly, technology downfalls will cost you money and open you up to security breeches, viruses and spyware infections.

Looking to establish a reputable IT consulting partnership, or to invest in the latest technology for your business? Contact Lendini about alternative lending options to increase your cash flow in just a few days. Call 844-700-5363 today.

Online Lending Applications on the Rise

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Inherent in the word tradition is the ongoing pull to do things the way they've always been done. Think holidays and family vacations. They are prescribed ways of thinking and acting based on a long history. If you're launching a small business, however, tradition may get in the way of innovation. Small business loans are no exception.

Traditional loans are still alive and viable. Just recently Wells Fargo committed to offering $1 billion in traditional loans to small businesses in the U.S. by 2018. Also, the SBA is making traditional small business loans easier to obtain by guaranteeing a portion of those loans, making them more attractive to financial institutions. These are great steps forward in support of small businesses growth. However, borrowers still need to meet many qualifications to be eligible, like having excellent credit, offering collateral or meeting size requirements. And borrowers still need to apply and wait–sometimes weeks–for approval.

 

Statistics = Validation

Across the board, online lenders are reporting increases in lending requests. In 2013, overall nonbank lenders loaned about $3 billion to small business owners, and requests for loans are rising steadily, according to an article in Bloomberg Businessweek. Companies like Amazon, PayPal and Square are growing their merchant cash advance programs, a validation that big companies are entering the small business finance arena.

Leaders of online and non-bank lenders say their adroitness in the funding arena make non-bank funding so popular. A lender's ability to make quick decisions and the streamlined paper trail during the application process are positives customers appreciate. Services like the ones Lendini offers help small business owners increase their cash flow without having to wait weeks, like they would through a traditional bank loan.

 

Be ready for cutting edge opportunities as they come. Be innovative. Call 844-700-5363 or complete the online application for a free quote.

Factoring and Cash Advances: What’s the Difference?

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Applying for quick cash–whether through a small business loan, cash advance, or other alternative funding source–brings about new terminology. Of course there’s the annual percentage rate or APR, basically the cost to you to borrow money. When borrowing or accessing a loan, a company can either incur a payback schedule, like with a cash advance or outsource management of accounts receivable through factoring.

What is Factoring?

Factoring is a financial transaction in which a business sells its accounts receivable to a third party commercial financial company at a discount. A business will sometimes factor its receivable assets to meet the cash needs most present and immediate. Maybe a vital piece of equipment is down or there is damage to a building not covered by insurance or a too-good-to-pass-up opportunity comes along to enhance business growth. Any of these scenarios may lead to a more urgent need for cash approval.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Factoring

Also known as “accounts receivable financing,” factoring is done so a business can access cash more quickly than it would waiting 30-60 days for a customer payment. A factoring company purchases your invoices and advances you funds in as little as 24 hours. Often a business can get up to 80 to 95% of an invoice amount depending on the industry and your customer’s credit history.

A few disadvantages include giving a factoring company access to managing your accounts receivables. Customer disputes are potentially more worrisome and should be settled quickly to avoid issue with the factoring company. Also, a factoring company can apply credit limits to your customers, potentially affecting business relationships.

Cash Advances

An advance on future earnings differs from factoring because you are responsible to pay back funds you have borrowed over time based on a percentage of future sales. Cash advances are also quick and easy to apply for, putting funds at your fingertips for capital investments, the ability to repair equipment or to hire employees.

 

Learn more about cash advances for small businesses at Lendini.com.