Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Insider tips to growing your construction business in 2018

As fall weather approaches and your construction projects begin to slow down for the season, have you given any solid thought into how you’re going to grow your construction business in the next year? The quiet parts of the fall and winter are great times to strategize, upgrade and prepare for next year’s busy season, allowing you to put the plans in place that you’ll need to see strong growth. Here’s a quick look at some insider tips to help you grow your company next year.

Insider tips to growing your construction business in 2019

  • Go digital. If you’re still performing takeoffs like it’s 1999, it’s time to make a change. Modern construction estimating software provides you with a wide range of tools, including cloud access in the field, task lists for your crew, options to create field notes to avoid errors and pricing databases that are automatically updated. Look for a software as a service option to avoid having to make a big investment.
  • Keep up with automation. Many of today’s software options have opportunities to automate your workflow. Your estimates can automatically be synced with your accounting software, while marketing emails, billing reminders and similar tasks that have been labor-intensive in the past now happen automatically.
  • Add smart tools. If you’re like many contractors, you’ve probably had issues with materials walking off, tools disappearing and similar issues. Fortunately, there are easier ways to keep track of your business assets on the job site without having to hire security. Consider tools that have digital fences, Bluetooth tags or inexpensive job site cameras to stay on top of these type of issues.
  • Expand your digital marketing efforts. Digitization is causing a huge upheaval in our society and how we do business. If your website is lackluster, your social media marketing needs work or you’re not sure how to reach out to all those people searching for contractors on Google, this is a great time to jump on the bandwagon and gain market share over companies that are still behind the trend.
  • Update old equipment. Whether it’s that old backhoe that is on its last legs or the contractor’s saw that just isn’t performing up to specs, you can only work as effectively as the equipment you use. Consider taking out a loan for equipment that helps you get the job done more quickly, more effectively or with less waste.
  • Look into new markets. Renewable energy systems are a great option to consider for electricians, as they’re seeing serious growth year over year and are projected to continue for decades. What about super-efficient insulation or wall systems? Do you need to look at new options to take advantage of structured cabling upgrades in the next few years?
  • Go green. Green technology and materials are hot right now, whether you’re working on a LEED-certified structure or simply need the best price on recycled vinyl siding. As the focus on sustainability grows, the demand for contractors who are already familiar with green technology will grow.

By implementing a few of these tips into your plans for next year, you can quickly realize growth and take advantage of favorable market conditions without taking time from your busy schedule as things begin to ramp up again next spring. If you’re ready to grow your construction business this year, it’s time to talk to Capstone Credit Group today to get started on a low-cost loan or other financing option. Take a look at our many construction financing options and discover what the future holds for your company’s prospects.

 

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Federal Reserve Rates: What an Increase Could Mean for Your Business

The Federal Reserve Board will meet again on September 25-26 and decide about raising interest rates. Currently, it is anticipated we will see a rate increase during September and again in December, particularly given the current state of the job market, and a better overall economic outlook.

The challenge for many businesses is this could mean higher interest rates on borrowed money. Current business owners who have loans out at adjustable rates could be facing higher rates, which means less profit being realized.

Obtaining Loans Could be More Challenging

Interestingly enough, loans to businesses continue to be slower than anticipated. In January of 2018, there was a report released by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System which showed loans to small businesses have not yet recovered from the recession, in spite of better overall economic numbers.

This means small and mid-sized business owners are still facing challenges getting the working capital they need to fund their businesses. Since the current climate is positive for businesses, most find they need more capital to invest in new hires, equipment, and materials to ensure they can deliver on contracts to their customers.

Overall Production and Interest Rates

One concern about rising interest rates is the impact they have on small and mid-sized companies which may lead to slower growth. According to the Federal Reserve, overall production still remains nearly two percent below the average of the last 10 years. This is good news and bad news largely depending on how you want to look at it. The fact that production is lower than the average means there is room for expansion to meet the average and there is room for growth beyond the average if the economy does not contract because of higher interest rates.

Expanding and Cash Flow Issues

One of the many challenges faced by a company who wishes to increase their production is cash flow. Let’s face facts, it is nearly impossible to ramp up production without hiring additional staff, potentially purchasing more equipment, and taking on bigger contracts. This means investing more money into your company, money that you may be able to anticipate over the next 90 days, but do not have available today. This is when you may seek additional capital in the form of a loan — the challenge there is if you have been suffering like so many businesses from slower than usual production, your company’s balance sheet may not support taking on new debt. The threat of looming interest rate hikes may also prevent you from seeking a loan.

Accounts Receivable Factoring May Provide Answers

One of the advantages of using your accounts receivable to generate working capital is you do not need to take on any new debt. Instead, you can use the proceeds of a factor advance to accelerate your working capital and fund your company’s growth.. The larger the contract, the more cash you can infuse into your business.

Regardless of whether you are in the staffing industry, your business focuses on construction projects, or you are a minority-owned business seeking an infusion of capital, Capstone Credit Group can help. Our goal is to find the right financing solutions that fit your needs and make sure you have the capital to continue expanding your business. Contact our offices today and speak with one of our account representatives and let us create a customized proposal based on your specific needs. Do not let increasing interest rates or a lack of access to capital prevent you from realizing your business goals.

 

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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Getting a Small Business Loan with Bad Credit in 2018

Since most people believe the Federal Reserve is planning to increase interest rates at least twice between now and the end of 2018, small businesses are likely to feel the crunch. This is particularly true for those businesses who have blemishes on their credit. Getting a loan with a shaky credit history is difficult enough, but in times of interest rate increases, the challenge is often greater.

Small Business Dilemma Securing Financing

If you are a small business owner, you already understand how important cash flow is to your day to day operations. In addition to meeting rent, or mortgage payments, you must pay your staff, purchase materials, and pay for the costs associated with securing new contracts. These cash issues are serious and without additional capital, your business is unable to grow and in a worst-case scenario, may even be forced to close.

For many small business owners, there may seem to be no easy solutions. However, this is not always the case because you may be able to access capital based on your accounts receivable. Invoices that are due within the next 90 days are not helping you if you need cash immediately unless of course, you can convert them to cash. You can!

Understanding Invoice Factoring

Invoice factoring does not depend on your credit rating. That’s the good news. The fact is, the creditworthiness of your clients provides the basis for determining whether you can factor your invoices. Another facet of invoice factoring is you do not have to factor every single invoice you have, you can select which customers invoices to factor meaning you can use one client, ten clients or every eligible client.

Invoice factoring is also faster than securing a business loan. In many cases, you can have cash in your bank account within days of accepting a factoring contract and having your customer’s vetted. This is important because this process allows you to focus your attention where it needs to be — on growing your business.

You may also elect to use a process called “spot factoring” which is a funding method where you simply take a valuable invoice and turn it into nearly immediate cash with no long-term agreement to continue factoring invoices for the client. This is common when a company has a single one-time need for immediate capital to get them over a period of slower cash flow that is not anticipated to continue.

Customized Solutions Mean Everything

Regardless of what your business credit situation is, your financing needs are not the same as every other small business. At Capstone Credit Group, we take the time to understand your business model, your goals, and your overall financial situation. Once we do that, we work on a customized solution to your financing needs. We understand the importance of cash flow to the long-term success of your business and we are committed to providing solutions to help you succeed.

Whether you are facing a temporary problem meeting your cash flow needs or you need a long-term funding solution for your business, you can count on us to develop a plan to help. We pride ourselves on finding a solution that is right for you regardless of whether your primary business involves providing service or product. Whether you need immediate cash to secure a contract, or you have other financing needs, contact our skilled team and let us work with you to find the right solution. We are here to help and we will do everything possible to help you keep your business financially stable without taking on more debt.

 

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What is Asset-Based Lending (ABL) and How Does a Business Qualify?

Asset-based lending is not as big a mystery as it sounds. Simply put, this method of financing has been around as long as businesses have existed. Businesses borrow money from a lender based on the value of a specific asset. In some instances, the asset may be accounts receivable (invoices), equipment, or real estate.

Why ABL Often Focuses on Invoices

Perhaps one of the best things about ABL is that business owners can obtain the funds they need to maintain their operations without worrying about how their past income will impact their borrowing ability. The most common form of this financing (ABL) is accounts receivable financing — using future invoices as a way of obtaining cash immediately.

While physical assets such as real estate or equipment are also used as collateral for loans, the fact is invoice factoring is often the best option for a company to secure the capital it needs while not taking on any debt.

Vetting Still Matters

There is often a great deal of confusion about how invoice factoring works. Keep in mind, if your business is primarily consumer based — that is you sell products directly to the public and have no B2B relationships that involve accounts receivable, you are unlikely to be able to use factoring. However, if your primary business base is selling goods or services to other businesses, you can typically work with a factoring company to secure funding.

When you work with a company who will provide funding based on your accounts receivable, the strength of your customers becomes the most important factor. The creditworthiness of your customer base may impact the following:

  • Amount to be advanced — typically, a factoring company will allow you to collect an advance of between 50 and 75 percent of the face amount of an invoice.
  • Which invoices may be used — the less creditworthy a client, the less likely a factoring company will be to advance you funds.

Advantages Associated With ABL

One of the best reasons to consider using your invoices to generate working capital because your company is not taking on any additional debt. Your company gets the cash they need to continue paying the costs associated with your business including meeting payroll expenses, rent of facilities, and purchasing new materials to fulfill orders when you need it most. Fortunately, many small, and medium-sized businesses can use asset-based lending since it is one of the most flexible forms of financing in terms of qualifications.

Industries Using Invoice Factoring

Perhaps one of the reasons invoice factoring is so popular is there are numerous industries who benefit from using these services. For example, a staffing company would have issues obtaining loans because while their main role is to fill temporary positions at companies, they typically have few physical assets. Additionally, these companies have irregular cash flow — a staffing company is generally paid only after a contract with a client is in process. This means they may face cash flow issues and the additional challenge of obtaining a bank loan.

Subcontractors, contractors, electricians, and other companies who may have long-term contracts with a business to do work but have few physical assets also can benefit from invoice factoring. The stronger the client base, the easier a company can use factoring to their advantage.

Every company has different financing needs. In some instances, a company may be able to improve their cash flow by using invoice factoring. Depending on the industry you are serving, you may need other services including letters of credit, logistics assistance, or construction financing. Instead of trying to explain your business to a local bank, or struggling with financing because your business has seasonal cash flow challenges, contact Capstone Credit Group and let us help you find the right financing options for your needs.

 

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Friday, August 31, 2018

4 Ways to Grow Your Network as a Commercial Loan Broker

Different from your social network, your business network as a commercial loan broker is all about making and building connections to help you succeed within your industry. It is no secret that building your network is key to building a successful loan brokerage. And, not only is networking imperative in growing your client base, but it also plays a huge part in developing your reputation as someone who can get transactions funded.

There are plenty of reasons you should be networking as a commercial loan broker. So, when you are working to make connections in the commercial lending industry, follow the four tips below.

  1. Partner with the right lender.

One of the most important networking tips for commercial loan brokers is to partner with a group of lenders that will help you maximize your efforts and meet your goals. By working with the best lenders, you not only will be able to offer your clients great choices for funding, but ideal lenders will provide what your clients need so you can focus on growing your business while also making your clients happy.

When looking for a lender to work with, keep an eye out for a lender that offers a referral program, such as Capstone Credit Group’s Referral and Broker Program. Not only does Capstone Credit Group’s referral program pay you commission for each client you bring in for the life of the contract, but they also provide other benefits such as broker support and training, and full accounting.

Satisfying your client’s needs not only leads to your success as a commercial loan broker, but it will also help you continue building your network. Since you need to have the ability to offer your clients options for loans to fit their individual needs as a broker, also partner with lenders that provide back and front office services to their clients, like Capstone.

After all, your goal in networking is to gain more clients. So, you need to partner with the best lenders to be able to offer your clients the best options to keep them happy.

  1. Keep your priorities straight.

Once you’ve found suitable lenders and investors to partner with, like Capstone Credit Group, you’ll get to work pairing them with the right businesses in need. During this time, it’s imperative that you keep in mind the promises you have made to your clients and the lenders in your network, and follow through with those promises.

As a commercial loan broker, your top priority should always be to match clients and lenders with opportunities that will help each party succeed. By keeping your priorities straight, you will ensure that you are building trusting relationships with lenders and clients. And, as word of mouth advertising is incredibly powerful and happy clients tell others about their successes, in order to grow your network, you need to follow through with every client and each promise you make.

  1. Take advantage of social media.

In order to make new business connections and grow your network as a commercial loan broker, you can go through traditional means, such as cold calling or sending out emails. However, it is also equally as important to utilize social media sites as well.

Take advantage of today’s social media by setting up different accounts on different sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. These popular sites make it easy to share information while interacting with a range of associates and borrowers. To expand your network, set up both a personal page and a company page. Then, join forums, participate in discussions, and share interesting industry news on your pages to continue growing your network.

  1. Participate in industry events.

Attending industry events or networking events is another way to make connections within your industry as a commercial loan broker. All it takes is a quick search online to check on upcoming events for the commercial lending industry and in your area. Industry events could include lunches, trade shows, and seminars, all of which present an excellent opportunity to network and expand your business circle.

As with most things in life, practice and preparation are necessary for successful networking in any industry. If you find you are not constantly networking, you could be missing out on big opportunities for your business. So, start your networking process by setting goals, creating social media accounts, finding industry events to attend, and signing up for Capstone’s Referral and Broker Program.

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Friday, August 17, 2018

Put Your College Degree to Work on Our Team

You need not have a degree in Sales Management, or Accounting to take advantage of this great opportunity; our program is designed to help you learn these skills, regardless of the degree you earned. We have an opening for a Financial Analyst and Management Trainee to join our team of dedicated professionals at Capstone Business Funding, LLC.

This is a great opportunity for someone who has at least a Bachelor’s Degree, has above average communication skills, and has basic computer skills. You will learn new skills, be part of a dynamic group of coworkers, and have the opportunity to help small and mid-sized business owners meet their financing needs.

If you have ever been interested in pursuing a career in the Commercial Banking & Credit industry, this is the opportunity you have been waiting for. We are looking for self-motivated individuals who have the willingness to actively participate in our rigorous training program.

We have an opening for a Financial Analyst in our Management Training Program to join our team of dedicated professionals at Capstone.  If you have ever been interested in pursuing a career in the Commercial Banking & Credit industry, this is the opportunity you have been waiting for. We are looking for self-motivated individuals who have the willingness to actively participate in our structured training program.

To learn more about our Financial Analyst and Management Training Program, please visit us at https://capstonetrade.com/resources/careers.

Why Join Capstone?

Capstone is a private company offering financing to those businesses who face cash flow problems. We are offering you the opportunity to help businesses succeed in competitive marketplaces. We will provide you with the tools needed to evaluate business needs, review funding opportunities and create proposals tailored to the individual needs of the client.

Our dedicated team members know we promote from within because we believe when our employees succeed everyone benefits. This is the same philosophy we use with every customer. You can be part of a dynamic, diverse team of leaders who can identify customer needs, even when the customer does not know what those needs are or fails to share them.

Whether you are a new graduate, or you are simply ready to change your career focus, the Financial Analyst position in our Management Training Program may be right for you. We offer a competitive salary, opportunity for promotion and the right environment for those who are interested in both professional, and personal growth.

Contact us today and find out more about our Financial Analyst and Management Trainee program and Capstone. You have nothing to lose, and a bright future to gain.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Business Optimism Index Increases Demand for Financing

Small businesses fuel the job market across the United States. Thanks in part to small business growth, unemployment is currently showing very low rates. According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), more businesses are considering increasing their hiring, and increasing inventory. One of the challenges these businesses will face however is making sure their cash flow allows them to keep up with the need to invest in higher employment and inventory.

Increased Business Means Need for Increased Capital

One challenge faced by most business owners is the need to have capital on hand to increase their business. Businesses will find it impossible to increase inventories if they do not have the raw material available to do so, and hiring good labor requires an investment which may not produce immediate returns. This means more businesses than ever before need access to reliable sources of capital.

Despite the higher optimism index, and the fact banks are seeing more applications for loans than they have since the 2008 recession, the statistics on loan approval are dismal. Here’s a look at what is happening in the banking sector as far as loan approvals:

  • Big banks – defined as a bank with $10 billion or more in assets, big banks are currently only approving 25.9 percent, slightly more than one-quarter, of the loan applications they receive.
  • Small banks – community banks and regional banks are approving slightly less than one-half of all applications they receive, approximately 49.4 percent. It is worth noting this is a significant improvement over 2015.
  • Institutional lenders – overall, institutional lenders are making greater strides than their counterparts, approving slightly more than two-thirds, 67.4 percent, of loan applications. This is good news but in general, these are lenders who are seeking high rates of return and have minimum loan amounts generally higher than what most small businesses can qualify for.
  • Alternative lenders – interestingly enough, the one area where loan approvals to small businesses continues to fall is with alternative lending sources. Keep in mind, in most cases, these lenders focus primarily on businesses where there are credit issues. Chances are, any business owner who must work with these lenders are paying higher rates than normal.
  • Credit unions – while credit unions are currently approving slightly more than 40 percent of all small business loan applications, this number is at record lows for credit unions.

These numbers are not good for small businesses because they reflect one very important fact: Small businesses still face hurdles when it comes to securing much-needed financing for their activities, and particularly when it comes to continuing to take the lead in job creation.

Contracts, Agreements to Purchase, and Invoices

There is an irony to a business owner not being able to secure financing when they have contracts to deliver product, agreements for future product purchases, and have issued invoices which are currently unpaid, when they need capital. Most banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions do not see any value in these commitments and therefore they tend to discount them. This is not the case at Capstone Capital Group — we understand the needs of business owners to secure capital and we can help them make the most of their accounts receivables, import and export agreements and contracts by providing financing, and helping with letters of credit and logistics.

Thanks to a unique approach to financing, we have been able to help small and medium sized businesses take advantage of new opportunities to grow their business by developing a funding plan that meets their needs. Whether you are a small or mid-sized business owner, or you are a broker who has financing clients who do not fit into the mold traditional lenders are willing to work with, contact us today and let us help. You can reach one of our professional representatives by contacting us by phone at 347-410-9894 or by Email at info@capstonetrade.com.

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