Business owners make several investments in their companies. Each investment serves a different role in the company’s growth prospects. Some resources increase capacity, while other initiatives increase visibility. Equipment allows your company to maintain operations and increase efficiency, but equipment can get expensive. Allocating cash for an equipment purchase can leave you vulnerable to short-term expenses, and it’s not feasible for every company. Many business owners use equipment financing to obtain equipment while minimizing risk. Instead of a lump sum purchase, business owners pay for the equipment financing to acquire new resources.
What is Equipment Financing?
Equipment financing gives business owners a quicker path to using new equipment. While equipment is vital for many businesses, the price tag is a bit high for most companies. In addition, an upfront payment can strain money reserves meant for short-term costs.
Equipment financing lets you use a monthly payment plan to pay for equipment over time. You will fully own the equipment after making the last monthly payment. Lenders don’t give you as much time to pay these loans as you would get from a mortgage. Most equipment loans have 3-7 year terms.
Equipment Loan vs. Lease
Business owners can use loans or get leases to acquire equipment. Leases are optimal for short-term needs and a need for speed, while equipment loans are better for established companies that will use the equipment for several years. Both financing methods have monthly payment structures, but lease payments never go away unless you give up the equipment. On the other hand, an equipment loan offers a path to ownership and frees up your cash flow after you pay the loan.
However, equipment loans take more time to obtain, turn the equipment into collateral, and often require a down payment. Lessors can provide the equipment faster, which can make a difference in short-term needs. The lease arrangement also helps if you have a new business and want to test the concept before making investments that require greater commitment. It’s also easier to walk away from an equipment lease if the asset does not help your company.
Equipment loans are better for long-term equipment. Restaurants need various types of equipment, such as cooking and refrigeration equipment. These resources will keep your restaurant running and allow you to continue serving customers. Established restaurants tend to stay in the same location for many years, and so does their equipment. Making lease payments puts you in an endless cycle of monthly payments, just like rent. An equipment loan lets you break that cycle and eventually own your assets. The restaurant industry operates on tight enough profit margins as it is. Owning equipment instead of making continuous lease payments will boost your margins and condition you to own assets instead of making lease payments.
Can Startups Get Equipment Financing?
Many lenders work with startups to provide enough financing for an equipment purchase. You can get an equipment loan, business line of credit, or another funding source to raise enough capital. Fund&Grow can provide your startup with up to $250,000 in easy-to-use funding. Lenders will review your credit score, annual revenue, and other details to determine the terms of your financing.
Tips to Get Equipment Financing for Startups
Equipment financing is a significant, long-term investment. However, these tips can help you get the most out of your experience.
Determine What You Need
Look at equipment prices before you apply for a loan. Not requesting enough capital will put you in a tight spot and increase your total costs. You will have to obtain funds through another method or settle for cheaper business equipment. While cheaper equipment keeps money in your pocket now, excessive repairs and issues can wipe out the profits from buying less expensive assets.
Asking for too much money creates other problems, such as higher interest payments. Some business owners get around this issue by using revolving lines of credit instead of taking out loans. Business owners with lines of credit only pay interest when they borrow against the credit limit. The downside of business credit is that you can usually get more money with a loan. However, most business credit lines give you enough capital to purchase new equipment. If you get a loan, you will owe interest on the entire amount, even if you requested more capital than you needed.
Check Your Personal and Business Credit Scores
Business and personal credit scores help lenders assess your ability to handle financial obligations. Higher scores translate into lower interest rates and higher loan amounts. Lenders may reject low-credit business owners because they don’t want to incur the risk of missed loan payments. You can filter your search based on credit score requirements to find a lender who is more likely to work with you.
Your credit score measures your ability to keep up with debt. Paying your debt on time and keeping your balances low are the two best ways to improve your credit score. Making any amount of progress with your score can help you qualify for better financing.
Make a Solid Business Plan
Lenders will ask for your business plan before approving your loan application. A business plan lays out your objectives and how you will achieve them. Lenders want to know you can afford the monthly loan payments and that their financing will grow your company. Your business plan acts as the sales pitch to creditors while giving you more clarity about your company’s future.
Get Your Finances in Order
Equipment financing gives you the necessary capital to acquire new assets. This loan isn’t designed to get your finances in order. Lenders want to see robust financial health before they give you the loan. Generating enough revenue to repay the loan and chipping away at existing debt will put you in a better position. Each payment towards existing debt will improve your debt-to-income ratio, a vital metric that determines how much you receive and if you get approved. Trimming your debt will also improve your credit utilization ratio, a category that makes up 30% of your score.
Prepare Your Financial Records
Lenders will request several documents during the application process. You will have to provide identification documents such as a driver’s license or EIN, but you will also have to provide financials. Assemble your previous bank statements and business tax returns when preparing your application. Most lenders will ask for three months of bank statements, but some may want additional information. These documents give lenders a better understanding of your company’s financial health and if you can afford the loan.
Where to Get Equipment Financing for Your Startup
Equipment financing can get your startup off the ground and provide valuable assets for your company. New business owners can obtain financing for their companies and get what they need. Fund&Grow simplifies the process and connects you with creditors who will give you equipment financing.
All you have to do is submit your details to Fund&Grow, and their team will handle the rest. In addition, their team finds opportunities to put more capital in your pocket. The company has helped clients receive over $1.4 billion in funding. You can visit Fund&Grow’s website and schedule a call with their team to discover how you can get more capital.