Access to capital when it is needed is one of the key issues facing small-business owners. A lack of access to money can spell serious trouble in the business world, and has been the downfall of an unfortunate number of otherwise sound businesses.
Cash flow problems have a variety of causes. Tardy accounts receivable, errors in calculating inventory, temporary economic downturns, and taking on more employees in anticipation of an increase in business that fails to materialize can all put a kink in a business’s cash flow situation.
Getting a line of business credit from a bank or credit union is an excellent way to plan ahead for the cash flow issues that small businesses inevitably face at some point.
A Valuable Stopgap
If your business has a line of credit, it can be utilized to take care of overhead such as utility bills and salaries when outstanding payments don’t arrive according to schedule. It also allows businesses to take advantage of fleeting opportunities that might not otherwise be available to them. For example, a vendor might offer a temporary promotion on essential inventory items. A line of credit offers the financial flexibility to pounce on such opportunities, but a business with no line of credit might be forced to simply watch them evaporate.
A Substantial Savings
Lines of business credit tend to offer much lower interest rates than business credit cards do. These lower rates mean a line of business credit offers small-business owners the financial flexibility afforded by credit cards, at a substantially lower cost. And lower interest rates are not the only savings offered by lines of credit. When used to pay creditors early, lines of credit can also conserve capital in the form of early payment discounts.
When Should a Business Get a Line of Credit?
It might seem counter-intuitive, but the best time for a business to apply for a line of credit is before it becomes a necessity. Lenders are more likely to grant a line of business credit with reasonable terms when a business’s cash flow is healthy, and its business credit rating is solid. Small-business owners who wait until their company is in dire financial straits to apply for a line of credit are risking a rude awakening. Lenders tend to approach such applicants with a healthy dose of caution.