When it comes to setting up a new business, it can be difficult to come to terms with business terminology – especially if the process of setting up and running a company is completely alien to you. For instance, speaking to your bank about asset and sales finance may be a daunting notion in itself; but when you consider the possibility of getting tangled up in the jargon – and perhaps even losing credibility with your bank – the experience seems even more intimidating. However, if you keep your wits about you and make sure that you’re up to date on the latest financial terms, your bank’s asset and finance solutions are sure to benefit your business.
Make sure you begin with the basics: for starters, familiarize yourself with what asset and sales finance is. Essentially, asset and sales finance is a service through which banks can help businesses obtain a range of equipment – including plant and machinery, IT equipment, commercial vehicles, office furniture and cars, among a range of other necessary business items. The fundamental difference between asset financing and sales financing is that sales financing will help businesses obtain quick access to cash, while asset financing helps companies fund business equipment.
Cost-effective and expedient sales financing solutions will help businesses find enough working capital for operation. Factoring and invoice discounting are two important sales financing solutions. With factoring, for instance, up to 95 per cent of the value of approved invoices can be advanced within a certain time period, with the balance being paid on receipt. Invoice discounting involves a similar process, but with one crucial difference: in factoring, the client’s customers are aware of the bank’s involvement, whereas in invoice discounting they are unaware.
Asset financing is important because it will help business owners acquire assets in a financially viable way, without eating into vital cash reserves. Many banks and financial providers will offer a range of asset financing solutions to its customers. Hire Purchase is one example of an asset financing solution; this can help businesses obtain the asset they need immediately, but payments may be spread across the life of the asset in question. Hire purchase schemes will often allow you to keep the asset in question for a certain fee at the end of your term. Another important asset financing solution, called Operating lease, will allow a business to benefit from a particular asset, while the bank itself will take on the risk of the depreciating value of the asset.