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Three Ways to Improve Your Business Credit Score

Small business owners often have to go an extra mile to ensure the consistent growth and success of their ventures. They must work hard in dealing with their customers and suppliers. They also need to come up with innovative ways to market their products and services. In their efforts to polish the customer-facing, technical and marketing aspects, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) often overlook the attention that their creditworthiness requires, which is vital to their chances of getting business loans.

If all goes well for the business and it is able to get a constant stream of customers, its position in the industry will be strengthened. This, in turn, opens doors for business finance from banks, conventional non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and the new age NBFCs in the form of FinTech lenders. However, a few clever methods help in improving the prospects for business funding.

If you are an entrepreneur with a promising business idea that is backed by adequate possibilities for success, you must take it forward. To improve your chances of getting a loan for business expansion, here are the three points that you can pay heed to:

1- Make timely payments on your bills and clear outstanding credit 

Financial discipline is the key to success when you are managing a commercially motivated organisation. In business, you may have to make regular payments to your suppliers and vendors. These ought to be made on time.

With frequent delays on the payment of your outstanding invoices, you may hurt your prospects for being qualified for business loans. A late payment on bills can damage your financial records, particularly if it gets reported to business credit scores rating agencies such as CIBIL.

If you had missed a couple of payments, but later managed to catch up with the regular cycle, the delayed payments may have had some adverse impact on your credit ratings. However, the damage is not permanent. As credit scores are a reflection of activities over a period, it can take some time for the new data to set in and replace the older information. The credit score will gradually improve to reflect your eligibility for business finance.

The focus should be on making payments on bills before they are due. This is not only a good habit that will help your business get higher credit ratings, but will also improve your relationships with the suppliers and vendors. If you have severe financial constraints, you can use strategies such as invoice financing. (Link to relevant product page can be placed here)

In addition to the bills raised by entities dealing with your company, payments on credit cards and existing loans should also be made on time. Most importantly, keep all the receipts against payment safely in your records.

2- Use credit prudently

The FinTech revolution has given access to fast business loans and has made it convenient for SMEs to expand their presence in the market. If you can demonstrate the ability to use your loan for business wisely, it will only improve your business credit rating and will help you borrow bigger amounts in future.

Funds must be used for the purpose that was stated to procure them. If you have taken a loan for business activities – such as paying a vendor, buying raw material or inventory, refurbishing a storefront – it must be used accordingly. Do not use business finance for personal expenses. The mixing of personal funds with those for business can happen unknowingly at times, especially for start-ups and sole proprietorships, but the two should be separated as soon as possible. This helps in improving the credit history records considerably.

Another point to understand here is – if your business has credit accounts in good standing, but you barely use them, do not be tempted to close such accounts. They may come to the rescue of your business plans in future. What is more, the closure of any account trims down the total amount of credit that may be available for your company, and conversely, increases the ratio of credit utilisation stats – this change of numbers will negatively impact the credit score.

When the debt load is haphazardly scattered in multiple accounts, you should work on reordering it so that there are smaller balances on different accounts. Once you are able to make regular payments on them, it will gain you credit for paying off more than one outstanding balance.

3- Avoid taking hasty or risky decisions 

When you are managing a business and dealing with people from different fields every day, you will have your own experiences and learn to do things differently. Keep a vigil on the financial situation of your organisation even if you have hired accountants to manage your finances. Decide upon the figures that you aim to achieve and know what it will imply for the health, bottom line and future prospects of your business. This helps to maintain focus and financial discipline.

Avoid the risks that can affect your business credit scores. Some activities such as dealing with other companies of dubious nature not only harm your brand image, but also deter your business finance providers. Keep away from inherently risky operations that can cause financial stress in future.

Lastly, if you spot any mistake in your credit history records, do not hesitate to get it amended or inform your prospective lender. If you had paid off a bill in time but it was shown to be outstanding by the concerned entity, divulge the receipts to make corrections and prove your point. As a FinTech company offering quick loans to small and medium enterprises, Capital Float is on a mission to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship in India. Our process of evaluating the creditworthiness of a business is concise, lucid and clear-cut. It enables a high number of businesses to get timely funds. Capital Float also guides start-ups and growing companies in improving their prospects for bigger loans in future. Visit our website to find the best product that suits your business need.

Oct 24, 2018

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Top Reasons Why Unsecured Business Loans Are Becoming Popular

During the lifecycle of a business, there are times when the inadequacy of working capital threatens the flow of operations and hinders growth. Traditional lending institutions in India such as banks rarely provide assistance in such situations, as they generally demand collateral, which small business and young entrepreneurs may not possess. An unsecured business loan can take care of routine business expenditure such as maintenance of machinery, making payments to suppliers and purchasing raw material. It can also be useful for business expansion activities such as purchasing new machinery or expanding premises.

Moreover, all small and medium enterprises need funds to seize new opportunities for growth, and the window for such opportunities is usually small. In such a scenario, there is a need for quick access to funds. The loan repayment schedule also needs to be synchronous with the expected revenue flow from a business venture. Hence, an unsecured business loan taken from a FinTech company works best for them, as it is disbursed much faster than a loan from a bank. Further, these FinTech companies ensure that an SME is always at ease while paying the loan instalments.

Unsecured loans are turning extremely popular amongst small businesses communities. These are a few reasons why.

They help strengthen the business finances

A suitable business growth opportunity can present itself at any time, and therefore a small business needs to have access to adequate resources at all times. In case the cash flow situation is imperfect or there is a working capital requirement to meet routine business expenses, it helps to take an unsecured loan for a short period until the situation improves. This ensures that a small business will never find itself at a disadvantage when a new opportunity presents itself. Such loans from FinTech companies do not come with any prepayment penalty, and their tenure can vary from a few months to a couple of years.

Faster approval and quick access to funds

The digital revolution and the subsequent development of IT systems and processes have led to the rise of new age FinTech companies over the past five years. FinTech companies in India follow a completely different approach to the unsecured business loan market, as they use innovative technologies to profile, design and disburse loan products for small businesses. Even the application for an unsecured loan can be made online or through the mobile app, and all supporting documents such as bank statements, tax statements, previous loan statements, KYC documents, business receivables and other relevant documents can be uploaded in digital format. The use of advanced analytic techniques allows these companies to process a loan application within minutes. Upon approval, the loan amount is transferred to the borrower’s bank account within a few working days.

An unsecured loan product for every business

Extensive use of technology enables FinTech companies such as Capital Float to design new loan products that are meant to fulfil varying business needs. The loan product, Term Finance, is meant for small businesses that have been in operation for more than two years and have been doing good during that period. Such businesses can take business loans from ₹1 lakh to ₹1 crore for a duration of a few months to three years.

Supply chain finance is meant for small businesses that have blue-chip companies as customers. Such businesses can take up to 80% of the pending invoice value as an unsecured loan. The loan can be repaid either as monthly instalments or at one go upon receiving payments from the customer.

Unsecured loan products designed to support digital economy

Online Seller Finance is another loan product from Capital Float that is designed for businesses that generate revenue through e-commerce marketplaces. It provides up to 200% of the monthly sales volume as advance to such businesses. This money can be used to accelerate business growth online.

Similarly, merchants that receive the bulk of their payments through PoS terminals can avail up to 200% of their monthly card settlement value as advance through a customized finance product called Merchant Cash Advance. The loan amount can be repaid through the deduction of a fixed percentage from card settlements in the subsequent months.

Get loans on the most favourable terms

Capital Float offers loans at the most competitive rates. These unsecured loan costs can be brought further down by choosing the right loan product. Capital Float charges a flat 2% processing fee for all their loan products, and there are no other hidden charges. Another great benefit is the flexibility offered in loan repayment, which is linked to the business receivables.

Indeed, new age technology driven FinTech companies have eased the pain in procuring funds from the unsecured loans market in India, and small businesses can look up to them as a partner in their business growth.

At Capital Float, we fully understand the business challenges faced by small businesses and have therefore designed the unsecured loan products in such a way that businesses can focus more on business growth rather than on worrying about getting business finance. Our customised plans ascertain that you get just the right product that suits your unique need.

To find out the product that best suits your business, click here.

Oct 24, 2018

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Convenient Supply Chain Financing Creates Resiliency In The System

Supply chain finance is an important but often underrated aspect of supply chain management. At its core, supply chain management is the management of the flow of material / services, data and money through a network of assets from the point of origin to the point of final consumption (and back). Natural disasters, geo-political crisis and financial crisis faced by the world over the past decade have forced companies to move away from only optimizing their supply chains to making them more resilient. For a supply chain to be truly resilient, all risks associated with the asset base managing the flow (i.e. the material & services, data and money) must be negotiated intelligently, keeping in mind that each one represents a point of failure or a point of opportunity.

Industries are habituated to ignore the significance of supply chain financing. While there has been a lot of collaboration between different constituents of supply chains, they usually center on inventory. However inventory and finance are intrinsically linked; increased players in the supply chain machinery is directly proportionate to the increased complexity in the financing of the process. This is especially true in a country like India, where the number of intermediaries, in many cases outnumbering the actual value addition points, poses a complex problem from the paradigm of supply chain finance and more importantly supply chain resiliency.

As with anything in a complex supply chain, the bulk of the power resides in a few constituents (maybe the retailer or the manufacturer depending upon the specifics of the value chain). These companies understandably look out for their own interests especially when it comes to supply chain finance. Though concepts like JIT (just in time) inventory and quick turnaround times from order-to-delivery have reduced inventory levels held drastically, most companies still hold onto the traditional 30-45-60 day of credit terms with their suppliers. This puts incredible financial stress on the supplier which in the worst case manifests in poor quality of supply. In the long run, this increases the total cost of ownership for the company, i.e. investment in more stringent QC processes, returns, disruption to the manufacturing process, supplier switching costs etc. Applying the same principles of collaborative thinking to supply chain finance will not only make the overall chain more resilient but also optimize the flows and pass on efficiencies in the long run to the end consumer.

In today’s business environment where “share holder value” is no longer a buzz word but the focus of every corporate board of directors, it might be wishful thinking to expect companies to share their margins or reduce days of credit to suppliers in the interest of collaboration. This is where a third party financial institution plays an important role. By providing liquidity to the supplier on the basis of the credit umbrella provided by the bigger company, the addition of the third party financial institution creates a win-win across all stakeholders involved. This is even more critical in the case of small and medium sized enterprises, which at this point are forced to spend only a fraction of their efforts on innovation and growth.

While some large corporates do have some form of supplier financing initiatives through tie ups with Banks and NBFCs, in most cases the coverage of the initiatives are limited (to some marquee suppliers) and in a larger amount of cases are a generic form of receivable financing based on existing credit policies of the financial institutions, which are out of sync with business realities. It is imperative for large corporates to have a supplier financing initiative for all their suppliers, especially the SMEs to manage their financial risks. In turn it is imperative for the financial institution to have a tailored product which reflects the operating realities of the industry and also the specificity of the supply chain. Collaboration of all three stakeholders, i.e. the large corporate, SME supplier and financial institution will be critical to ensuring a sustainable supply chain finance program.

We live in an interconnected world; therefore large corporates have the responsibility to ensure that their SME suppliers have access to finance, if they truly want to make their supply chains resilient.

Prashant Adhurty

Prashant has 11 years of experience in business strategy and operations, with specific expertise in the areas of project management, supply chain management and business process formulation , across the retail sector, United Nations system & international organizations, telecommunications & high technology, oil & gas and 3rd party logistics. He has successfully managed and delivered projects for clients based out of Europe, the USA, Africa and India.
At Capital Float, Prashant heads Business Development for Supply Chain Financing.

Oct 24, 2018