• Implementing environmentally responsible water, energy, and lighting systems
• Upgrading technology to capture efficiencies with new POS systems and software
• Acquiring new equipment including in-bay systems, dryers, vacuums, and remote-monitoring security
• Obtaining cash for consumables including brushes, towels, chemicals, and other items
From small businesses to Fortune 500 organizations, companies are taking advantage of financing and leasing to meet their tactical business objectives. Equipment manufacturers and distributors are staying competitive by partnering with lending companies to effectively help their customers acquire their products in a convenient, affordable way. Business owners are using flexible payment structures to acquire the equipment they need to grow their company and take advantage of a profit-per-use business model.
FINANCING TO MEET BUSINESS OBJECTIVES
There is a diverse nature to the car wash industry. From single-location ownership to regional or national chains, businesses require that the financing program deliver options that meet a broad array of business requirements. This industry is also highly competitive and is experiencing changing technology and evolving client expectations. Combined, this makes financing flexibility essential. This also makes the cost per use of equipment a significant aspect that must be considered to ensure profit goals are met. Structuring a unique finance program will complement this requirement for revenue-generating equipment and technology. With the right financing partner, equipment suppliers and car wash business owners can increase revenue and profit. Financing can be used strategically by companies to meet wide-ranging initiatives including the following: •New location, remodels, and reimaging •Implementing environmentally responsible water, energy, and lighting systems •Upgrading technology to capture efficiencies with new POS systems and software •Acquiring new equipment including in-bay systems, dryers, vacuums, and remote-monitoring security •Obtaining cash for consumables including brushes, towels, chemicals, and other items
Collaborating with a financing resource that has a broad array of finance products can be extremely advantageous to a company’s revenue and profit goals.
THE RIGHT FINANCING RESOURCE
To ensure financing is a valuable business tool, it must meet the exact cash-flow needs required for the market. This means partnering with a lending source that specializes in and understands the car wash industry. To ensure success, several key business attributes should be considered:
The objectives of the finance program need to be agreed upon to ensure financing is beneficial and that it can assist in increasing revenue and profit from new equipment.
Car wash owners and equipment providers should never have to worry about risking relationships, so the funding partner needs to have business ethics that support this objective.
The financier should have in-depth understanding of the unique aspects of the car wash industry. This results in a specialized understanding of their company and customers so affordable financing can be realized.
The financial product offering and the entire financing process needs to enhance business activity and not hinder or slow the buying decision of new equipment.
MAKING A CHOICE
There are several types of financial products, and the finance processes can vary from fast and simple to more complex structures. When choosing a financing resource, it’s important to consider the entire offering. Here are five important things to take into account before choosing a financing partner:
1. Consultative Financing
Does the finance company offer cash flow analysis to determine a flexible payment structure such as seasonal or deferred payment options? This will help companies match payments to cash flow and allow the equipment to generate revenue before full payments are due.
2. Broad Equipment Types
Does the lender finance new, used, and refurbished equipment? This capability allows for broader equipment and product options and savings. Also, securing a lender that offers software-only financing can help meet upgrade requisites.
3. 100 Percent Financing
Can consumables like chemicals, towels, and brushes be bundled into the finance program? Having the ability to finance these items allows clients to avoid significant upfront costs.
4. Tax Savings
Does the finance product meet the company’s tax strategy? Clients will always want to verify their tax situation with their accountant, but certain finance structures may help lower the true cost of equipment ownership by accelerating depreciation with IRS tax code Section 179.
5. Easy Finance Process
Is the lender able to provide clients with a fast credit decision and simplified documentation? Asking the finance company how long a decision will take or if pre-approval is an option can be a good indicator about the finance process and its simplicity.
A few of these points are worthy of greater consideration when opting for a tailored financing plan. Often, a traditional bank loan will not cover soft costs such as maintenance agreements, shipping, training, and other expenses. This means the business owner may be faced with significant up-front costs and the equipment provider may be faced with pricing challenges. This is when lease financing may be a profitable solution. Also, the ability for clients to have access to a working-capital loan also provides an additional way for companies to acquire funds quickly for nearly any business purpose including payroll, inventory, and other items.
Curt Newsom is senior vice president of sales – car wash at Ascentium Capital LLC. You can contact Curt at (281) 902-1939 or by e-mail at CurtNewsom@AscentiumCapital.com.