Cash Buyer – The Good and Bad for Equipment Financing

“I pay for everything in cash, I never finance anything” or “I’ve never had to take out a loan, I don’t believe in it”. Every so often, I encounter this type of feedback from a business owner. The attitude usually goes along with a strong, hands-on work ethic for an owner which has built their business from the ground up. They have worked long hours, suffered through the ups and downs and sacrificed family time and vacations to make their business survive. Their belief is, if they cannot pay for something with cash then they do not need it.

I respect the energy and devotion but I also take note that the strategy seems to apply to small, family owned businesses with a small number of employees which have remained flat in their growth and have stopped expanding years ago. Expansion and reaching new markets are not typically part of their business plan and they are happy with a fixed income often servicing the same clientele they have for years.

The downside of never financing anything is the limited amount of expansion which can occur. In essence, they cannot grow beyond what is in their bank account at any moment in time. For example, a small business with $100,000 of capital desires to purchase a new $40,000 machine which will speed up production or bring them into a new market or simply replace an old machine; if they decide to pay cash that will leave them with $60,000 in cash reserves. If they encounter an emergency which requires $30,000 then that will leave them with little cash cushion in their account. They have also limited themselves in the case if another opportunity should surface at the same time they would not be able to take advantage of it like paying early for inventory to get a good discount.

The other negative of never borrowing is that your business will not have any established comparable credit so in the case when you do decide to finance anything, the likelihood of getting approved is marginal. A lender will not be able to assess your ability to pay back debt since you have never had any. Some business owners feel it should be viewed positively that you have never had to borrow but in the finance world it is not a positive. No credit history equals no loan.

The mantra in financing is ‘it is easier to finance equipment than it is money’ which is primarily true. Yes, you can get low cost capital from your bank if you have an established credit line but that line will have a limit. It is not a good move to use your credit line to finance an asset or equipment because that line should be used as either a last emergency resort or for short term borrowing. Finance rates are now in the 4-6% which can be stretched out to 5 years and sometimes longer. Many times, when expanding in a careful and planned manner, the finance payment will be less than the added revenue of your new equipment. This is true of energy and cost efficient industrial machines, solar systems and LED lighting.

Financing equipment for your business offers you the opportunity to expand, create more profit and reach new markets and clients. For those that want to know the benefits of never financing anything it is this; you will never owe anybody anything, no monthly payments, no interest and no chance of borrowing more than you can pay back but in that perceived safety there is also some risk and missed opportunity.

Financial Services Careers And Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs

Financial services careers offer some of the most exciting career opportunities for ambitious and innovative people. According the principles set forth in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the need for safety is at the foundation.

The role of financial services professionals is by definition to help others deal with the fundamental question, “what will I do if/when” something happens to me, my family, or my business? No other type of career can have as direct an impact on the satisfaction of these all important and often unavoidable aspects of life.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs illustrates that the top of an individual’s pyramid of needs is self-actualization, being all they can be and more. Helping others, doing good for them and their families, and making money at the same time is considered by some as the very zenith of the pyramid.

Not only do they provide seemingly limitless chances for upward mobility, leading to executive-level positions, but they also offer a competitive compensation structure that proves to outdo many other work fields.

Advancement opportunities that come with these kinds of careers are often most attractive to people who are ambitious, because upward mobility is not based on seniority, but an employee’s individual level of performance.

These sorts of jobs allow many chances for high performing employees that want to move up through a company. And they can also be very pleasing to those that are just beginning in the company.

The structure of many financial firms allows for a fluid movement of ideas and commands between senior management and lower-level employees. In this sense, financial services industry jobs can be satisfying because all employees are able to build an identity within the company, one that is recognized and rewarded by upper-level management.

For potential employees that are looking for a fast-paced work environment, careers in the financial services fields can be the right way to go. While employees are required to think quickly and act even quicker, these types of jobs can be exciting and fast-paced career path.

Though these jobs require a great deal of dedication and focus while on the job, often relying on independent initiative and innovation, the level of rewards are commensurate with the amount of work put into the job.

There are a number of sub-sector fields in financial services careers, including, but not limited to–investment management, securities brokerage, and investment banking. So, there are many opportunities in financial services careers for those that are willing and ready to put in the work and start moving up the management ladder.