Do you want to take control of your finances at the start of the new year?
Like most businesses, you might be returning to normal operations after a quiet period in December.
Maybe you’re looking for small business funding to pay your suppliers now, while business picks up over the next few weeks.
This is exactly why more and more businesses just like yours look to refinance their debt at the start of a new year.
In this blog post, we cover refinancing, a step-by-step process to apply for refinancing, and a comparison of the main small business funding options.
If you’re in a rush, here’s a quick summary:
Refinancing involves taking new funding to consolidate your outstanding loans. Many businesses use refinancing for a boost in cash flow. You can apply for refinancing from Lulalend within minutes here.
Below, we’ll cover everything related to refinancing in detail.
A New Year Trend for Small Business Funding: The Rise in Refinancing
One of the biggest reasons South African businesses stop operating is a lack of finance, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2017/18.
It’s a sentiment compounded by study after study.
And that’s not even the worst of it.
All of the leading causes of SME failure can be traced back to cash flow, as stated by the 2015 SME Insights Report, prepared by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.
“…from the view of SMEs, they start with too little capital, they collect debtors late, are subject to bad debts, overhead levels that are too high, and they are victims of the risks they haven’t identified. Effectively, a lack of financial planning and control are at the heart of many of their problems,” reads the report.
You recognise these as the challenges that come with building a business you love.
Here’s where refinancing your business debt can make all the difference.
At Lulalend, we conducted an analysis and found a trend: an increase in the number of businesses looking to refinance their debt in January.
Heidi Alson, Lulalend’s Business Funding Specialist, provided context to the data:
“Businesses start the new year and they want to reorganise their financial situation. We often see this renewed commitment to improving business finance at the start of a new year, and refinancing has an important role to play in that process.”
How does Refinancing Work for Small Business Funding
When you refinance your small business loans, your debt is consolidated, explained Alson.
So, for instance, if you have funding from another bank or financial institution, refinancing will cover all of that outstanding debt. Put another way, you are trading those multiple, existing loans for one loan. And that brings your financial obligations into a single place.
What is the Purpose of Refinancing for Small Business Funding?
For most businesses, refinancing helps organise debt and improve cash flow, said Alson.
“Many of our clients who refinance their debt in January benefit from better cash flow. There’s often a gap in getting paid by your customers during the holiday season. Refinancing tides you over, so you can pay your suppliers this month.”
(If you’re struggling with continual late payments, check our blog post for quick strategies to manage late payments.)
How to Determine if Your Business Needs Refinancing
Determining whether refinancing is the best fit for your business begins with gaining clarity on your financial goals.
“You might find there are other financing options that are better suited to your needs. This is where it becomes so important to choose the right lender. You’re looking for a partner and someone that can advise you, so you make a decision that’s truly in your best interest,” said Alson.
For instance, Lulalend also offers a credit facility. And that’s becoming a popular option for business owners who need a line of credit that’s available if they need it, without the need to reapply for finance.
Step-by-Step Process for Refinancing your Business Loans
To prepare for refinancing your business debt, keep these steps in mind to guide the process along faster.
- Determine the Goal for Refinancing your Business Loan
As part of your refinancing strategy, consider your objectives.
Do you want to consolidate your debt? Do you want access to cash flow?
Deciding on the goal for refinancing will help you make the best choice.
- Take stock of your financial situation
Review your financial obligations.
When you conduct this financial audit, pull together a list of your current debts and the amount owed on outstanding loans.
- Gather your Financial Statements
During that audit, you’ll have gathered some of your financial statements. Hold onto these.
For your refinancing application, you’ll need to submit your financial statements.
- Choose a Lender
There are tons of refinancing options available to you. But not all of those will be right for your business. We’ve discussed the criteria to consider in the next section.
Some funders will charge application, appraisal, and early settlement costs. Keep a close eye on these amounts: they add up…fast.
The application process depends on the institution. Lulalend, for instance, offers a quick, easy online application. Our scoring technology means we can do a fast assessment on your business, so we can give you a decision within hours.
How to Choose a Lender to Refinance Your Business Funding
Once you’ve concluded your business will benefit from refinancing, assess the available options.
There are two main funders that refinance small business debt:
- Alternative funders, like Lula
How do they compare? And what’s the best option to refinance your small business loan?
We’ve put together the criteria to keep in mind when selecting a refinancing lender.
Getting approval from a traditional lender is a tedious process. Typically, it can take up to six weeks for banks to make a decision.
In contrast, Lulalend offers easy online applications. There’s no paperwork required. Apply within minutes and get cash in your account 24 hours later.
Monitor settlement costs: banks will impose high prepayment penalties on you. A funder like Lulalend won’t penalise you for settling your debt early.
The last thing you want when sorting out your financial situation is bad customer service. With some organisations, you’ll make call after call, ending up in a long line of customers.
Alson said small businesses should make accessible customer service a priority.
“When you’re on the hunt for a lender, look for a company that offers friendly, helpful customer service. Find a company that understands small businesses.”
Is Refinancing Your Small Business Loan Right for You?
Refinancing can help you declutter your business financial situation. It can help set you on a path to organising your finances. It can chart the way to a better financial future for your business.
Secure your business future, stop stressing about your finances, and apply here for a quote today.