Paperclips and Business Tips

While kneeling down to pick up a paperclip off of the floor of my office, I was reminded of a book that I read about 3 years ago. (Unfortunately, the name of the book escapes me right now, but I will check my bookshelves at home so that I can properly credit the author.) At the time, my company was going through what I perceived and believed to have been a difficult time. Little did I know that we would all soon be facing possibly the most challenging economy in nearly all of our lifetimes.

I turned to the book for some direction and solace. And the primary theme of the piece was an emphasis on utilizing simple tools and making common sense decisions in order to succeed as a small business person. One chapter in particular resonated with me. Short and to the point, the chapter extolled the virtues of the business person who took the time to bend over, pick up the omnipresent paperclip on his or her floor, and reuse it. This was, of course, juxtaposed against one who might simply walk past the object or one who might pick it up only to discard it.

This was and remains less of a lesson in “going green” than in a simple truth: small business people must never become lazy when it comes to conserving. The simple act of reaching down and picking up a paperclip for its reuse at a later date is a powerful statement made by the business owner that there is just no room for waste. Acts like these can set the tone for entire corporate cultures.

While I believed this to have been true when I read it, it may never have been more relevant than it is today. Companies in general – and smaller businesses in particular – must use all means necessary to conserve capital. This is because the conservation of capital in a recessionary economy equals survival.

This philosophy, coupled with some of the solutions offered by Bay Harbor Capital, like merchant credit card cash advances, accounts receivable financing, and equipment leasing, will make the difference between those companies that are able to weather the storm of 2008 and thrive in 2009.

Who Qualifies for a Merchant Credit Card Cash Advance?

Among the other important factors to be considered when applying for a merchant credit card cash advance, one must consider the average size of each of his or her company’s transactions. One might ask him or herself why this is of any importance at all to the funding source making the advance.  The answer is actually a fairly commonsensical one.

To illustrate the significance of this data, let us use two examples, both of which are seeking a merchant credit card advance of $20,000.

THE LOCAL DINER

The first example shall be that of a local diner.  Let us suppose that said restaurant averages $20,000 per month in credit card sales.  We have all been to diners, so let us assume that the average cost of a meal paid for by credit card is $30.00.  This means that in a given month, to maintain the level of $20,000 in sales, the diner would have to serve 667 meals at the average cost of $30.00.  Achieving that amount of turnover and sales would seem to be quite a daunting task.

THE HIGH-END FURNITURE STORE

For the purposes of this discussion, let us say that the second business is a high-end furniture store.  This store, which sells custom made pieces, averages $80,000 per month in credit card sales.  The furniture is sold in sets, however, so the average cost per transaction is $8,000.  As you can guess, this means that the store would have to make only 10 average sales to maintain its monthly average of $80,000 in credit card transaction.

WHO IS MORE LIKELY TO OBTAIN AN ADVANCE?

As we have discussed in previous posts, the advances are repaid to the funding source on a per-transaction basis.  This means that the funding source will hold back a percentage of each transaction – anywhere from 8% to 25% – until the advance is repaid.  Common sense would seem to dictate that it would be easier for the high-end furniture store to make 10 sales than it would be for the diner to make 667.  Therefore, the furniture store is the apparently obvious answer.

But we must delve further to better understand who the more qualified candidate for a merchant credit card cash advance is.

While the diner has to do more volume, the relatively small size of the sales makes it impossible for any one, two, or even fifty to materially affect the restaurant’s income.  This is not the case with the furniture store.  A decrease by only 5 sales would cut the store’s income in half, affecting its ability to repay the advance.  Now, while funding sources understand and account for the fact that some months are slower than others – resulting in less being repaid in those months – they like to hedge as much as possible.

Thus, in the end, the diner is the better candidate for a merchant credit card cash advance than the high end furniture store.  This is not to say that the store would be summarily rejected for an advance, but it would certainly be more of a challenge to find a source.  So if you are considering a merchant credit card cash advance, understand that smaller ticket items sold in greater volume are looked upon more favorably than higher ticket items sold as in lower volume.

Should you have any questions about merchant credit card cash advances or any other type of alternative business financing, please contact Bay Harbor Capital at 1-800-541-0919 or visit our Web site at http://www.bayharborcapitalcorp.com.

Business Uses for a Free Web Tool

The tool is called Google Street Maps, and if you have not already taken a look at it, then you should. It has been around for nearly a year and has some mind-boggling capabilities. Incredibly, it provides 360-degree street level views of roads across the country. Google was able to achieve this by having people physically drive a car with a sophisticated camera attached to the roof up and down various streets. Not all roads have been mapped, but knowing Google, I am sure they will be.

I am certain that after viewing this tool, a variety of business people will come up with ways that I could not even imagine to utilize it for their company. For instance, a real estate agent might use it to revolutionize the manner in which homes are shown. Agents could have the ability to “drive” a prospective buyer through a neighborhood prior to showing her or him the house, should they desire. Or a paving company could use the tool to look at a homeowner’s driveway and provide an estimate without having to go to the home. A roofing or gutter contractor could similarly look at the home online and provide a rough estimate.

In the case of my company, Bay Harbor Capital, I can think of numerous applications that we can employ immediately. For instance, prior to funding a merchant credit card cash advance, a physical inspection is sometimes needed. For instance, we might utilize it to check on the location of a gas station or restaurant to estimate the traffic. We might also be able to use it for our medical working capital product. For this type of financing, we need to verify that the location of the practice is not home-based or mobile which, with Google Street Maps, can be accomplished without leaving the desk.

So if your business requires that you or your staff view streets or properties, this tool might be useful to you, too. Needless to say, it will never replace a physical appearance or inspection. It might, however, be a cost-effective and time-saving method to pre-screen business prospects. It also provides the added value of placing you company at the forefront of the use of technology. And it’s free.

If your business is in need of financing, particularly if you have been turned down by your bank, we ask that you contact us at 800-541-0919 or visit us on our Web site at http://www.bayharborcapitalcorp.com. Among the many financial solutions we offer to businesses are merchant credit card cash advances, medical working capital loans, equipment leasing, and accounts receivable financing / factoring.

Merchant Credit Card Cash Advances

The Merchant Credit Card Cash Advance (MCCCA) is by no means a new form of financing for businesses that accept credit cards.  In fact, this blog already has a post about the product in general.  The intention of this article is to delve a little deeper into the product, its benefits, and its potential pitfalls.

THE PRODUCT

As discussed in a previous post, the MCCCA can be utilized by nearly any merchant who accepts credit card sales at his or her establishment.  Needless to say, there are restrictions such as those that are purely internet based businesses or those businesses that derive their income from adult entertainment.  For the most part, however, nearly every other type of business can qualify.

For the purposes of qualification, the advance company is going to calculate a 4 month average of credit card sales (12 months if the business is seasonal).  With programs offered through http://www.bayharborcapitalcorp.com, merchants can receive an advance from 116% to 134% of the monthly credit card sales.  Once again, we must emphasize that this is not a loan.  The advance company is merely purchasing future credit card sales at a discount from the merchant.

This means that a company processing $10,000 per month in credit card transactions is eligible to receive an advance of up to $34,800.

THE BENEFITS

The benefits of the Merchant Credit Card Cash advance are fairly apparent.  The primary benefit is the ease with which the funds can be obtained.  If a merchant at a qualified establishment does in excess of $2,500 per month in credit / debit card sales, then that merchant is a candidate.

In most cases, all that is required is a simple, one-page application, the last 4 months merchant statements, the last four months bank statements, and a copy of the applicant’s drivers license.  After a 48 review process – which emphasis the strength of the business and not the credit of the owner – and upon approval, funds may be wired to the merchant’s account within 7 business days. There is no personal guarantee and there is no collateral required.

All of this amounts to a broad group of qualified applicants, an easy process, quick turnaround time, rapid funding, and no personal risk to the merchant after funding.

THE PITFALLS

More than anything else, the trap that many merchants fall into is signing up with a company who takes too large of a percentage of each transaction.  We at Bay Harbor Capital have come across clients who are paying as much as 38% per transaction back to the company from whom they secured the advance.  This means that for every dollar they bring in, they earn only 62 cents.  This is literally crippling their business.

The better, more established advance companies, like Bay Harbor Capital, require a per transaction payback of between 7% and 15% depending upon the perceived risk of the business.  This, we have found, is far more manageable for clients.  It is also far more intelligent for advance companies.

Why? Because we want merchants to stay in business so that they can pay back the advance.  Seems like common sense, doesn’t it?

So, if you believe that your business could benefit from a merchant credit card cash advance, we encourage you to contact us at 800-541-0919 or to visit at our Web site, http://www.bayharborcapitalcorp.com.

NYXPO for Business – November 19, 2008

Bay Harbor Capital is participating in the New York Expo for Business (NYXPO) to be held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, NY, on November 19, 2008.

The NYXPO for Business is the largest business-to-business event in the Northeast and is free of charge to all attendees. Free admission also includes access to more than 36 educational seminars and a networking show floor.

Our company’s informational booth will be staffed by the principals of the company who will be available to answer any and all questions from business owners regarding financing.  Informational handouts will be available to all.

Bay Harbor will also be holding a drawing for a free iPod Touch.  The NYXPO will take place between 9am and 4pm.

Beginning at 4pm, Bay Harbor Capital will be co-sponsoring a Networking Event hosted by CBS Radio.  The event is scheduled to end at 8pm.

We encourage all area business owners to attend, particularly in this difficult economic time.  There will be a wide assortment of companies with displays, many of which can help you to not only survive but also to thrive in today’s market.  If you can’t make it, as always we remind you to contact us at 1-800-541-0919 or visit us on the Web at http://www.bayharborcapitalcorp.com.

Remember: We know that there is a recession.  We are just choosing not to participate.

Refusing to Participate in the Recession, Part 1

“We understand that there is recession. We are just refusing to participate – and so should you.”

The words “recession” and “bad economy” have become a warm blanket for too many small to mid-sized business owners. It is easier to comfortably remain beneath the covers of these words than it is to rise out of bed and face what has always been a cold, stark reality of business: it is extremely difficult.

We business owners have understandably been beaten into submission by the constant media barrage informing us that the economic sky is falling. As a result, too many of us are accepting slower sales, decreased volume, or lower incomes as inevitable consequences. But are these conditions truly unavoidable?

The economy of this great country is, as others have described it, much like a rubber band. It has been stretched too far – not unlike it has in the past. But what is the more likely scenario? Will the economy break in half, never to return to normalcy? Or will the natural and inherent tension that has kept it in check for the majority of this country’s history force it to snap back so that it resembles its former, more natural self?

Before you answer that question, consider the primary reason cited in the media for this bad economy. It is, by all accounts, a failure on the part of large banks with regards to overly aggressive lending practices on real estate mortgage loans, many of which have gone into default.

This is, unfortunately, a reality. While one might be able to argue why it happened, no one can argue that it has happened. Similarly, one cannot dispute the fact that real estate values have fallen precipitously and that there is a general lack of liquidity in that sector. It is no great revelation to state that the large lending institutions and those dependent upon their funds are in peril.

Let us consider also the fact that our country’s economy – and, to a degree, our country itself – has been founded upon an entrepreneurial spirit. The present day carriers of this torch are the small and mid-sized business owners out there. These are the brave souls with the guts to hang a shingle, take out a loan, and work for little or nothing at the start in pursuit of the most American of dreams.

These people and their businesses – not the housing market and not Wall Street – are the backbone of this country’s economy. It is the small and mid-sized business person who, in pursuit of his or her goals, spends the money – on wages, services, equipment and countless other items – that stimulates the economy. It is this same business owner who empowers others like employees and vendors to do the same. Resultantly, the company’s vendors – cleaning services or small IT firms, for example – are able to do the same thing with their employees and suppliers. This is the essence of trickle-down economics. This is what makes our economy go.

The problem for many of the owners described above is that we are now of the mind that there is no liquidity in the commercial or business finance sector. This, quite simply, is untrue. In fact, business owners have just as much access to funds as they have in the past. The only change is that this money will not be coming from their local depository institution. As such, we not only have it within our power to refuse to participate in the recession, but to pull the country out of it far more quickly than any politician or government agency.

To find out how and why, look for part two of this piece, and visit us at http://www.bayharborcapitalcorp.com for all of your business financing needs.

Church Equipment Financing

Is Your Church in Need of Financing for Important Equipment?

If you are, then you undoubtedly know how difficult it can be for churches to obtain financing.  But this is where we come in.

Bay Harbor Capital recognizes the shortage of funding for worthy churches and has a program specifically designed for your institution to purchase the equipment you need for your congregation now. This is truly one of the most unique products in commercial finance.

Through this special program, we can finance the following:

· Pews / Seating

· Air-Conditioning Systems

· Heating systems

· Organs

· Sound/Audio Equipment

· Video equipment

· Pianos

· Computers

· Or just about any type of equipment your church needs.

We offer low rates and up to 60 months to repay.

Our Church Equipment Finance Programs

We offer 3 specific programs so that every church nationwide can qualify to obtain financing for any equipment their growing church needs. Below is a list and a brief description of each program and what a church would need to qualify for that specific program.

1. Established Church Program

· Church must be established for 7 years or more if the church is part of a major denomination. 15 years or more if the church is non-denominational.

· Church must maintain a minimum average bank balance of $7,000 or more. Combined accounts will qualify, example: checking + savings.

· Church must be listed with directory assistance.

2. Newer Church Program

· Church must be established for 2-5 years or more.

· Church must maintain a minimum average bank balance of $2,500 or more. Combined accounts will qualify, example: checking + savings.

· Church must be listed with directory assistance.

3. Start-Up Church Program

· Any church that has been established less than 2 years.

· Church must maintain a minimum average bank balance of $2,500 or more. Combined accounts will qualify example: checking + savings.

· Church must be listed with directory assistance.

If your church might benefit from our services, kindly contact us at 800-541-0919 or visit us online at http://www.bayharborcapitalcorp.com.

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