There are several things to think about when you’re choosing a financing company for your business. At the end of the day, the bottom line is: Did you feel comfortable with them and are you confident in their ability to work for the benefit of your business? That said, below are a few areas to consider as you explore your financing options.
1. Ease of Communication
Is it easy to get in touch with them? Could you find them online? Did they have a contact form? Could you find their phone number? How quickly do they answer the phone or reply to a message?
Availability can be the difference between a quickly and painlessly resolved issue versus a stressful and time-consuming problem. You want to be confident that the company you’re relying on for your financing is there for you and that you can be in touch with them quickly and easily.
2. Understanding of Your Business
Do they have a good understanding of your business? How familiar are they with your industry? Do they ask questions to indicate that they are interested in what you do?
A finance broker should be your advocate. They should be acting as a partner of your company, working to get you the financing you need to grow your business. Without a solid understanding of your business, their ability to do that is limited.
3. Familiarity With Your Asset
Are they familiar with the asset you are getting? Do they understand the value of the asset to your business? Do they ask questions to indicate that they want to know more about it and the benefits it has for your business?
Again, as an advocate for your business, your finance broker should be able to clearly articulate to a potential lender why the asset is a smart investment for your company.
4. Maintaining the Relationship
Will they stay in touch with you over the course of the lease? Or will they just “love you and leave you? Will they keep your contact information up-to-date or will they rely on you to do that?
You don’t want to work with someone who is merely concerned with getting your business today. You want a financing company that is interested in a long-term relationship, committed to helping your business grow for the long haul. You don’t want to be just another number on a contact list. A finance company that works hard to maintain a relationship with you even after the deal is done is a finance company worth keeping.
5. Funding Options
Do they work with a broad range of funders, or are they a single-source funding company? Do they offer flexible payment options (for example, stretch leases or skip payments)?
When a finance broker has a diverse group of funders they work with, you are able to diversify your debt and have access to creative and flexible funding options.
6. End of Lease Procedure
What is their procedure at the end of the lease? Did they offer to contact you near the end to help you process the final payment?
Some financing companies do not track your lease once the contract is signed and the lease has begun. In this case, if you are not keeping track of it yourself, you could end up making extra payments and missing the buy-out date at the end of your contract. A funder has no obligation to inform you of expiring leases and can roll it into automatic renewal.
A finance broker who will keep track of your lease expiry dates and early purchase option dates, and who will contact you ahead of time to prevent renewal overpayment is a very valuable asset.
7. Friendly Advocate
Do you get the impression that they want to be your advocate? Do they ask about you and your business, sincerely interested in understanding you so that they can best represent you and help you to grow your business? Are they friendly, personable, and pleasant to deal with?
Financing doesn’t have to be a tedious, dull, clinical experience. Working with the right financing company can actually be pleasant and rewarding.
We’ve created a handy reference sheet for you to use when you’re looking for the financing company you would like to work with. Download it here, print it off, and don’t settle for less than the best!