Published April 12, 2015 | Updated June 10, 2021
With so many options available, choosing a small business financing solution can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially if you need equipment fast. It’s not something you want to do every time you need equipment. But with the right approach, you can do your homework once and choose a small business financing solution that will be a good fit for years to come.
To help you find the best equipment financing solution for your small business, here are ten things to keep an eye out for:
1. Simple applications and documents. Applying for financing on most equipment shouldn’t take all day, and contracts shouldn’t take a law degree to figure out. The best small business financing solutions let you apply in minutes and use short, easy-to-understand documents.
2. Low or no down payments. A 10% or greater down payment requirement can put new equipment out of reach for small businesses, especially when cash is tight. But even if the cash is available, a low down payment or no down payment financing lets you hold onto more of it to deal with emergencies and take advantage of opportunities.
3. 100% Financing. Having to come up with out-of-pocket funds to cover delivery, installation, maintenance, and other costs can also hurt your cash flow. Look for a provider that will finance the entire cost of a complete solution.
4. Flexibility. Does your business volume vary by season? Will it take time to get productive with new equipment? Look for a small business financing solution that can accommodate changing business conditions and ease you into payments while you’re getting up to speed.
5. Option to mix new and used equipment from any vendor on a single agreement. Multi-vendor solutions don’t have to include the hassle of multiple agreements. Neither do solutions with a mix of new and used equipment. Choose a small business financing solution that allows you to finance everything in a single, convenient agreement.
6. Software financing. Many business people aren’t aware that software can be financed. Software can even be included on the same agreement as equipment, which is especially convenient for networking, VoIP phone systems, and other technology solutions.
7. Easy add-ons. With some financing solutions, acquiring additional equipment means jumping through all of the hoops involved in a new agreement or extension to a line of credit. When add-ons are that much trouble to arrange, it’s tough to compete against peers with flexible financing that can easily add equipment whenever needed. So, make sure your small business financing solution offers options such as a master lease – which makes acquiring additional equipment a quick phone call away.
8. Mobile-friendly financing. There’s very little you can’t do on a tablet or smartphone, and that includes financing equipment for your business. A mobile-friendly small business financing solution lets you easily apply for equipment financing wherever you are, on whatever device you happen to have with you.
9. Quick responses. When you need equipment fast, the last thing you want is a slow credit response. Look for small business financing solutions with response times measured in minutes, not days.
10. A team that knows the needs of small businesses. For some financing companies, small business is an afterthought. But others have built a reputation for customized solutions focused on the unique needs of small businesses. While these companies may also work with larger businesses, they maintain a team of experts dedicated to understanding and serving businesses like yours.
Looking for equipment and software financing for your small business?