£75,000 cash advance - for an optician
Your optician business is a clinical practice - but you are also a retailer, and retailers face constant worries about cashflow.
These worries may also be getting worse with increased competition from supermarkets which are opening optician shops - and the national chains.
We recently helped an optician raise additional funding with an innovative arrangement which could provide a lifeline for many other practices currently struggling with high costs and tight profits. It can help provide much-needed investment in your business and there is no need to make any repayments.
Your business may make most of its profits through the sale of frames. Your own skills as an ophthalmologist are essential, of course - but the income from examinations is limited.
But as you are all too aware, the supermarkets and the large chains, and increasingly online services, are offering low-cost spectacles and even discounted designer frames. Keeping your own prices low while providing a professional service is a constant challenge - which frequently requires investment and an injection of capital.
But tight margins mean that profits are small, and there is little spare cash left over to deal with loan repayments.
We were recently approached by an optician based in the Northampton area who had excellent turnover in excess of £1 million each year but, which because of tight margins, was facing continuous cashflow worries.
The owner had arranged a series of loans to help deal with his cashflow issues and bring in stock - but the repayments were simply making his cashflow problems even worse.
He called us at Rangewell for a solution.
We always work closely with our clients, and we looked at his accounts with him. We were able to find a lender able to offer a Secured Loan of £25,000 for 7%. This might have dealt with his immediate issues by paying off the existing loans, but it would only provide a short-term solution. Our client would probably need to borrow again in a year or two.
Fortunately we knew there was an alternative.
A Merchant Cash Advance
Fixed monthly repayments are inevitable with a traditional loan. A Merchant Cash Advance, or MCA, presents no such problem.
They can be ideal for any business that receives a high proportion of their takings from card payments - and provide funds without the need to make regular repayments - or indeed repayments of any kind.
With an MCA, the provider works with the card payment processing company and may offer a cash advance equal to your monthly card takings. They will then take a percentage of every card transaction made to the business until the cash advance, and their fees, are paid off.
The advance is paid back automatically as customers make card payments.
Instead of causing problems with a fixed drain on your cashflow, the MCA will keep pace with the level of business that you do.
It means your customers repay your cash advance for you - and the more business you do and the more customers pay by card, the faster the advance is paid off.
Like most professionals in the optician sector, our client was taking an increasing proportion of payments by card.
This made it simple to provide an advance of £75,000. It meant that he could pay off his existing debts, and have a reserve to call on when cashflow was causing problems.
How we helped
With the increased use of payment cards, there are now many lenders providing MCA funding in the UK. Their fees and the percentages they take to fund repayment will differ. Getting the agreement that is right for your practice is essential to keep costs down.
We found the MCA provider who understood the optician sector and who was prepared to offer the most attractive fee structures to our client. We helped him make the necessary arrangements - which brought his business the funds it so vitally needed in a matter of days.
At Rangewell we can help you arrange all types of business funding - including MCA arrangements. Call us if you face a funding challenge - we can help you find the answers.