Whether you are starting an import business or have an established importing business, it can be a very profitable venture if you have the right financing to grow your business. Imports are defined as: a good that crosses into a country, across its border, for commercial purposes; a product, which might be a service that is provided to domestic residents by a foreign producer; or a combination of the two.
Starting or running an import business has never been more profitable because of computers, the internet, and the availability of low cost imports from countries such as China and Mexico. These imports may be resold for up to ten times their cost depending on the competition in your field of operations.
It is essential that you have good, honest suppliers plus creditworthy customers with purchase orders for your imports. If you have the right financing, your business can grow exponentially. But how do you finance growth if your own resources or bank lines of credit are not sufficient to take advantage of big opportunities? A combination of purchase order financing, accounts receivable financing with inventory financing may be the solution.
Purchase Order Financing
Purchase Order financing is the assignment of purchase orders to a third party, a commercial finance company, who then assumes the obligation of billing and collecting. Purchase order financing can be used to finance all current and subsequent orders to improve your company’s cash flow. The process works as follows: 1) Your company obtains a purchase order for products to be sold another company; 2) A letter of credit may be issued, based on a finance companies’ credit, to guarantee payment to suppliers or factories producing the goods; 3) The order is shipped, delivered and accepted by your customer; 4) The customer receives an invoice for the goods; 5) The Purchase Order Company pays the supplier/factory; 6) a commercial finance company or Accounts Receivable Finance Company pays the Purchase Order Financing Company after the products are delivered to your customer; 7) The customer pays the commercial finance company for goods received; 8) The accounts are settled and the profit is paid to you.
Accounts Receivable Financing
Accounts Receivable Financing is the selling or pledging of your company’s account receivable, at a discount, to a Factor, a Commercial Finance Company or to an Accounts Receivable Financing Company who may assume a risk of loss. You receive a portion, usually 80% to 90% of the face value of your receivables in advance of payment from your customers in return for a fee, or interest, to be paid to the commercial finance company. When the commercial finance company is paid by the customer, the appropriate fees are deducted and the remainder is rebated to you. “Accounts receivable financing” is also called accounts receivable factoring, factoring financial services, invoice factoring and cash flow factoring. The terms are used to convey the same meaning.
Inventory financing is a loan secured by the inventory of your business. Inventory finance enables import companies to hold more stock without cash flow strain and to generate more sales. Inventory finance is often part of a Purchase Order and Accounts Receivable Financing commercial finance package.
These three types of financing can enable an import business to increase purchasing capabilities dramatically; you can accept larger orders and grow your business exponentially. You can use your inventory to leverage your purchasing power. You can use your customer’s credit to obtain these three types of financing; and you can use the commercial finance company’s credit to obtain a letter of credit.
The concept of financing your import company with “other people’s money” is part of a safe and sound business plan. Add strong product quality controls, inventory controls, and good accounting to maximize the success of your import company.
Copyright © 2007 Gregg Financial Services