If you own a small business, investing in new equipment can be a challenge at any time. But for many small business owners, the pandemic highlighted how their financial outlook could change dramatically without much warning. Small businesses have borne the financial brunt of the pandemic. But those businesses that already had a relationship with an empathetic and savvy lender were often spared much of the pandemic’s cruelty.
Even under normal circumstances, lenders can make it much easier for businesses to thrive. For example, equipment financing works basically the same as cash, so you can get the equipment you need when you need it, and you don’t miss out on any growth opportunities.
Equipment financing offers many additional benefits to small business owners. So if you’re considering investing in new equipment, you should first consider talking to a lender.
You'll Retain More Cash Reserves
Generally speaking, businesses should be able to retain enough cash to cover their expenses for three to six months so they can weather any unanticipated lean times. Equipment financing will allow you to have the equipment you need to grow without depleting your reserves.
Small Business Equipment Financing is Easier Than You Might Think
If you’ve applied for financing in the past, you might be pleasantly surprised by how quickly you can be approved – in as little as a few hours. As many industries are dealing with equipment shortages and other supply chain issues, acting quickly can make the difference between getting an essential piece of equipment immediately or having to wait several months.
Generally speaking, equipment financing also requires less paperwork than other types of loans, so the actual application process can be much faster, depending on how quickly you can get your application in order.
Of course, some lenders can make the process much easier than others. For example, at Stearns Bank, our financing team has taken the time to familiarize themselves with various industries. Even if you need highly technical equipment, if you call Stearns Bank, you’ll be able to find a lender who speaks your industry’s language. You can also receive and sign documents from anywhere, on any smart device, so there’s no need to stop by a branch in person.
You'll Be Empowered to Make Decisions Quickly
Many equipment manufacturers understand the importance of offering their equipment at multiple price points. This strategy allows them to cater to a wider variety of customers with different needs and goals and build relationships over time. However, if you’re in the market for new equipment, you may have multiple manufacturers vying for your attention, each with a variety of options to consider.
After you’re approved for equipment financing, you’ll know exactly how much your business can afford without compromising your long-term goals. Armed with that information, you’ll be able to make important decisions with confidence.
You Can Reach Your Goals Faster
First impressions matter to customers. If new equipment will guarantee a more positive first impression, your business may be better off in the long term if you add capabilities quickly. Equipment financing can also be used to purchase used equipment, adding immediate capabilities for much less.
Small Business Equipment Financing Poses Less Risk
One of the reasons that equipment financing is often easier for lenders to offer quickly is that the equipment can act as collateral. Should your business experience a significant setback during the life of your financing agreement, equipment that retains its value long-term can be resold, therefore mitigating the risk to the lender. There’s also less risk to your business for the same reason.
Equipment Financing Can Serve a Variety of Industries
Equipment that retains its value for a long time is an excellent investment for many small businesses. That’s also why Stearns Bank has chosen to focus our equipment financing efforts there. We frequently serve customers within the following industries:
- Chiropractic Care
- Medical and Dental Care
- Renewable Energy
- Veterinary Medicine
- Well and Septic
Finding the Best Equipment Financing Partner
The right lender can have a tremendous impact on your small business. Stearns Bank’s equipment financing team takes the time to understand your business inside and out, so any financing terms can be specially crafted to help your business succeed. For example, if new equipment will make your business more profitable, it may be better to postpone payments until after that equipment has been in place for a few months. Other businesses may have seasons that are typically more or less profitable and might benefit from a payment structure that takes seasonality into account.
The financing team at Stearns Bank has your best interests at heart. After all, when you succeed, we succeed. As one of the nation’s top equipment finance lenders, we’re proud to offer our customers customized term and payment options that prioritize your business and its long-term goals.
When to Talk to a Lender
If you haven’t yet formed a relationship with an experienced equipment financing provider, it’s an important one to have in place.
In addition to exploring how a lender might be able to help your business succeed, you’ll also have a trusted partner that can offer help during lean times. In fact, one of our clients, Dr. Haniel Roby, recently shared a story about how our responsive lending team made all the difference to his small business.
Years ago, we had helped him finance Optos machines for his optometry practice. When the pandemic hit, we knew many of our customers were struggling. Our team reached out to see if Dr. Roby needed help from a lender, including applying for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. As it turns out, his regular bank hadn’t offered any solutions, and he was pleasantly surprised that we remembered his small business and wanted to help.
We know that calling a lender for the first time can be an intimidating experience. But quite frankly, one of the best parts of our job is getting to help customers like Dr. Roby. We take pride in treating small business owners with the same care and respect we offer our biggest customers. And when you call the Stearns Bank equipment financing team, we promise you this: you’ll get friendly, personalized service, and we’ll answer on the very first ring.