Chief Technology Officer, Loans Canada
Managing Partner, SharpShooter Funding
According to a report published by the Government of Canada in January 2019, there are approximately 1.18 million businesses in the country. Of these, about 1.15 million (97.9 percent) are defined as small businesses. Many of these enterprises, at some point in their development, will require financing in order to grow or get over a hurdle.
“Unexpected expenses can hit a small business out of the blue,” says Paul Pitcher, Managing Partner of SharpShooter Funding. “Let’s say you’re running a snow removal service with six trucks running every day. Suddenly, two of your trucks need new tires, an online marketing campaign needs a boost to keep you going in the next quarter, and, to top it off, your best three clients have invoices overdue by 30 days. These are the types of situations we commonly see.”
SharpShooter Funding provides small businesses with financing options to help them tackle hurdles such as these. “Our goal is to help small businesses thrive and grow by providing quick and easy financial solutions,” says Pitcher.
Researching and determining the best financing option, though, can be a daunting task for a small business owner overwhelmed with choice.
Loans Canada is Canada’s first lender comparison platform, which lets Canadian business owners search for the best financing option available for them, and works with companies such as SharpShooter Funding for a seamless financing solution.
Cris Ravazzano is the Chief Technology Officer at Loans Canada. “Businesses have a lot of choice when it comes to financing, and not only in the form of loans and cash advances,” he says. “There are many government grants and programs available as well. Researching and comparing not only different lenders, but different types of financing options, can save a business a lot of money in financing costs.”
There are also other things business owners should consider outside of the type of financing to choose. One of these is the reputation of both the lender and the company recommending them.
“The last thing a business needs is a lender that offers poor customer service, employs shady tactics, or charges hidden fees,” says Ravazzano. “Equally important is the source of the information you’re using to make your decision. You’ll see other lender review platforms where all lenders hold five star ratings, for example, and you know then that the reviews are being manipulated. Transparency, reliability, and longevity are key.” Loans Canada and SharpShooter Funding have been around since 2012 and 2015, respectively.
Tips when looking at financial solutions for your small business
1. Don’t play guess the amount.
Have a considered, specific goal in mind regarding how much money you need. Spend some time analyzing what your expected return on financing will be. This will work in your favour when dealing with a lending firm.
2. Keep the cash flowing.
Have a plan in place as to how the financing will affect your company’s cash flow over the next 30, 60, and 90 days.
3. Choose wisely.
When evaluating lenders, it’s important to consider the business funder’s reputation and industry experience, and, of course, the cost of financing.
4. Always be prepared.
When working with a funder, be organized and transparent. Be ready to hand over your business’ bank statements covering a 12-month period and to answer direct questions regarding why you need the funding and what it will be used for.
5. Get comfortable.
Working with a lender requires trust on both sides. Once you know all of your available options, work with a funder that you feel comfortable with. Try to think of the relationship as a long-term one, not a temporary solution. This partner may be one you return to multiple times over the course of your company’s development.