Lenny Ray Hornton started Paladin Security on a shoestring budget in 2012 initially financed with a $20,000 Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). Paladin Security primarily provides armed guards for local gated communities and has gained a good reputation among the real estate management companies in the area.
Last year, Lenny received an offer to provide gate guards for five existing luxury communities from a local management company.
The management company, was replacing their previous service and wanted Lenny to provide a bid which he did. Lenny was awarded the new contract but immediately found he had a problem. The new management company was a very slow payer on its invoices, taking nearly 60 days in fact. Lenny had always paid his guards weekly which meant he would have to fund the payroll for the new guards for roughly nine weeks before the first check came in from the Management Company. With guards required around the clock at all five facilities, Lenny would be making payroll for the new guards of over $6,000 per week (168 hours per week x $9 per hour x 4 facilities). He would need to make that payroll for 9 weeks or come out of pocket nearly $55,000 before he received the Management Company’s payment on the very first invoice.
Lenny simply did not have that kind of money available and unfortunately, had no ability to borrow more using his HELOC yet he did, however, remember meeting a small business finance specialist named James Goodlaw at a recent Chamber of Commerce meeting. James and Lenny had discussed the possible use of something called factoring to finance Paladin Security if it ever became necessary. Well, it had suddenly become necessary so Lenny made a call to James.
After the call, Lenny and James met for lunch to discuss financing and James quickly recognized that factoring would solve this problem. James worked with a factor that specialized in service sector finance and he knew the factor’s flat fee rate was about 5-6 percent for 60 days.
Since Lenny had over a 50% profit margin on his services he could easily absorb the factoring fee. After lunch, James went back to Lenny’s office and they made a quick call to the factor who was immediately available to discuss a factoring arrangement.
On the call, the factor asked about the business loan and was assured it was secured by Lenny’s home and not the business assets. The factor gave Lenny a tentative rate of 1.25% for 15 days which meant the 60 day payment would only be charged 5% but it also meant Lenny could factor all of his other receivables, which were usually paid in 30 days or less. All in all, Paladin Security would be financing about $120,000 per month.
Lenny’s finance problem was solved and James, because of his relationship with Lenny, now would earn a monthly referral commission from the factor.
Joseph Conrad, better known as “Buffalo Joe”, was a metal fabricator specializing in custom fenders and fuel tanks for motorcycles.
He started “Buffalo Joe” Custom Tanks in 1995.
“Buffalo Joe” was an expert in the use of an English wheel, a special tool used to shape sheet metal, and had become well known in the local custom bike community, Business had picked up dramatically after a news article and his shop was always busy, although primarily for one-off custom fabrications for individuals.
Shortly after the featured article, “Buffalo Joe” was contacted by a regional motorcycle custom parts supplier about supplying an exclusive line of “Buffalo Joe” fenders and tanks. The supplier had 15 stores and would be carrying “Buffalo Joe” inventory in each along with special order options.
They estimated they would need about $3,000 in tank and fender inventory in each store monthly or a little over $45,000. Terms of sale would be 45 day net which gave the supplier ample time to sell the goods prior to payment.
“Buffalo Joe” was delighted with the prospective order but his was a small town custom shop and he would need to hire at least one additional aluminum fabricator and one gas welder skilled at thin gauge aluminum welding and he knew neither would come cheap.
He would need some payroll financing because of the 45 day terms of payment required by the supplier.
“Buffalo Joe” brother Harald had a local janitorial service that had been using something called factoring for years to finance its payroll and he wondered if factoring would also work for his business.. He talked with Harald and got the phone number of his factor and made the call.
On the call, “Buffalo Joe” explained the opportunity to his brother’s factor who quickly looked at the credit rating of the parts supplier.
It was excellent and would be enough to provide a credit limit of $100,000 so that “Buffalo Joe” could finance 100% of the supplier’s invoices.
“Buffalo Joe” had no bank financing in place so the factor could enjoy a secured 1st lien position in accounts receivable which is always required in factoring.
The factor assigned an account executive to the account and then“Buffalo Joe”received a factoring contract (called a Master Purchase and Sales Agreement) via overnight courier. He quickly executed the contract and returned it to the factor. “Buffalo Joe” Custom Tanks could now comfortably hire the two new employees needed to fabricate the quantity of tanks and fenders needed to meet the new orders.
Customized Welding Specialties
Richard Johnson started Customized Welding Specialties which provides onsite welding services for construction equipment.
The company has grown rapidly every since opening in 1976 and currently has (12) mobile welding trucks to provide services to local contractors.
Richard Johnson was pleasantly surprised to receive a call one day from a national steel building contractor in need of mobile services.
The contractor was beginning operations in East Texas and would need an onsite mobile operator for at least the next 24 months to service several new steel buildings being erected. The hourly fee offered was exceptional, however Richard would need to submit a single invoice each month for all work completed during that calendar month. The invoice would then be paid within 30 days.
That meant Richard might have to wait as long as 60 days to be paid on some work.
Richard would likely need to outfit another vehicle just to handle the steel building contractor’s additional business which was estimated to be $100,000 per month Richard was already billing about $150,000 per month with local contractors who paid in 30 days or less.
This new business meant billings of roughly $250,000 and Richard decided to talk to his banker about a loan.
At a meeting with a loan officer at his local bank, Richard was given the unfortunate news that the bank would not be able to help since they only offered real estate financing and not asset-based loans. The loan officer said it really sounded like Richard could use something called factoring and he provided Richard with the name of a local Certified Commercial Finance Consultant he had referred business to before that specialized in factoring for the construction industry.
After leaving the bank although still a little worried, Richard called the consultant who met with him that afternoon.
The consultant agreed that so long as the steel building contractor’s credit was good, factoring would do the job and a conference call was set up with a factor for later that afternoon.
On the call, the factor quickly researched the credit of the steel building contractor and found it was good. He also requested an accounts receivable aging report to pull credit on Richard’s other clients. Once received, he would provide Richard with a “Terms Sheet” with pricing.
Within 48 hours Customized Welding Specialties was provided with a $250,000 factoring credit facility. Richard would now be factoring all of his invoices and the factor would act as his accounts receivable finance and management team. At an average discount rate for services of 4%, the factoring fees would be little more than accepting a credit card and Richard could now hire additional staff as well as purchase and outfit an additional vehicle.
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