If your business involves the use of heavy construction machines or big trucks, you will need to consider your equipment financing very carefully. Whether it is a used dump truck for $40,000 or a Caterpillar track machine for $400,000, you do not want all your capital tied up in one or two pieces of equipment. You will have to consider financing if you want a well-equipped operation.
Equipment financing is the largest biggest expense of any business and you will want to be using your dollars wisely. It is always a good idea to go online and get a good feeling for the average price of the vehicle that you are wishing to lease or purchase. Carefully consider how much you expect to be using it: if you need it almost every day, you might want to consider a lease agreement as you will have fixed payments and you will have the advantage of being able to upgrade as newer models are brought on to the market. If you only expect to use the equipment occasionally, you might consider a short-term rental agreement. Or, buy it outright so there are no payments which must be paid, whether the vehicle is earning its keep or not!
Some equipment financing providers have a convenient clause which allows you to defer payments in slow seasons or when you are experiencing a cash crunch. They recognize that the heavy equipment business has its ups and downs and depending on the economy, there will be slow times, while in other situations, you can hardly keep up with the work.
If you are just beginning your operation, it is usually possible to find equipment financing for start-up businesses and new owner operators which tends to be more flexible. They may require a smaller down payment or collateral and they will also give you the option of skipping a payment if necessary. They are often more considerate than a bank or mortgage company at giving loans to operators who have a poor credit rating. Because they are in the business themselves, they realize that one rainy season can cause a fledgling venture to go under in a few short weeks, through no mismanagement of the operator or owners. Although their credit rating is hurt, they are still capable business people and deserve a second chance!
It is a good idea to have as much of your own capital as you can when you are starting up, before you look at equipment financing. If you can raise $50,000 to $100,000 yourself, you will be starting off in good shape. You can look around for items of your own to sell, such as that sports car you only drive on weekends, or your summer cottage at the lake that is only used for 30 or 40 days of the year. You can also opt to go to work on a job that pays extremely well, although they are not always in the most pleasant conditions, such as off-shore drilling rigs or positions that pay for tons of overtime. You work for 14 solid days, and then they fly you home for seven days. Make a promise to yourself that while making these higher wages you will put 90 percent of it into savings and that you will quit in a set amount of time, such as one year. With the proceeds you should have enough to get a good start on your entrepreneurial attempt.
You can also approach friends and relatives to invest in your business, but you will want to be diligent in your repayment schedule as no business is worth torn relationships with loved ones. Whatever method of equipment financing you choose, get lots of good advice from others in the business, tread slowly and thoughtfully, and work hard to gain confidence from your customers for great word-of-mouth endorsements. You will soon be enjoying the satisfaction and monetary benefits of business ownership.