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One of the unsung heroes of the material handling and warehousing business are Spotting Tractors. A great and worthy addition to the terminal, warehousing, and trucking environment.

Here is a link to one of the ‘Made in America’ manufacturers: http://ticotractors.com/home/

Tico Tractors is part of Great Enterprise & their product innovation is born from their own experience in the terminal environment.

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Planning for Rising Interest Rates

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Perhaps interest rates are going to increase this year and next ~ but don’t be alarmed. Rising Rates are a good thing. Interest rates, often, have a way of letting us know how our economy is actually performing. If rates are historically low, that is arguably a strong indicator that our economy is weak. To that end, most doubt that there will be significant movements in interest rates during 2017. The above graphic came from CNN and is part of a discussion regarding the December 2016 rate increase. http://money.cnn.com/2016/12/14/news/economy/federal-reserve-rate-hike-december/

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Never use working capital to finance equipment. Here’s why…

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There are some really innovative small business working capital providers breaking through in the market today. While caution must be used to ensure proper use, they fill a void where banks are no longer meeting the need. In light of these solutions, we are hearing more often that they are, somehow, viable alternatives to more traditional equipment lending, especially in “credit challenged” circumstances. Not so fast!

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Can you afford to keep using outdated equipment?

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There is a “person” in your phone that answers your questions. Amazon seems to read your mind when you land on their website. Some cars even parallel park for you. Often, people think of companies like Google and Apple when they think of technology innovation, but in business, technology advances extend far beyond the mobile devices and websites. Commercial equipment in all categories offer gains in efficiency, lower operating costs, and even increased revenues. This has business owners seeking ways to keep up … affordably.

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Benefits of Pre-Qualification for your Equipment Financing

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A quick pre-qualification program can:

  • Help you focus on only the equipment you can afford, rather than wishing.
  • Let you consider more equipment once you see how affordable one item might be.
  • Allow you to shop and negotiate with confidence in the buying process.
  • Help eliminate the uncertainty and anxiety in the process.

Many small business owners spend significant time going back and forth with equipment specs and spend virtually no time preparing the financing. Unfortunately, they don’t often consider that the how and where to get the money should be a first step and not an afterthought. The lack of up-front preparation for the finance process can lead to frustration on both ends of a transaction and a difficult experience. There is a simple solution that can better position you for success.

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How to manage one of the biggest hidden costs of buying equipment

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So you’ve won the new bid or have the new production contract in place. Or maybe you made the decision to upgrade your IT infrastructure to create new efficiencies. Either way, equipment purchases that require a healthy chunk of capital are a central component of those strategies. And while you may have planned for the cost of the equipment, often businesses forget to plan for a significant portion of the total equipment expense. We call them “Soft Costs”.
Soft Costs are everything from installation, warranties, delivery, or even assembly in some cases. As equipment becomes more easily customized to meet your company’s unique requirements, more Soft Costs are often required to get the equipment up and running. And don’t sleep on the financial impact. It can cost up to $10,000 just to get an articulated dump truck delivered. IT services, installation, and engineering adds an average of 40% to every IT purchase over $25,000 on average. Some manufacturing equipment can take more than a year to be assembled and installed.
These issues can create serious financial issues. Soft Costs—most of the time–have no real “value” and add no value to the equipment long term. They are necessary one-time expenditures to get the equipment running that cannot be transferred upon resale. And that makes most bankers run for the hills. You may enjoy your very low rate financing for the equipment, but when you evaluate the project in total—including Soft Costs—you could find yourself investing some pretty big money out of pocket to pay for everything, defeating the purpose of preserving capital through financing. So, all in, the cost of the financing is actually quite a bit higher when you consider the required cash investment for Soft Costs.
The other financial issue is that Soft Costs typically happen up front—before the revenues start rolling in from your equipment investment. This cash outlay can create severe cash flow burdens when you need cash the most. Ramping up for new business or creating new efficiencies can require more capital on hand to create inventories, hire staff, and invest in marketing. Tying up cash during this time for things like installation and delivery can create real challenges to execute your strategic plans.
There is the possibility of a better approach. While some lenders may run from soft costs, others can bring them into the financing arrangement. These lenders have strong specialty in financing equipment and understand more than just the invoice amount. They understand the impact equipment like this can have on your business. And as long as Soft Costs stay within certain parameters of the total investment, you can fold them into your affordable monthly equipment payment, preserving your cash for more important needs.
At SLS, we can help businesses like yours tackle the Soft Cost issue. We work to help you keep your cash and acquire equipment more affordably. From IT and Healthcare to Construction and Manufacturing, we work vendors every day to ensure your monthly payment positions your company for success, keeping things downright uncomplicated. As you look to your 2017 growth plans, let’s talk.

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Preview the Preheader (A Marketing Moment)

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Email continues to be a huge driver for businesses in almost every industry, and it’s getting easier and easier to access every year. In the last five years, email opens on mobile devices have grown over 30%. While there are many positive aspects to this newfound access, like the ability to reach a customer any time, any place, this can pose a problem too. How often have you checked your phone after a buzz in your pocket only to find a generic email, leading you to put your phone back in your pocket as the email drops lower and lower in your inbox never to be opened? If this hasn’t happened to you, it has probably happened to someone you know. How can this be fixed?

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Never use working capital loans for long term funding / lending needs ~ Here’s why.

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There are some really innovative small business working capital providers breaking through in the market today.  However Caution must be used when considering these, despite the fact that they apparently fill a void where banks are no longer meeting the need.

In light of these solutions, we also are hearing that they are, somehow, viable alternatives to more traditional equipment lending & other business loans and especially in “credit challenged” circumstances.  Not so fast!

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Growing sales with the more challenging credits.

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When equipment dealers get a tougher deal done for a customer it’s a pretty great thing. You’ve helped a customer in a challenging circumstance get the equipment they needed and built the road for a long-term relationship. But far too often, dealers pass on tougher deals because it’s too much work and they don’t have a consistent business lender that can deliver the goods.

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