Today, we’re continuing our series of podcast shorts with our second episode, looking at the benefits of pre-qualification for your equipment financing.

(You can find our first episode on the credit evaluation process here)

Throughout this series, we’ll be covering bite-sized topics that will help you better understand our values and our processes, as well as tips that will help you make better decisions during your periods of growth, or equipment acquisitions. If you have any topics you would like us to cover in the future, don’t hesitate to reach out. My contact information can be found at the bottom of this post.

In this episode, we’re focusing on the acquisition period when you’re shopping around for new equipment. Many times, business owners will save their preparation for the financing process until the very end of the acquisition, which can make the experience more difficult than it needs to be. We’ve always focused on making financing uncomplicated, and in this episode, we’ve detailed a few benefits of pre-qualification for your equipment financing to keep you focusing on what’s most important – your business. Enjoy!


Brian Soetaert



We’re pleased to unveil the first episode of our new series of podcast shorts! We know the digital landscape has changed, and with audio gaining ground in a big way, we want to meet our audience where they are.

Throughout this series, we’ll be covering bite-sized topics that will help you better understand our values and our processes, as well as tips that will help you make better decisions during your periods of growth, or equipment acquisitions. If you have any topics you would like us to cover in the future, don’t hesitate to reach out. My contact information can be found at the bottom of this post.

(If you would like to see our next episode on the benefits of pre-qualification for your equipment financing, click here)

For this episode, we’ll be looking at The Credit Evaluation Process, and The 5 C’s of Credit to give more insight on how commercial lenders make their credit decisions. We often get questions on how we calculate rates for our customers, and these are the aspects we look at to come to these decisions. We hope you enjoy this series going forward, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.


Brian Soetaert 


Broker Sales Professionals / Commercial Lending Professionals ~ Do your job.



If you are involved in business development in the equipment finance / commercial lending world ~ your job should be funding business loans & leases – approximately 6-8 per month at minimum. Not only that, your job entails growing your business month-after-month, and year-after-year. This will be important through both good and tenuous business cycles. Furthermore, every economic environment offers opportunity ~ Part of your job is finding it! The rewarding part in all of this is that when you are doing your job, you are helping more people grow their business. It should be very clear to all of us in the smaller ticket lending business development world that we need to be funding $5M or more annually. If you are not… you need to do your job. Let us demonstrate what that looks like.


Identify Opportunities & create a systematic plan of action with specific and honest goals that you intend to keep. That being said, intentions are not the issue… results are. Nothing else matters. Need a mentor? Call the NAELB and see if they can put you in touch with the BEST AND BRIGHTEST ONLY. (You can find them here:


Here is how to get started in professional manner.

Create your Top 100 List. Think about what you are doing here. Look at ticket size, industry, collateral, etc. Create your future… 100 contacts at a time.

Call the President or the CFO of the companies on your list and set an appointment for a scheduled meeting. Let’s look at that again: The goal of this initial call is to schedule a meeting. This methodology accomplishes a pattern interrupt (because it is different) as compared to traditional sales & eases the mind of the person on the other end. Compare this to trying to engage during the first call. Our approach accomplishes two things: 1) it allows you to begin a dialogue and thus build a relationship and 2) it sets you apart as a more professional commercial lender.

Having trouble cold calling? Get Motivated and do your job. These stories are all over the internet. Take a look:


The script may go like this: 

Good Morning my name is Ima Lender and I’m an Officer / Account Manager / Lender with a National Commercial Lending organization. Today I am calling, simply put, to explore the opportunity of adding your company to my portfolio. In short, ABC Equipment is in my Top 100 ‘want to work with companies’ and is also in our target market. With that as a backdrop, would you mind helping me see if I can help you by scheduling a 5-10 minute meeting with you (and hold me to that) on Thursday or Friday of this week?


Now just listen…


They will either get you off the phone or you schedule an appointment. If you schedule, send them an evite on outlook or otherwise, shortly after you hang up. If not… you should send them an email that thanks them for the time and offers them the insight & VALUE of commercial lending as found in our Undisputed Flyer (you can obtain that from SLS if you are an approved Broker… give us a call!)


Now keep their email and continue to call and email over the next year, IF you think that there is an opportunity. That’s an Important Point. You want to work with companies that are currently selling products that require financing and that already offer financing. The reason for this is that they know the value of your service.


Next point:  Remember ~ RELATIONSHIPS ARE BUILT BY VERBAL CONTACT ~ not emails. Emails are marketing tools and can never supplant meetings & discussions that should ultimately develop friendships.


Now on to the to the meeting:

Start Simple. Tell them something short about yourself. Here’s an example:

Thanks for taking my call Ralph ~ first, to connect a bit … I’m a big golf player ~ do you have any hobbies? (Take the time to list and discuss.)

And now ~  I have a timer and will keep our conversation to 7.5 minutes, or less, unless you decide that we should continue. So, let’s get started.

Do you have any known commercial lending needs?  (Listen…)

For the future … we provide business lending of most all types, equipment, working capital, AR Financing, Commercial vehicles, leasing and loans, etc.

I know you sell equipment ~ is financing part of that strategy?

Where are the rates? Who is the lender that you use? Do you see any opportunity for me in that part of your business?

Do you have any questions for me!?

(Now you have assessed the need and hopefully have begun a relationship.)

The final question is: If you were me … what you do going forward in hopes that I would have the pleasure of working with you?


Now follow their instructions.


Lather, Rinse, Improve and Repeat… Do your job with constant, never-ending improvement.

Raise your standard:


If you have any questions about working with SLS Financial Services, here are a few key contacts for our broker division:

Doug Fuller | 816.423.8021 |

Brian Kirlin | 605.444.1102 |

Nicole Hall | 816.605.1204 |



Doug Fuller




When the time is right, it’s right… And right now it is sooo right. The medical industry is expanding at an exponential rate with a multitude of contributing factors from the aging baby boomers to the rapid advancements in treatments and procedures. New technologies are being developed on a daily basis, not only as a means of keeping up with the higher demands of medical assistance but to also compensate for our ever growing need for a better quality of life, a definition of which can be left in the eye of the beholder. This rapid growth is leading way for many new providers to jump into the market and existing providers to expand their business with either new locations or by adding new treatments, all of which takes capital.

So where does this capital come from and how do you join in?

Well that’s an easy question to answer when you’re an established doctor with a long running and profitable practice looking to expand. But what if you’re a start-up? What if your practice has experienced some hard times and your borrowing history isn’t as pristine as most banks would prefer? Or what if your org chart doesn’t happen to have a physician sitting at the top?

Start-Up Financing

For new providers just getting started, the question of where to get capital can be the toughest one of all. Medical Equipment can come with a hefty price tag, especially when it’s the latest and greatest, and traditional lenders don’t seem very keen on the idea of lending out $200k to a company that’s just getting on its feet. Another solution would be to solicit a private investor to bring in as a partner. However, unless you have an expansive rolodex, 6 months to a year to iron out the terms and agreements and are willing to give up some of the equity in your business, this may not be the best option either.

Perhaps the best answer, and sometimes the most overlooked, is to simply walk before you run. Everyone wants to get to Point B as quickly as possible, but sometimes getting to point B requires leaving point A with the resources needed to get you there successfully.

At SLS Financial, our goal is to match you with the financial product and the amount of capital that is right for your company. History has provided many examples of start-ups that manage to obtain a loan for top-of-the-line equipment only to find that demand isn’t what they thought it was or that their cash flow can’t survive the inevitable off-peak seasons that occur with most non-primary medical verticals.

So maybe our method means you start out with the equipment that has all of the bells but none of the whistles or perhaps even last year’s model. This is still a great stepping stone to build your practice to what you want it to be and to do it safely by making sure you stay cash flow positive during the incubation period.

Or what about starting with used equipment? We also know the value of buying used or refurbished equipment for new clinics and are more than willing to work with any refurbisher or used equipment dealer with a good track record.

And remember, taking our approach doesn’t mean you don’t get the equipment you want, in fact, this may actually lead to getting the equipment you want in less time.  Opening your doors with equipment requiring a lower capital investment means you get valuable time to build up credit with SLS to qualify for a higher end system a few months down the road. Many dealers and manufacturers also have trade-in programs and will happily exchange your old equipment for credit towards a newer model. And the most important part being that you never put a strain on your finances trying to do too much too early.

Blemished Borrowing History

If you’ve struggled through hard times and your borrowing history has some bumps and bruises, don’t let that deter you from growing your practice or clinic. At SLS we care about your story. We want to know why all signs are looking positive and why our capital investment in your company makes sense. Our 30+ year history is filled with seized opportunities to help companies like yours get back on their feet. We know that lending isn’t a distant relationship, it’s a true partnership and that’s why we invest in your story more than your credit report.

Non-Practitioner Owner Financing

At SLS we also understand that not all businesses should be structured the same. We admire a physician that is willing to take on the burdens of acting as the manager of daily operations as well as the care provider. However, we also understand when a physician has decided to step out of the way and let a non-physician manager step in to operate the business so that they can focus on what they do best, which is help people.

We also understand that many entrepreneurial minded people can be passionate about and successful in the medical field without being a physician themselves. It’s hard to imagine that these such people are getting denied the ability to expand their clinics simply because they employ physicians rather than being one themselves, but it happens every day.

In neither of above mentioned scenarios does SLS feel it would be appropriate to discriminate against the providers in underwriting and deny them a loan if all other pieces fit. Some of the fastest growing medical providers in the US are doing so with a management company running the show and that’s simply because, sometimes it works.


With the rapid growth in your industry, there may never be a better time to start building the relationships you need to grow your practice. When the time is right for you, give me a call.


John Brock

National Account Manager

SLS Financial Services



I have almost a decade’s worth of experience in medical financing and want to use my expertise to provide you with the best finance product and service available. My goal is to meet your company’s specific needs and ensure a long and profitable success through a sound lending partnership.



While there are a number of benefits to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 for companies, there is a universal theme of “encouraging reinvestment” that seems to be at play. Because of this, there are a few strong incentives to put more revenue producing equipment or projects to work for a lower net investment.

Here are a few of the BIGGER incentives:

• 100% deductions for equipment purchases now reach up to $1,000,000 (from $510,000 in 2017) and begin phasing out at $2,500,000 (up nearly $500,000 from 2017)
• Extension of Section 179 Depreciation benefits to the purchase of used equipment
• Reduction in top line corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% (For C Corporations)

While the top-line tax break is beneficial, all businesses should approach reinvestment with proper analysis. If you determine that growth is your best application of these tax benefits, it is important to strike the right balance with the reinvestment.

With the cost of debt still near historic lows companies can marry the additional cash and depreciation incentives with lower costs of capital to “get more for their money”. While the additional cash position may cover expansion of one product line, responsibly leveraging creative financing might offer additional capacity for expansion. The after-tax cost of revenue-producing assets should of course continue to be a worth while calculation and in some cases now more than ever. This is another area where we may be of assistance.

Whatever a company’s growth plans, acting now may be advisable. With interest rates on the rise for the foreseeable future, making the most of the tax benefits and low interest rates is best acted upon sooner rather than later.

For decades we have helped businesses of all sizes take advantage of opportunities with an uncomplicated approach to financing.

How can we help you grow in 2018 and beyond?

Contact Doug:

Doug Fuller




We’re a little over a month into 2018. The month of resolution making is over. How have you held up? Staying strong so far? Good. Past the point of making goals, you have to take the steps to achieve them. Our goal last year was to create and expand a blog that would help our customers, partners, and businesses achieve success and learn a few things along the way, as well as let our online visitors get to know us a little better.

We laid out the Top Ten Reasons to use Equipment Financing, and how to Understand the Financing Process. We got a chance to share our gratitude toward our community for an award nomination, and show our gratitude toward our team for a job well done in 2017. We Broke Down the Credit Mystery using The 5 C’s of Credit, and shared knowledge from one of our favorite reads on how to be Great by Choice. Finally, we gave some insights on commercial lending for the various industries we serve.

We hope we were able to be of assistance last year, and we’re looking forward to continuing our mission in 2018. Commercial Lenders Help Drive the Economy, and we’re happy to play our part. So whether you are Planning for Rising Interest Rates, or looking to Use Section 179 for More/Better Revenue-Producing Equipment this year, keep checking back here throughout 2018 for more ideas and insights from your partners-in-business, here at SLS Financial Services.

In the meantime, feel free to reach out with any questions you may have today. Talk to you soon!

Brian Soetaert




When you think about the financiers that power the American economy, you might go to the names that grab the headlines. Fancy investment banks or global commercial banks might race to the top of your mind, and to some degree that’s true. But if 80% of all employment comes from smaller businesses, who is helping them? Who is making the capital available, so that the small business owners’ dreams can be realized, or the big new contract can power the growth of a company from small and stable, to stable and flourishing? The answers might surprise you.

41% of all small business loans are for equipment and technology. Equipment is a critical ingredient for business success because it drives efficiency, productivity, and in many business models—revenue. Businesses can’t take on a new contract without the equipment to gear up manufacturing. Construction companies can’t move dirt in two different jobs with the same equipment.

Most businesses realize that investing cash reserves for depreciating equipment is a less than desirable outcome… and these are just some examples of why more than 40% of loan requests are for equipment.

Equipment Lending Entities are estimated to fund $1.2 trillion globally, up from $490 million only 15 years ago. There are a multitude of reasons why businesses increasingly count on these “specialist” lenders, but a few of the more important reasons are:

  • Financial Benefits: Tax depreciation benefits, preservation of cash, aligning needs to challenging budgets, and a more affordable way to scale their business are just some of the benefits these lenders can bring. Because they understand the equipment that is in use, they can create more flexible financial solutions that maximize cash flows while minimizing cash investment up front. This benefit is an absolute staple of financial management success for smaller businesses.
  • Ease & Speed: Smaller businesses can fund equipment needs in days, rather than waiting for weeks just for an approval. With simpler application processes and faster decision making, smaller businesses can move faster in the marketplace by ramping up to grow business quicker and more affordably.
  • Equipment Knowledge: Increasingly, smaller businesses understand that managing the replacement cycle of their commercial equipment can be a challenge. Understanding how long they might use an asset, how they dispose of the asset at end of life and how to manage the finances during that “useful life” to achieve not just their financial goals, but their operating objectives are handled far easier when working with a lender that understands and specializes in equipment.

Commercial Equipment Lenders help power our economy, and it might be time to think about how one of these specialist lenders can power your economy.

We’ve offered uncomplicated financing to smaller businesses and commercial equipment dealers for more than 30 years. While part of a trillion-dollar powerhouse industry, our success is built one business lending need at a time–person to person, and year after year. Perhaps we can assist you. If so, contact us anytime!

We’re Thankful for our Team! (Holiday Event)



It may be about a week after Thanksgiving, but we can still assuredly say: WE’RE THANKFUL FOR OUR TEAM!! Our reps from all over the country have been doing great work this year helping businesses find uncomplicated solutions for their commercial lending needs, so we invited everyone down to Kansas City for a couple days of food and fun right before the holiday weekend.

On Tuesday, we went out to Top Golf for an SLS “Par-Tee”. Turns out we have a couple of team members with solid swings:

It was nice to find some time to catch-up as well:

We hope everyone else had a safe and relaxing holiday! We’re looking forward to ending the year strong, and finding even more reasons to be thankful to be working with a great team, and creating even greater relationships with people like you!

Let us know if we can help you end the year in a big way! Talk to you soon.

Doug Fuller




Finding today’s “win-win.”

Times have undoubtedly changed. Lenders are under exponentially larger regulatory pressure in how they lend money. The days of the lender making a decision with his or her signature while you sat in their office are long over. Lending has become impersonal, distant, judgmental and seemingly…as the survey respondents identified…adversarial. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few items to seek in a lender to develop a “win-win” relationship in today’s market.

  1. Do they listen? The marketing machines of large national lenders will make you believe that simple and fast are the only measures of financing success. While important, these factors alone do little to address your company’s unique lending needs. Solutions built only on these pillars are more about fitting you into a “credit-score” modeling box than solving your problems. A lender should listen. You can’t have a real advisor with you for the long haul if they won’t take the time to listen.
  2. Multiple options and new ideas? A real advisor should have years of experience and be able to build solutions to meet your needs. If that lender only has one real lending solution to offer in the market, that severely limits their ability to meet your needs in a rapidly changing business climate. More options also lead to new ideas and better ways of borrowing for your company in a wide variety of business situations.
  3. Seek consistently competitive solutions but beware of “cheap.” Interest rates matter, but it is only one piece of a more complicated puzzle. Too many lenders leverage their knowledge of this puzzle to manipulate the importance of interest rate when other factors like term, cash down, and end-of-life options have far more impact on payment and your cash flows. A lender that cares about your long-term success will work to remove the mystery of this puzzle and not use interest rate as “bait”. Lenders that lead with rate are trying to “do deals” and that attitude rarely leads to a relationship of mutually aligned interests.
  4. Do they care? Lending is not a numbers business…it’s a people business and you can’t get to the numbers if you don’t invest in the people first. Your lender should care about your business, your employees, and your family. Your business is more than an income source or line item on an application. A “win-win” lending relationship should show real investment on the part of the lender in actually building a relationship with you. They should call and check in with you, not because they are selling something, but because they care. They should want to learn about where you are headed, not because of the need to answer a credit question, but because they want to see you win. And they should want to finance your company for today AND the road ahead.

Times have changed for sure. But finding a “win-win” business lending relationship is not a thing of the past. We’re SLS Financial Services and we’ve been helping our customers win for more than 30 years. In fact, the newest approach in lending might just be a little bit of old school thinking. We’d love to show you how it works – Give us a call!

Doug Fuller





Equipment Leasing and Financing for Startup Construction Industry Enterprises

America, the Beautiful – the Land of Opportunity.


Opportunity often requires capital, and this is most often the case for NEW IN BUSINESS Construction Professionals.

The new/newer in business companies carry a higher risk for many lenders ~ so what options do you have out there to buy the equipment you need to hit the ground running?



  • Find an investor – this can be challenging and not everyone ‘knows someone’ who would just hand over tens of thousands of dollars. Also, should you find an investor, chances are they will own part of your company, and require part of your profits for a very long time.
  • Work with a local bank – local banks usually offer the cheapest source of funding, however many aren’t familiar with commercial equipment. Those that might have some experience with them, tend to be conservative on how much they’ll lend and the terms they’ll lend it to you at – higher down payments, shortened length of borrowing term, etc.
  • Non-bank commercial lenders – sometimes can be a bit more expensive, but a good non-bank commercial lender should take time to learn about your history and your game plan at making the business work. They should also have an understanding of commercial assets allowing for more flexible terms and down payment options.
  • SBA Loans – usually these are government backed type loans underwritten through national banks. These can be very appealing for the right company, if you’ve got some time to work through the process.


What’s usually needed to get credit?


Underwriting Criteria:

Most all lenders will need the following information when underwriting the needs and risk for a new company in any industry ~ including the construction industry:


  • Their Credit Application
  • Equipment proposal
  • Business Plan

Also, it’s not uncommon, depending on credit history and amount requested, to provide a simple personal financing statement and a couple years worth of tax returns.



Typical Leasing and Financing Terms will range from 12 – 36 months; sometimes up to 60 depending the asset(s) being financed.


Who to call:

Your own Bank, the Equipment Seller, or another commercial lender like SLS Financial.

Noteworthy: SLS is listed by others as a BEST lender for start-ups:


Our best Construction Equipment Financing and Leasing Expert at SLS is:

Doug Fuller


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