Top Challenges Faced by Entrepreneurs Today: SOLV

Entrepreneurs face many challenges in today’s ultra-competitive business world; fortunately, contemporary times have also blessed entrepreneurs with more resources for tackling those problems than ever before.

Not an accountant? Not a problem.

Learn the 6 finance essentials every business needs in our free eBook: Finance Fundamentals.

The following lists the “Top 10” challenges faced by entrepreneurs today, defines why each problem exists, and offers solutions so you can operate an efficient and successful business.

1.  Cash flow management

The challenge: Cash flow is essential to small business survival, yet many entrepreneurs struggle to pay the bills (let alone themselves) while they’re waiting for checks to arrive. Part of the problem stems from delayed invoicing, which is common in the entrepreneurial world. You perform a job, send an invoice, then get paid (hopefully) 30 days later. In the meantime, you have to pay everything from your employees or contractors to your mortgage to your grocery bill. Waiting to get paid can make it difficult to get by — and when a customer doesn’t pay, you can risk everything.

The solution:  Proper budgeting and planning are critical to maintaining cash flow, but even these won’t always save you from stressing over bills. One way to improve cash flow is to require a down payment for your products and services. Your down payment should cover all expenses associated with a given project or sale as well as some profit for you. By requiring a down payment, you can at least rest assured you won’t be left paying others’ bills; by padding the down payment with some profit, you can pay your own.

Another strategy for improving cash flow is to require faster invoice payments. Invoice clients within 15 days, which is half the typical invoice period. This means if a customer is late with a payment, you have two weeks to address it and get paid before the next month’s bills are due. In addition, more and more companies are requiring immediate payment upon project completion — and in our digital age when customers can pay invoices right from their mobile phones, it’s not a stretch to request immediate payment.

You can also address cash flow management from the other side of the equation by asking your own vendors to invoice you at 45, 60 or even 90 days to allow ample time for your payments to arrive and checks to clear. If you can establish a good relationship with vendors and are a good customer, they’ll be willing to work with you once you explain your strategy.

And if you’re looking for an easier way to pay bills and save money, consider sending checks via email.

2.  Hiring employees

The challenge: Do you know who dreads job interviews the most? It’s not prospective candidates — it’s entrepreneurs. The hiring process can take several days of your time: reviewing resumes, sitting through interviews, sifting through so many unqualified candidates to find the diamonds in the rough. Then, you only hope you can offer an attractive package to get the best people on board and retain them.

The solution:  Be exclusive. Far too many help wanted ads are incredibly vague in terms of what qualifications candidates must have, what the job duties are, what days and hours will be worked, and what wages and benefits will be paid. You can save yourself a ton of time by pre-qualifying candidates through exclusive help wanted ads that are ultra-specific in what it takes to be hired at your firm, as well as what the day-to-day work entails. Approach your employee hunt the same way you would approach a customer-centric marketing campaign: through excellent targeting.

Once you have a pool of prospects, arrange for a “walking interview” in which you take candidates on a tour of their working environments. Ask questions relevant to the job and to candidates’ experiences, expectations, dedication, and long-term goals. Don’t act like an overlord determining which minion gets to live another day; rather, behave as though you’re seeking a partner to help you operate and grow your business.

Take the time to seek real references: not the neighbor lady your candidates grew up with, but people who can honestly attest to their work ethic and potential. Once you’ve picked a candidate and before you’ve made a job offer, ask them specifically what it will take to keep them employed with you for the long haul. Tell them to be honest with their expectations. Provided they do a good job for you, you’ll know what kind of rewards they’re seeking, and you can make adjustments accordingly: Do they want more vacation? The opportunity for advancement? More pay? Freedom from micromanagement?

This isn’t to say you have to bend backwards for your employees; however, it stands to reason that if you make expectations clear for both parties you can lay the foundation for a long-term, mutually-rewarding client-boss relationship.

3.  Time management

The challenge: Time management might be the biggest problem faced by entrepreneurs, who wear many (and all) hats. If you only had more time, you could accomplish so much more!

The solution: Make time. Like money, it doesn’t grow on trees, of course, so you have to be smart about how you’re spending it. Here’s how:

  • Create goal lists: You should have a list of lifetime goals, broken down into annual goals, broken down into monthly goals, then broken down into weekly goals. Your weekly goals, then will be broken down into specific tasks by day. In this manner, what is on your task list in any given day is all you need to do to stay on track with your lifetime goals
  • If any tasks do not mesh with your goals, eliminate them
  • If any tasks do not absolutely have to be completed by you, delegate them
  • Consistently ask yourself: “Is what I’m doing right now the absolute best use of my time?”

4.  Delegating tasks

The challenge: You know you need to delegate or outsource tasks, but it seems every time you do something gets messed up and you have to redo it anyway.

The solution:  Find good employees (see above) and good outsourced contract help, for starters. You might have to pay a little more for it, but the savings in time (and the resulting earning potential) more than make up for it.

Next, be ultra-specific as to what you want done. It will take a little more time at first, but write down detailed steps listing exactly what you want your help to do. Don’t make assumptions, and don’t assume your help will be able to think for themselves (they can, but they will complete the job verbatim because that’s what they’re trained to do). So, don’t say “list stats in a spreadsheet” when you can say “alphabetically list XYZ in the right spreadsheet column, then list statistic A in the next column.” It might seem like overkill, but take the time to be specific once, and your help will get it right every time thereafter.

5.  Choosing what to sell

The challenge: You know you could make a mint if you just knew what products and services to sell. You’re just unsure how to pick a niche.

The solution: Admit that you’re weak in identifying prosperous niches, and delegate the task to someone who is strong in this area. You don’t have to hire a huge, expensive marketing firm; rather, recruit a freelance researcher who has experience in whatever type of field you’re considering entering (retail e-commerce, service industry, publishing, etc.). Have them conduct market research and create a report with suggested niches, backed by potential profit margins and a complete SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

This isn’t to say you should have someone else decide for you; however, if you’re not good at identifying niches it’s a good idea to have someone who is make suggestions. You can then analyze the suggestions for yourself to determine if you agree. Taking this step now can save you a lot of time, money and hassles later — and it can save your entire business and livelihood.

6.  Marketing strategy

The challenge:  You don’t know the best way to market your products and services: print, online, mobile, advertising, etc. You want to maximize your return on investment with efficient, targeted marketing that gets results.

The solution: Again, if you’re not adept at creating marketing plans and placing ads, it’s a good idea to outsource your marketing strategy to someone who is. At this point, all you need is a core marketing plan: what marketing activities will you undertake to motivate purchases? Give your planner a budget and tell them to craft a plan that efficiently uses that budget to produce profits.

This is not the time for experimentation. You can do that later, on your own or with the advice of your marketing strategist, after you’ve established a baseline that works.

7.  Capital

The challenge: You want to start or grow your business, but you have little capital to do it with.

The solution: There are many ways to earn funding, from traditional bank loans to family and friends to Kickstarter campaigns. You can choose these routes, certainly, but I prefer the self-fueled growth model in which you fund your own business endeavors.

Instead of trying to launch a multi-million dollar corporation overnight, focus on your initial core customers. Continually work to find new customers, of course, but consistently strive to be remarkable to those customers you already serve. Word-of-mouth will spread, and more customers will come looking for you. As they do, develop systems and business processes that allow you to delegate tasks without sacrificing quality. Your business will grow slow and steady, and you’ll be able to solve problems while they’re small.

Think about where you want to be five years from now. Can you get there without help, even if you have to delay growth a bit while you’re doing it? This is the best strategy to adopt for small business entrepreneurs. If you do feel you need funding, however, be sure to consult an attorney to make sure you’re not giving up too much of your business to get it.

8.  Strapped budget

The challenge: Even though cash flow is fine, it seems you never have enough in your budget to market your company to its full potential.

The solution: Unless you’re one of the Fortune 500 (and even if you are), every entrepreneur struggles with their budget. The key is to prioritize your marketing efforts with efficiency in mind — spend your money where it works — and reserve the rest for operating expenses and experimenting with other marketing methods.

Keep a close eye on your money, too: chances are, there are areas you can skim to free up more funds. Unless an expense is absolutely critical to your business and/or represents an investment with an expected return, cut it. In fact, do this exercise: See how lean you can run your business. You don’t have to actually do it, but cut everything you can and see if you still feel you can run your business (save for what you have to delegate and market with). Somewhere in between your leanest figure and your current budget is a sweet spot that will allow you to be just as effective and leave funds leftover to fuel growth.

9.  Business growth

The challenge: We’re assuming you are growing, not that you can’t grow, and you’ve come to the point at which you can’t take on any more work in your current structure.

The solution: Create new processes that focus on task delegation. Many entrepreneurs, used to wearing all the hats, find themselves in this position once they’ve achieved a modicum of success. Because you’re doing everything, your growth halts to a stop when it hits a self-imposed ceiling. The only way to break through is to delegate tasks to others to take yourself out of the production end, and segue into management and, finally, pure ownership.

10. Self-doubt

The challenge: An entrepreneur’s life is not enviable, at least in the beginning. It’s extremely easy to get discouraged when something goes wrong or when you’re not growing as fast as you’d like. Self-doubt creeps in, and you feel like giving up.

The solution: Being able to overcome self-doubt is a necessary trait for entrepreneurs. Having a good support system will help: family and friends who know your goals and support your plight, as well as an advisory board of other entrepreneurs who can objectively opine as to the direction of your business.

One of the best ways to deal with self-doubt is to work on your goals and tasks lists. When you’re down and lack motivation, look at your lists and know that the tasks you do today are contributing to your lifetime goals. By doing them, you’re one step closer, and you can rest assured that you are, indeed, on the path to business success.

Entrepreneurs face many challenges, and volumes have been written about how to overcome them. Perseverance and intelligence are your allies; use them to your advantage to keep working toward your goals. Understand that you’re not the first to struggle. Because of that, there are many resources available to help you get through your darkest days as an entrepreneur, so you can reap the immeasurable rewards that come with building your own successful business.

Buying a Car? Make an Informed Choice.


Used vehicles are often the best values you'll find in the automotive market. This is especially true for models just two or three years old. Not only is the price lower than a comparable new car's, but continuing ownership expenses such as collision insurance and taxes are lower, and a two- or three-year-old used vehicle has already taken its biggest depreciation hit. In addition, buying used is a way to get a nicer car than you'd be able to afford new.

 

Whether you are looking for a certified pre-owned or a private sale, or are buying from a dealer or neighbor, Consumer Reports can help lead you through the used car buying experience. This guide provides the essential information you need to choose a used car with a good reliability history, sell your old car, and get the best price.

 

If you are in the market for a new car, see our advice in the new car buying guide


https://www.consumerreports.org/buying-a-car/used-car-buying-guide/

 

Last Updated: Feb. 25, 2019


Should You Lease or Buy Your Fleet Vehicles? - via

when-to-lease-or-buy-infographic


The Difference Between Bonus Depreciation & Sectio

Micala Ricketts
MICALA RICKETTS

Bonus depreciation is a tax incentive that allows small- to mid-sized businesses to take a first year-deduction on purchases of qualified business property in addition to other depreciation. The Section 179 deduction is also a tax incentive for businesses that purchase and use qualified business property, but the two are not the same. In this post we take a look at how both bonus depreciation and Section 179 work and how they differ from each other.

How bonus depreciation works

Generally, the point of depreciation is to spread out the cost of an asset over the life of the asset, rather than take the full cost of the asset in the first year. Bonus depreciation is a kind of accelerated depreciation. In the year qualified property is purchased and put into use, a business is allowed to deduct 100% of the cost of the property in addition to other depreciation that is always available.

Qualified property (or assets) includes:

  • Property depreciated under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) that has a recovery period of 20 years or less
  • Computer software
  • Water utility property
  • Qualified film or television productions
  • Qualified live theatrical productions
  • Specified plants
  • Qualified improvement property
  • Some listed property

More specifically, property depreciated under the MACRS that has a recovery period of 20 years or less is generally tangible, personal property such as vehicles, office equipment, heavy equipment, machinery, etc. Land does not count as qualified property. 

Graphic_1 

Qualified improvement property is defined by the IRS as “any improvement to an interior portion of a building which is nonresidential real property if such improvement is placed in service after the date such building was first placed in service.”

Listed property, or property that can be used for both business and personal use, must be used 50% of more for business to qualify for bonus depreciation.

Keep in mind, to be depreciable, property must have a “determinable useful life,” meaning that it wears out, loses value, etc. It also must last more than one year. It’s not considered depreciable if it is put into use and disposed of in the same year.

IRS Form 4562 should be used to claim bonus depreciation and Section 179. Keep in mind, for each business or activity on a tax return that requires Form 4562, a separate Form 4562 must be submitted.

What is bonus depreciation for 2019?

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, bonus depreciation has been increased to 100% (up from 50%) for purchases of qualified property made between September 27, 2017 and January 1, 2023. Additionally, now used, qualified property acquired and put into use after September 27, 2017 can be depreciable if it meets certain requirements. Previously, only new purchases were eligible for depreciation. The requirements as stated by the IRS for used, qualified property are: 

  • The taxpayer or its predecessor didn’t use the property at any time before acquiring it.
  • The taxpayer didn’t acquire the property from a related party.
  • The taxpayer didn’t acquire the property from a component member of a controlled group of corporations.
  • The taxpayer’s basis of the used property is not figured in whole or in part by reference to the adjusted basis of the property in the hands of the seller or transferor.
  • The taxpayer’s basis of the used property is not figured under the provision for deciding basis of property acquired from a decedent.
  • Also, the cost of the used property eligible for bonus depreciation doesn’t include the basis of property determined by reference to the basis of other property held at any time by the taxpayer (for example, in a like-kind exchange or involuntary conversion).

Graphic_2 

Is bonus depreciation the same as Section 179?

Sometimes the Section 179 deduction is confused with bonus depreciation. After all, they serve similar purposes. But one key difference between the two is that Section 179 allows a business to expense a cost of qualified property immediately, while depreciation allows a business to recover that cost over time. In other words, the Section 179 deduction is taken (unless the business has no taxable profit) first to reduce the cost of the qualified property that was purchased, then bonus depreciation is taken after to decrease the remaining cost of the property over its useful life. Businesses that go over the spending limit for Section 179 can still benefit from taking bonus depreciation.

How Section 179 works

As of January 1, 2018, businesses can deduct up to $1 million of qualified property (up from $520,000 in previous years) immediately, with a phase-out threshold of $2.5 million. Once a tax year exceeds the threshold amount, the Section 179 deduction is reduced dollar-for-dollar by the excess amount. Starting in 2019, the deduction and phase-out threshold amounts will be subject to inflation.

Unlike bonus depreciation, Section 179 is limited to taxpayer’s business income. Passive income, such as assets used in rental property, is not eligible for the deduction. Also, bonus depreciation can push the taxpayer into a net operating loss, but Section 179 cannot. Unlike bonus depreciation, any Section 179 deduction elected that is not allowed due to income limitation is carried forward to future years.

Graphic_3 

Qualified property for the Section 179 deduction includes:

  • Tangible, personal property
  • Computer software
  • Some listed property
  • Qualified improvement property

Qualified improvement property includes improvements to alarms, fire protection and security systems, HVAC, and roofing. It does not include improvements to elevators, escalators, internal structural framework of a building, or enlargement of a building. Notice that HVAC is an example of an asset eligible for Section 179 but not bonus depreciation. 

Business owners should document the date of purchase of qualified property, the date the property was put into service, and all costs associated with the purchase. They can elect to take the Section 179 deduction by completing Part I of IRS Form 4562. To elect the deduction for listed property, Part V of Form 4562 should be completed before Part I.

Looking for more information on tax deductions that were revised under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act? Check out What You Need to Know About the 199A Pass-Through Deduction for 2019





New vs. Used Car – 6 Benefits of Buying a Slightly

Other than your home, your car might be the most expensive purchase that you ever make. I love nice cars, but I also try to manage my finances responsibly. As a result, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that a new car is an unnecessary expense.

Sure, you can find overpriced used cars and bargain buys on brand-new vehicles, but it’s not just the sticker price that makes a new car a waste. The associated fees, subsequent costs, and losses in value (i.e. depreciation) add up to thousands of dollars over the first few years of new car ownership. This is especially bad news if you end up upside down on your car loan.

On the other hand, a “slightly-used” car – one that’s only around two years old and has under 30,000 miles on it – can help you keep cash in your pocket without sacrificing quality. Below are 6 benefits of buying a used car (in like-new condition) over a brand new one.

1. Used Cars: Lower Price Tag, Less Depreciation

Remember the old adage that a new car loses thousands of dollars in value the moment you drive it off the lot? It’s still true, and it’s why used cars are better bargains. It’s also why you can buy a 2007 Porsche for the price of a 2011 Honda. Someone bought the Porsche for $50,000 and now it can be yours for $25,000.

Think about the average price of buying new. Figures from CNW Marketing Research show that the average price of a new car in 2008 was $25,536 before taxes and fees. That car could now be worth around $13,000. Would you rather  be the original buyer, who lost $12,000 or $13,000, or the second buyer who saves that much?

If you buy a car that’s one or two years old, it’ll still depreciate, but you’ll lose less money less quickly. And you’ll avoid that big initial hit that the previous owner took.

2. Sales Tax on New Cars

Every ad for a new car glosses over the tax issue. Many state laws subject new cars to state sales tax, but not used cars. In Georgia, for example, if you buy a used car from a private seller, you won’t owe any sales tax at all. Comparatively, the sales tax that dealers have to add to the price of a new car can be thousands of dollars. Don’t underestimate the savings, and research your state’s laws on the subject before you make a decision.

3. Falling Registration Fees

In most states, the rate of your annual registration fee is based on your car’s value and its model year. In Colorado, for example, registration fees fall dramatically during the first few years after a car is manufactured. The rate is highest in the first three years, and then levels off after five years. If your state has similar rules, you can save about a thousand dollars by avoiding the new car registration fees and buying a car that’s at least three, or better yet five, years old.

4. Useless Extras on New Cars, Cheaper Features on Used Cars

car interior

The oldest trick in the dealer’s book is to install additional dealer options. They’ll add a pinstripe, a protective film, or the immortal “anti-rust coating,” but new car buyers who want these add-ons can easily get them for a much lower cost from an after-market installer. Regardless, these changes don’t add a dime to the car’s resale value anyway. When you buy used, you may not get every feature you want, but you certainly won’t end up paying extra for things you didn’t ask for.

On the other hand, when you search for specific features that you do want in a used car, like a sunroof or navigation system, you’ll pay far less than the original owner did. Instead of needing to decline a dealer’s expensive navigation package with fees and surcharges, you’ll be able to afford the built-in features.

5. Dealers and Their Crazy Fees

As if paying $500 for rust-proofing isn’t bad enough, dealers hit new car buyers with shipping charges, destination fees, and “dealer preparation.” These fees feel even worse because unlike the unnecessary, unwanted pinstripe, owners have absolutely nothing to show for these charges except a lower bank account. When you buy a used car, you’ll have to visit the DMV to pay tag, title, and registration fees, but you won’t deal with any of the nonsense that dealers add.

Instead of caving to dealer fees and buying new, you take on a more powerful role when you’re in the market to buy a used car. You have a much better case for negotiating when you can tell a private seller you might just walk away from their old car. If they bought new, they’re not going to know everything you know about the benefits of buying used. They’ll be eager to keep you at the negotiating table.

6. Condition

Nowadays, cars are built to last for at least 100,000 miles, so you don’t have to sacrifice reliability and overall condition just to get a good deal on a used car. You can get a used (or “pre-owned”) car that’s scratch-free and in excellent mechanical shape. In fact, if you know anything about cars, you should be able to find one that is in “like new” condition.

However, if you’re not comfortable under the hood, you can rely on the certification programs and extended long-term car warranties that most car makers offer. When you buy a used car at a manufacturer’s dealership, you’ll know that they’ve inspected the vehicle and that it meets the strict requirements for certification. The biggest benefit you might find is the manufacturer’s warranty for used cars. Toyota, for example, offers a seven-year 100,000-mile warranty on certified used vehicles. This kind of peace of mind is crucial when buying a used car.

Final Word

New cars smell great, but how much is that scent really worth? By looking beyond the sale price and considering the total cost of buying new, you can get a better idea of how much you are really going to pay for the privilege of being the first owner of your next car. You might have to spend a little extra time on research, but from the initial price to the long-term costs, you’ll thank yourself for buying a slightly-used car that’s in good condition.

What are the pros and cons that you see to buying new or buying used? Share your success stories or nightmare deals in the comments below.

https://www.moneycrashers.com/benefits-of-buying-a-slightly-used-car/



5 Ways Equipment Financing is Empowering Small Con

“Equipment leasing and financing help all types and sizes of commercial businesses to acquire the equipment they need to conduct their business operations,” said Ralph Petta president and CEO. “For small businesses in particular, which may not have access to many funding options, equipment financing offers flexible, budget-friendly options that can help with cash flow and keep their equipment up to date.”
ELFA highlights five key benefits that make equipment finance an advantageous option for small businesses: 

1.  Get 100% equipment financing with no down payment. This allows the business to hold on to cash, or working capital, and use it for other purposes like financing project start-ups, expansion, improvements, marketing, or R&D. 
2.  Eliminate the risk of ownership.  A business just starting out can use equipment financing to help lessen the uncertainty of investing in a capital asset until it achieves a desired return. Advantages include increasing efficiency, reducing costs or meeting other business objectives. 
3.  Keep up-to-date with new technology. To be on the cutting edge and be competitive, businesses often need access to new technology. Leasing, loans and other financing help small businesses get more technology and better equipment than they would have gotten without financing. Businesses that use lease financing can avoid the risk of owning obsolete technology and equipment, since many agreements allow for easy and fast equipment updates. 
4.  Plan expenses for cash flow and business cycle fluctuations. Equipment financing helps budgeting by setting customized rent payments to match cash flow, and even to match seasonal cash flows. 
5.  Obtain the convenience of product and service bundling. Certain financial products allow businesses to finance the entire cost of equipment, including installation, up-front maintenance, training, and software charges. That puts packaging systems, and ancillary products and services into a single solution so the business is freed to focus on its core operations. 

For more information about how equipment financing helps businesses succeed, visit www.EquipmentFinanceAdvantage.org. This site includes a digital toolkit, articles, informational videos, definitions of the various types of financing, a lease vs. loan comparison and questions to ask when financing equipment.

Tips for Equipment Leasing

 
·        Get a flexible payment structure to fit your business needs. If your business has a slow season, ask for seasonal payment plans. 
 
·        Consider a leasing program that provides for lease expiration at or near warranty expiration. 
 
·        With an operating lease, if you think you’ll keep the equipment after the lease term, ask for a cap on the purchase price, such as “fair market value (FMV) not to exceed 20% of the equipment’s cost.”
 
·        Use your existing equipment to generate cash. With a sale and leaseback, a leasing company buys your existing equipment and leases it back to you. You get the cash that is locked up in your equipment while still continuing to use it.
 
·        Refinancing your existing equipment with a capital or finance lease can lower payments by as much as 50%. 
 
·        Understand the fine print. Most leases contain a termination value schedule, detailing the amount that will need to be paid to terminate the lease.
 
·        Don’t be afraid to ask for references when shopping for an equipment leasing company.
 

Eight Reasons Businesses Finance and Lease Equipme

8 REASONS BUSINESSES LEASE AND FINANCE EQUIPMENT

The vast majority (78%) of U.S. businesses lease or finance their equipment, and the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association has released a new infographic highlighting why this method of equipment acquisition is so popular. The "8 Reasons to Finance Equipment for Your Business" infographic provides a reader-friendly, visually inviting explanation of some of the key benefits businesses enjoy when they lease or finance the equipment they need to operate and grow.

This new tool is the latest resource from ELFA's Equipment Finance Advantage website for end-users, a one-stop resource designed to help current and potential end-users of equipment financing make the best possible decisions. The infographic showcases a variety of ways businesses can use equipment finance to their strategic advantage, including:

  • Finance 100% - Arrange 100% financing of your equipment, software and services with 0% down payment.
  • Save cash - Save your limited cash for other areas of your business, such as expansion, improvements, marketing or R&D.
  • Keep up-to-date - Keep up-to-date with technology by acquiring more and better equipment than you could if the financing option were not available.
  • Outsource asset management - Let your equipment financing company manage your equipment from delivery to disposal.
  • Accelerate ROI - Rather than paying one lump sum for your equipment, make smaller payments while the equipment generates revenue.
  • Customize your terms - Set customized payments to match your cash flow and even seasonal income fluctuations.
  • Benefit from bundling - Bundle the equipment, installation, maintenance and more into a single, easy-to-manage solution.
  • Hedge against inflation - Lock in rates when you sign your lease to avoid inflation in the future.

"There's a reason nearly 8 out of 10 companies lease or finance their equipment—it makes good business sense," said ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta. "We are pleased to present this new infographic illustrating some of the important ways our industry 'Equips Business for Success.'"



Time to Change Your Mindset

Lease assets rather than buying?

Buying outright might not be the best use of your capital. Look at leasing and hire as an option for acquiring assets. When your business needs to acquire assets, buying them outright might sound like the simplest option; cash purchases can work out cheaper in the long run and the goods are classed as business assets and so can be used as security. However, this might not be the best use of your working capital. If you take out an overdraft or loan to cover the outright purchase of assets, build interest repayments into your calculations and compare that against hire or leasing costs before you make your final decision. If you don’t need to own the item immediately, consider leasing. Leasing allows businesses to use valuable assets – such as machinery, cars or furniture – without buying them outright. These items are instead bought and owned by a finance house and leased to you for a set period.

In Brief – Leasing

  • You get immediate access to the assets but pay back on a monthly basis, thereby easing your company’s cashflow
  • Leasing companies effectively lend you the total cost of items leased
  • Almost anything can be leased – cars; property; IT and telecommunications equipment; machinery; printers and photocopiers; or even furniture
  • There are various tax benefits – for example, you can deduct lease costs from your taxable income
  • It can take only days to organise

Pros

  • Cash that would have been spent on assets can be released to finance growth
  • You don’t own a depreciating asset and can return it, offering flexibility
  • You can lease almost anything from company cars through to computers, phones, photocopiers, machinery and furniture.
  • You can access the latest equipment and may receive maintenance and support as part of the leasing deal
  • There are tax benefits. For example, you can claim back VAT on lease payments and you can also deduct the lease costs from your taxable income.

Cons

  • If you lease the item long-term you’ll probably end up paying more for the asset than buying outright
  • Leased items are not classed as business assets and so can’t be used as security
Business Lincolnshire


Lease Options - Which is Right for Your Business?

Lease Options

 

Capital Leasefixed-term lease similar to a loan agreement for purchase of capital asset on installments.  Lessor’s services are limited to financing the asset, the lessee pays all other costs, including insurance, maintenance, and taxes.  Capital leases are regarded as essentially-equivalent to a sale by the lessor.  Must be shown on lessee’s balance sheet as a fixed asset.  Lessee acquires all economic benefits (such as depreciation) and risks (such as the loss of the leased asset) of ownership, but can claim only the interest portion (not the entire amount) of the lease payment as an expense.

 

Operating Lease short-term lease, equipment returned to lessor at lease end, lessor gives lessee the exclusive right to possess and use leased asset for a specific period, but retains almost all risks and rewards of ownership – full amount of lease payment is charged as an expense on the lessee’s income statement but no associated asset or liability (other than lease payment) appears on lessee’s balance sheet.

 

Sale and LeasebackOff balance sheet financing in which an owner sells an asset to a leasing firm and, at the same time, lease it (as a lessee) on a long-term basis to retain exclusive possession and use.  Although this arrangement frees capital tied up in a fixed asset, the original owner loses depreciation and tax benefits.  Also called a leaseback.