Businesses have faced many challenges over the past year including high inflation, volatile markets, and economic uncertainty. Coming out of the pandemic, it became clear that a new challenge for the car wash market was supply chain issues pushing out lead times on orders. What normally took four to six weeks, is now taking three to six months (sometimes longer), from order placement to equipment delivery and installation. Equipment was needed, though, and orders had to be placed, otherwise, car washes were looking at even longer lead times and delays to their equipment arrival. Given this situation, businesses were looking at spending a lot of cash up front and then waiting months, if not years, to see a return on that investment.
DEFERRED PAYMENT SCHEDULE
Fortunately for car wash businesses, there’s a financing option to help them through this challenge. The financing structure is called a deferred payment schedule and can play a pivotal role for businesses. Rather than a standard structure of equal monthly payments starting right away, a deferred structure may have the first three payments as low as $99 per month, as an example, followed by regular payments after that period.
This structure can help car washes tremendously; they can get their order placed and in the queue, then delay their first full payment for at least three months to be able to better match their first regular payment to when their equipment arrives and gets installed — and starts generating revenue. This allows small businesses to preserve their cash lines, get the equipment they need to grow, and start cash flowing once their new equipment gets installed.
The deferred payment schedule is a great solution for this unique lead time challenge we’re all living through now but, it can also be a great solution in normal times to help businesses ramp up their car wash equipment revenues before regular payments start as well.
CHOOSE A LENDER
When choosing a lender, there are several important areas for a car wash owner to consider. Does the lender you are considering offer:
• A simplified credit process: Is financing a cumbersome process requiring a lot of financing information and paperwork? Look for a lender that has a high application-only threshold. This allows for a quick turnaround to lock in equipment promotions and saves you time since you don’t have to pull together financial statements.
• Easy financial documents: Some lenders have complicated financial paperwork. Choose a lender that knows the car wash industry and has streamlined the requirements. Simple documentation that is electronically delivered expedites the financing process and makes it seamless to the customer.
• Ability to finance bundled costs: Look for a lender that offers 100 percent financing that includes soft-cost financing. This enables you to include tax, shipping, and other items in the monthly payment. This means you can avoid up-front or out-of-pockets expenses. Ask your lender if you can include 30 percent to 40 percent soft costs.
Choose a lender that knows the car wash industry.
However, you choose to grow your business, it’s good to know that you have resources to help you achieve your goals.
Financing based on credit parameters, terms, conditions, and credit approval. Loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Financing Law license. Contact your tax advisor about potential tax savings and the impact to your business.
Paul Hagner is vice president of commercial and industrial sales at Ascentium Capital, a national direct lender that specializes in financing for the car wash industry and is a proud member of the International Car Wash Association. Car wash owners can request several free resources that can help in choosing the right type of financing including information about potential tax savings on equipment purchases. For more information contact Paul Hagner at (720) 219.3211 or e-mail PaulHagner@AscentiumCapital.com.