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Our finance section was made to render you the much-needed edge on handling your business funds. Find information here about understanding your cash flow, financial management and best business practices. Get up-to-date small business insights and more!

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Eight Insider Lease Tips For Fleet

Do you want to lease a Mercedes or BMW? A typical consumer lease through a captive is often the best way to go, says Dale Davis, president of Republic Fleet Services in Costa Mesa, Calif. High-line manufacturers will subsidize the lease with a residual that’s well above market value. However, independent leasing companies can often structure more flexible lease terms. If the customer is in a tax bind and needs to spend an extra $100,000 in the last two months of the year, see if the leasing company can accelerate payments.

Conversely, if you’re a new or expanding business with a fleet that won’t be generating income for a while, ask for a step lease. This allows the client to conserve capital by making minimal payments in the early lean months. The other key is timing.

The manufacturers’ captive finance programs and banks offer flat two- to five-year leases at standard monthly intervals. “If you asked for 46 months, they wouldn’t give it to you,” says Davis. Smart lessors will move the client out of a lease when market conditions are advantageous. They can write the lease for a certain number of months to avoid conflicts with a new model change or to make to make sure a convertible isn’t coming off lease and on the market in Omaha in February, for example.

Keep Bank Lines Free. Financing fleet vehicles through a bank can needlessly tie up a company’s line of credit, says Davis. Using off-balance sheet financing is a smarter way to finance fleet vehicles. “Why use your bank lines for something that is worth less tomorrow?” says Davis. Instead, finance fixed, long-term debt with a lease through an independent leasing company, Davis recommends. This leaves bank lines free for inventory, hiring, payroll and other day-to-day activities. “A company with a two-million dollar net worth and a million dollars outstanding at their bank on vehicles is likely going to have a difficult time getting a half-million dollar operating line,” says Davis. “The average bank is not going to be too comfortable in lending any entity more than 50 percent of its net worth.”

Relieving the Excess Mileage Bind. A leasing company may be able to act as your advocate in a sticky off-lease situation with another lender or captive finance company. “We’ll take the advocate position for you with the lender and come to them with reality,” says Davis. A common problem is the vehicle coming off a closed-end lease with an excess mileage bill that would cover Harvard tuition for a year. Davis recalls a lessee that came to him with a three-year-old Cadillac with 180,000 miles on a closed-end lease. The only thing that made sense was the clothes rack hanging across the back seat,” says Davis.

“It fit in perfectly.” GMAC wanted $24,000 in excess mileage charges for a car with a residual value of $23,000. Republic stepped in and bought the car for residual then wholesaled it for $10,000, and billed the customer the $13,000 difference. The customer saved more than $10,000 over having to pay the excess mileage charge. Occasionally, leasing companies will bend their own excess mileage rules. Davis once wrote a lease with a 90,000-mile cap that was returned with 140,000 miles. The excess mileage bill came to $9,000.

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5 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Limo Overhead
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The Finer Points of Limo Marketing

6 Ways to Reduce Your Expenses Immediately

As a business owner, it’s always a good idea to periodically review your expenses and see if there are areas that can be reduced or eliminated. Fleet needs vary, personnel come and go, and monthly expenses are expected to rise each year, but there could be savings in the everyday bills we take for granted.

Many operators are tempted to simply increase money coming instead of taking the time to look at the money that is going out. In fact the biggest mistake small businesspeople can make is being blinded by the top number on the balance sheet. It’s the combination of upping revenue and slashing expenditures that will make an impact. Even cutting little fees and renegotiating terms could add up to big savings. Below are six of the best places to start finding hidden money in your budget. [Continue reading by clicking here]

Access Commercial Capital: Ready to Assist the Industry

Access Commercial Capital is the ground transportation industry’s one stop equipment finance and working capital solution.

“After decades’ long careers in transportation finance, we believe there is a void for good operators to obtain equipment finance and working capital. Access Commercial Capital is filling that void by offering financial solutions to an under-served market,” says Edward Kaye, Partner and Founder.

The company’s founders have developed successful finance products for the commercial coach, limousine, and specialty vehicle markets for over 25 years. Access Commercial Capital is now offering unsecured working capital loans and non-titled equipment financing to the same markets.

Access Commercial Capital’s financial products include secured and unsecured term loans, lines of credit, working capital loans, vehicle repair and refurbishment loans, debt refinancing, receivable financing, down payment financing, inventory purchasing and non-titled equipment leasing/financing.

“As true industry experts we listen to what operators need and how to get them financing at a reasonable cost. We look forward to meeting many new customers and rekindling old friendships,” says Edward Kaye.

For more information on how Access Commercial Capital can help you or your company, visit https://accesscapital.biz/ or call them at (800) 571-3900. [Click here to continue reading]

How Your Limo Company Can Stay Competitive with Uber

Owners of limousine companies took a substantial hit during the most recent recession. Yet, their problems weren’t over once the economy started to pick up. Just as consumers began to once again have discretionary income to spend on luxuries like chauffeur-driven rides to the airport, ride-sharing companies, like Uber and Lyft, came into the picture and quickly captured market share.

It has been a bumpy road for executive transportation providers for nearly a decade. Many companies that have held onto traditional business models have failed. Yet, there are others that have been able to grow by adapting to market changes. (Click here to continue reading)