The retail industry is evolving and if you own a business in this sector you need to be aware of the trends and respond appropriately to thrive and perhaps even survive. According to Square, the top retail trends right now are as follows:
- Expanding where they sell to more digital channels
- Planning for economic uncertainty, often raising prices
- Using automation to enhance the customer experience
- Engaging more with customers
- Adding social and mobile commerce to reach more customers
- Focusing on providing experiential retail experiences
- Taking advantage of the blurring borders between verticals
- Offering flexible payment options
While some of those don’t require a monetary investment, others do, and if you don’t have cash on hand you may want to consider securing a retail business loan. An infusion of cash may also be just what you need to overcome some of the challenges many retailers face.
Challenges Unique to Retail
Businesses in all industries face a variety of challenges but retail is unique in that the following four all can put pressure on their cash flow and affect growth opportunities:
- Seasonality—It’s typical to have peaks and valleys throughout the year, plus ordering merchandise in advance is crucial to meet holiday sales demand.
- Inventory Management—Sales level variation can deplete inventory and affect customer satisfaction, plus a lack of funds can dampen wholesale purchasing power.
- Flexible Hiring—Immediate expansion of staff is required at key times of the year, plus it may be required to bring on part-time employees based on demand.
- Competition—There’s constant pressure to attract and retain more customers, plus it’s necessary to have the latest highly sought-after merchandise in stock.
With a number of types of retail business loans available, there’s no reason to let an inability to invest in your business be its downfall.
Types of Retail Business Loans
Retain businesses typically seek out a few different types of loans:
- Small Business Loans—To secure operating capital for daily expenses, materials, payroll and other monetary outlays
- Equipment Financing and Leasing—To have the ability to purchase or lease equipment to support the business
- Lines of Credit—To have access to funds up to a certain approved amount when immediate needs arise
- Merchant Cash Advance—To receive cash up front and repay it with a daily percentage of future credit card sales
A loan expert who specializes in the retail space can provide invaluable counsel to help you decide which type of loan is best for your situation.
Qualifying and Applying For Retail Business Loans
Bank loans require loads of paperwork/documentation and the time frame before you receive a decision—which likely could be “no”—is rather lengthy. Working with an alternative lender is going to be much easier—with a much quicker time to a probable “yes.” Each lender will have specific requirements for qualifying for a retail business loan but in general there are a few things they all will look at during the decision-making process:
- Length of time in business
- Annual sales
- Personal credit score
The application process when working with an alternative lender is fast and simple; most have online forms to get started. Once your application is received, you’ll be paired with someone who can help guide you through the process.
Contact Clear Skies Capital today at 800-230-9822 to see if you qualify for a retail business loan. We’ve helped hundreds of retailers overcome cash flow issues—and we’d love to help you too.