Get the Most out of Vendor Financing

Know that vendors can sometimes play a significant role in financing a new business. Partners in one startup persuaded vendors to give them "net-30" terms in order to stock a retail store. They made enough money to pay the vendors back in 30 days.

If you need financing for equipment or supplies, ask your suppliers first. They may be willing to work out an arrangement with you to keep you as a customer. If you haven’t established vendor relationships, shop around. Your trade association may be able to point you to suppliers that offer financing.

Check the vendor’s credentials and reputation before you sign an agreement. Look for stability. Keep in mind that a number of major suppliers own financial companies that can help you, such as GE Small Business Solutions and IBM Global Financing.

Ken Yancey CEO SCORE Washington, D.C.

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