Small business owners often turn to brokers to help them secure financing. This can be beneficial because generally, a broker will have access to numerous sources of funding which can mean a higher likelihood of securing the funding you need to keep your business operational. Here are five things you should look for when choosing a brokerage:
1. Experience with Your Industry
In some instances, a broker will focus on obtaining financing for businesses which operate in only a few industries. While specialization can be positive, if you are working with someone to secure financing on your behalf, you want to confirm they have an idea of the challenges faced in your field.
Since every business has different challenges, you will want someone who can meet those challenges head on. For example, some industries suffer from annual work slowdowns because of weather-related issues. Others may have increases in work during the holidays. The brokerage you select should understand these nuances.
2. Proven Track Record
You should ask a potential brokerage to provide you with at least one, and preferably more than one reference. The last thing you want to do is work with someone who has no track record. Asking their previous clients about the work that has been done on their behalf is one way to ensure you are working with a brokerage you can count on for results.
While there are many start-up brokerages who will work hard to prove they can process new inquiries, this could cause delays in your ability to get the funding you need, in the time frame you need to have funds available.
3. A Menu of Products
One of the challenges when selecting a brokerage is finding out what types of loan products they offer. If your industry requires various types of funding, for example, loans, accounts receivable, and equipment loans, these are often handled by different types of lenders. Make sure the brokerage has the capacity to work with various lenders.
While some may feel limiting the number of lenders who work with a single brokerage, this could put you at a significant disadvantage. When these types of limitations occur, what happens is you must fit into a specific “box” or it is harder for you to secur
4. Investigate Fee Structure
Another key aspect of working with a broker is how they are making their money. While some brokers are paid a simple finders fee by the lenders they work with, others are adding their fees onto your loan request. This may be done in numerous ways including increasing the interest rate you are paying, adding points, or increased fees such as application fees.
Before you get started with a new brokerage ask about the fees they charge and ask how they are paid. This can be very important particularly if you are looking for a long-term relationship.
5. Communicates Well with Clients
One of the final things you should investigate when searching for a brokerage is their communications with clients. Securing financing in a timely manner is important if you are depending on funding to grow your business, sign a new contract, or hire a new employee. If you are not able to reach your account representative in a timely manner, there could be devastating results.
Finding a brokerage who meets your needs is important. At Capstone Capital Group, we take pride in the fact we work with both direct customers and with brokerages. We offer a wide variety of financing products which many brokers find helpful to meet the diverse needs of their clients. We also have a number of ways for both clients and brokers to contact us so you can rest assured, we will be here to answer your questions or address your concerns.