Why Staffing Agencies Should Know About Factoring
Staffing agencies need working capital to meet their weekly payroll obligations. In many cases, there is a gap between billing their clients, and paying the workers who are sent to job sites. Staffing agencies have obligations to those workers assigned to outside employers, but this is not where the expenses end. Office expenses including equipment, marketing, and internal employees also require resources.
Working on the Bottom Line
We all understand cash flow is necessary to ensure any business thrives. Staffing agencies have a unique business model — businesses contract with staffing agencies to provide a labor pool for a specific period of time — unlike any other business. When a staffing agency signs a contract with a business, they typically have an agreement to pay invoices 30 to 90 days after an employee has filled their vacancy. This is problematic since it impacts a staffing agencies ability to fulfill their financial obligations. This leaves staffing agencies with few options:
- Pay staff members late
- Pay rent, utilities, and other payments late
- Pay temp workers late, partially, or only after the employer has paid
- Curtail your marketing (no money for staff to seek new clients)
- Take out a loan
These options are frightening; paying staff or employees late means you are going to have issues retaining some of your best staff, and temporary workers. Paying your invoices late could mean you are accruing late fees and penalties. Lack of funds for marketing means you are not growing your business; and finally, taking a loan out is complicated; most temp agencies do not have sufficient capital, assets, or credit scores to support a traditional loan.
Why Factoring Makes Sense
Imagine being able to tap a portion of the money owed to you before your customer pays their bill. This would allow a staffing agency to pay their bills on time, increase the potential for employee retention, and not have to go into debt to meet their financial obligations. This is a win-win for everyone involved; employees are paid on time, your marketing efforts are funded to keep your business growing, and your non-employee obligations are paid without worrying about costly late fees.
Type of Factoring
Staffing agencies have a couple of options for factoring their invoices. How a staffing agency elects to use factoring is largely dependent on how challenging their cash flow is. The first method, involves emergency cash to meet your current. This is known as spot factoring and allows you to select one, or more invoices and “redeem” them for a specific amount of cash based on the amount of the invoices. This method allows you to meet your immediate obligations and can be effective if you are facing a one-time issue.
Spot factoring has many benefits; first, it is generally less expensive than a short-term loan, a staffing agency gets access to capital quickly, and because there is no long-term obligation, you can factor an invoice any time you need a quick influx of cash.
For a long-term solution to cash flow issues, many staffing agencies opt to factor most, or all invoices. This process is often easier since a staffing agency can then turn over the invoice at the time it is issued and get nearly immediate access to cash. There are two methods that may be used for this type of factoring; discount factoring and collection factoring. Let’s examine how these types of factoring work:
- Discount factoring – discount factoring occurs when you sell a block of invoices to a factoring company. The company then provides you an advance against those invoices, which are used as collateral. Once the invoice is paid by your client, the factor then deducts their fees, and the balance is remitted to your company. Typically, this method works well for start-ups, or for those companies with ongoing cash flow needs.
- Collection factoring – when an established company, with positive net worth and profitable operations needs cash, they may opt for collection factoring. This type of factoring is done in two parts. First, the factoring company takes over the collection of your invoices; they basically assume any risk that might be associated with a customer not paying their bills. The factoring company charges a commission for accepting this risk.
Staffing agencies must spend a lot of time cultivating new clients, and attracting new talent to meet the needs of those clients. Worrying about having the necessary cash flow to meet day-to-day obligations is challenging. Contact Capstone Capital Group at 347-410-9894 or email them at [email protected] to find out what type of financing solution would work best for your staffing agency.