Asset Finance And How Does It Work?

What is Asset Finance And How Does It Work?

Wondering what asset financing is and how you can use it to help your business grow? Asset financing is a form of lending that allows you to buy, replace, or refinance assets while using them as security for the loan itself. Asset financing is thus a great way to free up capital flexibly and take advantage of new opportunities.

What is Asset Finance Used For?

Asset financing allows your business to gather immediate capital. There’s a range of things you can use this cash for – investing in equipment, paying your employees, or taking advantage of short-term growth opportunities. It’s most commonly used to purchase new assets, which can include inventory, machinery, vehicles, and even buildings!

What are the benefits of Asset Finance?

There are many benefits associated with choosing asset financing over traditional loans. Because the cost of purchasing an asset gets spread out over a more extended period, asset financing allows you to expand your business while protecting your cash flow. It’s also a great way to pay off investments in new assets while they benefit your business. Asset financing models are more flexible than traditional bank loans. Depending on your loan provider, you can tailor your interest rates to meet your business and borrowing needs. They also allow you to get cash loans much faster than with conventional financing arrangements. This makes them great if you need short-term cash. Asset financing is particularly beneficial for small companies, startups, and other businesses that lack the track record or credit rating necessary to qualify for alternative funding sources. With fixed payments, budgeting and cash flow become easy to manage. And if you fail to pay, you lose only your assets, not your business.

Asset Finance Models

There are several major types of asset financing:

Financial Lease

With a financial lease, ownership of the asset and the asset itself are transferred to the business for a certain amount of rent.

Hire Purchase

In a hire purchase model, a finance company purchases the asset on behalf of another company. The finance company owns the asset until the last payment is made, at which point it’s sold to the company using it.

Operating Lease

Like a financial lease, an operating lease also involves renting the asset. However, this is a shorter-term method, and the asset is ultimately returned to the company that originally owned it.

Equipment Lease

This also involves renting an asset. However, with an equipment lease, the ownership of the asset is never transferred. The agreement can also be cancelled at any time.

Asset Refinance

Asset refinancing involves using assets you already own to get a loan. The value of your asset will determine the amount you can borrow.

Can Asset Finance Help My Business?

Asset financing is fantastic if you need flexible, short-term funds. They’re very beneficial for start-ups and other small or new companies, especially since they aren’t based on a third-party evaluation of your business output. In any case, make sure you do your research before deciding on the best finance model for your business. If you’re looking for a leading provider of business loans in New Zealand, the friendly team at Spinach is here for you. Get in touch with us at 0800 774 622 to see how we can help your business grow today.

5 Key Points For Preparing a Winning Business Plan

Preparing a Business Plan

Your business plan is your ultimate decision-making tool. Without it, you are more likely to struggle to achieve your goals. A clear and concise business plan is your way to show your staff, your investors, and your bank that you know what you are doing. Anyone you approach for money will expect to see your business plan and without it, you won’t be getting any money because everyone knows that investing in a rudderless business is simply too risky. That’s why you must take certain things into consideration to make sure your business plan is effective.

Following are some tips that will help you when preparing a business plan:

1. Be Clear on What You Want to Achieve

Ask yourself what you want to achieve and what your company stands for. Think of everything you would want a potential employee, customer, partner, or investor to know about it. This include the following:

  • Vision Statement: Create a short and aspirational vision statement. It should be realistic. You should take your time to get it right.
  • Unique Selling Proposition: This includes the reasons why you believe that the customers will come to you instead of your competitors.
  • Target Market Identification: Although you would want to expand your customer base as much as possible, it pays to have a clear picture of the target market as it will make it easier for you to communicate with them.
  • Explanation of Products/Services: Make sure the explanation is in line with your Unique Selling Proposition and meets the needs of your target market.
  • Goals: List your goals. They should be measurable, realistic, and consistent with your financial plan.

2. Set Out the Details

The next step is to see how your vision will work. Specify what your business structure is and who will help you bring your vision to life. Following are some others things you should include:

  • Structure and History: Outlines the background of your business and introduce key people like managers, employees, investors, and partners.
  • Analysis of Competitors: Do a complete analysis of the competitive landscape, including information on the characteristics and size of the target market, industry, as well as your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
  • Business Assets: Identify what you have as well as what you need, including plant and equipment, premises, intellectual property, information systems, insurance and licenses.
  • SWOT Analysis: Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your idea along with potential opportunities and threats.
  • Goals and Milestones: Set out your key business goals for the period covered by the plan along with different milestones you want to reach. Make sure your goals are realistic and measurable.
  • Financial Forecasts: List your capital requirements and start-up costs as well as your projected cash flow, loss and profit, break-even analysis, and balance sheet forecasts.
  • Business Strategies: These should include sales, marketing, and customer retention strategies.

We recommend that you use Stats NZ’s Data for Business website in order to find useful business statistics and tools.

3. Keep it Short and Easy to Understand

When writing a business plan, make sure to keep it realistic, short, and easy to understand. It is important to consider that someone reading your business plan in the future might not be familiar with jargon or more technical terms. That’s why we recommend you write the business plan in plain English. It is also recommended that you do your research and provide evidence to support your conclusions (if possible) and include an action plan.

4. Review and Make Necessary Changes

After the above steps, you are finally ready to review your work and finalize the summary. Carefully review the business plan and make sure it presents a compelling and cohesive picture of your business in a professional format. After that, take the most important component of each section and use them to create an engaging executive summary. Your goal here is to create the summary that draws the reader into the rest of your business plan.

5. Put the Plan to Work

Once your business plan is ready, treat it as a guide to running your business. Keep in mind that business plans are dynamic documents which means that you should adjust your business plan as your business develops. If the circumstances and goals change, update the plan. The Stats NZ website has some great tools and information to get your business started.

 

As always, Spinach believe in business, and we are inspired by goals of growth. We want to be part of your success. To get us on board, please call us on 0800 SPINACH (0800 774 622) or email us info@spinach.co.nz

The Process of Gaining Patent Protection in NZ

If you are serious about an idea or basic product and want to transform it into an invention, it is very important that you get patent protection. Without patent protection, it is unwise to promote or advertise the idea, as it can be easily stolen. More than that, your idea will not be taken seriously by businesses you approach because without the patent protection, your idea is just that – an idea.

Patenting in New Zealand offers protection within the country. If you want to get patent protection in a foreign country, you will need to apply for a patent in that country or in a region that includes that certain country.

Before we get into the details of what to expect, it is important to note, that this process should be walked through with a Patent Attorney who specialises in this type of work. Our explanation has simplified what to expect, but is in no way being offered in place of solid legal advice!

Procedure for Obtaining a Patent

The process of patenting a new idea or product is not simple, in fact, it can be quite complex. Here is the procedure in a nutshell:

1. Search Existing Patents

The first step is to search in order to see whether your idea or product has already been patented. You may be out of luck if your basic idea or product has already been patented. If it isn’t, then you can proceed to complete your patent application. It may sound easy, but in truth, it’s not. Patent searches are likely to reveal a similar idea or product that has already been patented. If that is the case, then you might need to alter your idea/product to make it less similar.

2. Apply for a Patent

The next step is to apply for a patent. You will need to complete an application and submit it to IPONZ and also pay a $100 fee (provisional). You can either file a new application for a provisional specification or a complete specification. Keep in mind that the application for a patent is not similar to completing an employment application. It is a hectic procedure and must be done correctly so that your idea or product as well as your future rights to it are protected. Any mistakes may result in a quick denial from IPONZ.

3. Pending Application

Once you have submitted your application, it will become a pending application. The procedure after that depends on the route you have chosen for patent filing. In some jurisdictions, a patentability search will be carried out within 6 months of filing the application.

4. Publication

Patent applications are generally published on the IPONZ website approximately 18 months after they are first filed. From that date, anyone can access the contents of your patent application. It is also possible for you to see copies of correspondence with IPONZ as the application is examined.

5. Examination

Once your patent application is published, the next step is to request examination of the application. You can usually do this within 6 months of publication and you can expect to receive the first examination report within the 12 months period of requesting examination. You must also file a response to the examination report, generally within 3-6 months of receiving the examination report. In some cases, multiple examination reports will be issued. If successful, your patent will be granted within 6 months of filing a successful response to your examination report.

6. Acceptance

If there are no objections from the examination, your patent will be accepted and the accepted form of your application will be published in the IPONZ Journal. Once the patent is accepted and your application has been allowed, you will need to pay some form of official fee associated with the issue or grant procedure. Once granted, you will need to pay annual government renewal fees that are usually due each year up to and including the 20th year so that your patent is kept in force.

7. Renewal Fees

Annual renewal fees are payable in most countries, even on pending applications. They are generally paid from the third year onwards. In New Zealand, you are required to pay renewal fees in the 4th, 7th, 10th and 13th years after the date the application was first filed. The term of a patent is 20 years from the date of filing the complete specification.

Your patent is your most valuable asset and it lasts for 20 years. Most people who have gone through the process say that getting patent protection is a bit like buying a house. The procedure can be frustrating and overwhelming, but undeniably worthwhile once completed. To take that next step, contact a reputable and experienced attorney to discuss your idea.

We can recommend people if you need advice on where to go too, so give us a call if this applies to you.