Emily Zwach

Celebrating National Women’s Small Business Month

National Women’s Small Business Month takes place each year during the month of October. Red Thread Financial is proud to be a business with strong female leaders and this month is a time to celebrate it! “National Women’s Small Business Month is a time to recognize and applaud the talented, dedicated and driven women whose entrepreneurial spirit helps drive our nation’s economy forward,” -Carla Harris, Chair of the National Women’s Business Council.

Did you know that in 1972, women only owned 4.6% of businesses in the United States? In 2019, that number has gone up to 42%. Currently, there are over 11.6 million women-owned businesses in the US!

RTF has helped countless women-owned businesses obtain the equipment they need to grow and prosper. We can help with any equipment finance needs for your women-owned business!

Emily Zwach

What Returning Your Shopping Cart Says About You

I have a pet peeve. You know when you’re at the grocery store and you see shopping carts littered around the parking lot? That drives me insane.

I realized there are 2 different people in this world; cart returners and cart deserters. Whichever side of the line you stand on says a lot about you.

Disclaimer: This blog post is a fun look at cart returning. There are obviously exceptions to every rule and you might fall under the grey area. This article is about those that are able to make a choice; to return the cart or not. If physical disabilities or family safety prevents you from returning a cart, then this blog probably doesn’t pertain to you. 

This article was originally published by Craig Dacy. See the original post here

Cart Returners Put Others First

There are hundreds of excuses for someone to leave their cart propped up on a grassy median or left between parking spaces. Maybe they’re in a hurry or it’s raining. Maybe they’re trying to escape the dirty looks they’re getting because their oversized truck is parked across 2 spaces. Whatever the reason is, there is one thing all of these excuses have in common; it’s all about them.

When you take the time to return your cart to its receptacle, you’re showing that you care about the employees of the grocery store. You acknowledge that if you don’t put the cart away, someone else will have to do it for you. Basically, it shows that you’re not a selfish person.

Why not take it a step further? If you see a disabled person with a cart, offer to return it for them. It’s all about helping our neighbor.

Successful people put others first. Instead of being wrapped up in things that benefit them, they look for ways to help and serve those around them.

When it comes to money, the more giving you are the more you’re likely to make. A hand that’s closed tightly around money ensures none leaves but also ensures no more can come in. An open hand allows money to come and leave freely.

Cart Returners Are Disciplined

We’ve all been tempted to turn to the dark side, right? Your child is screaming and the nearest cart receptacle is 10 parking spaces away. Can’t I leave the cart here just this once?

These are the moments that define us. Will you stand strong or break to temptation? Look on the bright side; that screaming child ensures that everyone will look and see you doing the right thing!

Walking the 10 spaces shows you’re disciplined. You’ve committed yourself to a moral standard that you won’t break. Discipline is an attractive quality in people. Employers look for it in their employees and people look for it in their potential mates. They want to know they can trust you to do the right thing no matter what the circumstances.

Disciplined people tend to be more successful with money. Sticking to a budget and saving money isn’t easy. There always seems to be budget-busting purchases we can justify. If we don’t have the self-control to resist deserting our shopping cart, will we have the self-control to turn away from an impulsive purchase?

Cart Returners Are Happier People

I know I’ve addressed it already, but I’ll say it again. Cart returning shows you’re not selfish. Which is good because selfish people aren’t happy.

You know Ebenezer Scrooge from Charles Dickens’ story A Christmas Carol? Of course, you do. Whether you’re picturing the traditional story or the Scrooge McDuck version, you know that Scrooge is only concerned about making money and turns away anyone asking for help. While he is very wealthy, he is miserable and alone (and probably wouldn’t return his cart, either).

Giving to others brings happiness into our lives. Whether it’s a big or small gesture, they can make a lasting impact. Focusing only on ourselves gives us a negative outlook on life. We tend to only think about the things we don’t have, the things we want, or the things others have that we wish we had. None of these bring on a spirit of gratitude or contentment.

Finding a way to give to others will change your outlook. Giving takes the focus off of yourself and puts it on others. This can even benefit your budget. When you’re not focused on yourself, you tend to spend less money on yourself. Funny how that works out.

At the end of the day, the only person you can control is you. As infuriating as it is to see a front row parking space blocked by a deserted cart, take comfort in knowing that you still have the upper hand.

To all my cart deserters out there; it’s never too late to make a change. Cart returners are very forgiving and will welcome you to our side with open arms!

Finally, to all my cart returners; there is one last glimmer of hope for you. While the walk to the receptacle may be treacherous, the walk back to your car can be empowering. You did the right thing. Hold your head up high, pump your fist in the air, and consider that walk as your victory lap.

As Zig Ziglar said, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” AFP strives to be a cart returner in everything we do. We are committed to helping our customers achieve their financial goals. Call or email us today!

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The Shocking Correlation between Equipment Finance and Employee Turnover

In a recent independent survey of 2412 Business Owners (less than $30,000,000 in revenue) that make at least 2 equipment purchases per year…

  • Companies that pay cash for equipment keep equipment longer
  • Companies that pay cash for equipment have higher maintenance expenses
  • Companies that pay cash for equipment have more equipment downtime
  • Companies that pay cash for equipment have more employee turnover

Think about it–the longer you keep equipment the higher the maintenance expense. Higher maintenance expenses typically mean that there are “down time” expenses because of equipment failure. And while these events are occurring, small businesses are perhaps missing the single biggest negative impact.

The most damaging by-product of the “pay cash and run it till the wheels fall off” strategy is not rental expense, maintenance or even the pain of cash flow spikes—it’s employee turnover. As a business owner, your single biggest expense is most likely labor. Your people. Finding good ones seems to be getting harder and the cost of losing and then finding another good employee is extremely expensive and disruptive to a small business. When your company is using older technology and equipment leading to issues of “down time” and inefficient performance—employees leave.

82% of 7,226 small business equipment operators (from entry level to advanced in industries ranging from construction to IT) said current equipment was a major factor in their job satisfaction.

No wonder the same research revealed that companies that paid cash reported higher turnover among equipment operators. Financing allows for companies to stay on the cutting edge of technology. A simple monthly payment for a period of time, only to replace the equipment at the end of the finance term with the newest model and/or technology. Financing executed the right way becomes a program to ensure your company and more to the point—your employees—have the tools to do the job.

And don’t sleep on the small stuff. Many times business owners wouldn’t think of not financing the $100,000 purchase but are paying cash for the next 3 laptops or the used trailer. These items are often the most impactful to the employee experience and from a financial point of view can add up to be significant monies.

The right finance partner can help. American Financial Partners makes commercial equipment more affordable for businesses like yours. And by opening your mind a bit, you might just build a better work environment along the way as well. Let’s talk.

 

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GET YOUR EQUIPMENT PURCHASES AT A 35% DISCOUNT? WANT TO KNOW HOW?

For the last several years, our beloved politicians have made the decision to limit the deduction potential of your equipment purchases. But after almost eight years of sluggish recovery and once in a generation slowness for capital investing, the light bulb finally came on in December of last year and you can acquire new commercial equipment for a large discount if you take advantage of this new legislation.

Late last year, Congress brought back the strength of the Section 179 Tax Deduction for businesses. Under the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015,” the Section 179 limit is expanded to $500,000 with additional benefits of bonus depreciation for amounts over $500,000. The new law will make this a permanent change and that is really big news!  But 73% of small business owners still haven’t gotten the word. In a recent survey more than 7 out of 10 small business owners didn’t understand the financial impact on the affordability of commercial equipment. Well, let’s fix that.

The Section 179 deduction often allows small businesses (subject to specific limitations) to deduct upfront, rather than depreciate over a number of years, the cost of equipment such as computers, vehicles, manufacturing equipment, farm machinery, office furniture, etc. Combined with the benefits of bonus depreciation, the incentive to acquire equipment and stay on the cutting edge of technology is significant.

That’s a savings of up to 35% (depending on your tax bracket and specific situation)!! Each year these assets need to be purchased and put into service by Dec. 31 to qualify for taking the deduction in that tax year.  Please also note that businesses exceeding a total of $2 million of purchases in qualifying equipment will have the Section 179 deduction phase out dollar-for-dollar and completely eliminated above $2.5 million. Additionally, under this new law, the Section 179 cap will be indexed to inflation in $10,000 increments in future years. 50% Bonus Depreciation will also apparently be extended under this legislation through 2019, and will be phased down to 40% in 2018 and 30% in 2019.

Start planning now

By working closely with your tax advisor and an experienced equipment financier, you might be able to put more or better revenue producing equipment in-service. You can stop running equipment “until the wheels fall off”. You can bid on that new project more effectively. You can put more revenue producing equipment in-service. A little planning as we approach the 4Q can position your business to maximize this tax deduction and your opportunities for growth.

At Red Thread, we work with customers every day to maximize their equipment purchasing power—putting more revenue producing equipment in-service—with a simple process. If you’d like to discuss how to leverage Section 179 to fuel your growth between now and the end of the year, give us a call.

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THE EQUIPMENT PURCHASE: PAYING CASH VS. FINANCING

For years, popular “money experts” have preached that you should “never buy with credit what you can buy with cash”. And while this is a nice sentiment, it is more of a ideal than an actual recommended business practice. Many of these experts have forgotten one of the most universal rules of business—that any debt, regardless of rate, is usually far cheaper than equity. Or put another way, that using someone else’s money to pay for something is generally more beneficial than using your own.

Here’s a few reasons why financing is better than paying with cash:

  1. Equipment depreciates rapidly. Spending capital on something that is going to be worth less with every day that passes means you are stuck with useless equipment the end of that equipment’s lifetime. Imagine you purchase a $50,000 asset that will be worth $35,000 in 3 years. If you paid cash, at the end of that period you’d have $50,000 equity in a $35,000 asset. Not a great investment. If you financed it, you’d only be paying for essentially what you have used of the asset, preserving capital and cash flows along way.
  2. Soft costs can add up fast. When purchasing a comprehensive equimpment solution, soft costs like labor, installation, and maintenance are often not included in the sale price, which means you’re outlaying more cash initially than you would if you had decided to pay monthly for the same equipment.
  3. Upgrading equipment often can be expensive when paying with cash. When you outgrow your equipment, the burden of finding a new solution falls on you – the owner – and the process begins all over again. When you finance equipment solutions, you can easily upgrade your equipment, often for the same monthly payment, and not have to worry about purchasing new equipment.
  4. It’s easier to budget when you have a monthly payment. Paying cash outright for an expensive solution can mean that your operating expenses for that month, or year, are totally used up. This leaves no room for emergency spending and often times can eat away at reserve funds. When you make monthly payments, you can allocate the money you had previously budgeted into the operating expenses you need to address the most.

When cash reserves are nearly always plentiful and abundant, paying cash may have some merit as a solution. But who lives there? In a rapidly evolving, equipment driven economy, being nimble and adaptable to the changing landscape is incredibly important. The ability to upgrade to new equipment quickly and easily, and budget properly are just a few reasons why financing equipment projects make more sense than paying with cash.