Baby's on Broadway retail store signage

Baby’s on Broadway: Watching this retail store growing up with great funding

How funding, partnership and dedication turned a retail idea into a community cornerstone that continues to grow. This is the success story of Baby’s on Broadway.

Baby's on Broadway retail store signage

After the birth of her first son in 2007, like most parents, Adelle Starin developed a new hobby: researching the newest and best baby products out there. But living in her small town of Little Falls, Minnesota, with a population of just over 8,000 people, she struggled to find a place where she could buy all the items she loved. 

This little problem would actually lead the entrepreneur into her future business passion.

Adelle Starin - Baby's on Broadway

Taking the plunge on a dream idea

With no baby store in the area, Adelle would have to regularly pack up the car and baby, then travel several hours each way to a larger city every time she wanted to buy baby gear. For a busy working mom, that was a major time commitment and hassle. 

Then, inspiration struck. What if she opened her own baby store in Little Falls to serve local parents?

But it was 2008 and, during a difficult recession, this was simply an ‘imagine if…’ discussion with her friends and family. However, over the next couple of years, her planning continued and the economy began to rebound.

While the idea of leaving her lucrative career as a real estate holder was frightening, Adelle sensed an exciting moment of change on the horizon. In 2013, after five years of planning, she took the leap and Baby’s on Broadway was born.

From local reach to national appeal

Baby’s on Broadway was a much-needed resource in the small town, and local parents loved Adelle’s personalized approach—plus her commitment to finding the right products for each customer. 

“We really pride ourselves on taking that one-on-one time with our moms. It’s very no-pressure, we want them to have the right fit for them, and that’s what’s kept customers coming back over and over again.” Adelle Starin, Owner of Baby’s on Broadway

The store’s popularity wasn’t limited to the immediate Little Falls area, either. Customers started driving in from further away—even from out of state. The store was also beginning to develop a national reach through their activities on social media.

However, for the first three or four years, Adelle had trouble finding the right types of funding to support her growing business. As she had just gone through a difficult divorce, her credit wasn’t where it needed to be to access traditional financing. Instead, she paid in cash or took informal loans from friends and family.

Fortunately, a banking partner referred her to Liquid Capital. While at the time she wasn’t able to get approved yet, she quickly came to realize that Liquid Capital would be a good choice for her in the future.  

A partner for growth, even in strange times

Baby's on Broadway - Art Supplies and more

Over the next couple of years, Adelle worked with her Liquid Capital partner, to work on qualifying for funding. With their support, she reached her goal and began partnering with Liquid Capital in early 2020.

Adelle learned that the Purchase Financing Program (PFP) would make all the difference for her business moving forward. Before PFP, it had been challenging for her to get the amount of product she needed to keep up with demand. Many of her vendors required pre-payment and charged 10% for shipping and delivery on low-volume orders.

Once Baby’s on Broadway got started with PFP, the business was able to make larger purchases—saving money and improving cash flow.

“The Purchase Financing Program has worked incredibly well. I’m able to buy more stock at once and keep the inventory for a longer time. It also allows me to save on shipping and freight charges. Sometimes I’ve even received major discounts from suppliers on larger orders, so it’s just been such a helpful tool for us.”
— Adelle Starin, Owner of Baby’s on Broadway

With the help of PFP and Liquid Capital, Adelle was able to grow her business, even during the global pandemic. Baby’s on Broadway has an e-commerce shop as well as a brick-and-mortar storefront, and Adelle estimates that online sales have grown by 100% or more during a time when many other companies have fallen on hard times.

Besides getting access to working capital, Baby’s on Broadway has also benefited from the partnership with Liquid Capital in strategic ways. As a partner who understands their industry and growth path, Liquid Capital continues to assist Adelle with further business advice and guidance, to ensure the capital funding makes sense.

“My Liquid Capital Principal is always just a call away. It’s so reassuring to know that I can ask them questions and get their advice. They’re a great wealth of knowledge on the business operations side as well as the financial side. It’s helpful to have someone in your corner, to have an advisor that you didn’t really expect to find, especially someone who’s so available that you can just give them a quick call.”
— Adelle Starin, Owner of Baby’s on Broadway

A bright future ahead for Baby’s on Broadway

So what does the future hold for Baby’s on Broadway?

Adelle is currently focusing her attention on maintaining her company’s rapid growth trajectory. With a team of 10 employees and a growing social media presence, the momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Because of the continuous access to working capital provided by Liquid Capital, the retailer is able to successfully respond to customer demand, even under challenging circumstances.

In the longer term, Adelle sees a need for more baby stores in Minnesota and has even been considering opening up additional locations. But at the moment, she’s busy helping parents at their busy Little Falls location find the perfect baby gear they need.

cash flow budget

Best of 2020: The top funding advice you loved reading!

We love producing articles that are informative and engaging for our readers — whether you’re a client, business partner or fellow commercial finance professional. This year, the top blog content included funding advice and other topics on cash flow budgeting, reducing expenses, growing better business partnerships and more.

Here are the top 10 articles from our blog this year:

7 steps to create your cash flow budget

Funding advice — cash flow budget

Cash flow is extremely important for a business — it’s literally the bread and butter. So how do you ensure you have enough money to pay yourself and keep your business operational? Start by creating a cash flow budget that shows you how much money is coming in and going out of the business.

 

3 biggest financial challenges facing small business owners

Financial Challenges Facing Small Business Owners

Business owners are faced with a number of financial challenges. In this post, we don’t just present the top three finance-related problems, but also offer solutions to help you overcome and flourish in business.

 

4 core business principles you might be overlooking

Group of playing cards

In this post, we explain how you can use people, strategy, execution and cash to propel your business to the next level.

 

How to determine your company’s «cash conversion cycle»

Cash conversion cycle

What is a cash conversion cycle and how can you use it to your company’s advantage? We cover the basics and show you the importance of being on top of your working capital.

 

5 tips to grow an outstanding referral partnership

5 tips to grow an outstanding referral partnership

Referral networks can bring you a lot of value— and business. We share five tips to help you find the perfect referral partner.

 

12 hidden costs of running your small business

Holing an invoice

From employee perks to phone and Internet bills — we share common hidden costs associated with doing business, so you’re not in for a surprise!

 

5 ways factoring can help you clear cash flow hurdles

5 ways factoring can help you clear cash flow hurdles

82% of new businesses will fail because of cash flow. But invoice factoring can help you overcome this big hurdle. Learn more here.

 

Thanks for your readership this year, and we look forward to sharing more funding articles and advice with you in 2021!

invoice factoring guide

Invoice factoring guide: Skyrocket your cash inflows!

Invoice factoring made easy: A quick invoice factoring guide for business owners.

invoice factoring guide

As invoice factoring becomes more well known, many companies are utilizing it to resolve their cash flow problems. Whether they need to raise working capital, accelerate business growth, hire new talent or buy new equipment, invoice factoring is becoming a popular choice of funding. 

If you work with the right invoice factoring company, your businesses can operate with less stress when dealing with slow-paying customers — and have access to the money you’ve already earned (aka, invoiced). 

However, you may be wondering, “How do I quickly assess different factoring companies and find the right one who will benefit my business the most?”

 

Questions you need to ask when selecting an invoice factoring company

When you begin your search of a factoring partner, ask yourself these quick questions:

  • How long has the invoice factoring company been in business?
  • What is their industry expertise?
  • Do they offer funding  options other than invoice factoring?
  • Can you see some customer testimonials and case studies?
  • How much will it cost me to factor with them? 
  • How quickly does it take to get approved for invoice factoring?

Your answers should match your business needs and help you decide if the factoring company can get you the funds you need.

For a more in-depth guide, take a look at our free invoice factoring guidebook that features ten questions that will help you pick the right factoring partner for your company. 

 

Four simple steps to plan for funding through invoice factoring

quick guide to invoice factoring 

If you know invoice factoring is right for your business, here are four simple steps in the process to help you access capital:

 

Step 1: Determine the right invoicing factoring option

If you have invoices that are due in the short term (for example, in 30, 60 or 90 days), these could be the right invoices for factoring. 

Selling them to a factoring company can provide you with immediate cash flow, as invoices with much longer terms may not always be eligible. 

 

Step 2: Factor company agreement

Once you’ve selected a factoring company (also called the “factor”), you’ll sign an  agreement that marks the beginning of a formal business relationship.

The agreement will outline what account receivables (ARs) or invoices the factor is purchasing, along with other terms and conditions that will help fast-track future financing. A long-term funding partnership can open new doors for your business.

 

Step 3: Calculate the cash flow you need

Based on your immediate and long-term plans, you probably have an idea of how much capital you need flowing into the business. Come ready with that number. With invoice factoring, you can calculate how much capital you’ll have access to once you factor your invoices. And your lending partner can also help you with these calculations.

Once you know exactly how much cash flow is being injected, you can plan to move forward with business operations. For example, you can begin the process of buying inventory or hiring new employees for a busy season — knowing that you can now afford to make these strategic decisions. 

 

Step 4: Plan the timelines to collect your reserve

Once the client has paid your factoring partner the outstanding invoice, the factoring company will be able to release the balance of the “reserve fund.” This final amount gives you additional working capital, which can be a welcome cash inflow. 

Work with your factoring partner to understand the timelines for collecting the final reserved funds, and you’ll have a better understanding of your inflows. You may plan for these reserves as ‘top-ups’ to buy additional goods or services, or to act as a buffer in the event of unexpected cash outflows. 

 

Related: See the definition of “reserve” here, plus other important factoring terms.

 

The right solution at the right time 

Invoice factoring has gained popularity in recent years because it offers a quick finance solution to all types of businesses, from all types of industries. (But by no means is it a new solution. Read here for some history.)

There are plenty of advantages to using invoice factoring, aside from the obvious need for working capital. But one of the most important benefits is that you’re not adding any more debt to your business. (If you’re ready to learn more, get a headstart and learn all the factoring terminology in our free Ultimate Factoring Encyclopedia.)

By working with a reputable factoring company, you’ll gain a business partner that provides financing when you need itn — and also offers both financial analysis and genuine support that helps you scale your business.

 


At Liquid Capital, we understand what it takes for small, medium, and emerging mid-market businesses to succeed – because we’re business people ourselves. Our company is built on a network of locally owned and operated Principal Offices, so whenever you’re talking to Liquid Capital, you’re talking directly to your funding source and a fellow business person.

 

Images by Pixabay: Featured and Secondary

Invoice factoring vs. bank loans

Invoice factoring vs. bank loans: Which lending option is better for your business?

When looking at the various funding options, you may review invoice factoring vs. bank loans. Here is a quick and handy comparison.

Invoice factoring vs. bank loans

If your business needs working capital, you will likely research both invoice factoring and bank loans as possible funding options. 

But how do you know which one is the better option?

Every business scenario is unique. And while there may be multiple factors that may impact your decision, there are two important elements to consider — how quickly you need the funds and the borrowing costs associated with your choice

Invoice factoring and bank loans have little in common, other than both providing cash to businesses. We’ve put together a simple breakdown of the two borrowing options to help you decide which one works best for your business:

First, what is invoice factoring? 

Invoice factoring is a funding method that gives your business access to immediate cash by selling your invoices to a third party at a slight discount — with considerable advantages. (More on that in a bit.) 

Let’s say you’re expecting a customer to pay a $10,000 invoice next month. If you need that money today, you can sell that invoice to a factoring partner and receive slightly less than the totalling amount on the bill — right away.

So invoice factoring isn’t the same as borrowing money. Instead, you’re selling an asset (your accounts receivables). You don’t owe the lender any money so there’s no debt added to your business.  

When bank loans make sense

When you borrow money from a bank, it’s usually in the form of a traditional loan or line of credit. With this type of borrowing, you pay the principal plus interest until the loan is repaid in full. It’s the same as a personal loan, and is relatively straightforward.

While these conventional loans are pretty cut and dry, they add more debt to your business. For that reason, they can cost more in the long run — and you may not be able to close the cash flow gap when you really need it. Approval may also take long, and you’ll also be adding another liability to your business.

Here’s a quick breakdown of invoice factoring vs. bank loans:

 

Invoice Factoring Bank Loans
Approved in a few days. Approval process is lengthy.
No collateral is required. Need some collateral.
Interest rate is lower. Interest rates vary depending on bank and type of borrowing. 
Only your clients’ credit history is assessed. (Good for companies who do not have as strong a credit rating, or limited credit history.) Business needs an established credit history.
No debt incurred with advances on invoices. Line of credit is added as debt to the business.
Financial flexibility and immediate access to cash flow. Upfront payment is required on uncertain future earnings.
Additional services can often be offered at no cost. No additional services offered.

What’s the best financing option for your business?

It’s clear there are many advantages with invoice factoring.

With factoring, you’re selling a valuable asset to gain more funding, not incurring any debt. You also get to choose which invoices you want to factor depending on how often you need to inject cash flow into your business. Unlike a bank loan, you’re not tied into a long-term contract and you can make the most of your invoice terms, taking advantage of the flexibility that factoring offers. 

When you compare factoring with traditional funding, you may realize that bank loans are sometimes less advantageous in the long term. You could end up paying more for the access to that capital than you would with factoring, and will be adding on liability on your company’s balance sheet. 

 


At Liquid Capital, we understand what it takes for small, medium, and emerging mid-market businesses to succeed – because we’re business people ourselves. Our company is built on a network of locally owned and operated Principal Offices, so whenever you’re talking to Liquid Capital, you’re talking directly to your funding source and a fellow business person.

Financiamientos recientes – Diciembre 2020

December 2020 Recent Fundings

Recent Fundings – December 2020

December 2020 Recent Fundings

Holiday Gift Guide 2020

Holiday gift guide 2020: Thoughtful presents for colleagues & clients

We’ve compiled a holiday gift guide with ideas from creative businesses, so you can feel good while surprising your employees and clients! 

holiday gift guide 2020

This year, a lot of things changed for us — how we work, shop, travel and socialize with others. So it’s no surprise that we’ll be celebrating the holidays differently, too. 

Although there likely won’t be a traditional holiday party at work, you can still spread some cheer by sending gifts to your employees, coworkers and clients to show your support and appreciation. (And don’t forget the possibility of a Zoom party!)

In this holiday gift guide, we highlight some products and services you can customize with a company logo and brand colors. You can also use this guide as a starting point to find more personal gifts for the recipients – as long as it’s fun and shows that you’re thinking of them!

Useful tech for the WFH team 

GIF work from home

Let’s face it, working from home can get a little mundane. (We thought these fun gifs could paint a fun picture!) So who wouldn’t love some cool gadgets to brighten the day?

There are many accessories that you can make a home office setup more enjoyable and productive. If you also have any parents on your team, consider giving tech that can make it easier to juggle kids and work (and help them keep some of their sanity!).

While Amazon has some very affordable and quick delivery options, you can also choose something more unique from this Wired list

Featured gift ideas:


Experiences 

GIF kardashian new hobby

Yes, Netflix and guilty-pleasure TV has been a major hobby for many this year. But for most of 2020, we’ve all been stuck indoors without the usual entertainment. So this year, why not give a fun experience to your colleagues or clients? 

With this idea, you’re actually giving them two gifts in one: the experience is unique as it is, but they also get to make memories — so that’s something exciting they’ll never forget. Either way, they’ll have you to thank for the quality time they spent honing in on a particular skill, exploring new hobbies or spending time with their loved ones. 

Here’s a catalog that showcases some great finds. 

Featured gift ideas:


A wine subscription

GIF wine pouring in glass

Do you miss grabbing an adult beverage after work with your colleagues? Or the happy hour your company hosted that gave everyone a chance to relax and have fun?

Wrapping up a busy workday with a glass of wine may be the way some coworkers like to unwind.  And next year, the equivalent of the after-work outing can take the form of virtual meetups where you can supply the wine through a gift subscription to colleagues. There are also subscriptions available with non-alcoholic options so those who don’t drink can still join in. Plus there’s the bonus of team bonding!

This article rounds up some great and affordable wine subscription services that you can choose from.

Featured gift ideas:


Match a donation 

GIF donate sign

The holidays are all about generosity and community. And there are so many people and organizations that can benefit from charity this year. Why not initiate a match for a donation request? For example, you can ask recipients to choose a local charity and you can match their gift. 

You can also encourage them to give to front line workers, food banks or contribute to your companies charitable organization (if you have one!). 


Have fun while spreading some holiday cheer

Just like you, everyone in your company will have a very different experience this holiday season. And with remote work, it can be hard to feel connected to your employees, coworkers and clients. Make this season a bit more memorable by sending gifts that add a bit of fun and excitement! 

 

Up Next: When is a good time to expand your small business?