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By The Leasing Group

Courage as an Entrepreneurial Must

Ben Horowitz, a founding partner of a Silicon Valley powerhouse venture capital firm, once made the observation that the entrepreneur himself/herself is more important than whatever idea said entrepreneur might have. He noted that the two key qualities he looks for in an entrepreneur are brilliance and courage.

Obviously a successful entrepreneur benefits from being smart and savvy beyond pure book intelligence. The benefit of brilliance likely rings true across all professions.

But courage?

“The reason for the second,” said Horowitz, “is that the other virtues we generally associate with success – honesty, integrity, etc. – all flow from courage. Without courage, the others go by the wayside in times of stress. For example, without courage, you won’t be honest, especially when the idea you staked your fortune and reputation on proves to be lousy and needs to be changed.”

Horowitz did not mention the influences of determination, self-sacrifice or focus, all very important traits commonly associated with success. Maybe that’s because these traits, too, each have their root in courage. It takes guts to believe in yourself, to trust your intuition and stay the course, especially if and when you find yourself surrounded by voices of negativity and doubt.

Perhaps Horowitz is right. Perhaps courage really is the single most important characteristic an entrepreneur can have. 

(The thoughts on courage and brilliance are credited to the following Business Insider article, which reported on comments Horowitz made at this past year’s Digital-Life-Design conference: http://www.businessinsider.com/ben-horowitz-courage-2013-1 .)

 

By The Leasing Group

Thoughts from Seth Godin: Your Alphabet

Click here for a blog by Seth Godin called “Your Alphabet,” and then read on for some thoughts from TLG leadership on what it might mean for them.

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Godin’s use of a printing press as a metaphor for life is pretty brilliant. Think about it–when we were young, first learning how to take in, process and then communicate back out everything around us, we developed new letters almost every minute of every day. We had to!

It seemed easy at five or six years old, even if only in retrospect. Now “creating letters” is hard work–it takes us out of our comfort zones, forces us to try new things and think in new ways (this can be exhausting).

The work’s worth it, though. And, when we find the new letter–the idea we’ve been dreaming about or the problem we’ve been anxious to solve–we realize how worth it.

This is certainly true for organizations, and TLG is no exception. The world doesn’t work quite the way it did when we first started up. We’ve had to learn new ways of doing things, and it hasn’t always been easy.

But it has been–and will continue to be–worth it.

 

By The Leasing Group

A TLG Story: The Mayor’s Fire Truck

Imagine yourself a resident of a small Kentucky town (population 2,500)–a spot that barely makes the map, but that is rich in local history and has at its helm a mayor who was born and raised in the town he now serves.

He loves the town and its people and wants to do right by them. Of particular concern to him last fall was securing funds to purchase a new fire truck for the volunteer department that serves a his town. Given the combination of the broad expanse of the district the volunteer fire department serves, and scarce resources, if a home or business were to catch fire, fighting it would be a challenge. At best, property lost; at worst, lives lost.

So the mayor set about seeing what he could do, figuring out costs and logistics, considering a bond issue, and finally securing a quote to lease a fire truck. However, he wasn’t quite satisfied with the quote, mostly because he wanted to work with his local bank, and he also needed to move quickly.

The local bank wasn’t entirely sure how to make it all work, so they reached out to a company they trusted to help them navigate the process–enter The Leasing Group.

When all was said at done, the mayor saved his beloved town $20,000 over a ten-year term, and the local bank funded The Leasing Group’s lease. In sports language, that’s called a win-win-win.

And at a very human level, it means the mayor and the people he serves can perhaps sleep a little better at night, knowing that if a fire does come, they’re equipped to fight it.

By The Leasing Group

Thoughts from Seth Godin

Thoughts from Seth Godin
(a regular feature incorporating the blogs of Seth Godin that click with TLG’s leadership)

This blog post by Seth Godin inspired the thoughts below it from TLG:

Buying is selling

If you’re negotiating to buy something–a house, a company, even as the purchasing agent for a big company–you’re also selling.

That’s because it isn’t a faceless transaction involving a list price and a credit card. The purchase involves faith and trust and risk and someone caring enough about the other person to do more than seek the highest possible/lowest possible price.

If you hope to buy for less than the clearing price, or get better work than average, in fact, you are selling when you’re buying.

A friend was selling his house, and every time he showed one particular prospective buyer a new feature, the buyer discounted it, demeaning its value. This is a common strategy–denigrate the thing you are hoping to buy, question the judgment of the seller, make them feel desperate. After all, the thinking goes, a desperate person will sell for less.

Perhaps. But more often, a person being made to feel desperate will take her valuable goods somewhere else, to someone who cares more.

Why not say, “that’s fabulous! It makes the house worth even more, well done.” Recognizing the good work of those you hope to buy from puts you on precisely the same side of the table as the seller.

The brutal purchasing manager who uses RFPs like a club and nickels and dimes (not to mention dollars) suppliers–do you think he’s actually getting their best work? When we’re talking about emotional labor, it’s not often about the money, it’s about how the transaction makes the seller feel.

Or consider the used car dealer. His business is only as good as his inventory, of course. So where to get the cars that get sold? One strategy is to only buy cars from desperate folks, folks with no options. (Or to make the people you meet with feel desperate). What sort of inventory does that leave you with? Last resort cars from people with no options. When the dealer who sold me a car recently tried this tactic with the car I hope to sell, I walked away.

The good stuff is more likely to be sold to people who care. The things you’d like to buy are probably going to be sold by people who have other options now.

Posted by Seth Godin on October 09, 2013

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The Leasing Group is not always the lowest financing provider.  More often we fall somewhere in the middle.  Fortunately for us, our best business clients appreciate that:

  • We stay local.
  • We make the process as painless as possible.
  • We approve difficult transactions by taking the time to understand them.
  • We’re there if there’s a problem later.

We’re proud of these things and are glad to have pleased clients.

If you insist on a rate which is below our cost, you will still get our best effort.  We will always treat you with respect.  However, the next time you come to us we will politely ask you to consider the value of our other advantages before going to another provider.

By The Leasing Group

In Their Own Words

The Leasing Group stands out because of our focus on fostering positive and longterm business relationships.

We care about our clients and make it a practice to listen to their needs. It isn’t easy to start a business, much less maintain it. Our job is help companies large and small navigate through the financing process in such a way that everyone benefits.

Because we value our clients so much, we’re particularly grateful to these folks for putting into their own words why they chose The Leasing Group:

Our company has turned to The Leasing Group for years. They take the hassle out of shopping around for credit and also improve our chances of approval.
(Steve, CEO of a distributor)

The Leasing Group always handles our credit requests in a timely and professional manner. We’re not just another number in the system.
(Tony, restaurant owner)

The Leasing Group is well connected and highly regarded within the banking community. We rely on their financing expertise and always receive competitive rates.
(Albert, CFO, manufacturing company)

We have developed a great banking relationship and we value our banker’s trust and confidence, but due to our rapid expansion we are pushing the limits of our bank’s financing capacity. The Leasing Group is a great source of alternative credit.
(David, aging care company president)

By The Leasing Group

Pulling Together

Cycling is my favorite pastime.

It is not because of the colorful racing clothes, expensive bicycles or the chance to break record speeds. Those things are reserved for much younger and stronger legs. You’ll most often find me traveling through interesting neighborhoods, quiet parks and gently rolling hills surrounded by horse farms.

Sometimes, though, I find myself riding single file with a group of friends and I pretend I am in southern France competing for the Tour’s yellow jersey and a spot on the podium. Rounding curves I imagine the Italians in front and Spanish behind. My pace quickens when the French attempt a pass or those pesky boys from Brazil decide to attack. Sometimes I’m in the front breaking the wind for my team. More often I’m enjoying a back seat while the others do the heavy lifting. Nothing can describe how amazing it feels to be pulled along by others while exerting such little effort.

The Leasing Group is made up of small community banks trying to survive in a financial environment dominated by the big and powerful. We complete daily against superior resources as a modern day David against the Goliaths of banking. Community banks are known for their superior service and personal attention to detail. They also work together, as members of The Leasing Group alliance, offering a menu of equipment financing options and the greater financial capacity that comes with sharing the load.

It’s not unlike pulling up a steep hill. We do together what is more difficult to do alone. When that happens, the client always wins, and we all wear the yellow jersey.

By The Leasing Group

The benefits of going local for your lease financing needs

As a small or medium-size business, you’re likely focused on community engagement and contributing to your local economy. So why would you go to a national financial institution when it comes time to finance your next equipment lease?

Like you, community banks are focused on developing partnerships at the local level. They want to boost commerce in their immediate region and help businesses like yours thrive. Their core mission is to channel financing to the neighborhoods where their customers live and work.

Local banks are more likely to take into account certain intangible factors when approving credit, such as a company’s reputation and the owner’s character. They take the time to consider issues that contribute to lower credit scores and they are more flexible in their credit requirements.

In many cases, businesses can get the same services at a lower cost through a local bank. Community banks offer most of the same services as their national counterparts, while maintaining fees and interest rates at lower levels.

Building a relationship with a local bank through equipment lease financing means you will have face-to-face relationships with a human being. You’ll have daily access to both loan officers and senior management.

Community bankers live alongside you in your community and have a distinct understanding of local needs. Decision-making is often faster, and your local banker will likely stick with you as your business grows and your equipment leasing needs ramp up

The Leasing Group has solid relationships with nearly all of the local banks. Contact us at (502) 547-2773, and let us secure local financing for your business equipment leasing needs.

By The Leasing Group

Four differences between vendor leasing and local bank leasing

When you set out to lease equipment for your business, there are a variety of financing options available. One option is to get financing through the company that manufactures or sells the equipment itself. This kind of lease can be attractive because, on the surface, it seems fast and easy. Sometimes it is both. But it is smart to explore local financing, as well.

Here’s why:

1. Understandably, manufacturers and vendors normally only lease what they sell. When you choose lease financing through a local financial institution, you can bundle equipment from multiple vendors into one lease. The Leasing Group can help you negotiate this type of lease contract. Bundling has many advantages; you can read about them here. (LINK)

2. When you lease through a vendor, the interests of the manufacturer are often put ahead of the customer’s. At The Leasing Group, your welfare is our No. 1 priority. For example, in a manufacturer or vendor lease, you may be required to issue payment before your equipment is delivered. When you work with The Leasing Group, we’ll make sure you don’t fork over a penny until you have your equipment in hand.

3. Your vendor’s processing and service centers may not give you the best service. Most likely, their service operations are mass call centers located out of state, so even getting a human being on the phone to assist you can be a challenge. Local financing means local, personalized, more responsive service.

4. Getting out of a lease early or at the end can be a hassle. Receiving your title or final bill of sale can take weeks, even months, because the vendor is in no hurry to give it to you. A lien on the equipment can hold up the process and cause further problems. You might also run into penalties or fees if you try to terminate the lease ahead of schedule. With local financing, you rarely encounter these types of roadblocks.

Some manufacturers and vendors do a good job with their lease processing; but, many don’t and you often don’t realize it until it’s too late. When you partner with The Leasing Group, you can rest assured that we work for you, not the maker or seller of the product you’re leasing. Trust us to provide the best lease contract terms with the lowest rate and with the least hassle.

Call us at (502) 547-2773 to learn more about local financing for your equipment lease.

By The Leasing Group

Case Study: Financing in a Hurry

Companies often need financing in a hurry. Sometimes, this leads them to make rash decisions that don’t serve their best interests, and they create unnecessary headaches in the process.

Recently, a commercial distributor approached us with a problem related to leasing a piece of packaging and distribution equipment valued at $350,000. Because they were in a hurry, they had already agreed to enter into an equipment lease with the equipment manufacturer.

The distributor got what appeared to be a quick approval, but they noticed that the terms of the lease changed by the time they received the contract. For starters, the lease payments were higher than what was originally agreed to. In addition, the sales tax was assessed twice, both at the time of the sale and on the lease payments. Complications ensued when the manufacturer’s lease included ambiguous and onerous language that ultimately killed the deal.

Throughout the process, impersonal, ineffective service received from a lease-processing center on the West Coast was a huge roadblock to finalizing the deal.

When the distributor finally threw up their hands and approached The Leasing Group, we secured standard lease financing in just one day. We closed the lease two days later.

Our client was extremely grateful that we were able to take what had been a four-week long quagmire of snag after snag and transform it into three days of success.

If you’d like to learn how we can help you navigate your own complicated leasing waters, call us at (502) 547-2773.

By The Leasing Group

Lower your tax bite by acquiring equipment: Here’s how

Is your computer equipment on the verge of extinction? Or is your fleet of delivery vehicles starting to show some dents and rust? If you know you’ll need to invest in new business equipment in the next few months or so, do it now to take advantage of the 2013 IRS Section 179 deduction.

Section 179 was designed with small to medium businesses in mind. Almost all types of business equipment qualify for the Section 179 deduction. It applies to both cash purchases and equipment lease financing, and either option can be a lucrative way to lower your tax burden for 2013.

Section 179 is part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. It allows businesses to write off up to $500,000 of qualified capital expenditures on equipment valued up to $2 million in the 2013 tax year. It also includes an option allowing businesses that exceed the $2 million cap to write off 50 percent of qualified assets using a first-year bonus depreciation.

Simply put, the Section 179 deduction helps to decrease taxable income. For example, if a company shows income of $100,000 but leases or purchases $50,000 in computer equipment, the business can take a 100 percent deduction on the entire equipment cost. The result: the business shows a $50,000 deduction, which lowers its taxes.

The advantage of financing your equipment through a lease rather than purchasing it outright is primarily to conserve cash flow. You take advantage of the tax deduction during the year you enter into the lease, but you’re not out any money until the lease payments start. You can obtain 100 percent financing with a lease, without a required downpayment.

The Section 179 deduction must be voted on by lawmakers every year. If no action is taken by Congress before the end of 2013, the maximum deduction will be reduced to $125,000 in 2014.

Let the Leasing Group help you determine if Section 179 will work for your business. Schedule a free, 15-minute phone consultation. Does it make sense to go ahead and invest in equipment now? Is an equipment lease the best option to take advantage of this tax break?

The year is more than half over, so call us at(502) 547-2773 today.

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