Usually receiving three large construction contracts in different cities is a huge deal for any company, but especially for a small company. But what happens when those contracts don’t pay out until 30 days after the job is completed? Larger companies typically have the resources to cover payroll, hotel costs, travel expenses, per diem, etc., but for an emerging company those costs can add up and quickly put you out of business the moment you can’t pay your workers. This is the position that L’Tryce Slade, owner of the company Slade, found herself in when she was given such contracts.
The first job was to be carried out in Seattle, WA., which can be considered more than a stone throw away for a company based in Birmingham, AL. Slade had to figure out how to fly her crew up, house them, feed them, and make sure they were fully supported for the course of the job. The big question was how her small company was going to cover all that expense considering she wouldn’t get paid for the job until much later.
Founding her company in 2006, Slade has made a reputation for herself as a business woman that gets things done. Beginning in environmental law she discovered firsthand how harsh chemicals and other contaminants negatively impacted communities. It was then she realized the best way for her to solve this problem was to create a company that offered a “full-service solution.” So, she decided to create a construction company that can do everything in-house, including: environmental services, construction material testing, geotechnical services, environmental training, urban planning, facility maintenance, construction quality control, and construction management.
However, taking on larger contracts in other cities placed Slade in unfamiliar territory. She went to a few banks before she found TruFund Financial Services and secured a particularly unique loan for her situation, a Mobilization Loan. This type of loan monetized the contracts Slade was awarded rather than using something tangible as collateral, such as a house. Though this loan is suited for moving personnel and equipment between locations and regularly used in the construction industry, it should be noted that it is not exclusive to a singular industry and could possibly be applied in other varying circumstances. The loan worked amazingly well for Slade and they were able to complete their required contacts in time. After receiving payment for the jobs, Slade focused on paying off her mobilization loan within 30 days. Doing so, as Slade suggests, “builds credibility and trust” with the lender and certainly allows for the possibility of borrowing again in the future, which she is already making plans for.
The company Slade has been growing steadily each year and now since there is a number of successful projects on her resume, such as the previous contract mentioned, Slade isn’t as worried about getting funding for her next projects coming up. Her advice to other women business owners is to do your research and look at several banks for funding options, and apply to many. She also says to “not be afraid” of unconventional funding options, as they might lead to your own personal success story. As Slade mentions, “without the mobilization loan, she wouldn’t be where she is today.”
There are numerous alternative or nontraditional routes to funding and investing money for emerging businesses that are often unknown to the greater business community. Leading Retirement Solutions is proud to bring you these unique stories of prosperous business ventures that find success despite the financial obstacles laid before them.
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