Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Workers' Business Spotlight - JP Mat Services

“Financial freedom, unlimited earning potential, and creating careers for current and future employees” are just a few of the reasons Pete Binkewicz of JP Mat Services made the decision to open his own business.

Pete always wanted to own a business. The desire, he states, arose from his days at Babson College while he was working towards his MBA in entrepreneurial studies. “Owning your own business allows you all the joys and benefits of making decisions on vertical markets, products, services offered, and each decision plays out like a case study; you won’t know the outcome until you take a risk.” After working for several companies in the uniform and facility services industry, Pete took the risk.

As is the case with the majority of small businesses, the beginning presented its own set of challenges. Three and a half years ago, JP Mat Services had zero revenue and zero customers. All of that changed when Pete met Michael DeMarco, AVP, Commercial Lending of Workers’ Credit Union, at a monthly networking meeting.

“Michael was a strategic resource for me because I felt very comfortable working with him. I went to several other banks and financial institutions, and none were more professional, none were of a higher standard, and Workers’ really gave me the best deal. From the introduction meeting, to the application process, and approval for my business loan, Michael was professional, knowledgeable, and at all times, it felt like he was a teammate of mine, assisting me with the best solution for my financing needs.”

“The solutions we were able to provide gave Pete the ability to create a wonderful new operation based in Marlborough, MA with a state-of-the-art facility and equipment. We were able to use the SBA’s 7(a) program which is intended to help small businesses like Pete’s support his rapidly growing business. We were also able to provide further support with a working capital line of credit to provide peace of mind during the transition from a home-based business to a maturing company with deep resources.”                            
 –Michael DeMarco, AVP of Commercial Lending, Workers’ CU 

Pete shared what he feels are the key elements for starting and running a successful business:
  1. Know your market inside and out – your competitors, what products and services you will offer.
  2. Create a strategic business plan. Be sure to identify all barriers to entry, as well as the biggest obstacles preventing you from succeeding. 
  3. Ensure you have enough funding for start-up costs, and be sure you have enough money set aside for generating no personal income for the first three years in business. Most, if not all of the net income you generate will be invested back into the business.
  4. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, people who thrive on taking risks and succeeding, and are not afraid to make mistakes.
  5. Do every job or task in the company. Anything you ever ask your employees to do, you have already done… you have walked in their shoes.

Today, JP Mat Services, LLC does a half a million dollars in sales. Some of the products and services they offer include multiple types of floor mats such as anti-fatigue, first step scraper, industrial, and customized logo mats, traditional dust and wet mops, linens such as bib aprons and towels, table cloths, uniforms, chef coats, shirts and pants, air fresheners, handcare sanitation products, and much more.

Are you looking to start your own business? Consider Workers’ Credit Union as your partner – contact a Commercial Lending Representative by email or call 978-353-7178 for more information.

JP Mat Services Photo Shoot

By Jennifer Freeman | March 15, 2016 | Small Business Spotlight

Friday, March 4, 2016

0% Auto Loan Might Not Be the Best Deal

0% Auto Loan Might Not Be the Best Deal

In seeking the best deal on your next car, you might've stumbled upon advertisements or offers to get a 0% interest auto loan. As great as this sounds, you may not save as much as you expect with this type of incentive.
Since auto loans can come through either a dealer or a lender, such as a bank or credit union, it's important to note that a 0% interest loan generally, if not always, is obtained through a dealer. Automakers offer them to attract buyers to certain car models, especially ones that aren't selling well. Here are a few things to consider about 0% financing and why it might not be in your best interest to use it.

You might be forfeiting a better deal

Typically, you can't receive both reduced rate financing and a cash rebate when you buy a car, so you may have to choose one. Manufacturers' cash rebates can range from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars. The well-known auto research website Edmunds found that the cost of incentives that automakers pay to attract customers was around $2,300 per car industrywide, which includes cash rebates and cost of reduced financing.
While a 0% loan may sound appealing, a cash rebate might save you more money. If you buy a $20,000 car that has a $2,300 rebate, you are really paying $17,700 plus interest. If the interest rate for a five-year loan is 2.7%, which was the average rate at credit unions toward the end of 2015, then you would pay a total of $1,242 in interest. That would bring the cost of the car plus interest to $18,942, saving you $1,058 compared with what you'd pay with a 0% loan.
You may want to check the auto loan rates at local lenders too, since you might be able to get a low rate and also pick up a rebate when you negotiate with the dealer.

Rate may not last as long as your loan

Some car models may have 0% financing for a limited term, such as five years, which could be less than the length of your auto loan. In the third quarter of 2015, the average loan term for a new car was five years and seven months, and the term for used cars was five years and three months, according to Experian's State of the Automotive Finance Market report. These are the longest average terms calculated since the firm began collecting data in 2006.
You may even receive a longer loan if you want lower monthly payments than you were offered initially. If your term is longer than the 0% financing deal, you generally pay interest on the remaining months or years.

This offer can be limited

A 0% rate might only be offered for a handful of models, especially newer cars, and less for used cars or older models. But even if this deal is available for the car you want, qualifying for it typically requires a high credit score. Check on the eligibility rules for getting this rate before stepping onto the dealer's lot if you can.
As you sift through car prices and incentives, remember that trade-offs are part of the process when buying a car. Although a 0% interest rate may save you money in some cases, you might also be letting a better savings opportunity pass you by.

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