Our last blog post, last week, was a game changer in the small business, daily funding space. We were overwhelmed with over 100 new ISO, broker, and small business registrations to our platform, after our post hit Debanked. When we spoke with the new brokers joining on our network, many asked “What does Aquila really do for ISOs?” We thus wanted to share a quick piece on the three ways Aquila empowers our network of small business ISOs and brokers.
Automated Sales Funnel Alerts
On Aquila, when small business, merchant-applicants go through the Aquila Funding Funnel, we empower their broker and ISOs. We do this when we deliver message alerts with updates on the merchant’s activity in each phase of the underwriting funnel. Alerts are delivered by email, SMS, and mobile messaging applications including Telegram, Discord, and Slack. These alerts make it easy for any ISO to understand what tasks their merchants have completed toward the funding decision. As such, we deliver automated, complete awareness of merchant positions in our funnel. This allow ISOs to spend less time lost and confused and more time capturing commission from high probability funding opportunities.
One-Click ISO Tools
Small business merchants seeking business financing are usually fielding competing offers form tens of small business lenders and other brokers. Fierce competition means that merchants are often distracted from their workflow of tasks needed to qualify for funding on Aquila. When a merchant has not completed a stage in the funnel, Aquila enables ISO to send quick reminders for merchants to continue the process. Also, when a merchant is qualified for renewals, ISOs can quickly submit these qualified merchants for renewal funding. With these on-click tools, ISOs can intervene in the funding funnel to move the process along quickly and to restart funding that may have stalled.
Real-time Commissions on Dashboard
Aquila is 100% committed to its broker network. As such, we pay commissions each day to several of our ISO partners. Our Aquila dashboard delivers real-time awareness into ISO partner commissions pending and commissions paid. We continue to work on our dashboard. We always focus on supporting the most critical features ISOs need to deliver more successful funding for our brokers.
With the top three points, Aquila empowers its brokers to process more merchant applicants faster, with easier access to awareness on funnel performance and real-time commissions. If you’re not yet an Aquila ISO or broker, register here https://aquilacashflow.com/isos/new and if you are, login and start using your Aquila landing page here: give us a call and let us help you get your Aquila landing page customized so it’s inviting and ready for merchants to sign-up and link their bank accounts for funding.
At Aquila, we believe that our network of now about 400 or so brokers and ISOs are more successful if we give them more data and information about the performance of our platform. It’s the Aquila position that operational transparency is a competitive advantage to help our partners capture more revenue. We hypothesize that if we increase transparency of how we fund small businesses on our platform, we will make it easier, and cheaper, for all our ISO and broker partners to win more revenues and commissions.
Therefore, today we publish a new post that we hope catches your attention: How to make $9,000 a day on Aquila in three easy steps. In the next paragraphs, we’ll tell you the formulas that we used to put this model together and how we think you can make it work for your business – where you’re just printing money, on Aquila.
What is the Aquila Funding Funnel?
Over the past two years, we at Aquila have completed over 5,000 small business financing underwriting via our automated underwriting and data clustering platform. Every day, our system uses bank transaction data from thousands of business bank accounts to predict credit and default risk. In this time, our funnel from registration toward funding a small business has become more and more predictable. We call this pattern our Aquila Funding Funnel. We’ve broken this funnel up into 3 steps, Registration, Cash Flow Analysis, and Wire deposit.
The Aquila Funding Funnel Registration step is a little different as it begins with an immediate bank login at Merchant registration. Immediate bank account login allows Aquila to analyze and underwrite each merchant in minutes. As such, Aquila can make decisions on merchants in as little as five minutes of a merchant registration or even faster.
How to use the Aquila Funding Funnel and make $9,000 a day?
Given that the Aquila conversion rate is a straightforward 10% to funding, the next question is: How do we get to $9,000.00 in revenues per day? That number is very large. Most ISOs should know that Aquila’s median funding is now $15,000 for merchants with paper quality in the C – D range. Merchants with bank accounts that can sustain a daily debit of around $200 per day are a great fit for a minimum of $15,000 of funding. At 10 points in commissions, this means an ISO can win $3,000 in commissions from winning two wires out of 20 merchants. Thus, the problem of winning $9,000 a day in commissions is a marketing problem to find enough qualified merchants to fill the funnel down to the wire.
In order to land $9,000 in commissions a day, on Aquila, we’ve made it easy by providing each broker with their own landing page. The Aquila landing page is key because it can go anywhere an ISO or broker is able to market to the right small business targets. An Aquila Landing page is a custom page that an ISO can place anywhere in front of a merchant. Here’s my very own landing page for my own Daily Funder company “Taariq’s Small Business Funders” you can access here: https://aquilacashflow.com/apply/step1/test
Aquila focuses on cash flow underwriting only. As such, we never pull FICO scores of merchants. We don’t need to. Each new merchant that lands our platform makes our clustering algorithm (which uses a combined OLS-and-semi-supervised-classification model of gamma-rayed-eigen values blah blah blah) smarter and more accurate and faster to respond with each customer. As such, we have no need to pull the credit score of any merchant we evaluate for small business funding. This means, that sourcing merchants that will end up at the bottom of your funnel just got much easier because our sales partners don’t have to wait for a credit check.
So what’s the catch for the money?
If you’ve read this far, you’re guessing there must be a catch. Making money is NEVER that easy! We agree. There is a catch! The catch is sourcing 80 qualified businesses, each day, that need a maximum of $15,000 in funding with weak or problematic credit histories. It’s also important to source these 80 business, per day, at a cost that is less than $9,000 a day or $45,000 a week. As former brokers ourselves, we know that it’s possible to spend at least $125 per lead and have a much lower conversion rate to a qualified lead to fund. However, when we were brokers we didn’t know where to concentrate our marketing dollars. We guessed and spent it anywhere and everywhere. We did not target our marketing. Thus, we think that ISOs who have more accurate channels for their Aquila landing page will win links to 80 qualified businesses.
ISOs that can craft marketing and attention of their Aquila Landing page to 20 to 80 small business merchants seeking no more than $15,000 in small business financing, will be able to generate anywhere from $3,000 to $9,000 (or even more) in commissions from Aquila, each day. Math doesn’t lie.
Also, many ISOs have dead paper or dead leads that aren’t fundable due to a number of reasons. It’s our view that many of those companies and merchants are not dead. They simply require ongoing monitoring that identifies when the business’ cash flow performance recovers or when a merchant may start a new business. We launched Aquila with the mission Never Throw Paper Away. Aquila was built for small business cash flow performance monitoring at the lowest cost. We analyze and monitor thousands of business bank accounts to identify the next short-term funding opportunity. As such, ISOs should use their Aquila URL to continuously market to those merchants they could not fund. When the business becomes fundable, Aquila will send an email alert to the ISO to sell that next financing.
If you’re not yet an Aquila ISO or broker, register to our platform here: https://aquilacashflow.com/isos/new. If you are already an ISO or Broker on our platform what are you waiting on? Login to Aquila and start using your Aquila landing page by giving it to any merchant that fits the box! Need help? Give us a call and let us help you get your Aquila landing page customized so it’s inviting and ready for merchants to sign-up and link their bank accounts for funding. Making money should be easy and we’d love to help get you there.
Six months ago, we launched our insights and analysis into the 2017 top performing SIC codes by profitability for short term loans. We reviewed the performance of the top five (5) most profitable small business NAICS codes over the period of a year. We also analyzed the worst performing five NAICS codes, as well. Today, we are share our analysis of the performance of American small businesses after the first 6 months of the 2018 business year. If you are an ISO or a small business finance professional, please use this information to help tailor your marketing to capture the highest wins, at the lowest costs.
Number 2 industry code: Professional, Scientific, Consulting and Technical Services. Industry code: 54
Professional, technical and consulting services usually include highly-skilled, professional services. Examples of small businesses in this segment include accounting services, security services, Information Technology (IT) consulting, and Human Resources (HR) consulting. These firms are usually led by one owner who has a “key client” contract, or relationship, driving a major share of their deposit cash flow to the business. This industry segment enjoys its highest cash flow days are during the first 2 quarters, or six months of the year. As such, their performance so far continues to be strong in 2018. We encourage brokers and ISOs in our network to pursue this group as their window of performance will slow down as we head into the fall.
Number 1: Information Publishing (Communications, Software, News, Books) Industry code: 51
The Information sector comprises establishments engaged in the following processes: (a) producing and distributing information and cultural products, (b) providing the means to transmit or distribute these products as well as data or communications, and (c) processing data. The main components of this sector are the publishing industries, including software publishing, and both traditional publishing and publishing exclusively on the Internet; the motion picture and sound recording industries; the broadcasting industries, including traditional broadcasting and those broadcasting exclusively over the Internet; the telecommunications industries; Web search portals, data processing industries, and the information services industries. This section includes sales to both Business-to-Consumer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B). These companies experience growth during periods of increased business activity. It’s our view that this group continues to perform well in the first half of 2018 and may outperform the other small business segments in Construction and Real Estate.
Our portfolio is growing and the data above could be subject to a number of different impacts including seasonality, economic trends, business trends, and even random noise. However, we’re confident that for ISOs and brokers tuning their marketing, the big money is in the publishing and technical consulting businesses for the first half of 2018. We are not sure if these numbers will hold, but if acquiring customers in these segments are low costs, then funders will most likely fund if they can forecast good repayment recovery.
Aquila’s engineering and data science team monitored over 20,000 small business bank accounts, in 2017. Today, we still work to clean that data and assemble quality insights that will benefit small business owners, small business investors, and ISOs. Our first post The top five most profitable, small business US industry SIC Codes of 2017 proved to be our most engaging content for the entire year. As such, we wanted to follow-up with more helpful insights that would bring folks back. Today, we’re going to share the top five (5) small businesses SIC categories that we’ve learned are currently at the highest default risk in 2017 and possibly 2018. These business sectors make up the bulk of business loan losses that we identified in our customers bank transaction data. We think that awareness of the risks and causes of defaults in these categories will help the ecosystem make better decisions and lower the total, small business borrowing defaults and bankruptcies, overall.
Number 5: Construction (NAICS CODE: 23)
There’s an old joke that is known around the business financing circles that goes: The best time to default is when you fund a North Eastern US construction company in winter. In our analysis of commercial and residential construction, we noticed that construction companies successfully secure some of the most financing of any SIC code in the United States small business population. Construction companies, whether sole proprietors or larger companies have compelling cash flow volume that highlight the strength of their businesses during economic boom times as well as construction-friendly season. Also, due to their long accounts receivables payouts, they appear to have large A/R balances which make for attractive financing targets. However, irrespective of the high demand for their services, and their large overdue invoices, these companies rank fifth in our highest default risk categories. It’s our view that construction companies are very sensitive to acute cash flow problems that arise from the following surprises in their businesses:
Dramatic Winter slow downs and slow Spring pickups
Equipment damage and replacement
Customer defaults and slow-pay receivables
Staffing turnover and customer disputes
Companies that sell unsecured financing to this group need to keep business financing extremely short, possibly not much longer than 60 to 90 days. The risk of cash flow problems are simply too high for longer duration financing. Ideally, construction small businesses should secure their funding via equipment or real estate financing for longer durations. As the United States economy continues to unwind from low-cost credit, in 2018, we expect this group to enter into possible business activity contraction. Small business owners in this space should begin to enforce their receivables payments quicker and use caution in taking on new financing.
Number 4: Other Services (including funeral homes, salons, pet care) (NAICS CODE: 81)
Other Services companies in this NAICS code consist of companies that are, according the Bureau of Labor statistics, establishments that “are primarily engaged in activities, such as equipment and machinery repairing, promoting or administering religious activities, grantmaking, advocacy, and providing drycleaning and laundry services, personal care services, death care services, pet care services, photofinishing services, temporary parking services, and dating services”. These companies provide services that are not defined in the other NAICS industry codes. Although this list may be a moving target, we think the cash flow risks of these businesses tend to follow a similar pattern. The low barrier to entry or startup of these businesses, their store-front requirements to perform the services, and very defined-activities makes this industry group extremely open to competition, via low-skilled to medium-skilled workers. As such, most of these businesses usually struggle to adequately anticipate and adjust for adverse cash flow changes. In our dataset, we have a high number of spas and hair salons that were launched by first-time entrepreneurs. Many of these businesses suffered location problems, shifting customer demand and tastes, as well as increased competition from other entrants into their markets. It’s our view that merchants in these businesses should be funded only after they have proven mastery of their business structural patterns. In short, small business owners with less than 1 year of business should avoid seeking unsecured financing or receivables factoring. The risk of default due to merchant inexperience, and industry structural risks, may just be too high for lenders to recover their business financing, either receivables or business loans.
Number 3: Administrative support and waste management (NAICS CODE: 56)
This group description is misleading. It may sound vague and possibly just about waste management. However, you are most likely familiar with the companies that make up this group. These include the following industries:
Temporary Help and Staffing agencies
Travel agents and Tour Operators
Security guards and Security systems
All companies in this grouping had strong cash flows. They all showed compelling volumes of receivables and ongoing business deposits to their bank accounts. So why do they make our #3 in the list? When we analyzed the incoming and outgoing cash flows, we noticed that companies in this SIC code had usually high negative days or low average daily balances, in spite of the high volume of income deposits. When we interviewed these merchants, they informed us that their margins were usually quite low due to the large payables for employee labor that make up their businesses. Low margins contributed to ongoing cash shortages which drove them to acquire business financing. However, these companies consistently showed trouble in repayment due to limited margins to cover their financing costs. Ongoing and troubled payment usually resulted in defaults and company closure.
Number 2: Wholesale and retail trade (NAICS CODE: 42, 44, and 45)
The activity of wholesale and retail trade is mostly weighted toward retail trade due to the high number of retailers relative to wholesalers. The companies that may secure receivables factoring and financing usually fall in the familiar categories that include:
Automobile dealership and repair
Furniture and home furnishings
Food and beverage stores
Clothing and General merchandise stores
The cash flow of the successful firms in these companies looks attractive, but there are numerous risks that cause companies, in these SIC codes, to struggle with business financing repayment. In the automobile sector, for example, many companies depend on consumer automobile demand to drive revenues. When automobile sales drop due to economic or cyclical trends, these companies usually are unable to recover previous strong incoming cash flows to cover their small business debts. In 2017, many banks and small business lenders stopped extending business credit to automobile dealerships. Increased levels of defaults and the soft consumer demand for new cars led to substantial portfolio losses. As for gas stations, they suffer from similar problems we outlined earlier in the Other Services sector: High cash balances but very low margins. Most gas stations struggle to secure credit from traditional banks. As such, they reach out to alternative lenders who may lack the data necessary to properly underwrite these companies, particularly in a changing credit cycle. At Aquila we are impressed by the number of alternative lenders we track on the bank statements of these companies. However, this group usually makes up one of our biggest groups of defunct bank accounts that eventually close due to business trouble.
Number 1: Transportation & Warehousing (NAICS CODE: 48 and 49)
If you’re reading this you’re most likely nodding and saying to yourself: “I wonder when he was finally going to get to the trucking section!” Surprisingly our data set of transportation companies is heavily weighted to trucking, passenger transportation, and small businesses that support the freight industry. We believe this is because most transportation business owners are unable to secure traditional bank credit and must turn to alternative receivables financing companies. When we analyze the bank transaction data of this group, we notice that nearly 1 in 2 business loan and receivables financing contracts from this sector usually ends in default. Similar to construction, merchants suffer from equipment damage and failure that is costly to the business. If you are a trucker and your only truck is stolen or in an accident, you are unable to generate revenues and continue business. Also, the sole proprietor nature of this business compounds default risk to the highest of any industry segment analyzed. Of course, we do see trucking and transportation companies that survive with the same bank accounts for more than 6 months to a year. However, they are the exception. Lastly, the low cost to exit this business means that many truckers simply walk away from their business debt obligations or take their business into bankruptcy. We expect as the US economy continues through this cycle, defaults in this space will rise, keeping it at the top of our list the Five Highest Default Risk SIC Codes of 2017.
Aquila shares its default information with all stakeholders, including business customers, brokers, and receivables investors. If you missed our top 5 Best Performing SIC codes, just click that link and grab a copy.
We particularly encourage affiliate and channel marketers to use our list above to guide their marketing dollars and efforts to the industries that will generate the highest return for their marketing dollars. Aquila offers a flat 10 points for all closed deals in this group to new partners. To get started, login to your Aquila Cash Flow ISO dashboard and share your ISO referral link with merchants that are from the best performing industry segments.
Aquila Cashflow keeps thousands of small businesses alive and growing
The Aquila Cash Flow receivables finance, marketplace re-launches its Independent Sales Organization (ISO) Dashboard with extensive underwriting bank intelligence and status features. Brokers, seeking to close more of their merchants fundings, now have new tools to speed up the process and win larger commissions.
San Francisco, CA — (February 2018) – Aquila today announced the re-launch of its new ISO and Broker interface, Aquila Cashflow ISO Dashboard. Aquila matches thousands of small businesses to sophisticated institutional investors that want to enjoy the additional yield from short-term, high turn-around, debt participation. Aquila’s ISO Dashboard speeds up the process for brokers to onboard and secure funding for their merchant clients that need funding, today.
“When I connected to Aquila, my cleaning business was in a tough spot. No one wanted to help me and my credit was in tatters. One of my trusted brokers decided to help me connect to the Aquila platform. Within hours, they analyzed my business cash flows and predicted how much funding I needed to cover my receivables. I had never experienced anything like it. They move so fast and know my business.” Bob Caramusa – Caramusa Commercial Cleaning, Chicago
Aquila’s Cashflow upgraded ISO Dashboard relaunches with a focus on giving ISO and funding brokers faster access to successful deal closes. Aquila recognizes that brokers have a limited amount of time to close the maximum number of deals. Aquila’s new status partitions for Active, Funded, and Inactive merchants allow brokers to check the status of their active and contract-ready merchants, first. No longer will merchants need to wade through pages of disqualified, and funded merchants, to identify and move their most profitable deals. Brokers that want to check the status of upcoming renewals on already funded deals now have a dedicated view of these merchants.
Not every business merchant is immediate fundable the day the merchant’s application is completed. Aquila never let’s a promising merchant account die. Aquila delivers ongoing bank analysis for brokers to understand their merchant business performance in real-time. Small Businesses that link their bank accounts to Aquila are able to qualify for funding, each day. As soon as a merchant’s banks perform within underwriter requirements, they are funded immediately. ISOs only have to follow-up with merchants to close on their contracts and confirm wire deposits. At Aquila, if merchants don’t qualify for funding, today, they may qualify tomorrow. Aquila’s business performance insights gives ISOs an edge on sales that is not available anywhere else.
Contract renewals are the easiest sales for daily funding ISO and brokers. Aquila ISO Dashboard now allows ISOs to see their funded contracts progression and qualification for renewals, in real time. As merchants complete their contracts and show strong business performance ISOs are able to secure them renewals and fundings the same day. Aquila now pays all renewals on each Friday, of the week, so ISOs don’t need to wait to get paid.
“ISOs are the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) of small business funding. They move fast because the business patient needs extreme financial care and attention, fast. At Aquila, we listen to what our ISOs are trying to get done so that they are able to get their deals funded and renewal commissions paid. Without our strong and speed-driven ISO network, we wouldn’t be as successful as we are today. Therefore, we intend to service our partners well” – Taariq Lewis, CEO of Aquila
Login your Aquila ISO Dashboard here and start closing more deals with Aquila.