As the owner of a retail shop, it can be extremely difficult to manage cash flow and working capital so that you can scale up in advance of busy seasons and stay open during slower parts of the year. You have to maintain the difficult balance between supply and demand so that you never pass up revenue opportunities but are not left with a ton of unsold inventory.

And the stakes are incredibly high. We’re facing what news organizations have deemed the “retail apocalypse” with tens of thousands of stores expected to close in the next few years. Most of these closures are due to the increase in online shopping, which means you’re probably in the clear if you’re an online retailer, and most will come from big chains so small business brick-and-mortar owners can take advantage of the trend. But the margins are still razor-thin and a run of bad luck or a few mistakes are enough to push many businesses over the edge.

Luckily, small business loans can give owners a financial cushion and the business advantage they need to not only survive but thrive and expand. Short term small business loans like cash advance can help you manage cash flow and build working capital, but you have to apply for these loans when the need comes up. Which could put serious pressure on your bank account. But you can take out an unsecured business line of credit today and access funding whenever you need it, as soon as you need it. Here are the top 8 ways to use an unsecured business line of credit for a retail shop:


Take Advantage of the Busy Seasons to Fill Your Bank Account

Most retail shops see a lot of seasonal variation in their revenue stream. Summertime might bring in the big bucks, or perhaps the holidays are your business’s golden months. Whatever your specific cycle, you need to take full advantage of your busy months to manage cash flow and save up for drier times. But you have to buy the inventory in advance before you have the money in your bank account to afford the merchandise. Having an unsecured small business line of credit gives you the working capital you need to stock up and cash out.


Manage Cash Flow to Make Your Monthly Payments in Slower Seasons

An unsecured business line of credit is even more important during the off-season. During these months, your revenue is way down but your monthly payments are the same. Rent, staff salaries, insurance payments, and your expenses don’t take a break for lean times. You can’t exactly put all of these expenses on a business credit card, and cash advance won’t do you much good since you are not going to make many sales. An unsecured small business line of credit lets you manage your cash flow and keep open during these months while only borrowing exactly as much as you need to spend.


Take Advantage of Bulk Pricing to Save on Products and Services


As we mentioned earlier, and you’re probably already all-too-aware, retail margins can be painfully thin. Getting a better price on your inventory can make a big difference for your profits and your bank account. You can draw from your unsecured line of credit to increase your volume on key orders to get bulk rates on products and services.


Pay for Equipment and Store Improvements

You don’t just have to pay for your short term inventory as a retail shop owner. You also need working capital to pay for shelving, displays, POS machines, store improvements and maintenance. An unsecured small business line of credit helps you cover these costs when they come up and proactively tackle needs before they impact your revenue.


Market Your Business

It can be hard to compete against the big brands as a small retail shop but marketing can make a big difference. Whether you’re putting out ads on billboards and magazine pages or running a PPC campaign on Google or Facebook, marketing and advertising your business costs money. A revolving line of credit lets you pay ad fees and marketing professionals without drawing on your cash reserves and reducing your working capital.


Expand Your Product Lines

Another key to making it big as a small retail business owner is expanding into new products and services. But you can’t invest too much of your working capital to test out a new line or reduce your inventory on your old lines. An unsecured business line of credit lets you expand your offerings without disrupting your current business.


Open Up New Storefronts

An unsecured business line of credit doesn’t just let you offer new products and services, but it can also help you expand your physical footprint by buying or leasing new retail space. You have to manage cash flow and working capital very carefully when opening new stores to make sure that you don’t overstretch your resources, and a small business line of credit can give you the cushion you need to expand with confidence.


Build Your Credit Scores and Credit Limit for Future Loans

Taking out an unsecured business line of credit is one of the best ways to raise your personal and business credit scores. As you draw upon the revolving line of credit and pay off the amount that you borrowed, your credit scores will go up. That means that you can get better loan terms in the future, including a lower annual fee, higher credit limit, and lower interest rates which will mean a lower monthly payment on the same principal. While you can use the same revolving line of credit indefinitely, you can take out other small business loans for retail shops like a cash advance or even a business credit card as the unsecured line of credit improves your credit scores.

Checking for pre-approval will not affect your credit score.

Jeremy Pearlman | Jeremy is a New York native enjoying the good life in the Big Easy. In his writing, Jeremy covers a wide-range of topics, but his specialties are personal finance and business leadership.