Although banks are traditionally the place where small businesses go in search of financing or help in maintaining cash flow, according to an article in Associated Content, some small businesses are seeking out alternative sources of funding and advice.  One such alternative source is an account receivables factoring company, which is a financial lender that shows small businesses how to leverage their account receivables into cash.  Factoring involves a transaction between the business and the account receivables factoring company in which the business sells its open invoices, which generates immediate income instead of forcing businesses to wait for the net term of that invoice.  How much money the small business actually gets from the factoring company depends on its credit history, the credit history of its clients, and volume, though generally speaking, the advanced, or "up-front," payment businesses can expect to get from the account receivables factoring company is usually 70 percent to 90 percent of the total value of receivables.  After charging a fee of at least 2 percent, the remaining balance is released upon full receipt of payment for all the receivables/invoices. 

Another alternative source of financing for small businesses is the Small Business Administration's 7(a) loan guarantee program, which in most cases guarantees up to 75 percent of a small business loan -- up to $75,000 -- to a bank or other commercial lender.  In addition, the SBA offers its LowDoc and SBA Express loans, which are specifically designed for companies that need cash in a hurry and have little time for documentation.  Some of these loans can be turned around in as little as 36 hours.