Category Archives: Finance

Is an SBA loan right for you?

SBA loan

If you’re starting or growing your small business, you should learn about loans guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as a funding option.

If you apply for an SBA loan, your loan won’t be from the SBA, and you won’t make your payments to the agency. Instead, the SBA approves lenders to provide loans to small businesses under their loan programs. Continue reading

Myths and Facts About Grants for “For-Profit” Business

“How can I get grant money to start a for-profit business?”

This is the number one funding related question that Small Business Administration, other government agencies and financial institutions encounter from potential entrepreneurs seeking money to start a business.

The infomercials on late night television selling books or offering free seminars appear to be very convincing. I have spent hours investigating myths and facts about grants. Here are the findings:

Myths about Grants for “For-Profit” Business:

As part of the research on grants, I attended a few different seminars that were held by privately owned organizations at some of the major hotels. Continue reading

Nine Ways to Fund Your Business

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

If you don’t have the capital to fund your business growth, here are a few ideas. Which one is right for you?

1. Bank Loan or Line of Credit

Borrowing from the bank is probably the most traditional way of funding a business. This can take the form of a traditional loan or line of credit. Some banks may require an SBA guarantee which is a little more expensive than a bank-only loan. Others may require covenants, or conditions, within which the business must perform.

Bankers will review your historical performance and business plan in great detail. Assuming that these pass muster, the bank will require collateral in the form of inventory, equipment or even your house. In many cases they will insist on a personal guarantee.

Bank loans are debt financing requiring periodic payment of principal and interest. However, they do not require you to give up equity in your business; if your business takes off, you keep the profits (after debt repayment). Continue reading

Measure it to improve it.

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

As with many things in life – where we place our attention is what will change. But, if you try to focus on too many things at once, nothing gets done. The same is true for monitoring your business’ financial performance.

Monitor and focus your attention on those few key metrics that drive your business’ health through a dashboard tailored to your needs.

A good dashboard – often no more than one page, is a powerful visual of graphs and other data that provide a snapshot of the key components of your business. It monitors trends and tracks performance against goals, providing the ability to course-correct mid-year.

A customized monthly dashboard should focus on the key drivers of your business and help you quickly and easily assess the health and trajectory of your company. Here’s how: Continue reading

Should you use crowdfunding to help finance your business?

Should You Use Crowdfunding to Help Finance Your Business?

Starting a small business can be costly, but did you know that you can use crowdfunding to help alleviate some of those costs?

Our latest infographic, “Is Crowdfunding Right for Your Small Business?,” shows what types of crowdfunding are available and the different benefits of each.

In 2018, the United States alone raised $1,038,000 in crowdfunding. This amount is expected to show an annual growth rate of 10.4%, resulting in a total amount raised of $1,298,000 by the year 2022. From a global perspective, that amount is even higher – China raised $7,463,000 in 2018!

What Types of Crowdfunding Are There?

There are three types of crowdfunding options available for your business: reward-based, equity, and debt.

Continue reading

What makes or breaks a successful small business?

business colleagues high fiving

What makes or breaks a successful small business? There are several key commonalities among businesses that succeed, according to several studies polling entrepreneurs.

Here’s a closer look at four things successful business owners do right—and one thing they need to do better.

What successful entrepreneurs do right

  1. They start strong. In a poll of 500 successful entrepreneurs, a whopping 84% of respondents say their companies achieved profitability within their first four years in business. In fact, 68% became profitable within the first year. Only 8% became profitable after their fifth year in business, suggesting that the first years in business are make-or-break ones for most entrepreneurs.
  2. They focus on finding new customers. Small business owners in the survey say finding new customers is their top business challenge—far ahead of cash flow issues or dealing with the competition. Smart entrepreneurs stay focused on continually generating new leads and closing new business.
  3. They put cash back into the business. Forty percent of business owners say whenever they have surplus cash, they put it back into the business rather than paying themselves, a separate study found. What’s more, 47% tap into personal savings to finance their businesses at one point or another.
  4. They work hard. Never let it be said small business owners are slackers. Some 86% work on the weekends; 23% take fewer than two vacation days total all year long; and of those who do take vacations, 75% work during their time “off.” Continue reading