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 →
Making the sale, especially when your small business offers products and services to other businesses, demands more than being good at what you do. It definitely requires building professional relationships. To do that, you must earn your customers’ trust.
There’s no scientific formula for earning trust. It requires time, patience, and honest effort.
Here are some suggestions to help you lay a foundation of trust with your potential customers: Continue reading →
Most businesses are on a fiscal year which coincides with the calendar year. Now is a good time to look back and reflect on 2019 as well as look forward and create a new budget for 2020.
A budget is a roadmap. Based on where you have been, it can help guide you to the desired final destination for year-end.
If you stay on the current course – where will you end up? Alternatively, if you change the route – where will you be at the end of the year? It is up to you to decide which path is the most profitable and most likely to be achieved.
It seems somewhat contradictory, but the more technologically savvy buyers become (and the less time they spend visiting stores or talking to services providers on the phone) the more they want a personal, emotionally gratifying experience with businesses.
Entrepreneurs must find ways to not only appeal to customers’ desire for quality products or services, but also to their hearts.
In a Harvard Business Review article by consumer intelligence experts Alan Zorfass and Daniel Leemon, “Our research across hundreds of brands in dozens of categories shows that the most effective way to maximize customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level.”
What does this mean for you? Instead of just transactions, your business must make memorable interactions. To gain a competitive edge and win customer loyalty, you must make an emotional connection with buyers. Continue reading →
Finding and adding a business partner to an existing company is about more than going into business with a friend or family member. How you add a partner typically hinges on your business entity. Depending on how you incorporated your business, entrepreneurs will need to conduct a bit of due diligence in order to properly bring on a business partner.
From an LLC to a general partnership, let’s break down what you need to do now to prepare to add a partner to your business. Continue reading →
The first year of operations is a critical time for any small business, with decisions made about market focus, finding financing and hiring a team that will have a significant impact on the business’s success or failure in the future.
SCORE’s fall 2019 “Megaphone of Main Street” data report focuses on the challenges facing startups, which are companies in operation for less than one year.
This latest installment of the Megaphone of Main Street is the fourth in a data report series that presents a snapshot of the current American small business landscape. This particular report delves into the world of startup entrepreneurship, sourcing both qualitative and quantitative data directly from a diverse group of roughly 1,000 startup small business owners across the nation. Continue reading →