How Marketing Mix Can Help Small Businesses Grow

4P of marketing

If you are doing all you can to grow your small business but nothing is working, you might want to take a step back and reconsider your marketing mix. Doing the right type of marketing at the right place and at the right time requires some brainstorming, research and analytical approach. Take a look at what marketing mix is and how you can use this concept to grow your small business.

Understanding Marketing Mix

In simple words, marketing mix involves the techniques, tactics and strategies you implement to promote your product, service or brand. The marketing mix consists of four Ps: Promotion, Product, Place and Price. If you research the idea a bit more you will find that people are adding more Ps to the mix but their understanding is not as important as the understanding of these four factors. In the new definition of marketing mix, they have also included other Ps like: people, positioning, packaging and politics. Here is a basic understanding of the four essential Ps of the mix.

Product: It could also be a service—anything that you are selling

Price: The value that you want to obtain when you sell the item.

Place: The exact location where you sell the product.

Promotion: The mixture of activities and campaigns that you put in to spread awareness of your product and increase its sales and additional funds to your business.

To expand your business you have to achieve perfection in your marketing mix. You have to attain a balance in all the areas of the mix for a successful strategy. Working on attaining the right balance right from the beginning will help you lay the foundation of a business that faces least amount of struggle when it comes to expansion and growth.

Using Marketing Mix for Small Business’ Growth

To create the right marketing mix, you have to understand your product at its core. When it comes to the product, you have to have a full understanding of it. What is your product? What problem does it solve? Even if your product solves a problem, have you designed to in a way that a potential customer would look at it and know what it is supposed to do? Once you know your product well, you can get to the other Ps of the marketing mix. Here is a little understanding of how marketing mix works.

  • Tying Product with Price

It can be one of the toughest things for most business owners to do. While it is a job for the marketing department, you don’t always have a dedicated marketing department when you are still a startup. When you are about to price your product, you have to consider a lot of factors. First, what type of audience does your product appeal to? What materials have you created the product with? How much competition you have in the market? What is the buying power of the market for which you have designed the product? It is only after taking all of these factors into consideration can you price your product appropriately. Keep in mind that when you are a new business, you cannot charge your customers for your value because there is no value for customers in buying your product at this stage.

  • Tying Price with Place

You cannot be thinking of one individual component of the marketing mix at one time. You might have created the right product but the question is “are you selling it to the right people?” What if your product is more appealing for teenagers but you are targeting people over the age of 35? What if you know your target audience but are placing the product in the wrong places? Maybe your item is more sellable online but you are putting it on retail store shelves. Now that you know the “place” where you need to sell the product, you have price the item aptly too. For example, a product that you have designed for teenagers should be affordable within their pocket money.

Moreover, your product might be appealing for a niche market but you might have priced it too low. As a result, too few people would buy it and your revenue will not cover your expenses. You have to be sure that you cover your costs within the limited number of purchases that occur.

  • Tying Place with Promotion

When looking at place and promotion as a combination, you have to be sure that you are promoting your product in the right place. Is your product more appealing for women than it is for men? If yes then you should consider promoting it on social networking platforms where women are more active e.g. Pinterest. Moreover, your promotional activities should match the place. For example, if you are promoting in an area where there are Oakland Athletics fans, you don’t want to be wearing San Francisco Giants’ t-shirts and gear.

  • Combining All the Ps

Once you have created the right product, priced it perfectly and strategized your promotional campaigns, you have to bring the product in the right place so all the Ps work successfully. Creating the right product, pricing it right and promoting it with passion but in the wrong place will result in disappointing response. Just because you are good with one of the Ps does not mean you will be successful in others as well.

Now that you have a good idea of tying the Ps together, you should have a complete road plan of how you are going to sell your product. It will require a lot of working at initial stages. You cannot know your market unless you do some surveys and spend time collecting data about the market. At the same time, you have to perform a thorough research of the market to know how you will price your product. When it comes to promotion, you will have to come out of the conventional methods and think more digital. You might as well set up a dedicated team for social media marketing and website analytics.

 

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SBA Loan Types and FICO Minimums

SBA

Lots of talk on what position lenders take when offering SBA programs. Lots of different banks that are approved for SBA programs have different criteria. This is based on the risk level the bank wants to take. The SBA generally guarantees about 50% of the bank funds. This makes it attractive for banks to offer better incentives to businesses. Start-up businesses are also welcome and can sometimes qualify on lower FICO scores for what SBA calls Micro Loans. Usually, SBA minimums are around 620-640+ with a good Business Plan and a $50 max amount. Here are other Minimums broken down for existing businesses:

SBA 7(a) 650+

SBA 7(a) Express Loans 650+

SBA CDC/504 Loans 680+

SBA CAPLines Program 660+

SBA Export Loans 660+

SBA Microloans 620-640+

SBA 7(a) Loans

These are the most common SBA loans and generally what people think of when they think of an SBA loan. It’s a general loan that businesses can use for almost any purpose. Unfortunately, they’re also among the toughest to qualify for, with an estimated SBA loan credit score minimum of 650.

SBA 7(a) Express Loan

Designed for small businesses that need a smaller amount of cash (up to $1 million until Sept. 30, 2021, then $500,000 after that) in a faster amount of time, the SBA Express loan is not much easier to qualify for and has similar qualification requirements to the regular SBA 7(a) loan.

SBA CDC/504 Loan

SBA CDC/504 Loan is designed to help businesses buy owner-occupied commercial real estate or heavy equipment. Most people who qualify have a 680+ credit score minimum and require a 10% down payment on the purchase.

SBA CAPLines Program

This is essentially an SBA line of credit designed to meet short-term or seasonal working capital needs. You can generally qualify with a credit score of 660 or higher with short-term collateral such as unpaid invoices, receivables, or other collateral.

SBA Export Loans

SBA Export loans are designed to help small businesses fund new exporting operations with cash flow solutions that allow more flexible terms to international customers. By proving a viable export operation, you can qualify for this loan with a credit score minimum of 660.

SBA Microloans

Microloans are small loans (up to $50,000) with softer credit score requirements (a minimum of around 620-640) than other SBA loans. You’ll also need to provide some collateral that could cover the loan amount and a sound business plan.

SBA can be a powerful alternative for financing and raising capital. Funded.com has a Lender Match program to match startups and existing businesses with SBA programs and conventional lenders. You can sign up for a free trial and get matched.

Who we are:  Funded.com is a platform that is A+ BBB rated over 10+ years. Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

You can review our featured partners to help your success with your business or project.

Things that can Damage Your Business Credit

Business Credit

Many of us have this dream of becoming self-employed. One way to turn this dream into reality is to use your savings as investments to run a successful business. Part of accomplishing this goal is making your financial standing-worthy. No doubt, stable credit scores play a vital role in building this creditworthiness.

That is to stay; good business status scores come with a slew of benefits that mostly include supplier financing, lines of credit, easily available business loans, and business credit cards. In addition to these advantages, good credit scores help you with lower insurance premiums and higher credit limits. It attracts plenty of financial opportunities for entrepreneurs from existing suppliers and lenders.

However, not all entrepreneurs can reap these benefits due to poor financial status scores. This often happens when business owners commit small mistakes while using their business credit cards. Although these mistakes are petty and committed unknowingly, they may damage financial standing when reported to financial agencies.

If your business also faces this issue, you might be making the following mistakes.

Mistakes That Damage Business Credit

Co-signing Loan with Someone Else

You might know that co-signing a loan for anyone, including your friend or relative can bring disastrous results to your financial standing. It happens when the borrower fails to meet the terms and conditions of loan repayment. It is important to remember that, when you co-sign a loan for a relative or a friend, you share a partial responsibility of the borrower. That means when the borrower fails to make the repayments, it automatically affects your commercial loan scores if you also do not make the payment. Being a co-signer of a loan can be potentially disastrous for your business.

How to avoid that?

The easy way to avoid that is to become selective for the people you decide to co-sign a loan for. Plus, don’t forget to investigate the borrower’s history that includes his/her financial stability to repay the loan amount. Go through the options that the borrower will use to make the payments. Determine whether or not these options are viable and will not cause you problems in the future.

Ignoring Credit Problems

How many times have you tried to cross-examine your financial reports? No wonder if the answer to this question is “never.” Most small business owners rely on the yearly report for all the details. And this one of the mistakes that you do when it comes to maintaining good financial standing. Taking out time to check monthly financial reports is always beneficial to ensure its impeccability. If you wait long, checking out the errors will become hard. Remember that, even the minor errors in your report can be damaging and will lead to poor financial status rating. The other warning signs include missing payments, zero-rated business credit cards, and not allowed to make big payments.

How to avoid them?

You can prevent this by taking prompt actions or keeping your standing scores in check.

Closing non-functional Accounts

You might feel disposing of your old-fashioned sneaker is the right way to get rid of old things. It is because you will not be using them in the future. However, this is not the case when it is about your credit cards. That means, if you cancel your old credit cards, you might lower your financial standing scores. It is because those cards might have a good financial standing history. But when you decide to do away with those credit cards, all good financial standing history that contributed to your existing scores is automatically removed.

How to avoid it?

Retaining your old credit cards or keeping those accounts open, you can save your good payment history. Even if you are not using a credit card, don’t close it as it could affect your business financial standing scores.

Late Payments

Keep in mind that your timely payments are one of the major factors used to determine your financial standing scores. If you are a late payer or delay paying your bills, it affects your standing scores. Every time you make a late payment, it negatively impacts your standing scores. Even a single late payment denies your good financial status ratings and classifies you as a late payer.

How to avoid it?

It is obvious that how could you avoid this problem. You have to ensure that you make all your necessary business payments by either vendors or creditors on time. In case you miss out on a payment to the supplier for any reason, you may settle it through an agreement. Request the supplier to not report to the business financial agency and make up for the payment.

Max out Credit Cards

Maxing out a credit card is another vital mistake that many business owners do. Doing so raises the ratio of financial utilization. With a high credit ratio, you are always at a high risk of losing your credit rating. Many entrepreneurs believe that as long as they are paying off, the maxed-out amount on their business credit card will not affect the credit rating; which is not the case. No matter if you pay off the credit amount, it will have an impact on your credit scores. Credit bureaus interpret high utilization of ratio differently.

How to avoid it?

Financial agencies generally expect users to use only 30% of their credit limit. When this credit limit is surpassed, it indicates that your business is facing financial trouble. One way to avoid this is to use your debit card occasionally to make payments. This will keep your financial standing utilization ratio low.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, using business credit smartly is essential to improve your credit scores. And good credit scores translate into several financial benefits that may help you strengthen both your business investments and revenues. It presents you as a reliable candidate in front of banks and lenders.

Thus, avoiding the mistakes mentioned above is of paramount importance if you don’t want your business credit scores to be damaged. Think of alternative ways and solutions that can help you avoid these costly mistakes.

Places like Credit Karma can be one of many free options to monitor a couple credit reports that business credit might be attached to a personally signed business account.

Who we are:  Funded.com is a platform that is A+ BBB rated over 10+ years. Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

Business Credit Card vs. Business Loan for Funds

Funds

If you have long been looking for business funds, the multiple business financing options must have overwhelmed you. Many entrepreneurs don’t want to involve outside investors to raise capital for their lean startups to avoid entailing risks such as misaligned structure and timeline.

If you are one of them, business credit cards and business loans are some of the readily available options for you. Plus, these financing options are widely accessible for the entrepreneurs who want to self-finance their business.

Regardless of what options you choose, understanding their pros and cons is essential. But before we plunge into the details, let’s quickly split the difference between business credit cards and business loan to help you choose the most appropriate option for your business.

What Is the Difference between Business Credit Card and Business Loans

No doubt, it is one of the common questions that come to mind when it is about funding your startup. Typically, a business loan refers to a lump sum amount you are paid out that you need to pay back in the form of monthly installment over a specified period. A business credit card, on the other hand, is a credit line that allows you access to money or funds to a certain limit on a recurring basis. This credit line, like another credit amount, can be paid off through monthly payments or over any period of your choice unless you meet the credit limit of each month.

Business loans are generally installment debts; however, business credit cards are revolving debts. Although neither of these options hurt your personal credit scores in the long term if you pay them on time, it is worth noting that business credit card has more potential to affect your credit card scores.  If not paid on time, revolving debt may decrease debt to credit ratio.

Moreover, business loans undeniably offer large sums of funds and may have a lower interest rate as compared to business credit cards. However, qualifying for them is nerve-wrecking since the lending process is unnecessarily long and can take months.

Alternatively, business credit cards can offer you immediate access to funds or cash you need to invest in yours.  While their interest rate tends to be higher, you have an option to pay off your full bill each month. Besides this, the best business credit cards provide a slew of other reimbursements such as credit rewards, purchase protections, and perks that can particularly benefit business owners.

Business Credit Card or Business Loan- Which Can You Get Easily?

Having good credit card scores are necessary to qualify for both business credit cards and business loans.   In addition to that, to initiate the funding process, you will be asked to apply, along with the documentation showing your revenues. However, documentation for business loans tends to be more extensive and hectic. Not only this, you may find requirements for business loans stricter in terms of business profitability and length of time.

Overall, qualifying for business loans is more difficult than getting funds through business credit cards. The requirements become even more challenging to meet if your credit scores are low or you are a startup.

Luckily, Small Business Administration offers loans for startups. Although traditional lenders invest in these government-backed loans, guarantees up to 50% percent of the loan to make the process easier.

Business Credit Card or Business Loan- Which Can You Get Easily?

There is no easy answer to the question of whether one should opt for a business credit card or business loans. As mentioned earlier, to choose the best funding option, you need to compare the best features of each alternative.

Features Business Credit
Cards
Business Loans  
Loan amount Up to $50,000 Up to $5million
Loan type Revolving credit line Installment loan
Repayment Monthly payments to the minimum credit limit to pay off a debt to avoid high interest Set payments to be paid monthly over a specified time that can go up to 25 years
Average APR 13 to 20 percent 8 to 10 percent
Eligibility Steady income and personal credit history Good  business revenue model and credit
Approval Time Seven days Weeks or a minimum of six months
Benefits Sign up bonuses, reward programs,  purchase protection, trip insurance Government-backed loans

Business Credit Card or Business Loan: What is the best Option for You?

You have compared the features of both options; it is the right time to decide which works best for you.

Business loans are Ideal for your business if you;

  • Need large sums of funds
  • Want investment for profit-generating projects that include purchasing equipment hiring staff or renting new locations
  • Want to expand an established business that generates revenues up to 100,000

Business Credit Cards are ideal for your business if you

  • are looking for options to separate finances  or sole proprietor
  • Want to use the payment option that comes with big rewards
  • Need to access cash immediately
  • Do not want to borrow money and need a payment option that allows you to pay in a month
  • Want to invest in a project that has 0 percent introductory APR and plans to make payments before its promotional period deadline

Factors to consider while Choosing Business Credit Cards and Business Loans

Your job is not done after you decide which option you want to choose and why.  There are certain factors you need to consider to make a safe choice.

  • Interest Rate–   it is important to choose the option that has a low-interest rate. The interest rate in loans and credit cards are compounding, and you will end up wasting a lot of money if you are not diligent.
  • Other fees–   choosing a business credit card means you will have to pay annual fees, foreign transaction charges, and late payment charges
  • Eligibility– applying for consecutive loans or credit cards may ding your personal credit scores by resulting in the new inquiry.  

Final Thoughts

Overall, both financing options come with their perks and downsides. Given that, it is up to you when it comes to making the decision that meets the requirement of your small business.

Who we are:  Funded.com is a platform that is A+ BBB rated over 10+ years. Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

The Benefits of Advanced Technology to Small Business Lending

Lending

Small business lending is just one of the markets that greatly benefits from the technological advances that we are experiencing in this day and age. Because of the accessibility to larger scope information about the potential lenders, banks and other lending institutions are now able to make more detailed assessments of the risks involved in a possible agreement.

Here are some of the advantages of having an advanced technology in the small business lending markets:

  • The possibility of broadening the risks to a larger geographical and industrial market
  • Cheaper acquisition costs despite wider geographic reach
  • Lesser necessity of opening new branches
  • Paperless application of loans, improved underwriting, and faster processing of applications
  • Develop new products that will focus on providing services to smaller businesses and those that have been declined by larger lending firms
  • Significantly lower capital, especially for non-bank lenders

Since the start of the credit crisis – or the period of reduction in the general availability of loans – small companies and business that have been operating for not more than two years started to have a hard time applying for financial support from the traditional banks. But because of the advances in technology, smaller lending companies that were able to get large amounts of information about the borrowers were able to provide loans for these small businesses.

Because of the availability of information, even people who have very low credit scores can secure loans as long as they have positive credit history and the industry and economic status in the area where they live in show optimistic figures.

Nowadays, banks and other lending institutions can check not just the basic information included on loan application documents but also wider range of data that come from credit ratings agencies such as D&B and Equifax. The availability of large information about the potential borrowers allows lenders to develop and offer special financial packages designed for small companies and startups.

This phenomenon became more common among non-bank lenders, especially after 2008 when the credit market started stringent loan application processes. In fact, Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index noted that the so-called “alternative lenders” or those that are not affiliated with large financial institutions approve around six out of ten loan applications, significantly higher than the approval rate of banks and other large financial institutions.

Aside from these benefits, the use of technology in assessing loan applications made it easier for companies owned by women or members of the minority to secure financial support. Moreover, as small business lending markets start to integrate technology in their operations, entrepreneurs save a lot of time and encounter less problems in their bid to get financial support to start or expand their businesses. This proves how technology truly transformed for the better the market of small business lending.

Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

Business Plan Mistakes to Avoid

Plan

Writing your business plan is probably one of the most important business duties you will assume. If you follow a quality business plans template you will cover the basics of the plans, but there are still common mistakes made by entrepreneurs that hurt their cause. It is reminiscent of the teacher in school who gave you the parts of the essay for easy outlining and then marks points off because the essay is too long or too boring.

Following are some of the most common errors made in business plans. Some of them are simple errors, but that doesn’t minimize their importance. Other are mistakes usually made due to lack of experience. Either way, these mistakes can hurt the effectiveness of the overall business plan.

  • Including more than one business model in the false belief that more information and more strategies are always better (not true!)
  • Lacking cohesiveness throughout the business plans
  • Difficult to read due to illogical or poor layout (another reason to use a business plan template)
  • Including unsupported projections or estimates
  • Not fully analyzing the competition
  • Failing to prepare all required sections of a business plans (making your plan look amateurish or as if you are hiding something)
  • No value proposition separating your business from the competition
  • Not letting anyone else read your business plan and provide feedback before submission
  • Making the business plan difficult to read because it is written using mostly hard-to-understand industry or discipline terms (i.e. your funder may not know much about technology so using technical jargon will make the plan too difficult to understand)
  • Showing lack of understanding of the niche market to be served

These are certainly not the only mistakes, but they are some of the most common. You want to avoid writing a business plan that is too long and tedious, is not well written, and is boring. Though funders are often professionals looking for the next great business investment opportunity, they are also human. Grammatical errors and boring prose can quickly discourage anyone reading the business plan. It seems your essay teacher was right all along.

Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

Does the Business Plan State Your Value Proposition?

Proposition

The ideal business plan is composed of more than just history, marketing and financial sections. It should also convey the value proposition to the angel investors you approach about business funding. Typically, angel investors are sought after a business has been established so it’s possible to show real products, actual customers and a working business model. However, the angel investors will want to know how you define the company’s value proposition.

The business value proposition is developed with the marketplace in mind. The value proposition defines why people in the target market should buy your products or services. It defines what benefits purchase of the goods or services will provide or what problem will be solved by product or service use. It sounds like the statement would be long, but it should be kept short which forces the business owner to concisely explain the value the company is bringing to the marketplace and the relevance of the product to the customer. If it takes a long winded explanation then there’s  good chance the business owner has not fully developed the business concept.

The value proposition is important to the angel investor because it concisely differentiates the business among its competitors and reflects an alignment of business operations with the market. The value proposition must also reflect specific results or performance and is not a generalized statement that any business could use. For example, a consulting business could say that it can help customers get a high return on investment , but that would be a weak value proposition. A strong value proposition would say that the business can demonstrate customers will experience an improvement of 15% Return on Investment (ROI) by using the company’s state-of-the-art proprietary software.

Angel investors expect a business plan to have a value proposition that quantifies market results and also states the source of its competitive advantage. That should never be a problem if a company is serious about success.

Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

Loans Or Investors: Which Is The Way To Go?

Getting funding for your business is the top priority to getting it going. As you consider your options to procure funding, heading to the bank for a small business loan may seem like an easy solution. While banks can be helpful in their attempts to provide funding for a small business to start or even to grow, it may be remiss in providing the same level of benefits that you can receive from an angel investment.

The Business Of Banking

With a small business loan, sure you may be able to start your business quickly, but you will be missing out on the valuable advice, guidance, and experience that a private investor offers. A bank loan is cut and dry. You are on the hook to pay back the loan, plus interest, without any support backing you.

A bank has no involvement in your day-to-day operations. Their main concern is timely payments, so there is no sounding board for your ideas or help to make those big decisions that affect your operations. You are on your own without anyone to lean on when times get tough.

The Advice Of An Investor

An angel investor offers you more. For starters, they will direct their current customer base directly to your business startup, giving you an instant boost in revenue just through your partnership with them. In addition, you’ll gain the expertise of your seed investor as they offer words of wisdom and can help direct you on making those hard decisions that every business owner faces.

Your angel investor has a vested interest in seeing your business startup succeed and will do what it takes to help guide the operations in a positive way. Together as partners, you and your private investor will be able to find solutions, implement new ideas, and find ways to continually increase your customer base as well as your revenue.

Why go it alone when an angel investor can give help your business get the successful start it needs. Banks may seem like a doable option, and for some they are, but the added benefits that come from joining forces with an investor can be more beneficial to make sure your business startup is a resounding success.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com. If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit  Funded.com

Is It Time To Apply For A Startup Accelerator?

Following the rise of startup accelerators, the number of new entrepreneurs who want to get a position within these incubators has also significantly increased. Wall Street Journal reports that the applications to more than 200 accelerators around the world have almost doubled in the past two years.

According to Marc Nager, Chief Executive Officer of Startup Weekend, an accelerator may be good for those who are new on the field of entrepreneurship. However, in isolated cases, some of the terms may not be as acceptable. Nager provided some information that might help those who have yet to apply for an accelerator.

Understand the Basics

For Nager, would-be entrepreneurs must start with understanding the basic terms of the deal. He said that before applying, they should look at the benefits that they will get once they participate in this venture.

In the world of startup accelerators, a lot of value will come from the network that will be established amongst the students, mentors, and program leaders. Nager added that the applicants should also use to their advantage the possibility of having one-on-one experience with experienced entrepreneurs. He stresses the need for applicants to identify at least three mentors who have had experience on the industry that they are working on. This will ensure that the sessions will be maximized and will result in a highly beneficial experience.

Choose Wisely

Nager advises that when applying for startup accelerators, would-be entrepreneurs should consider signing up in well-known programs. He said that these will ensure better results that will be advantageous for the participants.

Unfortunately, well-known start-up accelerators usually have very low acceptance rates. With this, applicants can also try signing up in local versions of the accelerators provided that they have high quality program, mentors, and leaders.

Nager also noted the rise in the number of accelerators that offer specialized programs. There are those that focus solely on providing programs that help healthcare startups, civic startups, and startups that use a specific technology, among others.

The specialization may be advantageous for some startups. However, it must be noted that there are also things that one may miss if he or she decides not to sign up in one of the traditional accelerators that offer a wider range of coverage. Because of this, would-be applicants should know how to weigh the benefits before deciding to participate in specialized programs.

 Work on that Application

As stated, the chances of getting admitted into a well-known accelerator are very slim. Because of this, would-be entrepreneurs should toughen up their applications if they want to get the nod of the evaluators. 

One thing that they can do, Nager says, is to understand how the applications were evaluated by the accelerators. He also said that having a good team that will shine above the rest will boost the chances of getting selected.

Finally, he said that the applicants must do all their best to impress those who will decide on the applications. He suggests the use of human element, among others, to get the approval of the decision makers.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at www.funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.

Funding Your Own Business

Say you are planning to have a business and, furthermore, you know the know-how to bring it into development.  The only thing you are losing is the cold money to get started.  What are your options?

Suppose you do not have a ready line of credit, an extensive bank administrator, rich family members or a significant store of retirement savings you are willing to risk, you are going to have to do some serious preparation and hard work.  Luckily, there are a number of sources of finance for the Business startup owner, at least one of which may be right for you.

SBA LOANS

Available only to U.S.-based businesses (but if you are outside the US you can look for something that has a similar program), the SBA (the U.S. Small Business Administration) has served a large number of business owners begin their own Business.  The SBA does not issue resources (money you do not have to pay back) or create financial loans straight, rather, it assures financial loans made by personal loan organizations thereby decreasing or removing the danger natural in new organizations and making loan organizations more willing to offer.

The main concern for the SBA is reimbursement ability from the income of the company as well as “good personality, control ability, security and owner’s equity”.  You will be expected to individually assure your mortgage.  This implies your personal belongings are at risk.

As for the types of organizations qualified for SBA financial loans, the SBA enforces the following criteria: the company must be “for-profit” (it only indicates that your company has a revenue reason, not that it has actually produced a revenue yet), ), be engaged in business in the United States, there must be “reasonable” owner equity (what’s reasonable will depend on the circumstances) and you are expected to use alternative financial resources first, including your own personal belongings.

The SBA also enforces restrictions on the use of loan proceeds. For example, although the proceeds can be used for most company requirements (the cases given by the SBA include “the purchase of real estate to house the company operations; development, remodelling or leasehold improvements; getting furniture, furnishings, equipment; buy of inventory; and operating capital”), you cannot use the loan proceeds for financing floor-plan needs, to pay current financial debt, to create expenses to the business owners or to pay past due taxes etc.

As a common concept, loans for working capital must be repaid within seven years and loans for fixed assets must be paid for by the end of the economic life of the assets (but not to exceed 25years).

ANGEL INVESTORS

Angel Investors are good spirits with a healthy sense of self-interest. Determining they can get a higher come back if they are ready to take a bit of a risk, they are also often effective business owners themselves and want to give other a hand up. Think of financing from angel investors as a link or gap-filler between being a start-up and preparing for venture capital.  The kinds of money we’re referring to here are between about$150,000 and $1.5million.  Beyond this point you are in low venture-capital area. The SBA reports that there are around 250,000 angels in the U.S., financing about 30,000 organizations a year.  So, how do you connect with one?  Not a easy task, unfortunately.  It comes down to networking.  Begin by speaking with professional and business associates – they will often know someone who knows someone etc..  However, we at funded.com can help you in this.

VENTURE CAPITAL

You’re in the big teams now.  Usually you are in the ballpark of millions (of money that is) rather than a thousand.  Venture Capital organizations look for their return on investment from capital appreciation rather than interest (unlike banks, for example).  They’re generally looking for a return of 500-1,000% on exit. It will not shock you to learn that vc’s are particularly hesitant of internet-based organizations right about now and not surprising.  It also provides them right.  But if you have a powerful Business Plan and powerful development potential, this could be an option for you longer term.

One of the common issues about this form of financing, however, is that you have a limited control over your business. Venture Capital usually wants to have control on your business, in return for their risk. A venture capitalist will have to seat as a board member, for example. Always remember, that it’s in the vc’s best passions for your company to be successful, so providing up some control in return for outside skills may well be something worth thinking about.

For this, your best bet would be to begin out by analyzing the various loan program provided via the SBA (or your local equivalent).  But do not ignore, close to home sources first.  If you have household resources at your convenience (for example) and you are assured that your business will be effective (and unless you’re assured about that, don’t get into financial debt with *anyone*, let alone household members), better to begin out slowly and convenience into outside sources of financing as your company (and, furthermore, your company’s cashflow) can support it.  After all, Uncle Jack is much more likely to know about the temporary income meltdown than Uncle Sam.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at www.funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.