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Where to Fund a Small Business

03/15/2013 Comments off

Contrary to popular belief, business plans do not generate business financing. True, there are many kinds of financing options that require a business plan, but nobody invests in a business plan. Investors need a business plan as a document that communicates ideas and information, but they invest in a company, in a product, and in people.

Read the full story here…

Other business funding source resources:

Bootstrap – The Bank of Me, Myself and I

Traditional Funding – Bank Loans & SBA Backed Loans

Outside Investment – Angels, Venture Capital & Partners

Crowd Funding – LendingClub.com, Kickstarter.com, IndieGoGo.com, Fundable.com, CrowdTilt.com

Contemporary Funding – www.LighterCapital.com, www.kabbage.com, www.americanfinancesolutions.com

OnDeckCapital.com

Bolstr.com

Sprigster.com (TBD for Veterans)

Crowd Funding Resources

02/01/2013 Comments off

Here at the SBDC at Wright State University, we field questions on funding small businesses every day.  Included in those discussions, is a regular topic, crowd funding.  While the details are still being ironed out from the JOBS Act legislation and the SEC is figuring out how to regulate this new opportunity, there are still a few options for you to try in the crowdfunding arena. (View a video on crowdfunding from IndiGoGo)

Kickstarter

IndieGoGo

SmallKnot

RocketHub

Fundable

CrowdTilt

There are many others out there with new ones coming online daily.  Some are specialized to a particular industry or cause so, do your research and see which platform fits your business plan.  Don’t have a business plan?  Come see us at the SBDC office!

Here is a story from Mashable on other unique crowd funding websites.

Immpreneur – Financing through Friends & Family

01/25/2013 Comments off

The most difficult task for any small start-up business is capital.  The first place many entrepreneurs go to for capital are their friends and family.  This is the easiest first step many small business owners try, but this first step deserves caution.  Here are a few tips to borrowing from friends and family.

- Get the agreement in writing

: Just like you would with any other investor, be sure to write down the loan agreement between you and family.  Another important aspect to consider before agreeing to the loan is their involvement with your business.  Many people want a say in the operations of a business they have invested in, this is no different with family investors.

- Selling a stake in your business is not unusual

- Angel investors are always a good option if friends/family becomes too difficult or not enough

: Angel investors are wealthy businessmen who fund young start-up businesses.  Angel investors often meet in groups to hear entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas.  To find a group in your area, asking the local Chamber of Commerce can be a great start, or search to www.finance.com .

For the full article, go to http://www.immpreneur.com/stories/friends-and-family-financing/

For more information from Immpreneur, go to www.immpreneur.com

Debt Tips for the Small Business

10/23/2012 Comments off

Loans and debt are a part of every business.  To the small business owner, these can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful.  Here are a few tips to help ease this process and align your business in the correct manner.

1.) Know how much you owe

Having accurate numbers will make your payment projections much easier to calculate and anticipate.  Without accurate numbers, this process will be much more difficult to plan for.

2.) Don’t hide if you fall behind

Receiving collection calls can be a very stressful process, but screening these calls will only make the process worse.

3.) Know and understand your liabilities and exposure

This may sound obvious, but read the fine print.  As a business owner, you need to understand all of the agreements and contracts you’ve signed.  Get to know the terms they contain, the exposure they give you personally, and the guarantees they add in.  Pay special attention to debt and agreements with co-signers.

4.) Learn about the different stages of collection

Not all collection efforts are the same, and understanding the processes and stages involved in these efforts will help you assess the urgency and steps you need to take.

5.) Prioritize your creditors accordingly

As not all collection efforts are the same, neither are all of the creditors you may owe.  As a business owner, you need to determine which creditors are more vital and pay those first.  Vital creditors are the ones you can’t operate your business without.

6.) Don’t make promises you can’t keep

Payment plans can easily stretch you as a business owner.  To keep this from happening, make these plans based on promises you know you can keep long-term.  Breaking a payment plan will compromise your credit and even make the resolution process much more difficult and costly.

If you are past due with any creditors and have yet to develop a plan, feel free to talk to any SBDC advisor and schedule an appointment for help.

If you need help with paying creditors, obtaining a loan, or avoiding bankruptcy; feel free to contact “Corporate Turnaround”.

http://www.corporateturnaround.com/toolbox/

UpStart Business Journal – Small Business Finance Gets a New Look

10/23/2012 Comments off

Small businesses come in all shapes and sizes, but the need for funding remains constant for all.  With many small businesses having issues receiving capital from your traditional lending sources, it is about time a new model of lending took over.  Enter entrepreneurs.

There is a new wave of small business funding taking over, and the main drivers behind this wave are entrepreneurs.  These new entrepreneurs are taking the old model of lending capital and giving it a major overhaul.  The new model is to loan capital to small businesses based on new data and algorithms not in equity in the company, but on revenue and cash streams.  The old model required a lot of start-ups to give up equity in their company in return for capital, this new model does not require equity, but rather takes their fees and loans out of a company’s revenue.  Three such businesses that have made this model successful are…

1.) Lighter Capital

2.) Kabbage

3.) American Finance Solutions

Lighter Capital focuses their lending on start ups, Kabbage on more Main Street businesses, and American Finance Solutions on merchants.  All three are leading a new trend of lending, and all three have been very successful as of late.  As one entrepreneur who has taken loans with Lighter Capital put it, “When everybody makes money, everybody makes money.  It’s a beautiful thing.”

To learn more from UpStart Business Journal, visit http://upstart.bizjournals.com/

For this full article, visit http://upstart.bizjournals.com/money/strapped/2012/10/09/hold-small-business-finance-gets-a.html?ana=e_du_ubj&s=article_du&ed=2012-10-09&page=all

Crowdfunding – The Latest Small Business Buzz

06/04/2012 Comments off

10 Tips for Crowdfunding – Los Angeles SBDC

Crowdfunding—raising funds from “crowds” of individuals online via websites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo—has been used to finance thousands of projects, inventions and businesses in the past few years. Now, a provision of the recently enacted JOBS Act, called the CROWDFUND Act, will greatly expand entrepreneurs’ ability to raise money by crowdfunding. Here are 10 steps to successful crowdfunding.

  1. Consult a professional. The CROWDFUND Act seeks to lower the cost of raising capital by exempting companies raising $1 million or less from registering their offering with the SEC. But although you are exempt from registration, you’re not exempt from regulation. Always consult with a professional investment consultant or attorney versed in securities law before embarking on any crowdfunding venture.
  2. Understand the two types of crowdfunding. Previously, crowdfunding sites could be used only to get donations (or pledges). The CROWDFUND Act expands the options by allowing entrepreneurs to solicit investments of up to $1 million annually via crowdfunding websites. Unlike donors, these investors actually own a piece of the company and can realize a return on their investment if the company succeeds.
  3. Don’t jump the gun. The process for crowdfunding donations hasn’t changed, but the SEC regulations regarding crowdfunding investments and nonaccredited investors won’t be set until January 2013. You will be able to crowdfund from accredited investors (those whose net worth, excluding the value of their primary residence, is over $1 million) beginning July 4, 2012, but you will have to wait until after January 2013 to solicit nonaccredited investors.
  4. Research your options. Make sure the crowdfunding site you choose meets the requirements of the CROWDFUND Act. Crowdfunding investments must be solicited through sites that are registered with the SEC, conduct background checks on companies seeking investments, and screen investors to confirm that they understand the risks involved.
  5. Beware of scams. Interest in crowdfunding is high, and the CROWDFUND Act is not yet implemented, which means the market is ripe for scam artists. Be very cautious about anyone claiming they can help you raise capital online for a fee.
  6. Create a compelling pitch. If you’re crowdfunding donations, your fund-raising pitch should focus on emotions and get donors excited about your business, your product or service and your entrepreneurial passion. If you’re crowdfunding investments, your approach should focus on the bottom line and the potential for investors to make money.
  7. Offer rewards. For investors, the reward is the profit they make from your company, but for donors, you’ll need to offer rewards such as product samples, T-shirts or promotional items, or discounts. Develop different rewards for donors depending on how much they contribute.
  8. Spread the word using social media, marketing and PR. Don’t limit your search for funds to the people who frequent the crowdfunding site you choose. Create an integrated marketing campaign that tells everyone you are looking for financing—and makes it simple for them to tell others.
  9. Create a video. Make your company stand out from the pack by creating compelling pitch videos—one for donors and one for investors. Post them on your website, the crowdfunding site and YouTube—and increase your chances of going viral.
  10. Share information. If you crowdfund investments, the SEC regulates how you communicate with investors. Even if you crowdfund donations, you’ll want to regularly update donors on how your company is doing, the progress of your product or service, and any other news that makes them feel part of your success.

Original Article: http://smallbizla.org/2012/10-tips-for-crowdfunding-your-business-may-2012/?goback=.gde_3962903_member_111557010.gde_3962903_member_111714481

SBA’s International Trade Loan: Helping Businesses Bring Jobs Home

06/04/2012 Comments off

From the SBA’s Office of International Trade, we bring you some tips on how to bring production back to America!

Recent studies show that “on-shoring” is likely to increase over the next several years due to a number of factors, such as a need for skilled labor, productivity of the U.S. workforce, stronger quality controls, rising transportation costs, and stronger entrepreneurship and innovation.

The SBA’s International Trade Loan (ITL) program provides small businesses with capital to finance their fixed assets, including real estate, and working capital needs. This program offers private lenders SBA’s highest loan guarantee of 90% guarantee on loans up to $5 million to incentivize lending to small businesses poised for growth.

A small business may use the ITL program to “on-shore” if the business:

1)    Seeks to export

Small businesses which currently manufacture products abroad, but want to relocate production to
the U.S. for the purposes of exporting may utilize the ITL program. These businesses may want to relocate to the U.S. to take advantage of increased labor productivity, proximity to raw materials, quality control, re-linking their supply chain or other factors. Small businesses would qualify even
if they intend to sell only one product abroad.

2)    Suffers from import competition

American small businesses that sell only to the U.S. market also can use the loan program.  These firms must demonstrate adverse impact to their business due to import competition, supported either by a narrative explanation and the company’s financial statements or by a finding of economic injury issued by the International Trade Commission or the U.S. Department of Commerce.

How to Apply for the ITL Program

A small business exporter seeking an ITL must
apply to an SBA-participating lender, who submits a completed Application for Business Loan (SBA Form 4), including all exhibits, to the SBA.  Small businesses may contact their local U.S. Export Assistance Center for further information, including a list of eligible SBA lenders in their area, by visiting www.sba.gov/international.

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