The Evolution of Financing a Small Business

For years I have read the popular business magazines, all having so called experts write articles for entrepreneurs on how to finance their business. “The top 10 strategies for financing your start-up”, “How the SBA can help your small business”, “Personal credit is the key for entrepreneurs” and so on. In most cases I’m willing to bet those writing these articles are journalists that have never had a successful start-up. How can I come to that conclusion you may ask? Because of the bad advice they give.

Going to the SBA for a loan, using your retirement funds, tapping all your personal credit cards or giving up 75% of your idea to an investor are all ideas I have read from the popular magazines. The thing is, in every one of these cases you are using your personal credit and not separating you from your business. You are putting 100% of your credit and assets at risk.

I have worked with thousands of small business owners who have been very successful without the need to use their personal credit cards, retirement funds or fill out stacks of paperwork and wait months for a response from SBA backed banks. In fact I have seen entrepreneurs with access to hundreds of thousands of dollars without giving up a percentage of their company or having any of the money show up on a personal credit report. Sounds good right? Well, there is one catch. You will need to go through the evolution of financing your business. You can’t start at the end. This is the problem with most entrepreneurs. They want fast results and aren’t willing to wait. By taking the quick fix they give up ownership and put their personal credit at risk.

The evolution of business financing starts with a solid foundation for your business. A solid foundation is comprised of several parts. The first of which is structuring your business entity appropriately. I recommend to every entrepreneur that you use a Sub Chapter S-Corporation, C-Corporation or Limited Liability Company to operate the business. This is the first step in separating the business owner from the business. The next phase of building the solid foundation is to ensure the business is in compliance with the lending markets. Several business owners are surprised when I tell them most lenders we work with when reviewing a credit application will first call directory assistance to see if your phone number is listed. It’s a simple check, but it’s the first flag that will be raised for them if the business isn’t listed. Why would a lender finance a company that doesn’t want anyone to find them?

There are hundreds of other due diligence phases that a company must go through in order to ensure the owner and business are not considered “high-risk” for obtaining credit and financing. The more a business has in place to show that it is a real business the more likely a lender will grant credit to that company.

The second step in the evolution of small business financing is to define what the business does, what makes it unique and why it will be successful. The business owner must create a one-page “sales pitch” for the business, also referred to as an executive summary. The executive summary can be used when applying for credit, seeking investors and developing marketing campaigns.

Business owners need to keep in mind when seeking financing that the most important thing for a business is to produce a profit. Without revenue there will be no profit. Marketing the business will help produce the revenue and the executive summary will help create the marketing.

Third, a company must build a business credit report separate from the owner’s personal credit. By working with trade credit, the single largest source of lending in the entire world, a small business can tap into limitless leverage for buying goods and services they need to start, run and grow the company. The beautiful thing about trade credit is in many cases it’s free money. If a vendor grants terms of net 30, a business owner has the ability to use the vendors goods or services for 30 days without interest before they need to pay the vendor. The other wonderful part of trade credit is that there are companies offering products and services small business owners need who will report the credit to a business credit bureau. The reporting of the trade line will create a business credit profile separate from the personal credit of the business owner. Eventually the business will be able to access more and more credit under the business name only if it maintains a positive business credit score.

The more credit received under the business name the more likely other companies will grant that business credit. No one wants to be the first in line to grant a business $50,000 in credit, but if others already have they will be more inclined.

Fourth, is to use the owner’s positive personal credit score in combination with a positive business credit score as leverage for obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in unsecured lines of credit for the business. The key is to do this with lenders that don’t report the accounts to the personal credit bureaus but rather the business credit bureaus. Many banks offer business lines of credit and loans, however finding the right type of product from these banks can be tricky. A business owner needs to make sure the loan or credit line they apply for reports only to the business bureau.

That means working on a consistent basis to keep your personal finance house in order. You say really, how do I go about doing this? There are many ways for you to keep your own personal finances in order. Here are some tips on how you can go about doing this:

1) Create a personal finance budget for yourself and your family if you have one. You can do this by categorizing how your money is spent such as; rent, mortgage, food, entertainment, utilities, credit and debit card expenditures, savings, income, travel, etc… You get th4) Consider working on adding if you haven’t already done so, savings to your budget. You may be saying, I barely have enough to make ends meet, how can I save money? Well, you can! Just say yes you can to yourself. A good way to start is by saving your change. That’s right just start by saving your change. You’d be surprised the amount of money you can save by doing this. You can also, set aside a certain amount of money on weekly, biweekly or monthly basis that you’d like to save. Make the amount of money you save realistic, so you can stick to your savings plan.

5) Set future financial projections for where you want to be with your budget in say one to five years. You may want to consider doing this to achieve your possible short and long term goals. For example, if you decide that you want to purchase a home in two to three years, a future financial budget projection may assist you in knowing how much money you need to save to achieve this goal. Or, maybe you plan to retire in five years, again your future budget projection may assist you with this plan.

6) Take a closer look at your credit and debit card expenses in order to assist you in tracking how you are spending your money. This may help you determine if you’re spending too much money in certain areas if you’re trying to save.

7) Check to see if your financial house is in order in reference to your insurance such as; vehicle insurance, medical insurance, rental insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, disability insurance etc… Make sure you have the insurance you need for yourself and your family. You may want to consider doing an annual check-up on your insurance, before the renewal due dates. This will give you the opportunity to reassess the insurance you currently have. You’ll be glad that you did!

So, now you have it! That’s what doing your personal finance homework means. You should be on your way to getting a handle on your personal finances if you have not already done so. You’ll be better prepared to manage your finances.e idea. Just categorize your budget with what makes you comfortable. You may also want to utilize a software program to assist you with the budget you create. You may want to consider a software program that has a spreadsheet. By the way, you may want to do your budget on a monthly basis. Your budget should assist you in determining where your money actually goes!

2) By all means get your credit report and credit score! You may want consider running your credit report on an annual basis. Did you know that you’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the credit bureaus(Equifax,TransUnion,Experian) every year? You can

The Benefits of an Instant Credit Report

People all over the United States seem to be in the same dilemma as a great number of people who are part of the common class. With inflation on a rise and as paycheck values depreciate due to the financial burden; people are facing dire situations in their daily lives as they attempt to make ends meat. With credit companies pressing interest rates more than ever before, it has led to the collapse of the economy and hence it has forced individuals to opt to get their homes mortgaged or sell of their belongings. However, if you fall into this category of people who are finding it difficult to manage their finances, then you should look into gaining professional help from a credit report management company that will be well capable of studying your finances as per the guidelines of the US Federal Bureau of Finance. These guidelines have been stated by three agencies that are directly connected with the credit reporting system. They include Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. These three CRA (Credit Reporting Agencies) form the basics of developing a comprehensive report. Together they offer three different perspectives of the finance of an individual that are created taking into account the documents and credentials supplied by the individual.

Once an individual supplies all the relevant information to the reporting agency, the finance management firm will be able to chalk out a well formulated report which will be a perfect analysis as per the comprehensive guidelines stated by the government. If you are looking out for a way in which you can make the best of your finances you should look into developing the best of results with the help of an Instant Credit Report agency. There are a great number of instant credit reporting agencies available in the online world which have been set up with the sole intention of developing the best of results for their clients by effectively managing their credit reports. Instant Credit Reports are the best for individuals that would be looking into approaching a financing institution for their monetary needs. Better than opting to get an immediate credit approval and suffer later for years by paying off huge sums of interest and other than showing private property as collateral, your best bet would be to opt for an instant credit reporting agency which can develop a well balanced credit report which would be on par with your personal requirements.

What needs to be understood is that although there are a heap of such instant credit reporting agencies available in the world today, at the same time there are a number of fraudulent agencies which are also set up so as to swindle clients out of their hard earned money. It has therefore become imperative that individuals scout and study the market effectively so as to ensure that they can get the best of instant credit reports which will be accepted by any financing institution as long as they are prepared as per the standards of the government.

There are many online services claiming to offer the best credit report for your money, however, I have found that only one consistently provides the most accurate information at an affordable price.