Small Business Finance Success Improves With Realistic Options

The goal of being realistic when seeking new commercial loans and working capital financing will help commercial borrowers avoid a number of commercial finance problems. With proper preparation business owners should be in a better position to obtain new financing despite the difficult challenges impacting most working capital loans and small business financing. Nevertheless it should be anticipated that terms of financing will be different from prior commercial financing. Because of recent commercial lending difficulties, business owners actively assessing the most effective options for their small business finance decisions are likely to find the smoothest path to business loan success.

In view of volatile conditions which have recently impacted credit markets, this will not be a simple task. A very common example of the problem is illustrated by how much misinformation and confusion there has been about business financing and working capital availability. Getting more accurate information about what is realistically possible can be one of the most difficult challenges for commercial borrowers.

When seeking to identify realistic choices in a confusing working capital management climate, a number of harsh realities must be confronted by all small business owners. For most current commercial financing decisions by business owners, there are several major factors to anticipate. In the first example, additional small business loan collateral is being requested by most commercial lenders. Second, many regional and local banks have discontinued lending for business financing and working capital. In a third example, businesses which are not currently profitable or not current in their debt payments will have extensive difficulties. Fourth, business construction funding currently is very limited in most areas. In a fifth example, lenders are eliminating unsecured business lines of credit for most small business owners.

Despite the new business financing limitations just noted, there are practical working capital options for small business owners to consider. An increasingly effective commercial financing option in the midst of an uncertain economy is a merchant cash advance program based on credit card processing activity. Even though this commercial funding option has been available for a few years, it has not been used by most small businesses. For most businesses which accept credit cards, merchant cash advances should be evaluated as an important tool for improving business cash flow. Small business owners wanting to pursue this financing option should consult a business financing expert who is knowledgeable about this working capital management approach as well as other small business loans.

Even though working capital loans are not as widely available as they were just a few months ago, this kind of small business financing is still in fact obtainable. Since some of the largest providers have stopped making these business loans, the main change for business borrowers is the likelihood that they will be dealing with a different commercial lender. Small business owners will benefit from finding an experienced and candid business financing expert to assist in evaluating realistic options because the most effective working capital financing providers are not aggressively marketing this capability.

As stressed above, when making commercial financing decisions it is becoming increasingly important for business owners to first determine their effective business finance funding options. Because of recent volatility in financial markets, this task is likely to be much more difficult than most commercial borrowers realize. It is advisable to explore commercial finance options that might be necessary if economic conditions change even further even for business owners who are satisfied with their current working capital financing arrangements. The use of Plan B contingency financing is an important tool to assist commercial borrowers in this process.

Does Your Business Have an Ego?

Businesses are like people. In fact, businesses are people. And as such, businesses tend to take on characteristics like people. These collective characteristics can enrich or diminish how a business performs.

It is interesting to note that a business, like a person, has an ego. The word ego may carry with it some negative connotations in today’s world, but actually there are healthy business egos and there are dysfunctional business egos.

Having a healthy ego is a good thing. The earliest concepts of the ego positioned it as a psychological construct contained within the mind that referred to the active, controlling, perceiving, learning functions of personality. The healthy ego scans external reality and inner experience, choosing and directing a person’s behavior so that personal needs are met without danger to the self or without violating social taboos. The healthy ego creates a proper sense of self-image.

Similarly, a healthy business ego would be one that collectively monitors the business environment, collecting data that can be used to further its cause in a proper way. Internally, like the cells of the brain, each employee is free to share information that may help the business grow or avoid pitfalls. Each employee has some contribution to make toward generating sales, servicing customers, and creating new products and services. Employees are empowered to use their personal talents, skills and abilities in a manner that furthers the values of the business as a whole.

But somewhere along the way the collective egos of the owners and employees (which form the business ego) gradually are led astray by the pressures of economy, market demands, panic, or visions of grandeur. What is left in the dust are the reasons why the business became a business in the first place; the visions of the founders, the understanding of how the business is highly interconnected with other businesses, with customers and employees, and with the earth itself. Thus we see the rise of the dysfunctional business ego.

Although those trapped in a dysfunctional business ego can’t usually tell they’re infected by one, it is painfully obvious to others. Customers usually know, employees usually know, suppliers usually know, and lenders to the business usually know. As business performance slowly “heads south,” owners and managers overlook root causes, grasping instead at short-term fixes.

What are some of the symptoms of a dysfunctional business ego? What do people see in the business that tells them something is wrong? Here are a few of the more obvious key symptoms:
o Frequent miscommunications within the business.
o Higher than normal turnover or absenteeism.
o Talents, skills, interests and abilities of employees are unknown and underutilized.
o Cash flow, the life blood of a business, is ignored, often concealed in accruals or otherwise intentionally overlooked.
o Repeat customers disappear and new customers are hard to find.
o Internal thefts and misappropriations.
o Morale drops; building and grounds appearance disintegrates.
o Management directives focus on the “bottom line” to the exclusion of company values.
o Business owners no longer rely on outside help to advise their business; they claim they can do it themselves without outside help.

A business with management capability, product uniqueness, cash reserves, efficient distribution and delivery operations, and a strong customer base can still be brought to its knees if a dysfunctional business ego emerges.

What is the cure? A business ego, as with a personal ego, can be dissolved in the face of awareness and truth. Here are a few guidelines to explore with professional assistance:
o Become aware that your business has an ego problem. This is a huge first step toward regaining its health.
o Reestablish and promote the values upon which the company was formed. Use the company’s mission and vision as a decision-making guideline.
o Empower employees to discover and improve their skills and interests. These are huge resources often overlooked.
o Act on fact, not fear. A dysfunctional ego can’t tell the difference between opinion and fact. It assumes viewpoints are reality. They’re not.
o Focus on the good that the business does for others; use the bottom line as a measure as to how well you’re doing, not as a goal in itself.
o Learn to become aware of your business environment, moment by moment. Slow up and watch the little things around you – they tell you volumes.
o Monitor your actual cash flow – dig into your processes when something is not working right, keeping in mind the above guidelines.

Take time to care for your dysfunctional business ego and it will eventually regain its health. Having a healthy business ego may be the key to your business success!

Small Business Finance Success Improves With Realistic Options

The goal of being realistic when seeking new commercial loans and working capital financing will help commercial borrowers avoid a number of commercial finance problems. With proper preparation business owners should be in a better position to obtain new financing despite the difficult challenges impacting most working capital loans and small business financing. Nevertheless it should be anticipated that terms of financing will be different from prior commercial financing. Because of recent commercial lending difficulties, business owners actively assessing the most effective options for their small business finance decisions are likely to find the smoothest path to business loan success.

In view of volatile conditions which have recently impacted credit markets, this will not be a simple task. A very common example of the problem is illustrated by how much misinformation and confusion there has been about business financing and working capital availability. Getting more accurate information about what is realistically possible can be one of the most difficult challenges for commercial borrowers.

When seeking to identify realistic choices in a confusing working capital management climate, a number of harsh realities must be confronted by all small business owners. For most current commercial financing decisions by business owners, there are several major factors to anticipate. In the first example, additional small business loan collateral is being requested by most commercial lenders. Second, many regional and local banks have discontinued lending for business financing and working capital. In a third example, businesses which are not currently profitable or not current in their debt payments will have extensive difficulties. Fourth, business construction funding currently is very limited in most areas. In a fifth example, lenders are eliminating unsecured business lines of credit for most small business owners.

Despite the new business financing limitations just noted, there are practical working capital options for small business owners to consider. An increasingly effective commercial financing option in the midst of an uncertain economy is a merchant cash advance program based on credit card processing activity. Even though this commercial funding option has been available for a few years, it has not been used by most small businesses. For most businesses which accept credit cards, merchant cash advances should be evaluated as an important tool for improving business cash flow. Small business owners wanting to pursue this financing option should consult a business financing expert who is knowledgeable about this working capital management approach as well as other small business loans.

Even though working capital loans are not as widely available as they were just a few months ago, this kind of small business financing is still in fact obtainable. Since some of the largest providers have stopped making these business loans, the main change for business borrowers is the likelihood that they will be dealing with a different commercial lender. Small business owners will benefit from finding an experienced and candid business financing expert to assist in evaluating realistic options because the most effective working capital financing providers are not aggressively marketing this capability.

As stressed above, when making commercial financing decisions it is becoming increasingly important for business owners to first determine their effective business finance funding options. Because of recent volatility in financial markets, this task is likely to be much more difficult than most commercial borrowers realize. It is advisable to explore commercial finance options that might be necessary if economic conditions change even further even for business owners who are satisfied with their current working capital financing arrangements. The use of Plan B contingency financing is an important tool to assist commercial borrowers in this process.