QuickBizBreak by david weaver

Take a quick break from your biz to ponder new ideas and strategies that will turbocharge your business.

Posts Tagged ‘small business’

Small Business Access To Capital

Posted by QuickBizBreak on July 7, 2010

When interviewing attendees of the North Fulton Business Expo in Atlanta, one key topic kept surfacing: Access to Capital. We all know that the credit markets continue to be tight for small business lending. The administration announced in February, two new SBA lending initiatives to help increase access to capital. One is a refinancing program for owner-occupied commercial real estate and the other is an expanded working capital loan program. There is also a call for a permanent increase of the maximum loan sizes for SBA’s 7(a) program.

To learn more about available programs, watch the interview with Wendy Armstrong, Private Banker with One Georgia Bank.

Loan Program Overview

SBA 7(a)

7-10 years full amortization term with 10-15% down payment which can include a seller take back and a tenant improvement allowance. With real estate, the amortization can grow to 20-25 years and can include blending amortization to extend payments. The maximum loan per person/per entity is $2 million but may increase to $5 million. Rates are variable and based on the Wall Street Journal prime rate but cannot be higher than 2.75% above prime. Usually, its around WSJ Prime + 2.25% to 2.50%. A $2500 packaging fee is required but the guarantee fee is currently waived.

USDA

USDA programs allow up to a 30-year amortization with 20% down payment. Loan amounts are available up to $25 million and require a 2% guarantee fee. Rates may be variable or fixed.

For more information, contact Wendy Armstrong, One Georgia Bank at 678-553-7039 or email her at wendy.armstrong@onegeorgiabank.com.


Microfinance Loans

Thanks to tighter credit standards and stricter regulatory scrutiny, many small businesses have found it difficult – or impossible – to get a bank loan.

A federal proposal to launch a $30 billion fund aimed at boosting lending could help.  But,  in the meantime, a growing number of companies that might not have been able to get a loan from a traditional bank have been flocking to microfinance institutions, instead.

Called community development financial institutions (CDFIs), these organizations include community development banks, credit unions, loan funds, and venture funds “dedicated to serving small businesses and others who are outside the financial mainstream”, says Mark Pinsky, CEO of Opportunity Finance Network, a network of microfinance groups based in Philadelphia.

Some provide loans of up to $35,000 to “anybody having trouble getting access to credit,” says Pinsky.  Others lend amounts of up to $200,000 to small businesses.

But, most important, the approximately 700 CDFIs in the U.S. have dramatically different lending criteria from the usual bank standards.  They include an eclectic mix of such factors as a good credit score and relevant industry experience.  You also need collateral, but often that can mean anything from a car to a television.

Originally published in OPEN Forum. To read the full article, click here.

The 9 Most Devastating Mistakes Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Make When Financing Their Businesses

Mistake #9:  Using personal credit to finance your business

Mistake #8:  Putting personal assets at risk

Mistake #7:  Contaminating your credit

Mistake #6:  Not paying your bills on time…100% of the time

Mistake #5:  Using your family’s money

Mistake #4:  Not setting up a corporation and building corporate credit – the right way

Mistake #3:  Rushing the process for building corporate credit

Mistake #2:  Not following up on the credit-building process

Mistake #1:  Not recognizing opportunity costs

Admittedly, this has a bias towards building credit and is written by a credit company but there are still some great insights.  Read the full article here.

Community Bank Loans May Be Harder to Get

Community banks have been a lifeline for entrepreneurs during the recession – one of the few places that small-business owners have still been able to get traditional loans.

But the Wall Street Journal not long ago took a look at how community banks facing increased federal scrutiny from regulators are also placing tighter scrutiny on their small-business customers.

Community banks typically hold less capital than bigger banks, don’t leverage themselves as much and rarely get involved in subprime mortgage lending–all of which helped them stay out of trouble. But eventually some did venture into this market, got into trouble and eventually even closed down.

Community banks also tended to be heavily involved in commercial real estate lending–a market that some experts believe is heading for a crash similar to that suffered by the subprime housing market a few years ago.

The problems have led to more scrutiny, with federal regulators demanding that community banks increase their capital and loan-loss reserves even further, call in the risky loans that are outstanding and be more cautious when making new loans.

To read more about what that means for business owners, read the full article here.

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The BBC is Coming to Atlanta!

Posted by QuickBizBreak on March 29, 2010

BBC

Ah yes, the BBC – home to Alistair Cooke, Doctor Who, and who could forget Monty Python?  Even post-Python, the comedy hasn’t stopped.  Along with beautiful documentaries such as BBC Earth, the network also produce a high-budget quirky show for gear-heads titled Top Gear. The crew may test a $1 million Bugatti and then drive a Rolls Royce into a swimming pool. Full of water.

Did you know the BBC is coming to Atlanta?  No, not that BBC. This one promises to be even more exciting!

Introducing Business Boot Camp Atlanta.

I hear over and over how business owners desperately want to grow their business and how they could use the proven methodologies and systems that a business coach can provide, not to mention the accountability towards achieving goals. For solopreneurs and micro-businesses, however, it may be difficult to make the transition in their mind from business expense to business investment for coaching services. Even with examples of revenue growth of 100+%, it may still be difficult to make the financial commitment for one-on-one coaching.

Business Boot Camp Atlanta provides a format for a limited number of participants,  to participate in group mentoring and coaching at a fraction of the cost of one-on-one coaching. Each session will be split between coaching from AdviCoach Business Advisor David Weaver, a leader in growing start-ups, on proven business methodologies and strategies along with peer-to-peer discussions with other business owners in the group. These discussions will allow us to review specific challenges within the group, discuss various approaches and how to apply the strategies that have been presented to drive success.

No more than 8 business owners/managers may participate in a single group and no business classification will be duplicated, so no need to fear that someone will ‘borrow’ your trade secrets. The boot camp is structured over a 12-week period and requires a two-hour meeting commitment per week. This is an intensive program that requires full participation. The results will be equally impressive for each participant!

Topics Covered in at Business Boot Camp Atlanta:

  • Are you a Small Business Owner or an Entrepreneur?
    • Determining what kind of business you are and really want to be
    • Setting your own personal goals as it relates to your business
    • How does that affect how you run your business?
  • Differentiating Your Products/Services in a Crowded Market
    • Commodity or Targeted
    • Pricing Options
  • Strategic Planning
    • Develop your Strategic Vision
    • Develop your Strategic Plan to take you through the year, quarter-by-quarter, based on your long-term vision
  • Time Management
    • How to prioritize your day and your business activity
    • Understanding yourself and your natural tendencies
  • Human Capital
    • When should I add an employee?
    • Employee, Contractor or Outsourcing?
    • What about back office work?
    • How do I find the right person?
    • How do I set the expectation and define the position to set up the employee for success?
  • Measuring and Monitoring for Success
    • What makes sense for me and my business?
    • Specific measurements and why they are important
    • Goal-setting and how to accomplish them
  • Understanding the Financials
    • What should I really be looking for?
    • Do I need a bookkeeper, an accountant, a CPA, or any of these?
    • An easy tracking system that will allow you a view of where you are and where you need to be
    • Where and how can I get operating capital?
  • Sales & Marketing
    • What’s the difference between the two?
    • Choosing marketing programs and tracking the results for success
    • Determining a marketing budget
    • How do I find time to sell?
    • How do I get customers to buy?
    • The difference between selling and buying
    • Sales Management Systems
    • Understanding the current market and how to tap into new revenue streams
    • Up-selling/cross-selling/raising the average selling price
    • Referral-based marketing
  • Operational Efficiencies
    • What you can learn from franchising
    • If you are a franchisee, what you can do that is different

And all at a fraction of the cost of one-on-one coaching.  Not $3,000 per month, not $2,000 per month, not $1,000 per month, not even $500 per month.  No, it’s only $375 per month!  And no open-ended agreements that might go on forever.  This is a 12-week boot camp that will bring you back to the basics of running a streamlined, focused business designed to energize you as well as your profits! To qualify for this boot camp, you must have  3 or less employees in your company. If you have more employees than that, let’s talk about what you really need to focus on for your business.

Boot Camps are forming in Roswell, Johns Creek and Cumming, Georgia.  If you live in another part of metro Atlanta and wish to participate, give me a call so we can judge the interest level in other areas.

We don’t have Bugatti’s or Rolls Royces and we don’t talk science or science fiction.  But we do talk business!

Find out more at an informational meeting to be held on Thursday, April 1st at 6pm, Doubletree Hotel-Roswell, 1075 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell, Georgia, 30076.  To confirm attendance, please call 678-620-3990 or email dweaver@advicoach-atlanta.com today.

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