As the months slowly pass by, there are many things in the business world that continue to change or evolve. But, one constant over the last two years is that loans to small businesses from traditional lenders like banks and similar financing companies are still extremely hard to come by.
Banks and other financial institutions remain tremendously skeptical about what tomorrow will bring businessmantalk.com . Some banks cite over regulation by the government while others tout that they are just not seeing qualified borrowers.
Regardless of the reasons, small firms continue to struggle in finding business loans from traditional sources to help them grow and succeed.
This has created an enormous funding gap for small or Main Street businesses in this country.
Small businesses are one of the (if not the) strongest economic driver in our nation. Small and Main Street businesses provide jobs, wealth and opportunities in the communities in which they operate – communities which ebb and flow with the strengths and prospects of their local businesses.
However, from the bank side – they also create the greatest risks – risks that banks continue to NOT want to take.
The old saying – the bigger the risk, the greater the reward. And, to achieve that reward, we have to find ways to make the risk work in this new economy. And, some new non-bank lenders are indeed finding ways!
Leave it to the ingenuity of entrepreneurs in this country to come with new stop gap business loan products and services – all designed with the small business or Main Street businesses in mind.
Many new non-bank lenders are stepping up to fill the small business funding gap left wide open by banks. These business loan products are usually easier to qualify for and can be funded much faster than traditional loans as these new financing companies understand the real needs of small businesses and the opportunities they represent.
Growing a small business is a topic that any business owner should be interested in. The difference between growing a small business or just floundering around comes down to a few different aspects.
How much planning do you do? Growing a small business takes a lot of planning, A lot of regular planning. The most successful businesses all take planning very seriously.
From day one you should set aside time on a regular basis for strategic planning. I recommend having a formal planning session. I might be biased, but if you hold at least quarterly preferably monthly board meetings you are forced to do strategic planning. By holding regular board meetings growing a small business will happen. You also gain the advantage of looking critically at your business on a regular basis. Which bring us to the following question.
What kind of measuring system do you have in place? Being able to have access to the vital metrics of your business on a regular basis is how you stay on track. What metrics to monitor is something that is different for every business. There are some core items like your P&L and balance sheet that all businesses should keep an eye on. Others might be profit per customer, profit per employee, referral rate, complaints per customer and complaint resolution time. This is a very short list. Start figuring out what metrics will be most beneficial to your business. Don’t worry about finding them all out at the beginning just start with a few. Growing a small business is going to take a lot of measurements. Make sure that you are measuring the key aspects of your business.
What kind of systems do you have in your business? How scalable are they? Small business systems are critical to growing a business. If you’re holding regular planning sessions (board meetings) you need to have systems get consistent results from your actions. Systems are the central nervous system of your business. Systems relay all the information to and from the board. Your business board is where all the key decisions come from.