As the minor improvements in the approval rates of small business loans have been reported on, one less happy trend has also gained some media scrutiny: the dip in loan volumes approved for african american owned businesses. While this may partly be due to a tightening of credit and collateral requirements on the part of banks issuing small business loans, the fact remains that both female and minority entrepreneurs face greater challenges when it comes to obtaining financing for their businesses. Female and minority owned small businesses are a vital source of economic renewal, especially considering a growing population of business owners would contribute to the creation of more jobs in the small business sector, which is widely regarded as one of the most powerful engines of the recovering US economy. These business owners should consider searching for guidance from sources such as local business development centers, SCORE programs, and finding the right mentors that can help them achieve and push forward more business development.

Bad credit business loans and alternatives to loan products are increasing in popularity. Funding companies providing these services are seeing rapid rates of growth, provided that the companies themselves are able to underwrite their products responsibly and ensure that the relationships they nurture with their merchant clients are mutually beneficial. Using bad credit business loans effectively, small business owners are able to expand their businesses with the application of working capital that they would otherwise not be able to access because of financial issues such as a bad credit score or recent bankruptcies. The popularity of these services as the are becoming more widely available means that bad credit business loans and their alternatives should be something that small business owners strive to understand in order to gauge whether or not they are effective options for their business. Why are bad credit business loan alternatives increasingly popular? A short piece on accountingweb.com summarizes the reasons for the growth of the industry quite well. These products fill in a large gap left

The number of women who own their own businesses is substantial, and in certain areas such as in minority dominated communities, the demographic has been growing. In an SBA report, the population of women who own their own businesses was reported as 36% of of business owners, but there is always room for more representation of women in the small business sphere. Female entrepreneurs can have a statistically more difficult time obtaining financing, and they face other challenges depending on the gender roles associated with their industries of choice, however diversity is essential and therefore the significant points already put on the board by female business owners deserve to be celebrated and built upon. Here are some tips for female entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses and their networks. Attend business and industry events. In order to grow out the networks that you have, gain advice from other experts and establish yourself as a leader in your field, attending events can be a great way to

The term “bootstrapping capital” refers to the practice of small business owners scraping together the funds they need to get started, and it’s a term that many visitors to the SBA’s forum on Loans and Grants are introduced to after posting about their need for financing. A typical message on the boards will start out with a business owner speaking about their unique model, touting the benefits that it will bring to their community, and then asking if there are any grants that exist that can help them to develop their project. The answer to their inquiry is usually “no, there are no grants for for profit businesses.” While Federal grants do exist, they are primarily set aside for non-profits and medical research, leaving business owners, in particular female, minority and veteran entrepreneurs wondering what is available for them. While it is a misconception for business owners to think that there is free money for their enterprise available from the Government, the SBA does have

In the business world, who you know can make a huge amount of difference, and exposing yourself and your brand to the right opportunities can often create opportunities that you may have never expected. In many ways, every action that small business owners take loans them a new chance to create their own lucky breaks through being positive and keeping an eye open for new opportunities. One of the best ways that small business owners can make new connections is through attending industry events, trade shows, and networking meetups. You don’t have to be a social butterfly in order to make the best of these chances to meet connections, all you have to do is go prepared and with an open mind to what you might discover. Here’s how small business owners can get ready to go to a networking opportunity and then make a great impression once there. Define what kind of connections you are trying to make. While keeping an open mind to meeting

According to a recent article on smallbiztrends.com, business owners who are female minorities can have a much more difficult time with the already difficult process of applying for small business loans. Since many of these entrepreneurs don’t have large amounts of capital lying around with which to finance their business improvements, they have to be resourceful and think out of the box when it comes to figuring out ways to keep their businesses moving forwards. In order to present themselves with the widest range of options, female and minority entrepreneurs should take steps to grow out their networks and evaluate their options as best they can. Here are some ways that these business owners can strengthen their businesses towards the goal of obtaining capital. Work on your business plan. Business plans are the blueprint to your long term success. In  addition, they are invaluable in the event that you are planning on  applying for a bank loan or are going to be looking for a business partner. A

One of the core commitments your small business needs to promote is dedication to improving the experience of your customers. A better level of service and accountability on the part of a business creates a base for repeat customers and referrals (in particular a bad credit business loans a valuable base of revenues to itself through CRM). Obviously,  not every business has a high standard of customer service in place, but why is that? Generally, poor customer service can stem from a few common issues, which, once identified can be addressed. If you are looking to improve your levels of customer service, then correctly identifying the areas that need improvement in your business is the best place to start. With that in mind, here are some of the most common issues small businesses have that get in the way of their customer service. A lack of training on the part of their staff. This is probably the most common issue that contributes to an unhelpful, or

Damaged credit represents a serious issue for small business owners who are in the midst of expansion, as it has the potential to bar them from the most obvious sources of external working capital. What this more, it transforms the capital that they are able to get access to into much more of a precious commodity. Before a business is able to move forward with expansion with the extra consideration of bad credit, the owner of the business needs to take steps in order to mitigate the risks of deploying capital. The best made investment plans account for the projected ROI of the investment, and so should the plans that you have for investing in your business. But how can one know if the investment they have planned for their business will be profitable? The surest way is to look at what has worked for you in the past as well as conduct market research for the future. Your business’s data is one of the

There are multiple notes that need to be hit on every small business team, not just in the context of all that is required operationally, but perspective wise as well a strong balance of ideas can elevate the energy of an enterprise. Finding the right blend of experience and technique to pair with energy and creative thinking is essential in order to maximize the capabilities of a small business’s workforce. Additionally, in order for a business to be strong in both the long and short terms, it needs to have a growth strategy, creating expanded infrastructure and allowing talent to rise up the hierarchy into leadership roles. At first glance, finding a group of motivated, talented and eager employees willing to work more for less seems to good to be true, but consider the fact that in 2014 a projected 1,606,000 students are going to graduate out of college and into the workforce. These students will be in competition with both recent graduates from preceding classes,

A small business’s employees have a huge impact on its ability to be successful. The better you are able to mange them as a resource for your business, the stronger it will become. Managing employees in the office or on location is one aspect of being an effective boss, yet increasingly, managing employees in a way that utilizes the other assets that they bring to the table can help a business grow stronger. 1) Add their workplace on LinkedIn. Your small business’s LinkedIn page is a great place to start tapping into your employee’s networks. Encouraging your employees to link their profiles to your company page will increase the amount of people who are able to find information on your company, as well as the paths that potential referrals can take to view your content. 2) Utilize Facebook as a soapbox for your messages. Your company page on Facebook is a great place to post content, as any customers who have liked your page will be able

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