The U.S. Small Business Administration is an organization that many small business owners in the US don’t exactly understand. For many, the organization’s role may not be clear, as evidenced by the number of business owners (or would be business owners looking for start up capital) who ask for loans on their message boards. The SBA does not provide loans directly, rather, it provides backing for small business loan programs provided by banks. With the current high underwriting criteria on the part of these banks, many small businesses are finding it difficult to qualify for these programs. Efforts to help these businesses, for example by changing procedures around accessing holiday lines of credit, are often less than effective. The Herald Tribune’s recent story on new SBA programs highlights the inefficiency of the changes by pointing out there are still too many businesses being denied access to the capital they need, when they actually need it. More troubling, business owners who have bad credit usually cannot

The commercial trucking industry, automotive small businesses, landscaping enterprises and construction companies have some things in common; for starters a reliance on equipment to do their jobs and grow their business’s capacity to take on larger projects. However, these business owners also have a designation as “high risk” businesses given to them by the traditional banking establishment to contend with, which can significantly increase the difficulty associated with getting approved for small business loans. This creates a serious constraint for business growth in industries centered on acquiring new equipment. When issues like bad credit are added to the mix, small business owners are more or less completely cut off from external capital provided by traditional banks. This in turn makes it much more difficult for them to acquire new equipment which is often outside of their reach when financing directly our of business cash flows. Equipment has the potential to greatly increase the revenues of a business once it is acquired, but since there is often

This year has not been an easy one for small business owners, with bumps in the road from acts of nature to acts of government creating roadblocks, but there has been good news as well. For one thing, a gradual climb in optimism has been reported, with slight dips following the government shutdown. The economy is generally recovering as well, although on a bumpy, winding road. One of the biggest problems that has been holding small business owners back is the fact that there is relatively little in the way of small business financing available for all but the best credit risks from traditional banks. One the plus side, the financing gap is increasingly being filled by providers of alternative capital. Businesses without collateral, with bad credit scores, or even recently declared bankruptcy have been put between financing needs and the limitations of their cash flows. Alternative capital allows them to obtain financing with no restrictions placed on it, meaning they are free to allocate it

Business owners with bad credit are put into a predicament that can create conflicts of priorities surrounding expenses. If cash flows are not broad enough to finance projects, often they will have to be cancelled or scaled down, but knowing what to cut and what to preserve is often difficult. When a small business is the combination of many separate departments, it is essential that communication avenues are streamlined in order for a comprehensive budget to be created. Here are some strategies to employ in order to keep your small business’s ability to function safeguarded through the credit recovery process. Create a detailed budget report for each of your essential departments. While some small business owners will simply dump all of their expenses into one balance sheet and then reconcile it with their revenues, it makes much more sense in terms of deciding where to allocate a budget to break down expenses into departments. For example, if you find that your marketing is being severely neglected,

Small businesses often think that putting together an employee handbook is unnecessary and a waste of precious time that could be otherwise spent on more important matters. Everyone knows the company rules in a small business, so why bother with a whole formal write-up? In a certain sense, small business owners and employees who question the wisdom behind a write up are correct to do so. A write up for a very small company is unnecessary, and can actually become a liability if the information that it contains is misplaced or falls into the hands of a competitor. However, a manual for procedures, whether for individual departments or for the business at large, is important for when a business is ready to be scaled up, as it sets up a framework for growth. Much like a trellis allows a vine to climb steadily upwards, so a manual allows a small business’ s departments to grow steadily with greater ease.  Here are some other reasons that

An alternative to a bad credit business loan refers to a source of capital that small businesses can access, even if they have poor credit scores or other issues that would typically prevent them from getting approved for external financing. What is the importance of alternatives to traditional loans? At first glance, having multiple options for financing a small business outside of what is offered by traditional banks seems redundant. Business owners who are even aware of other options may be wary of them, as outside of the realm of a bank loan there are many different products and entities, some more beneficial for small businesses than others. However, when it comes to the question of whether or not these alternative capital sources are important, consider this; the average 7(a) loan amount in fiscal year 2012 was $337,730. Why is that significant? Because it demonstrates an important reality related to small business lending. The fact is, many of the enterprises we typically think of when

A new bill introduced by Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman proposes to change the way that commercial truckers are tested for substance abuse problems. The bill proposes the introduction of hair follicle testing to compliment the trucking industry’s current practice of urine testing, which the authors of the bill state is less effective in detecting substance abuse and is more easy to cheat than hair follicle testing, which can detect substance use as far back as 90 days prior to the testing. The bill is supported by the Arkansas Trucking Association, and has bipartisan support, being touted as a common sense solution for reducing liability costs in the trucking industry. With lower liability costs on shipping, savings can be reflected in the profit margins of logistics firms. Additionally, small business owners, who rely on the US shipping infrastructure for many of their raw materials, wholesale purchases and shipping of products, may benefit from lower costs of shipping passed on from reduced firm overhead. Currently, only

There are many ways to increase the bonds that small businesses share with their best customers, from rewards programs, to community events. When it comes to deciding how to stay in contact and deepen your rapport, it’s important to factor in the financing aspect for your small business, balancing your ambitions and you cash flow and ensuring that you get a good ROI on the money that you do spend while keeping your customers happy. One of the best principles that small businesses can espouse is taking what you already have and making it work more for your business. A perfect illustration of this concept can be found in the creation of a newsletter. So your small business has a social media presence? It’s also got a blog? Great! Then you already have everything that you need in order to put together a newsletter that can boost both your site’s traffic and the size of your social media presence. Here’s how it can work for you. Step 1:

Small business owners in the commercial trucking industry are a group of people that are united by a common dedication to their jobs, and to the improvement of their industry. One of the problems facing the commercial trucking industry is also one of the most gruesome issues in the United States at large. Human trafficking is the practice of illegally relocating people, often against their will for use in the sex trade, purposes of illegal immigration, or for other illegal activities. The practice flies largely under the radar, but has been linked to commercial truckers who are able to conceal their illegal cargo as they cross state lines. It should be stated that these criminals do not represent the vast majority of truckers. While there are a few bad apples just like there are in any group, the majority of truckers are hard working and law abiding Americans, many of whom have created groups in an attempt to draw awareness to and end the practice of

There is large number of small business owners in the US who, due to one reason or another, have poor credit scores. While credit can affect a wide range of things in a person’s personal life, including the rental of an apartment to things as wide ranging as the ability to find a spouse or get hired, it does not mean that life is over for the person who has it. On the contrary, small business owners with bad credit actually have more options open to them than many of them realize. The ability to obtain financing to grow a small business is incredibly important, and while some banks will fund bad credit business loans, usually backed by the SBA, many will find that the traditional banking institutions that they would typically approach when trying to access credit will turn them away as a result of an extreme aversion to risk. Some of the typical reasons that business owners seek bad credit business loans and their

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