The Biz2Credit lending index for small business loans cites an approval rate of 17.6%  for small business loans from major banks. This compares to an approval rate near 45% before the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Spooked by the demise of Lehman, small business loan programs were hit hard by a credit pinch that saw banks stop offering loans even to customers who had deposit accounts. This level of caution on the part of major lenders had serious consequences, shutting down traditional avenues for business funding and necessitating a new, more researched approach from business owners searching for funding. Turning to the internet, many business owners were able to discover alternative sources of financing, including merchant cash advance, an alternative to bad credit business loans that are available to those who have difficulty being accepted by traditional banking institutions. Lehman’s collapse was generally acknowledged to have heralded the real beginning of the Great Recession, the economic downturn that the US is only now starting to recover from.

Small business owners and employees in the commercial trucking business have show support for a proposed bill to create a report on industry cost analysis for sleep apnea testing, as well as official regulations for the testing as opposed to guidance. Commercial trucking financing the tests is a concern, but more importantly, the issue of driver safety is at the heart of the proposed legislation. With driver fatigue representing one of the most covered issues around the trucking industry of late, more and more regulations have gone in to preventing fatal accidents blamed on excessive hours and fatigue. The reason why trucking groups have called for formal regulation rather than simple guidelines is because of a mistrust of not adequately defined rules. If trucking companies would fail to comply with the guidelines and then an accident occurred, they could be sued for non-compliance. The possibility that non-compliance could result as an accident due to misunderstanding would be much higher without a formally defined procedure surrounding

According to new data, the SBA, a governmental provider of backing for small business loans designed to assist businesses in obtaining credit, may not be the backbone of the small business financing world that it is made out to be. Recently, plans have been put into action to assist the SBA in helping the many small business owners who are looking for capital in the US. However, according to Congressional data on SBA portfolios and small business statistics collected by the agency’s Office of Advocacy Reports, the 7(a) program, the most popular program offered by the SBA only aids around one percent of American small business owners in obtaining loans. An article on smallbiztrends.com goes further in detailing the disconnect between the financing needs of small business owners and the actual volume of funding backed by SBA programs, providing statistics that show only a very small percentage of business owners have any type of government backed financing. Small business owners in need of direct capital

When many people hear of cyber attacks in the media, the targets they typically think of are corporations and well known entities like banks. However, a recent study by Verizon reveals that it’s not just the big guy who is the target of cyber attacks. In the report, almost one-third of the attacks occurring in 2012 were targeted at businesses with less than 250 people, leaving small business owners with bad credit, unable to get loans and reeling from fraudulent charges. Small businesses have plenty to be worried about since many of them use cost-effective technologies like cloud-based storage and have fewer funds dedicated to securing all facets of their business’s web data. And since nearly 60% of small businesses end up closing within six months of experiencing a cyber attack, it is of utmost importance for any business owner to be able to protect their business from a cyber attack. Here are some ways small business owners can help protect themselves from a possible cyberattack: Know

3 Great Tips For Predicting Cash Flow

Friday, 13, September , 2013 by

One of the most essential parts of running a successful business is managing your cash flow, and knowing how much room you have to improve, or how much you need to pare down to stay in the black. Like many parts of running a business, this is a skill that deserves its own special attention and study, apart from whatever role you play in the creation of your products and the administration of your services. It can take a little practice for business owners to be able to predict their sales with a large degree of certainty, but by using the guidelines below, they can develop a general idea of what to expect and then balance their budgets effectively. These tips carry particular weight for business owners with problems like bad credit, as their financing will usually be tighter than other types of businesses. Don’t just guess, especially when you are starting out. If you are an established business, you will have the records of your

Public relations plays a part in every enterprise. The difference between small businesses with public relations strategies and those without can be dramatic. A small business that knows how to find the spotlight and shine in it will be able to exponentially increase business and exposure. The best thing about positive PR is that it breeds more in turn. Having your business be perceived as an expert in your field cannot be understated in utility, as once you become known as the go to resource on whatever area you specialize in, more opportunities for promoting your knowledge will come to you. Developing a PR strategy can have different levels of depth, but a good place to start is by creating a list of local news outlets, and then letting them know that you are a source. When it comes time for your local paper to write a story, simply having your business on file as a potential lead for information can help get the name

There are many different responses from the American public about the advent of the Holidays. On the one hand, the first signs of seasonal marketing can stir up the latent spirit in those who have been waiting all year for their favorite celebrations. On the other hand, rolling out your season’s greetings too early can elicit eye rolls and make it seem like you are too eager to profit off of the holiday rush. Regardless of when you decide to roll out your marketing plans, it always pays to loan time far enough in advance so that they can be changed as needed. Some will tell you that it is smarter to wait before committing to a plan, and that creating strategies too far in advance is an oversight. This argument should be taken with a grain of salt, as creating the framework of a marketing game plan far in advance will allow you to have a fully developed and situationally appropriate game plan going

Reports on the small business lending freeze in the wake of the fall of Lehman Brothers shows one thing with absolute certainty; small business lending from traditional banks was one of the largest lending programs cut by major financial institutions. The reasons why include a lower profit margin for banks as well as higher assumed risk for these types of loans, making them a easy option for what to cut when banks are forced to pare down their spreads and go into damage control mode. Now, many businesses have been tapping into alternative forms of capital, such as merchant cash advance. Before the financial crisis, the alternative financing market was estimated at $5 billion, while today it has multiplied tenfold, to around $50 billion. While lending approval rates for small business loans have increased slightly in the past year, the Cleveland Federal Reserve reported that, adjusted for inflation, small business lending from banks has fallen 78% from 2007-2012 when adjusted for inflation. With the increase

The small business data reported through the Summer months indicates some very real challenges being faced by small business owners in the wake of the recession. In particular, a lack of readily available business loans has stymied growth rates and slowed down job growth in the sector, which traditionally has had a disproportionate share of the job creation in the US. Sales slowed during the recession, more so for small businesses than larger corporations. With the slowdown in sales came a dip in profits, meaning that jobs that once existed had to be cut, and new ones were prevented from being created. However, currently, small business owners are reporting that they are planning to create more jobs in the next few quarters, paradoxically defying the expectations one would have considering the still slow economic recovery. In a piece for Forbes, Ian Shepherdson points out that small business lending was an easy target for banks as they were forced to reduce their lending. Bail outs for

Pinterest is a social media site based around image sharing, where users can curate boards of images relevant to their specific interests. If another user likes something on another user’s board, they can “re-pin” it to their own wall of interests. In this way, interesting pictures of products can quickly be shared across a wide and dedicated user base in a very targeted manner. Pinterest is particularly useful for consumers creating wishlists of products they like, and there is a vibrant community on the website centering around almost every type of product or industry. Marketing on Pinterest can loan your small business an edge by allowing your customers to share and comment on the best pictures of your products or services that you have to offer, while sharing them with the demographics that are most likely to create viral activity around your brand. While there is a particularly strong user base centering around all things fashion related, any business model can find a way to

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