The Fall season continues on, with the specter of colder temperatures ever approaching and the memory of last Winter’s polar vortex fresh in the minds of many small business owners all over the country. While the thought may be grim to some, business owners have no choice but to prepare as best they can to meet with unpredictable business patterns ranging from glacially slow to unpredictable boom. In an article on northjersey.com, a few case studies were looked at, from an auto-body shop preparing for a surge in accidents on icy roads, to a gym planning on opening new locations as well as a home healthcare service planning for sever weather in advance. Business owners need to account for the possibility of greater demand, or on the flip-side being forced to remain productive while snowed in. Review the numbers from last Winter. What happened last Winter is a likely indicator of how things stand to go this year assuming that there is a similarly enduring cold

When your business’s website isn’t creating engagement, it can be a major problem. The more bounced traffic you get, the more it signals to search engines that your content isn’t what your visitors were looking for, which can push it down in search results. Apart from that, if you can’t get visitors to stick around on your website, that doesn’t bode well for your ability to create conversions and spread the message of your business through your copy. Building increased engagement with your website may be something that you want to do in an expedited manner, for example, if you notice that you are quickly losing ground to a competitor in a search results page and want to buff your time on site metric. Design work can quickly add up, depending on the scope of the project that you are interested in pursuing and the time frame that you need things done by, so at times it can be helpful to have a readily available

In  an article that appeared on the Forbes website, Lendio CEO Brock Blake pointed to the UK’s adoption of rules wherein banks will be made to refer businesses that they decline for loans to alternative lenders, musing that a similar program might have beneficial effects on the US economy. Currently while lending statistics have been slowly rising, they are still below pre-recession levels and business owners who are in the smallest size category have not seen many gains at all, with around a 90% rejection rate according to the article. If you reject an application, do you still have a duty to direct them to funding? That seems to be the stance of the UK government. Rather than simply reject an application, informing the business owners of other possible options that they may not have known they had can increase the number of businesses that actually get the capital they have been looking for by a dramatic margin. Apart from the fact that businesses may still need

A business’s employees are one if its essential resources. Just like working capital, inventory and solid management techniques, a business that has grown beyond a single person relies on employees to continue functioning and growing. With all the pressures of managing a business and many competing financial priorities, making payroll on time can sometimes become an issue, for instance when a past due invoice means that your business has funds coming in the door, just not when you need them. Fast access to funding is a potential solution. Alternative capital, also known as merchant cash advance, is a financing option that small business owners can access rapidly even if they have bad credit or other derogatory financial history. This financing can be applied for and accessed in as little as a 48 hour period, making it a strong option for bridging gaps in cash flow. While the cost can be higher than a traditional loan, the expedited nature of the underwriting process and the potential to

In a recent article from the Wall Street Journal, research from the Fed was cited indicating that the negative effects of the recession, the worst since the two recessions in the early 80’s, had a disproportionate impact on smaller businesses (in this case, businesses with 50 or fewer employees). These businesses were cited as experiencing an approximately 5-10% worse drop in job creation, paired with a slowdown on the creation of new businesses by 25%. Financing constraints pointed to as one of the root causes of small business stagnation. The credit crunch which accompanied the recession has been cited as one of the causes of the lack of growth coming from the small business sector, with former SBA chief Karen Mills also pointing to lack of loan accessibility as an adverse condition for small businesses. Without reliable access to financing, businesses have a hard time expanding beyond the constraints imposed by their cash flows and ability to borrow from friends and family or out of personal

Alternatives to small business loans have grown both in popularity and exposure over the last few years, primarily because of a lack of other financing options for many small businesses that don’t meet the heightened credit requirements many banks adopted in response to the Great Recession. While bank lending to small businesses has ostensibly thawed, it is still not enough for the majority of small business owners, many of whom are either too small, don’t possess enough collateral, or are too new to successfully approach a bank. Alternative capital attempts to fill this gap in the credit market with financing options that are both expedited and available to businesses with financial histories that would disqualify them from a bank loan. Business owners should view alternative capital as part of their road to business loan eligibility. While alternative capital has higher costs associated with it than bank loans, the expedience with which they can be accessed as well as their wide availability make them extremely useful in

  As the credit market for small business lending continues to feel the aftereffects of the great recession, small businesses are still struggling to obtain loans from the traditional banking establishment. In a recent article that appeared on INC.com, former SBA Chief Karen Mill’s Harvard Business School paper was cited revealing just how tough the recession was for smaller businesses, as well as the resulting “credit crunch” on the part of banks whose after-effects are still being felt today. The paper revealed the thought processes behind banks deciding to move away from smaller loans, since within traditional banking the costs of underwriting a hundred thousand dollar loan are comparable to the costs of underwriting a million dollar loan, but with a lower profit margin for the bank. Alternative capital allows these markets to be served quickly and effectively. One of the reasons why alternative capital represents the potential for introducing major change to the way banking works is that within the industry, a different approach to

While obtaining business financing to have cash on hand is a valid strategy in its own right, many times small business owners, in particular those with bad credit, will choose to take financing in order to make a purchase or a hire that adds value to their business. Adding value that can pay back their purchase over time is a prudent  way to deploy funding. Bad credit can keep business owners from getting traditional loans, but through alternative capital, bad credit applicants can still obtain the resources they need to invest in opportunities for business growth that can pay them back. Equipment purchases. A bad credit business loan alternative is able to be used much more quickly than a bank loan, making it possible to take one out in order to take advantage of a limited time offer on a piece of equipment. It’s also a potential solution for a demand from a client that can only be met with a new piece of equipment. Before

A business’s inventory is not only part of its overall value, it is also what allows it to pursue larger contracts or orders with confidence that client demand can be met. While having excess inventory on hand is a waste, having too little inventory puts business owners at a disadvantage when trying to expand. If they approach larger clients hoping to secure the business they need to grow, they may all of a sudden be asked to handle orders that are much larger than they are accustomed to processing. If they are not stocked with the inventory they need, without a means of rapidly acquiring it they could lose the business they worked so hard to win. Bad credit business loan alternatives offer a solution. While a traditional small business loan requires a lengthy process of due diligence, alternative capital providers generally require less information and therefore are able to approve and fund accounts in a much shorter period of time, often within the 48 hours

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