Revelations as to who is getting funded by the SBA are raising critical voices around the organization’s activities.  What do luxury car dealerships, exclusive resorts, and boutique cosmetic surgery clinics all have in common? According to an article contributed to Forbes by Adam Andrzejewski, they are all among businesses aimed at serving the needs of the very wealthy that are recipients of subsidized SBA loans, supported by taxpayer money. The SBA does not directly provide business loans, rather it guarantees the loans against tax payer money, with the intent of providing subsidized rates for small businesses that need capital to grow, but are wary of taking a loan from a private bank carrying a rate that they can’t afford, or simply can’t get approved for a typical loan without a government guarantee provided by the SBA. However, in the cases that are pointed out in the Forbes article, luxury businesses that could most likely get a loan from a wide number of private financial institutions

Small business Saturday, falling between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is the small business answer to slashed prices at big box stores created by American Express in an effort to boost awareness of local businesses and their contributions to the economy. Local business owners should take advantage of the social media campaigning that Amex invests in to promote Small Business Saturday, which continues to grow nationally. When combined with a positive forecast for this year’s holiday spending, both in brick and mortar locations and online, business owners would do well to remember the date, November 29th this year, and prepare for it by rallying their neighborhoods and other local business owners to get on board. Plan a promotion. A discount is what your customers will be expecting, so get ready now preparing a door-buster that will bring business to your location. Think of something that is popular and can be discounted without your business taking a loss, since this item may be the purchase that inspires your

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

The difference between gross revenues and profit within a small business can be significant when overhead is brought into the picture. A business that is making many thousands of dollars in gross revenues may find that its actual profit margin is far below what one might have guessed offhand. Comparing the numbers between gross revenues and profit within your business can help create a more illustrative picture than looking at gross revenues alone, which is often the first thing that business owners do when reviewing monthly sales activity. Taking a deeper look at the accounting behind a small business, in particular a business that may be in extenuating circumstances due to bad credit, is an important part of management and should be done regularly enough to capture significant sales data. Monitoring gross revenues is important should business owners seek alternative capital. How much small business owners can qualify for when applying for bad credit business loan alternatives is directly influenced by their gross monthly sales, so

Managing employees is not an easy feat, especially within the often hectic environment of a growing small business. However, it is precisely in this type of environment that the engagement levels of employees have the biggest overall impact on productivity, since with fewer staff and many different things that still need to be done, whether or not an employee can be counted on to get things done and stay accountable will have a disproportionate impact on the productivity of their peers and ultimately the entire organization. For this reason, cultivating employee engagement should be a high priority for business owners, with attention paid to the positive and negative effects of encouragement on each member of staff. Give feedback. This is an often stated staple of management technique, however in a small business context where communications are generally quite fluid and occur regularly regardless, business owners may not feel that there is a need to give feedback within the thick of business operations. However, this discounts the

Smaller businesses often don’t have wellness programs in place, citing costs or the time it takes to put them together as their main issues. However, the benefits of wellness programs are manifold, from improving the health of employees, reducing the number of sick days that they take and even contributing in higher morale and reduced turnover within your organization. What is wellness, exactly? Wellness programs take many forms, but most commonly they refer to programs that are put in place in order to improve the health and quality of life of workers in a business. They can be perks, like healthy snacks in the break room, or they can be active programs such as communal yoga classes or a post work day stretch. In some companies, there are educational resources available to employees, such as classes on healthy eating or how to improve posture after sitting for days in an office chair. If you have an idea of how to make a positive impact in the

Across the country, local journals and National news sites alike are publishing articles on the reticence to hire new employees among small business owners. Some of the reasons hiring freeze include a lack of sufficient cash flow caused by a need for more clients or by market share taken up by tough competition. In an article from the Associated Press, both the pressures to attract new business and the fear of losing current income streams are stopping small business owners from adding jobs more aggressively. Both of these concerns ultimately come down to the problem of not having steady cash flows, which can be hard to predict with both fast changing market conditions and the looming memory of the recent Government shutdown and the shadow of the great recession. Business owners should finance strategically to maintain productivity. Offering overtime programs to employees willing to work longer hours is one of the techniques the business owners in the AP article used in order to get things done

While the credit market for small business owners in the wake of the great recession has seen traditional loan options evaporate for all but mid to large sized businesses with viable credit, the need for working capital on the part of small businesses outside this range has not gone away. On the contrary, in order for businesses to effectively grow, many will at some point need to take a business loan, bad credit loan alternative or other type of financing. In the case of businesses that are growing but have very little in the way of assets, one option for procuring financing is to leverage their history of sales growth as the main criteria for underwriting a cash advance. Even if the business owner does not have collateral, such as a home or equipment, that they would otherwise use to secure a bad credit loan product, they can use the information contained in their last three months of banks statements to demonstrate to a financing

Business loan volume is an important indicator of economic health and recovery. Small businesses, as one of the major forces of job creation and employment in the US, need capital in order to effectively grow and pursue larger opportunities. It follows that the more capital they are able to obtain when they need it, the more robust sign of positive economic activity. However, a trend of small business loans increasingly going to businesses only on the largest and most developed end of the spectrum has been reported on in multiple business journals, including in a recent Forbes article where it was cited that 42% of small business owners seeking small business loans were denied by traditional banks, and small and micro business lending are both down, although big business lending is up. Bad credit business loans are providing some options. The growth of bad credit business loan alternatives in response to the dearth of readily available capital can be seen as a natural reaction to the credit crunch.

As businesses grow, in order to keep up their efficiency they will often integrate new technologies into their operations.  This isn’t exactly a surprise, since the benefits of technology are manifold and can quickly make an appreciable difference in a business’s ability to get things done. However, what is surprising is when small business owners are slow to adopt something that has been proven to be helpful. A lot of the time, it’s because either the owner of the business, the employees, or both are used to doing something their own way and don’t want to expend the energy it takes to update. It’s also possible that some of the staff is techno-phobic, or mistrustful of technology that they do not fully understand. This can be particularly true in business environments where employee ages span multiple generations. At a certain point, business owners should be honest with themselves and weigh the pros and cons of investing in employee training. You may be able to avoid

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