Running a business doesn't stop until the business stops. You can start a company faster and easier in the United States than almost anywhere in the world, but getting it right takes a plan. You'll need to consider whether you need a business loan, temporary or permanent staffing, whether you're going to use a public relations company to get word out about who you are, business insurances, data backup, where are your customers coming from? Will you need to contract with a lead generation service? And this is just the very tip of the iceberg.
Many Americans turn to franchising as the key to making their dreams of small business ownership come true. Yet every day, more and more of these aspiring entrepreneurs are discovering that their greatest challenge is not choosing the right concept, but rather gaining access to inexpensive capital needed to complete their purchase. To meet this challenge, a growing number of people are getting into the franchise business by investing in their own franchise—many of them using investment capital they didn’t know they had. Through a vehicle commonly known as Rollover as Business Start-ups (ROBS), entrepreneurs can use their IRA or 401(k) funds to invest in a franchise without taking a taxable distribution or getting a loan.
Your business credit profile could be one of the most valuable things that you have as a business owner. Here are a few things to consider about using your business credit profile to get business loans.
A business credit card application is used to apply for a credit card that is issued to the business owner in his or her business' name. Getting a business credit card allows small business owners to get loans, make payments and build credit history without putting their personal credit on the line. However, when they apply for a business credit card, their financial history very much matters; though there are ways to work around that.
Some well-financed soul out there probably wants to lend money to your business. The question is, who is this person, and on what terms? We recognize that small business loans can be difficult to find these days. We want to make the process easier and more transparent for you. We describe the process of most small businesses’ search for a loan, starting at the gold standard – an old-fashioned bank loan – through other alternatives from nonbank lenders, so-called “hard money” lenders and asset-based lenders.
If the bank won't lend you capital, how do you finance your business? We're assuming you don't have a rich Uncle Tony and don't have a winning lottery ticket in your pocket. Your choices after that are institutional lenders, private lenders, account receivables funding, or selling a part of your business. Finding capital can be tough, but here's how to find a few, and how to be professionally prepared to answer the tough questions a lender might ask.
For some of the guys on this list, it was a matter of building up enough money to start their own business. For others, success looks easy because they were ... and I can't stress this enough ... insanely smart. Like if they didn't go into business they'd be Bond-villains or President, right now. And there are a couple who caught a lucky break or had the right idea at the right time.
Startup Boardroom, Day Three. Bank of America small business lender Kathie Sowa talks about the problems entrepreneurs should avoid.
Bootstrapping, reinvesting (your own or your company's money), bank loans, and equity partners. Is there a lesser evil when you sell a stake in your business to bankers or strangers?
Aaron Patzer, CEO of Mint.com, discusses startup accounting and the financial history of Mint.com, which recently bought by Intuit for $170 million. Slides and video of Patzer's presentation are included.