Financing your business is often the critical component to success. Finding funding is not always easy for a start up or established small business owner. As you develop the necessary paperwork to secure funding, there are a few ‘to do’ items which can help you determine your financial readiness! These 4 Serious Tips should be used by all entrepreneurs – things lenders will look for when making a decision to approve funding, or NOT!
SERIOUS TIP #1: Prepare a Business Plan
A comprehensive business plan is imperative to your business success. It is needed to not only organize your business but in order to get a small business loan, it is necessary. Your business plan should be written early in the planning process and is your road map for starting and operating your small business.
SERIOUS TIP #2: Research and Know Your Competition
Understanding who your competitors are helps project sales, avoid surprises, decrease reaction time and help in understanding your own business (or proposed business) better. After your research information has been compiled and evaluated, it is important to develop strategies for competing, thus, determining if your idea is viable.
When you look at your competitors, you are analyzing:
- Who are your major competitors?
- What share of the market do they have?
- How do you compare to your competitors and how will they react to your entry into the market?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses (e.g. quality, price, service, payment terms, location, reputation, etc.)?
- What factors could increase or reduce your competition?
SERIOUS TIP #3: Analyze Your Market
The success of your business depends on making sales. Marketing is a way of communicating with your target market so they (customers) will buy your products and services. It is a necessary element of business. A constant marketing effort is required to establish, stabilize, and grow a successful business. Marketing & Sales practices include: describing your products and services clearly; continuously developing your understanding of your “marketplace”- who’s buying (customers), who’s selling (competition), what’s selling (products & services) at what price, how is the market changing; tracking the success of your marketing & sales strategy; improving your business’s ability to establish and maintain good prospect & customer relationships.
SERIOUS TIP #4: Put Personal Finances in Order
A prospective entrepreneur’s relationship with money and his/her ability to successfully manage personal finances and credit are directly connected to his/her success in the planning, decision-making, detailed oversight and big picture strategizing that are necessary to healthy business finance management. It can take time for a new business to develop a cash flow, so, making sure your personal finances are in order before launching your new business, is essential.
If you asked small business owners who have applied for business loans in recent months, the majority will tell you how tough it was to find a lender willing to fund them. Why? Well, due to the current economic crisis, lenders are being firm when it comes to their standards in giving out loans. As much as they want to lend their money to a lot of start-up and existing business owners, they are also
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Sylvia Browder is CEO of Browder Consulting Group, a virtual small business consulting and coaching firm. She is currently employed as a Project Director, business coach and consultant for the Women’s Business Center, Inc., a non-profit economic development organization with a mission of empowering women to start and grow successful businesses. She also serves as a volunteer SCORE counselor, an organization dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. She is also a Technical Assistant Provider for SBA’s Community Express Loan Program. For FREE weekly articles go to Sylvia Browder’s Blog for Women Entrepreneur’s, www.sylviabrowder.com. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org..
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