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Apr 30

The Reason for Business Failure  ImageNearly half of all small businesses fail within the first two years of operation. The number one reason for business failure is inadequate planning. The second reason is under-capitalization.

So before you mortgage your house, or go into debt financing your business, you need to know if your business is going to do more than survive — you want to know if it’s good enough to thrive! Here are three things successful businesses that have stayed in business for five years or longer have in common:

1. The idea. A successful business start-up always starts with an idea. Something that makes your business stand out from all the rest. So how do you know if you’ve got a good idea?

You’ve probably got a good idea if you can answer yes to any of the following questions: Does your idea provide the solution to a significant problem for your target market? Does it satisfy a need or want? Does it create an opportunity?

The most successful businesses either fix problems (either real or perceived), or they increase your customer’s pleasure. They create a repeat need for a product or service among the target market.

2. The market. Your chances of survival are better if you can answer the following questions with a yes: Is there already a market for your product or service? (It’s much easier to fill a need than trying to create an entirely new market.) Can your target market afford to buy your products or services? (If they can’t afford it, it doesn’t matter how great it is, you won’t sell any!) Will your target market perceive your product or service as valuable? (If they want it, but don’t think it’s worth what you’re selling it for, you won’t make any sales.)

3. Your ability. Do you have the people, the resources and the knowledge to be able to consistently provide your products or services to your target market? Can you maintain a competitive advantage? Do you have enough manpower? Can you purchase the supplies and materials you need over the long run?

Your first step always is to create a solid business plan. Your business plan is more than an essay on “Why I deserve to get funding for my idea” however. Don’t spend all the time creating a business plan and then toss it in the bottom drawer of your desk. Your business plan should be a living, breathing roadmap that helps you make sure you’re on course and reaching the goals that you set for your business.

The second step to business survival is getting enough financing. Although the term “bootstrap entrepreneur” describes most small business owners, having enough capital to be able to keep your business afloat is vital to your survival.

When you’re creating your financial analysis of your business, make sure you’re being realistic about costs and expenditures, so that you give yourself the cushion you need to succeed.

If finding financing is a problem, either because you don’t have enough credit or equity, or there are other problems, take the time to look into the resources that are available in your community. There are a wide variety of grants and loans (including microloans) for entrepreneurs, if you know where to look.

Some great resources will be:
-The Small Business Administration
-Local Small Business Development Centers
-Women’s Organizations
-Local University or Community College
-Chamber of Commerce
-SCORE (The Association for Retired Executives)
-Nonprofit organizations that work on economic development in your area

Use other successful business models as a guide. When you’re getting started, look around. What businesses are successful? Why? What is it they’re doing that is working? What attributes do you admire, and why? You stand a better chance of succeeding if you’re modeling someone who is already successful.

Find a mentor. Most entrepreneurs have great skills and abilities, but no one does everything well. You probably already know what your strengths and weaknesses are. (If not, there are many resources and tools that can help you figure it out!) Rather than ignoring your weaknesses, find a mentor who can help you either build your skills in your weaker areas, or offer advice for getting what you need.

If you take the time to plan to succeed, you could be creating a legacy that will be enjoyed by future generations, and that other entrepreneurs will look at as a model for building their own businesses.

Apr 28

Bad Credit Small Business Loans ImageA credit score is primarily based on credit report information, typically from one of the three major credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Since lenders or banks lend only against your creditworthiness, it does makes sense for you to know what factors determine your credit score.

What Is A Credit Score?
Based on the snapshots of your credit report, credit score is the number arrived to summarize your credit risk. It ranges from 300 to 850 and helps a lender to determine the risk level. Or we can put it like this, “if I give this person a loan, how likely is it that I will get paid on time?”

There are different methods of calculating credit scores. FICO is one of the most popular credit scores developed by Fair Isaac & Co. The higher is the FICO score the lower is the risk for lender.

What Affects Credit Score?
Your credit reports contains many pieces of information that reveals certain important aspects of your borrowing activities mainly focusing on:

• Late payments
• The amount of time credit has been established
• The amount of credit used versus the amount of credit available
• Length of time at present residence
• Negative credit information such as bankruptcies, charge-offs, collections, etc.

Bad Credit Small Business Loans
Seeking loans with low or bad credit score can drive you up the wall. The mainline lenders may simply reject your loan application while the others from subprime market may charge you extortionate rate of interest on your bad credit small business loan.

In case you are an entrepreneur and need new business loan for growth or expansion, bad credit can put you in pickles. In such a scenario, it’s better to go for cash advance option that is provided irrespective of you credit history. Such cash advance is given against your future credit and debit card sales.

What Is Cash Advance Option?
Cash advance is a small business loan approved against the monthly amount you process through credit card sales. Cash advance lenders do not ask you for your credit rating and can pre-approve your loan within 24 hours. A mutually agreed upon percentage from your daily sales through credit card processing goes to the lender automatically as repayment of the loan.

How To Increase Your Credit Score?
Your credit score cannot be improved in short run but a few steps can help you improving your credit rating over a period of time. Here are a few tips:

• Pay your bills on time. Late payments and collections can have a serious impact on your score.
• Do not apply for credit frequently. Having a large number of inquiries on your credit report can worsen your score.
• Reduce your credit-card balances. If you are “maxed” out on your credit cards, this will affect your credit score negatively.
• If you have limited credit, obtain additional credit. Not having sufficient credit can negatively impact your score.

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