08 27 2013

08 27 2013

Consumers Turn to Online Review Sites to Rate Small Businesses

The popularity of online review sites is on the rise, a new study found. According to BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey 2013, the number of company reviews on websites has increased significantly over the past several years, and most importantly for small businesses, more consumers than ever trust online customer reviews.

The survey found that 79 percent of those surveyed trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, up from 72 percent in 2012. In 2011, more than 30 percent of respondents said they did not trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations – this year, that figure dropped to 21 percent.

With this elevated level of trust in online reviews, it has become increasingly important for small business owners to focus on customer service and having a strong web presence. That online presence, however, does not mean that entrepreneurs should go online and review their own services – the study found it is also important for consumers to believe that the reviews they are reading are authentic.

Rather, developing a high-quality website and delivering consistent services to customers is what helps drive business and improve online ratings.

Increased influence on business

The BrightLocal survey also found online review services are increasing not only in popularity but in influence over customers as well. Around 65 percent of respondents said they were more likely to visit a local business that has garnered positive online reviews, up from 52 percent in 2012.

Furthermore, only 24 percent of consumers said they chose a business based on other considerations such as location and price, underscoring the increased influence of sites like Yelp on the state of small business. A business’ reputation has become information that is not only available to the masses, but created by the public itself.

The study also asked customers what kind of businesses they were most likely to look into based on customer reviews. Restaurants were by far the most popular – 61 percent of respondents said they had read reviews on restaurants and cafes, up from 46 percent last year.

Hotels, guest houses, and bed and breakfast establishments came in at 27 percent, up from 22 percent in 2012. General shops doubled the rate of reviews read, up to 18 percent in 2013 from 9 percent in 2012.

Improving customer satisfaction and creating a positive online presence is essential for success. However, making changes to a company can be expensive, which is why many small business owners come to National Funding; check out some of National Funding’s customer reviews. National Funding can help an entrepreneur with equipment financing to invest in new technology and other financial services to improve company operations and customer relations.

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Any applications submitted electronically shall have the same force and effect as if the application bore an inked original signature(s). The above information, together with any accompanying financial statements, schedules, or other materials, is submitted for the purpose of obtaining credit and is warranted to be true, correct, and complete.


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To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person and business that seeks a business loan. What this means for you: When you apply for a loan, we will ask for your business name, address, and Tax Identification Number. We will also ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.


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The Merchant and Owner(s)/Officer(s) identified in the application (individually, an “Applicant”) each represents, acknowledges and agrees that (1) all information and documents provided to National Funding, Inc. (“NF”) including credit card processor statements are true, accurate and complete, (2) Applicant will immediately notify NF of any change in such information or financial condition, (3) Applicant authorizes NF to disclose all information and documents that NF may obtain including credit reports to other persons or entities (collectively, “Assignees”) that may be involved with or acquire commercial loans having daily repayment features and/or Merchant Cash Advance transactions, including without limitation the application therefor (collectively, “Transactions”) and each Assignee is authorized to use such information and documents, and share such information and documents with other Assignees, in connection with potential Transactions, (4) each Assignee will rely upon the accuracy and completeness of such information and documents, (5) NF, Assignees, and each of their representatives, successors, assigns and designees (collectively, “Recipients”) are authorized to request and receive any investigative reports, credit reports, statements from creditors or financial institutions, verification of information, or any other information that a Recipient deems necessary, (6) Applicant waives and releases any claims against Recipients and any information-providers arising from any act or omission relating to the requesting, receiving or release of information, and (7) each Owner/Officer represents that he or she is authorized to sign this form on behalf of Merchant.(8) I consent to receive direct mail, faxes, text-messages, and e-mails sent by National Funding and its affiliates for the purposes of transmitting account updates, requests for information and notices, and (9) this request is for business and not for consumer purposes.


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I hereby certify: (1) the information provided is true and correct, (2) you are hereby authorized to investigate all bank, credit, and trade references, and said references are hereby authorized to release any requested information to you or your nominee, (3) such authorization shall extend to obtaining personal credit profile in considering this application and subsequently for the purposes of update, renewal or extension of such credit or additional credit and for reviewing or collecting the resulting account, (4) this information may be transmitted by us to you and by you to underwriter(s) for the purpose of granting me credit, either electronically or manually, and that by submitting this application, I take full responsibility for transmission thereof, (5) I am over 18 years of age, (6) I acknowledge my rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, (7) I consent to receive direct mail, faxes, text-messages, and e-mails sent by National Funding and its affiliates for the purposes of transmitting account updates, requests for information and notices, and (8) this request is for business and not for consumer purposes.


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