09 02 2016

09 02 2016

Your small business has made it past year one – Now what? Part 8: Is it time for another business loan?

So you’ve beaten the odds, and are well on your way to solidifying long-term business vitality. Or maybe you just barely eked by year one, fueled by burning the midnight oil and a smidgeon of luck. Either way, you’ve broken through one barrier and are ready to tackle the next.

But first you need to ask yourself: Do you know what your next barrier looks like? And if so, do you have the business capital you need to power through it? If the answer to the first question is yes, and your answer to the second one is no, then it’s probably time for another business loan – especially if one or more of the following questions applies to you:

Are you struggling to capitalize on new markets?
What works one day won’t always work as well the next day, which is why it’s so important for businesses to make sure they don’t begin to stagnate. That said, penetrating new markets is much easier said than done. According to Inc. contributors Karl Stark and Bill Stewart, this requires careful prioritization of the market you select as your next conquest as well as a thorough understanding of that market’s conditions. However, it also takes a very honest assessment of your “internal capabilities.”

“Much of your decision on how to enter a new market (build, buy, or partner) is driven by an internal capabilities assessment,” Stark and Stewart wrote. “How much of our core competencies can we leverage? Do we have sales channels/infrastructure/relationships in place? What time-to-market considerations exist?”

The only thing we would add to that is, how much spending power do you have at your disposal?

Have you been presented with a unique growth opportunity?
Some opportunities are just too good to pass up, but they cost more than you can afford to parcel out. In these circumstances, investing in a small business loan is essentially the equivalent of investing in your future.

It’s rare that the best road finds you, but when it does, make sure you have a full tank of gas and a set of wheels that can help you go the distance.

Are you evolving your company brand?
Shaking up your company’s image takes a significant amount of time, effort, creativity and no small amount of money. It also takes some intensely focused strategizing.

Business News Daily staff writer Brittney Helmrich interviewed several entrepreneurs to get their take on what goes into a successful rebranding, and the insights were illuminating. For one, rebranding isn’t something you should do just because you feel like your old image is stale. Sure, that might be the spark for your innovation. But what you really need is a target audience. As nice as it would be to simply run with your most creative whim, there’s no guarantee that it’ll ever make it to the bank.

Granted, really catering to that target audience means you may have to tread into uncharted territory. It could mean much more than just getting a new sign, redesigning your menu and coming up with a new motto. All of these are the specific details that should be pointing to a much greater cultural shift within your company.  But sometimes the actual nuts and bolts of that shift are outside of your wheelhouse. Maybe it involves technological updates you’re not savvy to – maybe you’re upping your social media game, or you’re adopting new mobile point-of-sale technology to give your business a sleeker, more efficient veneer. Or maybe it involves an entirely new service delivery model such as ecommerce or mobile customer engagement.

Regardless of which, if any, of the above scenarios apply to you, you’re going to need help, and more specifically, a monetary infusion that can give you access to the resources and expertise you need to grow your brand.

Can you expect to see ROI?
If you’re waist deep in unpaid loans, then disregard all of the above, and accept that you might need to stabilize before wading deeper into the debt pool. A little bit of existing debt is reasonable; in fact, it’s to be expected for any growing business – but you don’t want to be drowning in it.

If that doesn’t apply to you, then the next step is to chart a clear path to return on investment. A small business loan is essentially an amorphous tool for your business. It can help server whatever function is missing from your repertoire of resources. Before you even begin looking for a lender, know with precision why you’re taking out a loan and more specifically, how it will reap ROI.

Once you’ve done this, then you’re officially ready to take out another small business loan.

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General Acceptance

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.

 

US Patriot Act:

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, 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, 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.

The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status or age (provided the applicant has the capacity to enter into the binding contract); because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. If for any reason your application for business credit is denied, you have the right to a written statement of the specific reasons for the denial. To obtain the statement, please write to National Funding Inc., 9820 Towne Centre Drive, San Diego, California 92121.  Funding amount and credit approval is subject to a full credit profile review.