Four Ways to Increase Your Odds of Getting Approved for a Small Business Loan

 

 

Getting approved for a small business loan can seem challenging. But, it’s more feasible than you may think. More than 70 percent of small firms surveyed by the U.S. Small Business Administration used financing in the last year. Around the same proportion of companies took out loans under $250,000. Obtaining working capital funding for your business is not impossible. But to maximize your chances of being approved, pay close attention to application requirements and consider these four tips:

1. Gather the Right Paperwork

Getting a business loan usually requires several documents to establish trust between your business and potential lenders. These may include balance sheets, bank statements, and tax returns. Providing this information helps demonstrate that your business is financially responsible. And therefore, a good lending risk. However, not all lenders ask for the same things. Some may also request personal financial information or an updated business plan. So, be prepared to share those as well. Pay attention to lending firms that stick to the essentials needed to review your business loan application, with documentation that supports the following details:

Positive Cash Flow

Business lenders prefer borrowers that earn more money than they spend in an average month. This means you are more likely to repay the loan. Provide copies of recent bank statements or balance sheets to prove your business is earning positive cash flow and is projected to stay on track.

Revenue

Commonly referred to as gross receipts or sales. Revenue is the amount of money coming into your business in a given timeframe. Lenders often use monthly revenue to assess your ability to pay back a loan. The higher your revenue, the better. This is also proven through bank statements or financial reports.

FICO Score

Getting approved for financing with a bad credit business profile is not impossible. But it may make the process more difficult. Lenders each have their own ways of measuring creditworthiness, with FICO scores being a common and convenient tool. If you think your credit score is low, prepare some additional documentation that might help lenders understand why.

2. Fix Your Credit

You stand a much better chance of getting approved for a small business loan if you work on bettering your credit. To do this, you must be aware of your business’s current credit history. Seek out your company’s credit report through reputable monitoring agencies like Experian or Dun & Bradstreet. Then, carefully review it for any mistakes or glaring issues that might be negatively impacting your overall score.

Fixing a mistake on your credit report can drastically improve your chances of getting approved for a small business loan. Major errors are rare, but they can happen. If you find a misspelled address or inaccurate information, report it to the credit monitoring agency as soon as possible.

If your business credit report contains negative marks that are accurate – like reports of late payments or a past public judgment – getting a business loan is not a lost cause. Lenders will review your credit report as part of your application, so be upfront about any bad news. If you can show lenders you are being proactive about repairing a poor credit score, you may increase your chances of getting approved.

On the flip side, if you have limited credit history, consider getting a business credit card or line of credit from one of your existing vendors. This will allow you to build your business credit history. As mentioned, some lenders will take your personal finances into account. So, focus on paying all bills on time and in full.

3. Work Closely with a Lender

The process of applying for a business loan runs smoothly when both sides are on the same page. Find a lender that will be direct and honest with you about how or if they can help your business. Of course, that means you need to do the same. Explain in detail what you expect from the lender and how you plan on using the funds.

Both lenders and borrowers must have clear expectations for the relationship. Getting specifics about the lender’s requirements and application process will help you understand if they are a good fit for your business.

Keep in mind: online lenders tend to have quicker application processes and faster approvals. They may also approve business loans that traditional banks tend to overlook. As an added benefit, they deposit the funds in much less time than their traditional counterparts.

4. Manage Credit with Confidence

Remember that your business credit history and relationship with lenders extends beyond the world of capital financing. As explained by credit agency Experian, a business’s credit report influences more than its ability to simply obtain a loan. It also helps determine:.

.Loan amount.
• Interest rates paid on loans.
• Insurance premium pricing.
• Trade credit terms with your suppliers and vendors.

That means most of the financial activities of an organization influence loan approval. For example, a wholesale trade firm that makes a point of paying suppliers on time may be approved for a loan with lower interest rates. Or a construction company seeking financing might cut down considerably on insurance premiums by maintaining good relationships with creditors. As you learn more about the process of getting a business loan, you’ll find the sum of your company’s past financial interactions plays a major role in increasing your chances of approval.

To prepare for a business loan application and ensure the best chance of approval, do your homework on each of these issues. Analyze the financial needs of your company. And weigh the costs and benefits of securing a business loan. Be sure to research the small business lending market, but don’t shop around by applying to several lenders at once. Prospective lenders may perform a “hard” credit check before deciding, which can slightly lower your credit score and linger on your credit report. A targeted application approach will keep your business credit score in check while maintaining your focus on the best lender for the job.

When it comes down to it, improving your chances of getting approved for a small business loan is about choosing the right lender. Quick-Bridge’s simple, fast approval process means you could have a short-term loan to cover business expenses within 24 hours. Contact:QuickBridge to speak with a funding advisor about obtaining financing for your small business.

 

 

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How to Grow Your Business – Fast!

 

 

 

As any business owner will remember, when you first started your current venture you may have taken time to research and get to know your proposed market. You may also have made a substantial investment in terms of money also, so how can you take the next step? Whereas if you have launched your own startup and managed to build a successful business, then you may be looking to grow your business and expand further, which will depend a lot on the resources that have you available. From time and money, to even growing your workforce and considering how this will affect your return, you need to decide your approach so that you can face your next business challenge. Growing a successful and established business can be challenging, so you will want to consider the following factors if you are looking for fast growth.

Finances

If you are looking to ensure the fast growth of your business, then you will need to know your numbers inside out and make sure that you have enough cash in the bank to help your growth plans. Make sure that you draw up a plan to get your finances in order. Be sure to include any overheads and outgoings that you need to account for, from suppliers to paying your staff and even reinvesting in your firm. If you feel that you could be making a saving, then be sure to change your suppliers or even try and ask for a discount, to help you to keep your costs down. You should also account for dips in your business productivity and sales, as these will be affected by changes in the markets and seasonal trends. Remember also to consider taking out a loan to help get your business growth on the right track. Expert companies such as Bonsai Finance provide help and information about loans. If you are looking to grow your business, then be sure to get your numbers in order so that you can decide which areas of your venture that you need to invest in, to enable your firm to grow, and grow quickly. So, make sure that you know your numbers and take your time to find the right loan to help support your business efforts.

Step Up To The Mark

Remember, when it comes to growing your business and getting the results and output that you desire, you are going to need to make sure that you are ready to step up to the mark. You may even need to go the extra mile and work weekends or long hours, meaning that you have to sacrifice having a social life for the time being. When growing your firm, make sure that you remain focused on one key area at a time so that you can effectively drive and manage your business growth strategy. You should also consider these targets in your financial business strategy, to ensure that you remain on track and within budget. Be prepared to take risks as you will need to go outside of your comfort zone, to ensure that you test the market and identify any niche areas or outlets that will enable you to grow your firm rapidly and with guaranteed success.

Know Your Competition

If you are looking to take on your business market, then it is vital that you increase your research so that you ensure you know your market inside out. From conducting your own market research via surveys or even visiting your competitors to check out pricing, to using online platforms and marketing tools to check any increases or changes in the market that could offer you an opportunity, take the time to learn about your competition. You can also make the most of social media or digital channels to check which products or services they are pushing online and in the digital space too. Where they have failed, there is bound to be a chance opening that will enable you to succeed.

Recruit A Dream Team

Remember if you are looking to grow your business fast, then you cannot do it alone. You will need a dream team onside to help you to put the hours and work in to make sure that you get the results you deserve. From pushing your sales through a bonus-driven team to ensuring that you have a marketing team that knows your business targets, it is vital that you take the time to choose the people that will help you to get the job done. You can take recruitment into your own hands, or you may even want to use digital platforms such as LinkedIn to ensure that you promote any open positions that you need to fill urgently. Be sure to use your other social media channels to promote your firm, and make sure that you are showcasing your company to attract the top talent in the marketplace. When it comes to finding your dream team, make sure that you have a watertight recruitment plan in place to ensure that you have a workforce that is highly skilled and willing to support your business growth efforts.

Know Your Business Priorities

If you are looking to grow your business fast, then you will need to make sure that you prioritize which areas of your company need the most attention. Be sure to get to grips with your finances and make sure that you know your numbers inside out and do not write off taking out a loan to help you invest wisely in your firm. You may also have to spend weekends and late nights working to ensure that your business will grow quickly. Be sure to do your research so that you get to know any competition that you have in the market. Take your time to recruit a dream team that will enable your firm to smash any targets and drives your business forward. Finally, make sure that you remain focused and dedicated. Over time you will notice your business becomes a market leader and you obtain the results that you are after.

 

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The Easiest Way to Connect to New Business Partners

Growing a business requires proper strategy and working smart. Connecting with the right business partners is one of the key pillars for any business. Referrals may end up being the perfect partners for our business, but there is a part that you would have to play so that you can achieve this. Here are some tips, which you can apply so as to be able to connect to new business partners, easily.

Develop Solid Relationships

While the ultimate objective is to find partners, who you can work with to grow the business, take time to cultivate a good and strong relationship. This makes it easier for people to trust you and eventually want to invest their money in your business. Focus on adding value to the relationship with anyone that you get connected to. As long as you can have a solid foundation, this should play out to your advantage.

Seek Clarity and Answers

One of the best ways to tell if a person would be a great fit for your business is through conversation. Strike conversation with thought-provoking questions and pay keen attention to their responses. Have a strategy that allows the potential partner to talk most of the time and if there are any gray areas, seek clarification.

 

Keeping Scores Does Not Work

You should have an open mind and come alive to the fact that there are connections that will work, and others will fail. Do not keep a score of how much you have been giving out, without receiving. Set your mind to give at all times, without expecting anything in return. Once you have conditioned your mind this way, it becomes easier to connect with business partners, and there will be fewer disappointments.

Work on Your Reputation

Everyone loves to be associated with something good. One of the best strategies to win over business partners is by building a great reputation for the business. Pay attention to the strengths and weakness of the business and use them to make the necessary adjustment. Weaknesses should be used to come up with a learning agenda. If your business has a great reputation, anyone you approach to partner with you will actually feel honored.

Be Flexible

Being rigid is a good thing, only to a certain extent. If you are truly committed to the course of getting new people to connect with as business partners, you should be easy going. Always be at your best and try to impress the prospects within the shortest period of time. There are some people who lose connections right from the introduction. Have a strategy, an even if it means rehearsing, do not hesitate to do so.
For any business to thrive and experience exponential growth, it would ideal to find business partners to work with. This does not need to be a complex thing, and as you can see, above, you can use very basic strategies to easily connect with business partners. Be open-minded, and you will be amazed at how much potential has been untapped out there.

 

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The Five Biggest Business Plagiarism Scandals

Throughout history, plagiarism has always been present, but never more so than in the current digital age. Where the internet is filled to the brim with content, with more being posted each and every day, it can be difficult to truly know whether what you are reading is original content. However, while most plagiarism cases are dealt with easily or float under the radar, there are some higher profile cases that certainly haven’t had that benefit! From the likes of Amy Schumer, to Melania Trump and even The New York Daily News, the following certainly could’ve done with a plagiarism checker! Without further ado, here are the five biggest plagiarism scandals of recent years.

The New York Daily News

The New York Daily News case was one that taught editors and writers across the globe a valuable lesson – keep drafts, notes, and ensure you save any relevant emails! They might not seem like much once the piece is done and ready to go, but you never know just when it might prove useful.

On April 19th 2016, journalist Shaun King had an article published that readers noticed was very similar to one published much earlier by The Daily Beast. Of course, this was immediately accused of being plagiarised, but there was an unexpected twist to come! King took to twitter after the accusations with evidence of timestamped emails that contained his original submission, and it turned out it was in fact an editorial issue! Jotham Sederstrom edited out the attribution that had been put into the piece before it went online! As a result, he was fired for the mistake.

Joe Biden

Many of us known Joe Biden as the much-loved vice president to Barack Obama, but long before he filled that role, Biden tried his own hand at the top spot. In 1987, Biden was running his presidential campaign but it was swiftly cut short when the accusations of plagiarism came rolling in. It soon surfaced that Biden had stolen a speech from a British politician by the name of Neil Kinnock. Soon after his academic work came under fire for plagiarism also. His withdrawal from the presidential race was, of course, announced soon after.

Amy Schumer

Laughter is a language that every person can speak, and jokes are often a great way of spreading said laughter around – well, if they don’t receive a groan instead! But in 2016, Amy Schumer came under fire when she was accused of plagiarising the jokes she was using in her stand-up performances. Tammy Pescatelli, Kathleen Madigan and Wendy Liebman all claimed that Schumer had ‘stolen’ their jokes and passed them off as her own without firing a single thank you in their direction. This story didn’t come to any conclusion, however, as Schumer only denied the claims, and it wasn’t taken any further.

Melania Trump

While this one might not be the tip of the ice-burg when it comes to thinking about the most words plagiarised, it certainly does for one of the worst possible places to do it. Also taking place in 2016, Melania Trump’s plagiarism scandal came about when she took to the stage to give a speech on the President’s behalf at the Republican National Convention. However, as great as the speech may have appeared to some, it pricked the ears of Obama fans, who quickly realised that Melania’s speech sounded strangely similar to Michelle Obama’s speech that was given in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention. Melania’s speech writer was blamed, and while she apologised and went on to try and resign, Trump refused to accept it anyway.

Vladamir Putin

1997 brought about Putin’s turn to face public criticism following accusations of plagiarism. Putin’s 1996 dissertation titled ‘Strategic Planning of Mineral Resources Replenishment at a Regional Level in Market Economy’ fell under scrutiny when it appeared to bear unavoidable resemblance to a book written by William Kind and David Cleland’s book ‘Strategic Planning and Policy’. Granted, no one’s approached Putin to question it directly, but the accusations have been made all the same.

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3 Tips for Accounting Firms Who Want to Remain Relevant

 

Evolution of Technology in Business

The evolution of technology has introduced new fears in the corporate world. Many companies and professionals fear that automation of services will render them irrelevant in the market. The reality is that companies and individuals can now learn how to file their taxes online. Clients can also install accounting apps and programs to keep records and prepare financial reports. However, automation of accounting operations does not mean that accounting firms are redundant. The tips outlined below will help accounting and bookkeeping businesses to remain relevant in an evolving corporate world.

1. Continuous Learning

Firms must invest in continuous learning to remain relevant in a changing environment. Accountants should stay updated with new technologies, trends, programs, and apps in the field. Clients expect accounting firms to use the latest technologies and abide by any new laws in accounting. Hence, managerial teams must ensure that their accountants are exposed to the latest trends in the field. For instance, accounting firms can collaborate with organizations that offer AFSP online courses. Such courses help accountants gain certification, including learning the prevailing rules in filing taxes.

This professional education should also include basic programming languages. The corporate world is evolving towards automated services. Beyond learning the mainstream accounting systems, accountants should learn basic programming languages to handle the systems more efficiently.

2. Flexibility

Change is inevitable in the corporate world. Accounting firms have no control over the speed of change or evolution of technology in the field. The best approach in such an environment is to show flexibility and accept change. One reason why many professionals and corporations become irrelevant is that they insist on the traditional ways of doing things. Many are stuck in one way of handling the accounting function and sell the same to their clients. Accounting firms must encourage their teams to adopt new changes and adjust their strategies as fast as possible. As the firms encourage continuing education, professionals must be willing to implement new skills and knowledge immediately.

3. Maintaining Integrity

Business owners hire accounting firms based on their core values, including their commitment to excellent services. Sometimes firms are slow in adapting to the latest trends especially when the trends involve new technologies. However, clients are patient to work with such firms if the firms can be trusted. Trust is an important component of business relationships. Accounting firms are contracted to handle a sensitive function in organizations. The management depends on financial reports to make decisions. Hence, accounting firms must fulfill their obligations and provide accurate and timely reports. Integrity includes honoring the terms in each contract and delivering every promise to clients.

Conclusion

Accounting firms can remain relevant for decades, despite the continuous changes, if they learn to prepare for change. The management must invest in their team members by offering training and development opportunities. In addition, accountants must learn to adopt new ways of doing things fast, including new systems and programs if they want to stay on top.

 

 

 

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How to Improve Your Business Brand

If you have a business that is not doing as well as you hoped it would, then there can be many reasons for this to happen. Trying to identify the cause can be a long and laborious process. However, there can be ways that you can improve your brand awareness and its reach to get your company back on track.  Here are a few ways that you can rebuild your brand and make it more recognizable to your values.                                                                                                                     

Your Values

 Firstly, you need to think about the values of your company. Take a look at your website and other media, does it accurately reflect your values? If it doesn’t, then reevaluate the wording you are using to give it a closer match to your core values.  Then think about whether those values fit in with those of your customers and clients. It is important that you all know where you are going, and that you are happy with the way things are.

 

What Products Do You Buy? 

A little brainstorming is a good thing, think about what you buy as a customer. Think about what it is about the products you buy that makes you stay loyal to that brand.  What is it about the price, quality and presentation of the things you buy, that appeal to you? Once you have an idea of the aspects you like, you can apply the same fundamentals to your own company, and using similar tactics in your own company will lead to better performance.

Be Your Company’s Ambassador

 The best person to promote your company is you. If you believe enough in your company to become its biggest fan, then everyone else will see this and appreciate your effort. Try wearing a shirt or carrying a bag with your company name on it. Add a sticker to your car, or wear a color that signifies your company. It is the little things like these that can influence observers to become your customers. After all, if you won’t wear your brand, then who will?

Relaunch

 

If you think that there has to be a company relaunch to improve your sales, then try to do so in a creative way. Create a strategy to inform people about it so they know what is about to happen. Tease your customers with it, so it builds the intrigue and the anticipation. Many companies are good at doing this.   Try a different logo as well; you know how you want your company to be rebranded, so you are the ideal person to be the logo designer,  free software such as Adobe Spark has some great templates to get you started.

 

Promote

 You need to promote your company and its redesign effectively, or you will be back to where you were before. Think about the ways you promote your company and identify the areas that require improvement, turn your thoughts into a hard strategy to ensure that you take full advantage of your relaunch.  After all of this, you need to monitor how this new approach is working carefully. See if there is any increase in traffic to your site or more hits to your social media. Then you can see if your hard work has paid off, and be prepared to make adjustments until it has paid off.

 

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