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3 Tips For Qualifying For a Business Loan

Since the economic recession in 2008, lending levels at banks have increased moderately. As the economy continues to grow and recover, entrepreneurs turn to banks and other lending sources to help in expanding their businesses to keep up with market demand. As a result of the Great Recession, most banks have restructured their business lending criteria to reflect increased scrutiny of business loan proposals and this makes it harder for business owners to qualify for a business loan. Although it’s difficult to obtain a business loan compared to a decade ago, there are several key tips that can help increase the likelihood of obtaining a business loan.

Tip One: An Existing Banking Relationship

The first tip in strengthening your loan proposal is to have an existing banking relationship. You can exponentially increase the chances of obtaining a loan by applying with a bank that holds either personal or business checking accounts. Banks make money by charging more interest on loans than they pay out for deposits. By applying for a loan with a bank you have deposits with, they can make exceptions to their lending policy based on the longevity of relationship with you. The number one unspoken rule of commerce is people like to do business with people they know, like, and trust.

Tip Two: Present a Clear and Practical Business Loan Proposal

The second tip in qualifying for a loan is to present a clear and practical plan. Can you imagine the number of business loan requests the banker receives on a daily basis? Although most bankers won’t admit this, but they LOVE to receive business loan proposals that are clear and practical. Ideally, the loan proposal should only cover the highlights of the business project in addition to key facts on the borrower. The purpose of the business loan proposal is to spark the banker’s interest to learn more about the loan opportunity and possibly pursue a deal. A key document in the proposal is the Executive Summary because it explains in summary the purpose and intent of the business loan opportunity. This document is typically one page in length with key sections disclosing the loan opportunity, profit potential of the project, repayment analysis, and collateral analysis.

Tip Three: Have a Compelling Presentation

In addition to having a clear and practical proposal, there’s a need to have a compelling presentation to aid in enticing the banker to approve the deal. Bankers are often frustrated with loan inquiries because they have no focus and lack organization. Bankers analyze over a hundred deals a week and most are sporadic phone calls or walk in clients that inquire loosely about loan opportunities with no firm basis of conversation. Clear and organized paperwork are key components in getting the banker’s attention and promptly progressing through the loan underwriting and approval process.

As the economy continues to grow and recover from the Great Recession, banks are re-establishing proper business lending guidelines to help markets expand at an appropriate rate. Entrepreneurs continue to experience difficulties in obtaining business loans, but with these three tips, they can increase their chances of getting a loan to grow their business and increase their cash flow.

Small Business Management – 2 Tips for Effectively Leading Employees

In today’s Lean Start Up culture of small business, the major thought among many owners and operators is the need to output products and services at an optimal quality and high level of productivity that satisfies market demand. Naturally, the adherence to these principles increases the probability of the business to experience robust revenue and profit growth in addition to increasing market share. For the most part, these outcomes are desired highly by small business owners, but they also pose a considerable business risk in the form of employee mismanagement.

The labor component of any business easily can account for at least 30% of the total cost structure depending on the business model utilized (i.e. manufacturing, retail, service). Thus, management prioritizes its monitoring and oversight of this cost component to ensure proper balance and alignment with production output and ultimately market demand. In doing this, though, employees are often treated as components of a business’s production cycle instead of human beings. The tendency of management to treat and manage employees as objects rather than people can have a negative impact on the business both in the short and long-term.

Owners of small businesses can and should learn to “lead” and not manage their employees. Webster’s Dictionary Online defines management as “the act or process of deciding how to use something”. Since most small businesses consist of no more than 5 employees including the owner, there’s a close camaraderie among employees and owners that helps in making the production process more flexible and agile in regards to changes in market demand. The downside to this strength is that management fails to learn how to lead their staff. As a result, employees are not empowered to think in creative ways to enhance the business’s competitive advantage for the long-term. Instead, they are relegated to menial and automated tasks similar to a machine. We are not discounting or understating the value of an employee that performs menial and automated tasks, but it’s management’s responsibility to ensure that each and every employee’s ability is maximized for the business’s success.

Two key small business management tips for “leading” employees are:

Tip One: Reward and Recognize Employees Early and Often
The implementation of this first tip is easy and straightforward. The power of getting results with this tip is from a commitment to consistency. Small business owners should set up a personnel reward and recognition system that incentives their staff for taking calculated risk within their scope of work to think creatively in enhancing the long-term competitive advantage of the business. Examples include gift cards, certificates, novelty items, etc. The goal here is to reinforce behavior that adds value to the business and these come from leading them to think creatively of ways to do their jobs better and more efficiently.

Tip Two: Delegate Effectively
This second tip focuses on empowering your employees rather than micro managing them. Effective managers know that the line between empowerment and micro managing is slim, but with experience and foresight, managers can implement this tip with ease as well. Empowering employees is all about clearly communicating expectations and vesting authority in them to accomplish the desired goal. Delegating effectively holds amazing value for owners of small businesses because it’s a way for them to replicate themselves exponentially.

The 7 Forces Of Business Mastery

Starting with the end in mind, I want you to envision consistently creating raving fans and a raving culture for your business. Everything you are doing is to accomplish this goal.

1. Know where you really are. Create a business map to get from where you are to where you want to be.

2. Constant, Strategic Innovation. All business fundamentally comes down to 2 core things. Marketing and Innovation. These are the only 2 things that make money in any business.

3. Constant and Never Ending Improvement of World-Class Marketing and Product Promises. Your products and services must be the best.

4. Constant and Never Ending Improvement of Sales Mastery Systems. Do you use a system to succeed?

5. Constant Anticipation for the power of financial and legal analysis. Most people don’t pay attention to this until it is too late. Every successful business needs advisers for legal and financial issues.

6. Constant Optimization and Maximization. Draw out the experience your customer goes through and see where you can add more value to this process. Most people are blind to advertising because we are bombarded by it. People will remember the experience they have and how they felt after interacting with you.

7. Constantly Create Raving Fans and Culture. People are going to keep buying and will stick around. Remember your best customer is your current customer.

Now ask yourself some quality questions. Listed below are the exact questions Steve Jobs asked his team when he revolutionized Apple.

1. What business are you in? Their first answer was they were in the computer business.

2. The next question was, what business are you REALLY in? We are actually in the business of connecting people with their greatest passion.

3. What business do we NEED to be in? We are in the computer business, but we NEED to be in the music business. This is when the iPod and iTunes were created. These same questions then led them in the iPhone business.

Now ask these questions of yourself. Why did you get into your business originally? Why are you in it now? Every business needs 3 types of people to be successful.

1. People Who Are Entrepreneur Minded

2. Managers and Leaders.

3. Artists To Implement Your Concepts

If you personally don’t have all these qualities, team up with those who do. Implement these 7 forces, ask yourself critical questions, and watch your business flourish into what you dreamed it would be.