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Traditional sources of financing business such as bank loans pose a challenge to small and medium businesses. In particular, innovative, new, and fast growing enterprises with higher risk profiles can’t get the funds they need from conventional sources.  The same is the case for firms in transition like those in the process of changing ownership or control.

Every business needs funding at different stages such as when starting, embarking on a new project, during expansion or when finding its footing following losses. External financing in the form of just right loans is the most suitable means of achieving these objectives. In fact, external financing is essential to start, meet operating expenses such as payroll and inventory, and to grow the business.

Challenges of obtaining a bank loan for enterprises

Financing is a major hurdle facing most enterprises. Yet, many entrepreneurs are intimidated by the prospect of obtaining funds from the traditional sources, especially the banks. This is because these institutions set high lending standards which few enterprises can meet.

The situation is such that it is difficult for small businesses to find, request for, and obtain financing. Most financial experts think that this problem stems from the fact that most enterprises don’t take time to prepare for the process. They say that the issues around bank loans can be sorted out through due diligence.

This means that entrepreneurs looking to obtain external financing must have all the necessary documents needed by the lenders. This may work for established business. However, the problem remains for innovative, newer, and fast growing enterprises with higher risk profiles.

Alternative sources of Entrepreneurship Financing

To overcome the challenge of obtaining financing from conventional sources, many entrepreneurs are exploring new approaches to funding. This means that the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who think outside the box. They think creatively about what they have to offer and also how to secure funding.

They know relationships are the key to securing funding, so the develop quality networks. Their approach is to sell themselves, more than what they have to offer, to secure all alternative sources of financing. Also, they remain open minded and never rule out any approach.

Some of the top new approaches include-

Personal financing

The most successful entrepreneurs use their own resources to start the business. They save money over time and grow a fund they can use to start the venture. They also know that no investor will finance a deal where the entrepreneur has no financial stake in it. Personal financing is necessary to get the idea off the ground.

Personal credit lines

Credit cards come to the rescue of many small businesses. They are easy to get because they don’t need a lot of credit history. In fact, there are many startups that have used this approach. The main benefit is that the entrepreneur retains complete control and ownership while meeting the minimum payments.

IRA financing

The Investment Retirement Account monies and 401k’s are among the most accessible alternative financing sources for new businesses today. An entrepreneur can easily find many people willing to loan them money from their funds for the right terms. However, the entrepreneur must sell themselves and their idea to the lenders.

Microloans

There are private lenders and non-profit organizations that offer small business loans. These can be useful to entrepreneurs who can’t qualify for bank loans. Also, they are suitable for micro business.

Online lenders are useful for entrepreneurs who lack collateral, need financing quickly and lack a track record.

Crowdfunding

The internet has revolutionized the way many things are done including business funding. Now entrepreneurs can find a group of likeminded people who can back their businesses through small contributions. This approach is evolving beyond non-profits and will soon include small equity investments.

Peer to peer financing

In this approach, a group of peers comes together to help each other financially. This approach can be used for a wide variety of financial needs. Entrepreneurs can use it to find successful peers willing to finance them.

Vendor financing

In this approach, the entrepreneur talks the manufacturers and suppliers of goods and services into deferring their payments until the products are sold. This can lead to an extension of payment terms to a duration of months or longer. However, this depends on the entrepreneur’s creditworthiness and payment of additional fees.

Purchase order financing

Purchase order financing firms enable new businesses to overcome scaling problems. Most startups are unable to accept large orders because of lack of funds to make and deliver the products. Purchase order financing firms provide the needed amounts of cash directly to the suppliers. This enables the deal to be closed, and profit to accrue to the new business.

Account receivables

This approach is similar to purchase order financing. The difference is that the funds are provided to cover unpaid balances not yet due or received from clients. This approach is useful for high volume new business beginning to scale up. It provides the funds on the sales immediately instead of waiting for payment which can stretch from 30 -60 days or longer.

Family and friends

Many successful entrepreneurs tap into this resource. Usually, the commitments are positioned in writing as bridge loans or promissory notes. These can be converted to equity at a rate decided by other investors later on.

In conclusion

Every business needs funding at various stages such as when starting, embarking on a new project, during expansion or when finding its footing following losses. External financing in the form of loans is the most suitable means of achieving these objectives.

 Yet, traditional lending institutions have set high lending standards which few enterprises can meet. To overcome this challenge of obtaining financing from conventional sources, many entrepreneurs are exploring new approaches to funding.

They think creatively about what they have to offer and also how to secure funding. Their approach is to sell themselves, more than what they have to offer, to secure all alternative sources of financing. Also, they remain open minded and never rule out any approach.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Online comparators are the best allies to help you find the loan you need

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When applying for a loan, it is common for people to look forward to having the complete information at hand in order to choose the type of credit and the financial institution that better suits their needs. Online comparators are an excellent online resource, as they explain in detail the best options for users to select the credit product with the most favourable conditions for them.

For many years now, loans have established themselves as one of the best ways to obtain the necessary liquidity to address a wide variety of issues, from financial hardship, to entrepreneurial projects, mortgages and more.

One of the countries where credit supply is one of the widest is the United States, which is due to its strong economic development in all sectors and the fact that it is one of the main drivers of the world economy.

In this sense, there is a wide diversity of ways to obtain money for a vast number of purposes. It is very common in the United States to apply for loans to financiate a trip, to pay fines, to reunify debts, to buy a house or a car, to start a business, etc.

For each type of need there are different categories of loans: personal loans, quick loans, credit cards, mortgages or government loans. It all depends on what the capital is required for, how much is needed and how the amount received is to be repaid, and the respective interest that is to be paid.

How to get the ideal funding?

It is very common to have many doubts when it comes to obtaining financing, especially in the United States, where the range of options is quite wide. This is where the internet plays a fundamental role.

Nowadays, specialised platforms can be visited on the internet to obtain detailed information on all the types of loans that exist, including comparisons of financial institutions and their products, so that the user can select the one that meets his requirements and has the best conditions.

These days, one of the types of financing that are well sought-after are quick loans, which are ideal for getting out of financial difficulties, especially those unforeseen events that sometimes arise when you do not have the necessary liquidity. These are credit products for which few requirements are asked, with short contracting times and with the possibility of receiving the amount the same day.

There are comparative websites that present users with the best fast loan alternatives available in the United States, including options for those who for one reason or another have a low credit rating or simply no credit rating at all. These alternatives are called bad credit or no credit loans.

These platforms analyse the best quick loans and disclose all the details, so that users do not get any unpleasant surprises.

Government loans are in high demand

Another type of loan that has been in high demand in the United States lately are the government loans. There is also a wide variety of alternatives for this type of loan, so it is difficult for many people to know if they are ideal candidates for one.

Digital platforms are also an excellent support in this regard. They  provide users with all the necessary information so they can find out all the details that will allow them to take advantage of the credit options offered by the US government.

There are very useful online resources that can be of great help for people to find government loans for which they can qualify, i.e. for which they may be eligible.

Among the categories of government credits that these platforms analyse are agricultural loans, education loans, commercial loans, housing loans, veterans’ loans, loan repayment loans and much more. In fact, there are web portals that allow you to check your eligibility among more than 1,000 types of benefits.

These portals usually have a loan search engine that consists of a questionnaire to be answered by the user, which allows the user to filter through all the alternatives and review only those that fit the profile and requirements.

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Strategies to Have in Place When Launching a New Product on Your E-Commerce

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When launching a new product on your e-commerce website, there are several strategies you need to have in place in order to ensure its success. You want to ensure that you create a buzz around the product before it even hits the shelves and that you have a plan for marketing and selling it once it becomes available. This blog post will discuss some of the most important strategies you need to consider when launching a new product.

Create a Buzz: 

One of the most important things you can do when launching a new product is to create a buzz around it before it even hits the shelves. There are several ways you can go about doing this. You can start by releasing teaser images or videos on your social media channels or even holding a contest where people can win the product before it launches. This will get people talking and excited about the product, and they’ll be more likely to buy it once it does become available.

Another way to create a buzz is to reach out to influencers in your industry and see if they’d be interested in featuring the product on their own channels. This can help spread the word quickly and get people talking about the product before it even launches.

You can also try to get press coverage for the product. This can be done by reaching out to media outlets and pitching them the product launch story. Getting some press coverage leading up to the launch will help create a buzz and get people talking about the product.

Marketing and Sales Plan: 

Once the product is available for purchase, you need to have a plan in place for marketing and selling it. This will include things like setting up a landing page on your website, creating social media posts and ads and reaching out to your email list. You want to ensure that you’re doing everything possible to drive traffic to the product page and get people interested in buying it.

It would help if you also had a plan for post-purchase follow-up. This includes things like sending thank-you emails, providing customer support, and offering discounts or coupons for future purchases. By following up with customers after they’ve bought the product, you can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, and you’ll be more likely to make sales down the road.

IT and Technicalities: 

When launching a new product, you also need to have an IT strategy in place. This includes setting up a testing environment, ensuring that the website can handle increased traffic, and ensuring that all of the payment and shipping systems are working correctly. By having an IT-strategie in place, you can avoid any potential issues that could arise during the launch and ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Following these strategies can set your new product up for success. For example, creating a buzz before the launch will help increase interest and sales, and having a marketing and sales plan will ensure that you’re able to drive traffic to the product page and make sales. Additionally, an IT strategy is essential for avoiding any potential issues that could occur during the launch. Having all these strategies in place can ensure that your new product launch is a success.

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Scale Up Your Small Business And Accelerate Your Customer Base

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Small businesses can get lost in the sea of other similar businesses if they aren’t careful. There are hundreds of new businesses added to the market every day. Therefore, it is important for new business owners to know what to do in order to enhance their business and attract and win over as many customers as possible.

From improving the experience of your business website to giving customers regular discounts, here is how to scale up your small business and accelerate your customer base.

Offer the best product/service experience

Whether you are creating a new product or service to offer to customers, you will want to make it as good as possible so that the customers are not disappointed. Offering the best product/service possible will make sure to win over customers and maintain their attention. Any fault with your product/service could result in them looking elsewhere.

For instance, let’s say you are a new music teacher that wants to start a business teaching teeangers fresh out of college. If so, you will want the best equipment possible so that they can have the most fun and attain the best results. Hence, you could invest in equipment usch as Drum Machines for Beginners so that the students can create drum sounds that sound like the real thing. This will make their music creations much easier and more professional, which will help them gain more confidence in their education, creations, and results.

Improve your small businesses website experience for customers

Another important aspect to focus on when you are trying to scale up your small business and attract as many people as possible is to improve your website experience. Like a faulty product/service, if your website is difficult to use or faulty, then a customer will soon lose interest.

You should consider working with website designers so that you create the most efficient website for your small business. Thereafter, ensure to maintain its speed, SEO, and updates so that it runs smoothly.

Make more marketing efforts

Marketing techniques are important to focus on and get right if you want to enhance your brand awareness and attract more customers.

The more you focus on your marketing, the more traffic you will gain. Being active on social media, improving your website SEO, and using various means of marketing will ensure that you can reach a wider audience, which should hone in more customers and help your small business make more sales.

Build a great customer service team

Giving your customers the best customer service possible will ensure that they maintain their satisfaction. Good customer service includes:

Being friendly

Offering fast responses

Always helping no matter if there is an issue or a compliment

You should consider adding a live chat service to your website so that customers can attain immediate responses to their queries. Thereafter, you could also encourage customers to message you through your social media channels if they want to ask a question. Having one or two people monitoring the channels will ensure that the customers get a quick response.

It is always beneficial to train all members of the team to be as friendly and as helpful as possible when dealing with customers. Making sure that every customer is treated fairly will result in happy customers. Happy customers will likely be regular customers. They will provide your business with positive feedback, which will encourage more customers to try your small business and help it grow.

Ask for customer feedback

Speaking of customer feedback, this is another important task to tick off when you are looking to scale up your business.

Customer feedback will help you understand what people truly think to your business. Although negative feedback can feel upsetting, it is good to take it on board and use it wisely to adjust your business. The feedback will help you align your business with customer expectations, which will result in customer satisfaction and a more successful business.

Make good first impressions

Alike customer service, your first impression should also be top tier. If you get off on the wrong foot with a customer, then it won’t look good. Although nobody is perfect, it is smart to be friendly, helpful, and of good service. The better impression you make, the more encouraged a customer will be to come back time and time again to use your business.

Good first impressions will also filter through in conversation. For example, an impressed customer might encourage their friend to try your business. New customers equal more sales and greater success.

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