The most successful small businesses are always looking with confidence into the future. If you have a slowing business in a growth industry such as retail, construction, manufacturing, or agriculture; it may be time to do some internal soul searching. Ask yourself, “Why is your business slowing down or not growing?”
Business Growing Pain
When you first start open your business; enthusiasm, passion, energy, etc. all all at their absolute peak. Your business plan is still fresh, your invested capital is having it’s initial impact, and all of your team has dived head first into a new venture. And those these days are most certainly contained the longest hours and the lowest compensation, they are often the most rewarding as you can finally see your initial vision being realized.
After fighting through this infancy stage, satisfaction usually gives way to lethargy or complacency. It is common for this to happen when a business reaches the high six figure to low seven figure marks in revenue. This is really the mark when a business and a business owner are tested. They can either contract, stand still, or take it to the next level.
Taking Personal Inventory
Every business owner must ask himself tough questions at key moments in the lifespan of his or her business. Am I doing something wrong? Am I meeting my customers needs? Can I capture more market share? Am I keeping up with the competition? Am I loosing market share that I should otherwise be getting? Am I satisfied with the level of awareness of my company in the market place? Are we equipped to handle the demand we have based on our current capacity. These questions are essential in determining a businesses prospects for the future. They must be looked at clearly and analytically and the conclusions drawn from asking these questions need to be acted upon by the responsible businessman or woman looking to maximize their businesses potential.
Expand or Die
Businesses are like sharks. They either keep moving or they die a slow death. The best way to break out of the lethargy stage described above is by expanding. By expanding; whether it be opening a new branch or location, increasing production capacity, adding new products or services, or exploring all new verticals; an existing business can rediscover the drive, energy, and innovation that created it in the first place. These less tangible benefits can be reaped while at the same time creating the tangible benefits of expanding into new markets, increasing market share, and exploring ancillary markets. All of this leading to increased sales and profits. All of this sounds great, I’m sure. The question is how? Obviously the biggest obstacle to this type of expansion is capital resources required to make such a move.
Funding Your Expansion
If your business is like most businesses, you may find it difficult to self- finance any significant form of expansion. In this case, a business loan is the obvious solution. Prior to applying for a business loan of any type, any business owner would need to do a detailed analysis of the needs of it’s business to make sure that the financing acquired fit that particular businesses present needs and objectives for the future. This must also be weighed against the benefits of the expansion to make the best determination on how to move forward. You have to make sure that expanding your business is going to benefit the bottom line. It is also imperative to determine if the financing available can be acquired at a cost that the business can handle and if there will be an effect on current production during this expansion phase.
Obtaining a Business Loan
The first option most businesses consider when seeking funds for expansion is obviously a business loan. There are obviously countless banks and credit unions that offer business loans. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them suffer from tight money policies. Even if a business meets their criteria the process can be extremely lengthy and very frustrating for businesses. We are talking about weeks, and sometimes even months just to get all of the documentation in order. This can bureaucratic process can go a long way in diminishing the excitement and energy of the business owner in regards to the expansion. Because of this a lot of business owners are forced to seek alternative means to acquire funding for their expansion.
Business Loan Alternatives
A merchant cash advance is an alternative that more and more businesses are turning to to make their expansion dreams come true. This type of funding is not only faster, but requires a great deal less documentation and red tape to receive. In addition, this type of funding is based upon the company’s revenue as opposed to the business owner’s personal credit. This means that in a lot of cases the projected revenue of the expansion can be taken into account, allowing the business to receive a larger amount from the advance than would otherwise be possible. Repayment may also be made easier because the money can be obtained in a timely fashion and used strategically to take advantage of the time when the expansion will have the most impact. In business, timing is everything, and it is important to strike while the iron is hot. If you expand at a less than opportune time because of waiting for the needed funds you can cost yourself a lot of the money and benefits that would have otherwise be accrued.
Business growth is business health, so it’s not a matter to be taken casually. Standing pat will not cut it. Because while you’re standing still, someone is approaching in the rear view mirror. And guess what, they are armed to the teeth will all the vigor, energy, enthusiasm, and ideas, that served you so well in the beginning. When you see them getting ever so closer, or see yourself falling ever so farther behind, a merchant cash advance might be just the booster you need to turbo charge your business and put it into overdrive. This may be a tough decision to make, but it’s one that you could look back on the key in getting your business out of stasis mode and up to that next level that you always dreamed about in the first place. That dream does not have to be deferred with the alternative sources of funding now available, it has never been easier for and existing to reach the heights of it’s full potential. Grab the bull by the horns and best of luck to all the great entrepreneurs in our midst. Your dreams, hard work, risk taking, ingenuity, sacrifice, and good old fashioned hustle are what truly make this economy go and help this country shine ever so brightly.