Once a week, PointBlank will deliver a roundup of small business news and advice from around the nation.
Hit The Books Before Hitting The Bank
I’ve been more optimistic about the lending environment of late, bolstered by slightly sunnier reports and an increasing demand for financing I’m seeing firsthand. I do think that optimism is warranted.
That said, you can’t waltz into a bank or capital lender with your name and phone number and expect them to make it rain dollar bills for you. In fact, a recent report from Gaebler indicates that the Small Business Administration is among the institutions that have been more stringent than ever before over the last year.
The key is preparation. Make sure you know what kind of financing you’re looking for, have your credit history and other financial information ready to hand over when you apply and be nimble on your feet in case questions come your way. By preparing, you not only improve your chances of getting a loan, period, but also your chances of getting one the first time you try.
Heck, you may even need to work on several drafts of your business plan. Just be ready.
Rise Of Immigrant-Owned Business
The creation of new small businesses has slowed somewhat in recent years, owing to the state of the economy. Hearing that new small businesses are being created is always a plus, especially if they’re created by immigrants chasing the American dream. Or, in the case of the linked article, the Canadian dream.
Many of these new entrepreneurs fit a unique market niche. With an increasing number of native Spanish-speaking citizens in the United States and Canada, the demand for businesses that can service customers who speak both is rapidly growing.
It’s something to keep in mind, especially if you happen to be bilingual. To keep the discussion rolling, how many languages do you speak?
Don’t Overdo The Metrics
There’s no doubt that tracking and analyzing everything from sales figures to conversion rates for marketing campaigns is a critically important piece of your business. I’m not here to tell you otherwise.
I am here to tell you that in order to be an effective business, you must pair those metrics with an understanding of human interaction. Set policies that look good in your metrics but will be impossible for your employees to enforce consistently and you’re going to run into trouble.
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