Small Business Funding Investment Opportunities

You should never let a lack of funding stop you from attaining your goals in business, especially if that goal is to expand your business. There are many small business funding and investment opportunities that small businesses and entrepreneurs are able to take advantage of.

Funding sources, such as banks, government institutions, venture capitalists, and angel investors, are very diverse, so it is important to see what the requirements are for each type of lender or investor.

If you are seeking funding for an existing business or company, lenders are interested in finding out the history of your company. The kinds of things they will want to learn are things such as if your company has a good track record of management and performance skills. They will also want to know if you have the ability financially to be able to repay a loan, as well as what your current cash flow situation is. This will allow them to then figure if your business is capable of handling any extra debt. This is actually a good practice, because as much as you want to succeed, lenders want to see you succeed, as well.

Another factor that will come into play is you own personal credit history. If your own credit is great, you will get the loan; however, if you have problem credit or no credit at all, you may at first be declined, but you can talk with the lender to let them know what steps you have taken to turn your life and business around.

One way to make your chances of obtaining a loan better is to put up some form of collateral. This will help reduce the risk being taken by the lender in the event that you should default. This also shows lenders that you are willing to put your own personal property up for your business which shows confidence in your endeavors.

Sometimes, a loan will be declined because the presentation has been poorly written, there has not been enough collateral put up, there is not enough cash flow, or there is simply not the requisite amount of management experience needed.

Some of the main sources for small business funding and investment opportunities are:

Banks or credit unions, and sometimes finance companies are the primary sources of funding for small businesses. These institutions have small business departments that are experienced in handling small business loans. The best place to begin your search is at your own personal institution. It can work in your favor if you become more than just an acquaintance of the manager and the staff at the bank. Shy away from using the ATM for all of your business, and go inside and be friendly. This does not guarantee that you will get the loan, but it will help your presentation go much more smoothly.

As you can see, there is money out there for small businesses to take advantage of. With a carefully prepared proposal and the right approach, you will be able to obtain the funds that you need that will match your ability to repay.

Property Investment – Help, My Property Won’t Sell

It is commonly said that you make money when you buy, not when you sell. However, often this lesson is not learned until you try to sell a property. I remember the first property I tried to sell. It was a two-bedroom unit in a small complex of eight. A lovely unit… only four years old in an upmarket growing suburb. I was moving to another state in Australia and wanted the property sold, to enable me to buy another home in Queensland.

The property took over 12 months to sell. Three contracts fell over due to finance issues for the purchaser. That was my first experience in selling a property. The emotional roller-coaster was challenging. Initial excitement when the offer was negotiated and accepted, followed by confidence when the contract was signed, followed by disappointment when finance was not approved for the purchaser. The final emotion was frustration when the contract fell over. This happened three times.

Prior to this experience I believed properties took on average three months to sell, depending on the current market conditions. A few years later, we decided to sell one of our properties. This time it took close to two years to sell.

The property was a 2000 square metre property in a beautiful coastal holiday town. The property had zoning that allowed for the development of eight two and three-bedroom townhouses. The property was ideally located on the main road, a couple of hundred metres from the shopping precinct and beach, had two street access and was very close to community amenities such as a child-care centre, school and bus stop.

One month after we purchased the property we were offered $70,000 more than what we had paid for it. We had no intentions of selling the property at the time. Later, on realisation that we did not have the experience, contacts or time to develop the property, we decided to sell it. The first two offers we received were from developers. The offered a 12-month settlement contract. They would pay an upfront amount, with the balance paid in 12 months. This contract suited them. They got to hold the property with little money down. Negotiations could not get the terms of the contract suitable to both parties, and both contracts stalled.

In hindsight we should have accepted the contracts. These were the first two offers we received. We expected more offers to come in that didn’t have a 12-month settlement term. The market turned, developers pulled out of the market, residential construction slowed down and our property took an additional 18 months to sell. Holding a property for an additional 12 months to two years is not good from a cash-flow perspective.

It is important to consider the type of investor you are, before you risk buying a property that is wrong for your investment strategy. Don’t assume you can just sell a property if you need to. When selling, the market is in control. The market determines when it wants to buy, what it wants to buy and for how much. This experience provided one of our biggest lessons in property investing… know what type of investor you are, and be that type of investor only.

Small Struggling Business Owners — Go From “Struggling” to “Hundreds or Thousands of Dollars-Hour”

How many times have you heard a prospect say, “I can’t afford you”?

Or have you ever heard a client of yours say, “I can’t afford to __________ [fill in the blank…it may even be marketing they can’t afford.”

Have you even said that? Most of us have at one time or another.

That’s a sign of the way of thinking that KILLS a business. Looking at your business just slightly different can turn your struggles into hundreds or even thousands of dollars/hour in a very short time.

Many of us were taught to live within a budget, that we can’t spend more than we have. All of that sounds pretty logical to us….so we continue doing what we’ve always done and getting the same results…but we are hoping it will be different…It won’t be as long as we keep doing what we’ve always done.

I’m not encouraging you to “break your budget.” What I am suggesting is that you evaluate how you look at things.

Have you also heard that some people look at things as “glass half full” or “glass half empty”? Well, this is one of those times where, if we evaluate which side of that we are living on and start moving to the other we just might change from “building limits” around us and our business to “finding opportunities” to multiply us and our business.

If you had the opportunity to invest $1 that would generate $10, would you do it?

Or if, there was a different opportunity where $1 would return $100, or yet another $1 would return $1,000. Which opportunity would you spend your $1 on? That’s “abundance thinking.”

But, most of us are living in “scarcity” thinking. That’s where we perceive that we can’t spend because the budget isn’t going to allow it. I did say “PERCEIVE.” because it is ONLY a perception. You did spend money on something and there isn’t any of the budget left. You could have spent that money in a better place, maybe on one of those dollars that generated as much as a thousand. With this kind of thinking , we are LIVING with what the world, what the economy, what SOMEONE else has done TO us rather than DEFINING where we are going.

If we are saying, I can’t spend this or that, then, remember those $1 to $10, or $1 to $100, or$1 to 1,000 opportunities we had above? Then, in that “scarcity” thinking mode we very likely decided not to spend any of those dollars….”because we can’t afford it.”

What would happen, if, before making any decision we said, I’ll spend the $1 that will generate $1,000 and use the $1,000 to apply to the budget? How different is that from “I can’t spend that dollar” or any of the other dollars?

I do several seminars a month with business owners, and ask them this simple question, “What would you do the first month that your cash flow wouldn’t pay your overhead?” I always get the same answer.

It starts off with, “I guess I’d have to cut my overhead.” To which I reply, “What is it that you won’t pay this month? Rent, Utilities?” There is a gasp from the room.

Then I ask them, if that won’t work, what will you do next? To which they reply, “I guess I’ll cut my marketing.” Once I show them that Marketing is a MUST and that if $1 spent on marketing generates more than it costs, (that’s the $1 to $10, $1 to $100, or $1 to $1,000) that they just CUT their cash flow, they just cut their business’s throat and it’s life is bleeding out all over the floor. It’s a downward spiral from here. It will only generate less and less every month as each month we decide to spend less on marketing and get less out. There is a reason that the Small Business Administration says that over 80% of all start ups will fail within a couple of years, and 90% within 5 years.

By changing from “what I can’t do” to “what I will do” and “what should I invest in” while looking for the multipliers we can turn a failing business into a business that is generating 10, 100, or even 1,000 times more.

I’ve seen just about “every reason not to spend” that there is, and what it can do once we change to “looking for the opportunities.” One business said they couldn’t spend money on marketing “because they didn’t have it” but the business plan said, spend “$3,000 at the beginning of the month and it will generate $100,000 within 30 days. They just kept saying “I don’t have the money.” I showed them that they could borrow the money. They said they couldn’t afford it for another 2 months, while another $30,000 flowed OUT. Then they borrowed the money, and they are a $750K business now.

Another of my clients who was near shutting down said “I can’t___________” and all it took was deciding where and how they would invest money in their business and they went to $6,000 an hour within a two months.”

So, have you been thinking “I can’t_________ [fill in the blank]” instead of looking for the opportunities?