Financing Problems for Small Business Owners

I came across this absurd news from Wall Street Journal yesterday about how small business owners are having problems getting financing from banks. To summarize, WSJ mentioned that many small business owners are denied loan applications for starting new business or business expansion. In some cases the business already had committed orders from customers and only needed money to ramp up production or hiring to start the work.
However, in almost all cases their applications were denied on the basis that they did not have sufficient cash flow to cover the payment. In the past, the business owners used to put business assets such as account receivables, inventory, equipments, etc. as collateral to get the loan. The valuation on these assets has declined in the recent downturn and is not sufficient to cover the loan payment.
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Do you know how well your business is performing?

If you answer this question with “Oh! It’s OK” or “Just like everyone else”; without backing that up with the sales, cost or profit numbers your business may be heading for trouble.
Whenever we meet with our business colleagues and clients we ask this general question to get a sense of whether the business owner has a grip on his/her business. Many times the answers are what we mentioned earlier. We probe them further by asking follow-up questions such as “why do you say so?” or “how is it compared to others or last year?” and if they don’t have good numbers to explain, we know they need to work on getting a handle on their business.
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Pros and Cons of Multi-unit Operations

Many of the business owners who expand from a single unit to multi-unit operations fail and even end in a worse situation than before. It’s human nature to think of a simple math – if you are making $100K from one unit; you should be able to make $200K from two, right? They may go even further thinking that the outcome should be more than $200K when you include all the synergy you can derive from multiple units.
Even though there is some truth in this argument the reality is operating a multi-unit business is hard work. You need to think long and hard before expanding and consider the pros and cons of multi-unit operations before making a decision. Below I have tried to highlight some of the key points to consider in terms of the benefits and pitfalls.
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How can you beat large business with deep pockets?

Customer Service
It is not only possible to fight with large business; but to win big in this battle. Are you the owner of small business that is fighting for customers and sales with the big, national chains? How do you win the battle when you know you are outnumbered in every way? I just found out how one such business is doing one customer at a time.
I was at the auto mechanic shop the other day to fix the coolant leakage on my old car. The service I received there made me think what it takes to make a first-time customer come back for the rest of his life. Let me explain…
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Welcome to Angel Business Advisors Blog

Angel Business Advisors
It was more than a year ago when I sold my small business to focus on family and personal life. The journey for me had started 5 years before that and it was a heck of a ride. I saw many ups and downs – challenges, opportunities, excitement, frustration all wrapped in one package. I know most of you are thinking – “Are you talking about you or me.”

Since the time I sold my business I have been inching to go back those exciting days  – something that would give back to the small business community I dearly love and share my experience and knowledge with those who may still be enjoying the ride or thinking about jumping on board.

And so I am jumping back in the small business world with this blog along with my consulting / advising business. This blog is about small business – be it in the form of a franchise or stand alone operation. I plan to cover a variety of topics that are on top of the mind for all business owners. These include; but not limited to, financing, purchasing, marketing, operations, customer service, employee relations, and overall management of small business. In short, this blog is targeted to the Chief Everything Officer of a small business – YOU!!  If you are an existing business owner or thinking about starting a business you will benefit from this blog.

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