with Simplicity Expert, A.Michelle Blakeley
In today’s fast-paced world, small business owners are even more hyper-connected and overloaded with information, choices, and distractions. One of the hardest things to determine is whether you’re on the right path or not. Great work requires taking risks. Couch Sessions offers practical information, new perspectives and quick tips to help point you in the right direction.
Are you a struggling, frustrated or just inquisitive small business owner? Got a question you just can’t seem to find the answer for? Please submit your small business questions in the comments section below. Be sure to bookmark and check this page each week, your question and the reply could appear right here in “Couch Sessions” for entrepreneurs and small business owners. This week on Couch Sessions…
My name is Adam Wright, owner of a line of honey bacon BBQ sauces called The Wright Sauce. As a small business owner that has been in business for a little less than a year, one thing I think other small businesses in my position could use help on is financing. Having a physical product that is selling well and in need and fulfilling PO’s can be a daunting task. Adam Wright , www.thewrightsauce.com
Some small business financing options you may want to research and consider are:
Purchase Order Financing. Based on the value of your purchase orders and/or contracts and anticipated future profits. The focus is on your customer and their reputation and credit history, not yours.
Credit Unions. Can be just as safe as a bank, but with better interest rates and flexible qualifications and terms. Customer service tends to be more attentive as well. Where are currently banking? Do you have an established relationship there? Start where and with people already know you.
Crowdfunding. If you have an established following, there are plenty of resources online for how to create an effective crowdfunding campaign (see below). You’ll want to carefully plan, effectively market and monitor your campaign. They take a lot of work and you should be mindful of the amount of preparation it takes to pull one off. Research some of the more successful campaigns and find out what made them work so well so that you have an idea on some benchmarks you need to work on and hit.
Friends and Family/Equity Financing. You have to give a little to get a little. You have to give a lot to get a lot. Equity financing generally involves high-risk, high-return. You are basically trading a percentage of your small business for a specified amount of money. Sometimes you can buy back all or a certain amount of the equity you gave up when become profitable. All terms are negotiable. Have a clear understanding on what your business is worth and be creative with what you are willing to offer.
Peer-to-Peer Lending. These are groups of small business owners and investors who are willing to lend money. Sometimes the rates tend to be better than banks and the returns are higher for the lenders.
Grants. Various professional organizations and associations provide small grants (upwards of $50,000) to small business owners. Are there any local or regional food industry associations or organizations in which you connect and network?
As with any financing, know what you are getting into. Clearly understand the risks involved. Consult an attorney and tax professional to ensure you are making informed decisions.
I am unable to find help with marketing B2B. I find that most of my customers do not use Facebook or Twitter to look for information. Most marketing either requires high dollar amount or is for B2C. Orit Pennington, http://www.tpgtex.com
When marketing to customers or other businesses, it is essential that you are not only speaking their language, but that you are communicating via channels they are accustomed to and use. It’s good that you at least know, your clients don’t use Facebook or Twitter to look for information on your service. How do you know this? Review and rethink your client profile. Who are they? Where are they? That’s where you need to be. Consider trade shows, conventions and associations as viable ways to get in the physical presence of your ideal clients and increase your opportunities to connect and speak with them directly.
Now let’s talk about YOU! Are you a struggling, frustrated or just inquisitive small business owner? Need help NOW? Click here or call (916) 287-1432
Couch Sessions is a weekly small business advice column designed to answer questions from struggling and/or simply inquisitive entrepreneurs. Micro Business Therapist™, A.Michelle Blakeley is a savvy, progressive and skilled small business professional with over two decades of experience in sustainable, holistic and progressive business practices who has successfully guided new and seasoned small business owners through the daily challenges of operating a small business with timely and transformative advice. She is featured in Forbes.com and the Financial Post as one of 30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter, contributor for the San Francisco Examiner and Women On Business; and curator of the online magazine, Micro Business Therapy™