5 Sources of Financing For Small Business Growth

In the experience of many small businesses over the years, one thing is certain – no matter what type of business you start, it is going to require money from somewhere. Although many entrepreneurs are one-person companies, raising sufficient money is often overlooked seriously by many new startups. The word sufficient here is defined as the amount of money that will really make this business succeed through practical and aggressive means.

Most of the time, the passion of starting a new business overtakes common sense and a real clear idea of the startup and operating capital needed is lacking. So it is advised that when you consider shopping for money to start your business, that you do so after completing some form of a business plan. Even if you take money out of your own pocket or borrow on the equity on your home or from your credit card, it is essential that you know ahead of time that it will be well spent.

Let’s take a look at the most popular options for financing small companies.

Credit Cards

This is the easiest type of money to obtain. According to the Small and Medium Size Business Survey of 2007 by the National Small Business Association (NASB) credit cards are the number 1 financing choice of 61% of businesses of 0 to 4 employees. Frequently, the instant that a small business is formed, the owner takes the EIN number to the bank and starts a checking account. Oftentimes, these small business owners are encouraged to sign up for a credit card and offered favorable terms (sometimes 0% financing) for the first few months.

The problem with credit cards is that the interest rate is often very high at 15 to 20% + and according to the NASB, 71% of small and medium-sized businesses are carrying balances from month to month. This has grown from 64% in 2000. The amount of interest expense carried thus obviously affects profitability and cash flow. If credit cards are used as the principal source of financing, the situation is even worse because the amount borrowed is often higher in this case.

The advantage of credit cards is that there are no barriers to this form of borrowing. This is easy money to obtain. There is no system of checks and balances to ensure that the purpose for which the financing is being carried out is qualified by formal business planning and review.

Earnings of the Business

This may seem a bit obvious, but plowing cash back into the firm from earnings is a form of financing. It is important to keep that in mind, because the cash that becomes available from operations could alternatively be used as a distribution to owners or shareholders. Some of these owners may require that they receive distributions. Depending on the stage of the business, this could have deleterious effects on the business, with respect to growth.

Putting money back into the business should be done consciously, with a clear idea for what specifically the money will be used. If the money is getting put back strictly to grow inventory, it may take a much longer time to grow the business. However, if the money is getting put back to invest in systems and people that represent critical choke points in the current business operations, that is a much better plan for higher growth.

Line of Credit

This could come in the form of a business asset or home secured loan. This means that the bank will utilize the company’s property (equipment, building, accounts receivables) or personal property (usually your home) to ensure that they will obtain significant value in the event that you default on your loan. This is also a much easier form of loan to obtain however is best used for incremental financing not a major infusion of cash.

Bank Loan

One of the best strategies early in the business is to establish good relationships with a community bank in your area with assets around $100 to $200 million. Ideally, their investments in the sub-prime mortgage business are limited so that their interest in lending in general is not tainted. Discuss your business and forthcoming lending interests with the individual that has the final say so on the loan approval. Unsecured loans will be the only option for new businesses and usually have serious limitations on the amount that can be financed and usually comes with higher interest rates.

Private Equity Firms

These are venture capital or private investors that will invest in your business in return for some direct control (or say so) into company matters so that they can extract the return that they expect from your company. This requires that you carefully choose from people/firms with whom you develop a good rapport and that are familiar with your type of business.

Private equity is a good choice for small businesses that need to move to the next level due to limitations on the current business that presents obstacles to growth. This is because, the firms that will invest their money will want to see a good operating and financial track record before they inject their money.

Good advice for small companies at this level is to hire an investment banker. Although this carries a cost to achieve this financing, it allows the banker to attend to this specialized form of financing and allow you to keep focused on running your business. One thing is certain, you will be required to complete a formal business plan for this option.

Certain Online Marketing Stratagems That Are Essential in 2017

Online marketing has imposed a big impact on both the smaller & bigger organizations. In fact, it is actually wiping out the traditional marketing through its approach. The concept of online marketing is also relative and varies from organization to organization depending on their amplitude, work culture & capital. With a lot of techniques that belong to different categories, online marketing has a bouquet of strategies for all the organizations, whether small or large, whether with a huge capital investment not.A big part of the online marketers think that online marketing is limited to SEO, SMO & SEM, where in reality, a lot of other online marketing strategies have already arrived at the end of 2016 and some of them are still coming since the beginning of 2017. So, as the field of online marketing is quite vast and very much volatile, therefore, the biggest online marketing experts always do the experiment and upgrade themselves to cope up with these changes.But geniuses are geniuses and we can’t wait for being one of them without doing nothing. So, before we lose the game and stay backward, here are certain strategies for you that are dominantly impacting the field of online marketing in the present year of 2017 too!Voice searchNot to say much, Google itself is emerging to the voice call search process. As online marketing majorly works around the search protocol, so the evolution of this latest search technique makes the game easier! Search by voice takes comparatively lesser time and freedom to choose the language users to want and is practically a very optimized method than the general search because it is easier and rapid in terms of showing results on the SERPs. With the rapid growth of voice search on the smartphones over almost all the countries of the world, the reach of this type of search has grabbed half the world of online marketing with its flexibility, smoothness and facilitated terms & conditions.Niche Content CurationGoogle now supports GIFs & videos on the SERPs that directly approach the viewers once they open the page. Once any topic is searched, along with the text contents and images, videos and GIF files also open up to optimize the understanding of the users. The crawler of Google crawls the websites and find out the videos and GIFs and when anyone searches for the niche term, the related videos and GIFs are displayed from the cache. This process has already started in the larger portion of the USA and in the near future, it is expected that this feature will dominate the entire virtual world.Mobile Responsive MarketingThe ‘big switch’ from the big screen to the small screen, more specifically, from desktop to smartphones has compelled the invention of responsive content. As more and more people are accessing the websites through the smartphones, along with the design, the contents need to be mobile friendly. To keep pace with this change, the online marketing strategies are also evolving into being mobile responsive.Live Streaming Cuts The Snow!To redeem online marketing from its old, almost obsolete freezing mode, the social media sites have launched the live streaming in the year 2016. The concept clarifies the objective that checking out the ‘at present scenario’ of the host makes the branding strong. With the help of the faster internet facility and the omnipresence of the smartphones, live video streaming channelizes the constant flow of endorsement and grab the attention of more public. As the amenity gets more and more attention, it is to hope that in the present year, we are going to get this feature more optimized.The ‘Go Getter’ Influencer MarketingInfluencer marketing is the latest in, in the online marketing in 2016. As a consequence, more and more industries are striving to apply this strategy, but without a proper knowledge of how to leverage it for a proper business progression. As influencer marketing focuses less on the direct approach to the targeted group of customers and focuses more on the key leaders or influencers to generate more traffic to your business, it empowers the online marketing from a new perspective.Content Marketing & Dense ContentContent density is the major requirement of organic SEO services. High-quality content and proper keyword stuffing in a website helps to grab the attention of the viewers and enables the website to gain the traffic easily.The ratio of the content on a page and the size of it is referred as content density. If a web page has a higher content density rate it ranks better in the Search Engine Ranking Pages or SERPs. This is because, with a higher content density rate, the crawler crawls the website and finds it more quickly.As people have less time to read the entire article, highlighting the particular portion of the articles that can make the deal is the key to success. Dense content marketing focuses on the chosen content that helps in achieving a good deal of traffic through content marketing.

Making Sense of Separately Managed Accounts and Individually Managed Accounts

Individually Managed Accounts (IMAs) and Separately Managed Accounts (SMAs) both offer investors a highly transparent managed share portfolio while avoiding the tax distortions that come with pooled investment vehicles such as managed funds.However, there are some important differences between individually and separately managed accounts and while they may sound very similar, these differences can have a significant impact on investment performance, suitability, and tax effectiveness.In General, Separately Managed Accounts are a good alternative to managed funds for many investors, while investors with $1 million or more, are likely to find the features of an IMA more compelling.The key differences between the two types of managed accounts rests in their approach to building an investment portfolio.SMAs are constructed with a ‘model portfolio’ where each investor receives precisely the same portfolio, based on a template created by the fund manager. IMAs however, are constructed individually for each investor, although each account will share some common holdings. These two approaches have some important differences:Investors in a SMA may buy stocks that have already enjoyed most of their returns, but remain in the model portfolio to avoid realising capital gains tax. IMA investors however will receive a portfolio that is assembled incrementally, as attractive opportunities arise.For the same reason, new investors in Separately Managed Accounts will receive a larger position in stocks that have already performed well, while IMA investors are likely to receive larger holdings in stocks the investment manager believes will perform well in future.IMAs also provide the ability to tailor the portfolio to the investor’s circumstances. For instance, an IMA manager may place more weight on generating franked dividends for a SMSF, while long term capital appreciation could be more valuable for an investor with a high tax rate. These differences in investment management help produce good after tax results for each investor. Since every investor in a SMA receives the same portfolio, the Separately Managed Account manager cannot factor individual considerations into their management.Both structures will allow the transfer an existing portfolio, with the IMA providing some additional flexibility and tax advantages. When importing an existing portfolio into a SMA, only those shares contained in the model portfolio will be retained and only to the proportion held in the model portfolio. Therefore, investors may still realise capital gains when entering an SMA. Conversely, a diligent IMA manager will adapt the existing portfolio over time and with consideration to tax events.Both offer tax effective investment management to tax conscience investors.For investors wishing to exclude individual stocks or sectors, an Individually Managed Account manager will hold alternative positions, while the SMA will generally hold cash in lieu of the excluded positions. This can have a significant impact on the portfolio’s overall returns.In executing trades, SMA investors will generally receive ‘at market’ prices on their transactions, while an IMA manager may attempt to get best execution and/or exercise discretion over the timing of buys and sells.Service levels are also different, with holders of Separately Managed Accounts receiving a service akin to a managed fund. while those using Individually Managed Accounts have ongoing access to the fund manager responsible for their portfolio and will likely receive personalised reporting.