A Fresh Look At Small Business Financing

The holiday season’s upon us and with it often comes extra stress, rushing around, and a sense of feeling overwhelmed. But as the new year approaches, it can also be a time for creating fresh starts. When it comes to your livelihood, finding a way to finance your small business can also be overwhelming at best, and sometimes downright daunting. However, just like you may be getting ready for the new year on a personal level, now is also a great time to get the ball rolling on funding your new venture. With that comes staying on top of all the options, trends, and resources surrounding small business financing.

How Much Does It Take?

Before determining how to go about financing your business, it’s important to have a concept of how much capital it takes to start a business, as that can impact where you choose to seek finance. One survey done by the Wells Fargo Small Business Index reported that $10,000 is the average amount of startup money required by a small business owner. However, other surveys, such as the Kauffman Firm Survey, indicate that the number is much higher – closer to $80,000.

While these numbers help to give insight into what to expect, the amount of capital needed to start up will vary greatly depending on the type of business, industry, size, etc. The Small Business Administration (SBA) recommends a few simple tips to help calculate your start-up costs. Once you’ve analysed your potential expenses and capital expenditures, assessed your assets, and allocated your costs, you’ll be able to calculate your startup cost using this starting costs estimate calculator, offered by entrepreneur.com.

Small Business Financing Options

There are many options available for small business owners to explore, from traditional to slightly out-of-the-box:

  • Bootstrapping

    Even though funding your small business out of pocket – or bootstrapping – may potentially be the most challenging financing route, it doesn’t mean that a significant portion of U.S. entrepreneurs doesn’t explore this option. In a recent study by BlueVine, results show that 75{ed162fdde9fdc472551df9f31f04601345edf7e4eff6ea93114402690d8fa616} of American small businesses rely on personal finances as their primary source of small business funding and 83{ed162fdde9fdc472551df9f31f04601345edf7e4eff6ea93114402690d8fa616} have put at least some of their money into their companies

  • Alternative Lending

    If financing your business with your money isn’t an option, you’ll need to plan on borrowing the money, and there are a variety of ways to obtain a small business loan. Emerging over the last several years are alternative lending companies that can offer quicker and smaller loans through a simple online application process.

  • Traditional Bank Loans

    Although big banks are known for a high rejection rate and an extensive application process, bank loans remain a viable option for small business lending – and approval rates are up, as we’ll take a look at it below.

  • Raising Capital

    Venture capitalists and angel investors can be a successful path to take for the right kind of business. However, keep in mind that it will require a very well thought out business plan, strong financial projections, and a lot of passion for your business.

  • Crowdfunding

    A newer form of financing a small business, crowdfunding offers a method of raising money without having to pitch to a team of investors. And while there are certainly success stories out there, crowdfunding has yet to become the go-to option for businesses. According to a survey done by Manta in March 2015, only around 2 percent of business owners surveyed expressed that they had ever used a crowdfunding platform.  However, it could be worth looking into if other avenues have been exhausted.

Approval Rates

According to Biz2Credit’s recent Small Business Lending Index report, approval rates at banks and institutional lenders recently reached all-time highs with the approval rate for small business loans from big banks at 23.5{ed162fdde9fdc472551df9f31f04601345edf7e4eff6ea93114402690d8fa616} in October (up from 23.4{ed162fdde9fdc472551df9f31f04601345edf7e4eff6ea93114402690d8fa616} in September). Institutional lender approval rates also rose to a new high of 63.1{ed162fdde9fdc472551df9f31f04601345edf7e4eff6ea93114402690d8fa616} in October. For small banks, the approval rates have remained stagnant, at 48.7{ed162fdde9fdc472551df9f31f04601345edf7e4eff6ea93114402690d8fa616}, and alternative lender loan approval rates declined to 59.5{ed162fdde9fdc472551df9f31f04601345edf7e4eff6ea93114402690d8fa616}.

For SBA loans (specifically the most popular type, the SBA 7(a) loan) the approval rates are relatively low and require stellar credit. In a report by the SBA, approval rates from 2015 were broken down by gender, ethnicity, and location. For minority-owned businesses, the approval rate was 29{ed162fdde9fdc472551df9f31f04601345edf7e4eff6ea93114402690d8fa616} versus 57{ed162fdde9fdc472551df9f31f04601345edf7e4eff6ea93114402690d8fa616} for white-owned businesses, 71{ed162fdde9fdc472551df9f31f04601345edf7e4eff6ea93114402690d8fa616} for male-owned businesses as opposed to 29{ed162fdde9fdc472551df9f31f04601345edf7e4eff6ea93114402690d8fa616} for female-owned, 67{ed162fdde9fdc472551df9f31f04601345edf7e4eff6ea93114402690d8fa616} existing businesses versus 33{ed162fdde9fdc472551df9f31f04601345edf7e4eff6ea93114402690d8fa616} new businesses, and 17{ed162fdde9fdc472551df9f31f04601345edf7e4eff6ea93114402690d8fa616} rural versus 83{ed162fdde9fdc472551df9f31f04601345edf7e4eff6ea93114402690d8fa616} urban.

While there are many aspects of starting a business that will undoubtedly overwhelm you, don’t let securing small business financing be one of them. Armed with the knowledge to get started, use the upcoming season as the perfect excuse to get the ball rolling on funding your business.

Primary Keyword: small business financing

Variants: financing for your small business, small business finance options,  securing small business financing, surrounding small business financing

Antonyms/Synonyms: small business loan, small business loans, small business lending, business lending options, Crowdfunding, traditional bank loans,  alternative lender loan









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