Category Archives: Small Business Series

How to Get a Business Loan

Money is the lifeline of any business, so whether you’re starting a business or running an existing one, securing financing is a major factor, especially for small businesses.  Many budding entrepreneurs find the task daunting and don’t even know where to begin.

Here’s a simple yet practical guide on how to go about preparing to apply for a small business loan.

1.    What criteria do banks look for in making small business loans?

Different banks or lending institutions may have different standards, but in general, in order to consider your application for a small business loan, banks will require:

  • The loan must be for a sound business purpose. For SBA-guaranteed loans, the business must be eligible based on size, use of loan proceeds and the nature of the business (no lending, speculating, passive investment, pyramid sales, gambling, etc.)
  • You and your partner(s) are of good character, have experience and good personal and/or business credit history
  • Ability to pay back the loan- reasonable to strong collateral (personal and business assets) is very important. SBA expects the loan to be fully secured, but we will not decline a request to guaranty a loan if the only unfavorable factor is insufficient collateral. And of course, owners must have personal equity investment in the business/skin in the game.

Related: Seven Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires

2.    What information will you need?

Different lenders may require more or fewer documents, but in general, you will need:

  • Personal and business credit history
  • Personal and business financial statements for existing and startup businesses and as well as a projected financial statements
  • Strong, detailed business plan (including personal information such as bios, education, etc.)
  • Cash flow projections for at least a year, and
  • Personal guaranties from all principal owners of the business

3.    How can you set yourself up from the beginning to make the process easier? (i.e. accounting systems, etc.)

Be prepared; be thorough; be truthful.

  • Choose your lending institution carefully. Larger banks tend to shy away from small loans as they are less profitable and take the same amount of underwriting and servicing. That doesn’t mean large banks do not make small loans; it is just more difficult.
  • Approach banks or lending institutions you have worked with or are a customer of
  • Explore community banks and Credit Unions
  • Talk to a lending officer and find out exactly what documentation they require
  • Be thorough, bring everything they ask. Many loan applications are denied or face unnecessary hurdles because of incomplete applications.

Related: Hobby or Startup? Important When Filing Your Taxes

Even before you start gathering and organizing the information required by lenders to consider your application, you should educate yourself regarding business loans so you can understand and discuss intelligently with the lending officers when the time comes.

4.    What is the typical size of a small business loan?

Small businesses come in many sizes, from a start-up of a one-person company to hundreds of employees, and their financial needs vary accordingly, so “typical” also varies. That said, in the banking industry the median small business loan is about $130,000 – $140,000 with highest around $250,000. SBA small business loans range from about $5,000 (microloans) to $5 million (largest guaranteed) with the average loan around $371,000.

5.    How can you get financing to start a business since many banks want to fund growth?

Start-ups are probably the most difficult ventures when it comes to securing financing. Many start-up businesses seek financing from family, friends and credit cards.  If the credit is sound, the business plan strong and you have enough personal resources to invest and collateral to guarantee, smaller, community banks and  other community financial institutions and Credit Unions may consider lending you money.

Related: How to Name Your Business

Your best bet by far is SBA assistance. Begin by visiting SBA’s website , where you will find a wealth of information not only on how to secure a small business loan but equally importantly, other services and training opportunities to help you succeed.

6.    Are there associations that can help?

SBA works closely with a large network of partners that leverage SBA resources and are just one phone call away and ready to provide extensive help.

  • SBA District/Branch Offices– at least one in every state
  • SCORE– (approximately 300 chapters nationwide)
  • SBDCs – Small Business Development Centers; (approximately 900 locations nationwide; associated with higher education institutions (colleges and universities)
  • WBCs– Women’s Business Centers (approximately 100 educational centers nationwide)

Related: Make the Entrepreneurial Difference

Credit: Natale Goriel via SBA

Photo Credit: TheRichestImages.com

CMG Business Group…. Propelling Industry to New Heights!

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Side Businesses You Can Turn Into Small Businesses

 

1. Auto detailing

Have a meticulous eye for detail and love to get things gleaming clean? Auto detailing is probably a perfect side business for you. In essence, your job is to make cars sparkleinside and out – and many people are quite happy to pay well for this service.

2. Babysitting

Got lots of evenings free? Like kids? Babysitting may be a great side business for you. Keep an eye on multiple children on Friday and Saturday nights and you can earn some easy cash over time.

3. Rent out a room in your home

Have some extra space in your home? Turn that extra bedroom into a “bed and breakfast” room. If you live near any sort of tourist destination, you can try your hand at renting out a room through Airbnb or CouchSurfing.com. You may also find paid hosting opportunities in your community: Sign up to host exchange students, visiting professors to a nearby college, or hospital patients receiving long-term treatment.

4. Blogging

If you enjoy writing, find a topic you’re passionate about and start a website dedicated to covering that topic and anything else interesting you want to talk about. All you need is a computer, some time, and some energy to consistently write. It can start as a hobby and turn into a business over time. And blog hosting can cost less than $12 per month.

5. Buying and reselling on eBay

Thanks to technology, there are more opportunities than ever to buy and resell products for extra money. Plenty of people buy local and in-demand products at a discount and resell them on eBay for profit.

6. Cake and cupcake baking and decorating

Enjoy baking and have a bit of an artistic touch? Learn how to decorate cakes and make them for special events. Sell your creations online via Craigslist or your local neighborhood Facebook page, or at local farmers markets. Many people are willing to pay others to create custom cakes for birthday parties and special events.

7. Snowplowing

Live in an area with plenty of snowfall during the winter? If so, you could easily start a snowplow business by investing in a plow attachment for your pickup truck or Jeep. If you want to start smaller, you could even build your business by clearing driveways and walkways with a shovel or a snowblower.

8. Dog walking

Dog walking is the perfect side business for anyone who has a few hours to kill during the day. Once you get a few clients, you simply need to pick up their dogs and take them on long, leisurely walks that will tire them out and keep them in shape. Bonus: Walking dogs may help you in your quest to stay fit as well.

9. Freelance writing

If you’re good with words, you might be able to find some work as an online freelancer. A variety of publications need online content in the form of stories, product or service descriptions, and reports, and if you have the talent and skill, you could easily be the one to create them. Fortunately, all you need is a computer and Internet connection to get started. RealWritingJobs.com is a great place to start.

10. Creating custom clothing

The Internet has created opportunities for people who can sew and design custom clothing for special events. Many people have found success creating custom birthday outfits for babies and selling them on sites like Etsy or eBay, for example. In addition to selling online, you could also market this service to people in your local community.

Related: Marketing Tools Entrepreneurs Should Keep Handy

11. Housecleaning

Many people simply don’t enjoy cleaning their homes and are willing to pay a reasonable price to have someone do the work for them. This is a great way to earn extra money in a flexible way, particularly if you have time off during the workweek. And since you will be working for yourself, you can often choose your own hours, terms, and pay.

12. Pet sitting

When people go on trips, they’re often concerned as to what will happen with their pets. That’s where you step in — offer yourself as a safe place to leave their pets, or be willing to go to their home to take care of their pets. In many cases, people are more than willing to pay a qualified pet sitter in order to avoid sending their pet to a professional kennel.

13. Home daycare

Many states allow people to start an in-home daycare with minimal licensing and paperwork. If you love children and have plenty of time and space at home, this is a perfect business to get into. All you need is a safe room or two for children to play in, some toys and activities, and a whole lot of patience.

14. Cleaning services for businesses

Many businesses and civic institutions need individuals who can clean their offices and common areas outside of normal business hours. If you’re willing to work some nights and weekends, you can build a cleaning side business and get in shape all in one fell swoop.

15. Social media expert

Almost everyone uses FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest these days, but did you know that many companies will pay people to help them manage their social media accounts — sometimes even part-time from home? To find social media jobs, you can start by contacting businesses with a social media presence and scanning sites like Elance.comfor opportunities. Check out PaidSocialMediaJobs.com for more information on how to get started with this type of business and to find companies willing to pay for your services.

16. Gourmet cookie making

If you love baking and are able to keep your hand out of the proverbial cookie jar, making gourmet cookies is a great side hustle with plenty of long-term potential. Start by learning how to execute unique and tasty gourmet cookie recipes, then seal the deal by creating or purchasing professional-looking packaging. Sell your cookies online or to people in your local community.

17. Antique refurbishment

This is a perfect side business for people who love antiquing. Take worn-out antiques home with you, invest the time and care needed to transform those old items into something amazing, then resell them at a profit.

18. Personal chef

I recently met a woman who earned quite a bit of money as a very part-time chef. Once a week, she would go to someone’s house and prepare a homemade meal for their family, then do all the dishes and cleanup work. This gives the family plenty of together time, while putting some cash in the woman’s pocket. If you love to cook, this can be a great opportunity, but you may have to put a lot of effort into searching for clients.

19. Event coordinator

Events like family reunions and large parties are often full of busywork that many people simply don’t want to tackle. That can be the perfect place for you to step in and take charge of the planning and coordination. And thanks to the Internet, it is now easier than ever to market your event planning services.

20. Event DJ

Are you an audiophile? If you have a great sound system and a large selection of music, you’ve already got what you need to hire yourself out as a DJ for various events and receptions. This is a great way to fill an afternoon or evening while also earning some cash in the process.

Related: How to Name Your Business

21. Exercise instructor

Many gymnasiums will trade membership and often a bit more for a person willing and able to teach an exercise class. You can also find people who don’t want to go to a gym and train them at home as a personal trainer. If you’re in good shape, this is a great opportunity to earn some extra money, plus it can often lead to additional income with one-on-one instruction opportunities.

22. Gardening services

I’ve actually fielded requests from others looking for people willing to do this, so the demand is out there. To put it simply, some people are willing to pay others to get a vegetable or flower garden started for them in their yard so they can have access to ultra-fresh produce without all the legwork. If you have a green thumb and some knowledge about the vegetables that grow well in your area, this would be an easy business to start.

23. Handyman services

Skilled at basic home repair? Let people know that they can call you for small repair jobs like basic plumbing, fixing a broken stair, and other things. You’d be amazed at the simple things people are willing to pay others to help them with.

24. Catering

If you love to cook, take the “Blondie” route and start a home catering business. Catering is a business that’s perfectly designed to reward those who plan well, and it can often fit perfectly into weekends, which could work great if you are trying to build a business outside of normal working hours.

25. Interior decorating

Fascinated by interior design? Have a huge collection of interior design materials around? Many people are quite happy to hire someone to help them decorate their home, and that’s especially true of those who want a magazine-caliber style yet don’t have an eye for design at all.

26. Pet yard waste cleanup

For many people in suburban areas, cleaning up pet yard waste is a real hassle – it’s disgusting, for one. Instead of cleaning it up themselves, they might hire someone to do it regularly, two to three times a week. There are several such services in our area, actually.

27. Knitting, crocheting, or quilting

Skilled at creating blankets and sweaters? There’s a huge market for these types of items – even better, you can usually make them in your spare time whenever you have it. As always, local shops and sites like Etsy are great venues to sell such items.

28. Landscaping services

Willing to mow lawns and trim bushes and trees? Many people are quite happy to pay for such services, and the demand is persistent: Nature just keeps growing… and growing… and growing. Not only is this a great side business for a fit adult, it’s also a great way for a teenager to get a small business started.

29. Furniture making

If you’re adept at woodworking and have some basic equipment, it’s easy to get into business making deck furniture. It only requires a few items – a saw, a drill, a sander – and some creativity and passion for working with wood. If you have the tools or just want to turn your hobby into a business, this may be a great small business idea for you. In addition to creating new items, you could also focus on repairing existing wooden furniture or woodwork.

30. Meal-to-go preparations

Remember my earlier post about breakfast burritos? Making meals in advance is a great way to save money for yourself – but you can often prepare these for others as well and sell them for a markup. Prepare eight casseroles, for example, then sell six of them to cover your costs, and you’ve got two free dinners for your family (and maybe a bit more). You can grow this by taking orders from others and finding out what they like.

Related: 10 Small Businesses to Start With Little To No Money

31. Personal assistant

Thanks to sites like TaskRabbit, plenty of people have learned to pick up work doing a variety of side jobs that other people just don’t have time to do. Common tasks can include anything from picking up dry cleaning to making dinner or assembling Ikea furniture.

32. Pet grooming

Many people loathe bathing their pets and grooming their fur – I know I do. Pet groomers perform these tasks for a small fee – a perfect job for a person who loves dogs and cats.

33. Jewelry making

If you have a good eye for detail work and a lot of patience, homemade jewelry can be quite profitable. As with other items on this list, there are many opportunities to sell such items through local gift shops, craft fairs, or sites like Etsy.

34. Growing and selling produce

Like to grow vegetables? Focus in on one vegetable and sell the excess to grocery stores and at farmers’ markets. My father does this with tomatoes and earns some solid extra money during the summer months. You can do really well, though, if you can grow things inside during the winter – February fresh tomatoes can sell quite well.

35. Proofreading and editing

Have strong English skills and exceptional grammar? You may have opportunities to work as a proofreader from home. Advertising for this can be difficult; seek out those who might actually be able to use your services and advertise directly to them.

36. Scrapbook making

Many people dream of having beautiful scrapbooks but never take the steps to create them on their own. You can step in here – take their ideas and materials and assemble a scrapbook for them.

37. Slideshow making

Many people would love to have a beautiful slideshow to commemorate the passing of a loved one, an anniversary, or a special birthday. With a computer and some select software, you could quickly turn anyone’s pictures into a beautiful, custom slideshow, and profit handsomely for your time and effort.

38. Senior citizen assistance

Many elderly people need assistance with a wide variety of simple household tasks – cleaning, laundry, and so forth. Many adult children of elderly people are quite willing to hire someone to help out their parents.

39. Sewing and alterations

My wife is quite handy with a sewing machine and often hems and modifies our children’s clothes. She could easily take this a step further and offer her services to others, doing basic garment repair and modification for a small price on lazy evenings.

40. Computer troubleshooting

I had some success with this in the past, though I’ve largely moved away from it now. If you have a knack for fixing computers, this is a good place to start.

Related: Your Startup is up and running. What now?

41. Public speaking

If you’re the type of person who can get the attention of a room easily, public speaking might be for you. Take advantage of every public speaking opportunity you can and you’ll be surprised at the opportunities that make themselves available for you.

42. Soap making and spa products

Making amazing homemade soaps and other spa products isn’t as hard as you might think – it just takes time and patience. Again, people value handmade items like these, which can easily be sold through local gift shops and websites like Etsy.

43. Giving music lessons

If you know how to play an instrument well (particularly the piano or the guitar) and have patience, you’ve got what you need to teach others how to play. Offer lessons in that instrument to others – this can also be an excellent service to barter with, too.

44. Tutoring

Did you major in a subject like English, history, or math in college, or do exceptionally well on the SAT exam? Do you have patience with children? If so, you likely have what you need to tutor kids in particular subjects. Seek out parents or teachers and let them know that you tutor students in a certain subject, and offer materials for them to share, and phone calls will often trickle in. You can get going locally or expand across the country by offering to tutor online.

45. Virtual assistant

Many ultra-busy professionals appreciate having someone who can check and answer their email, organize task lists for them, update their calendars, and other administrative tasks, with minimal interaction. The best part is that you can provide this service from home with a good Internet connection.

46. Website design

Many small businesses in your community could use a very basic web presence to tell others about their business. Quite often, these businesses don’t have a large budget for such things. That’s where you come in – get a bunch of clients from the local community by beating the pavement, create sites for them, and maintain them for a small fee. Get enough businesses and you have a nice side business of your own that doesn’t require a ton of maintenance time.

47. Wedding planner

If you’re one of those people who can’t help but flip through bridal magazines and think about various wedding arrangements in your daydreams, wedding planning might be the perfect thing for you. A great way to get started is to develop a website or blog on the topic, get to know people online, and promote your services at local wedding venues and throughout the community.

48. Affiliate marketing

If you play your cards right, certain types of businesses will pay you to promote their products and encourage sales. If you’re interested in learning more, check out affiliate marketing programs such as Amazon Associates, Commission Junction, LinkShare, and ShareASale.

49. Become a business or life coach

If you’re passionate about the business world or able to influence and encourage others in your own unique way, you may want to consider marketing your services as a business or life coach. Use your passion and expertise to give advice and suggest actionable steps people can take to improve their professional and personal lives.

50. Start a resume writing service

If you’re excellent at crafting amazing resumes that ultimately result in people getting the job, consider marketing those services. Most of your work will revolve around writing, editing, designing, and proofreading, so you will need few supplies outside of your computer and basic software to get started.

These are just some of the many side business opportunities that have grown more common in the past few years. However, there are many more out there already, in addition to some that are yet to be discovered.

As you embark on your new side business or “side hustle,” remember that you are only limited by your own imagination and skillset. Don’t be afraid to be creative, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t succeed.

You never know, unexpected success might be right around the corner.

Credit: Trent Hamm via The Simple Dollar

Photo Credit: Under30CEO

Related: Hobby or Startup? Important When Filing Your Taxes

CMG Business Group…. Propelling Industry to New Heights!

#cmg #cmgbusinessgroup #business #commerce #smallbusiness #startup #resource #program #management #resource #trade #sales #retail #economy #logistic #advocacy #ecommerce #federal #local #municipal #contract #market #staffing #advertise #professional #sixsigma #iso #9000 #9001 #green #initiative #negotiate #consult #strategic #sourcing #strategy #sector #eco

CMG Small Business Series : Fentress Posey

 

CMG Business Group’s (CMG) Small Business Series was developed to provide a platform for small business owners to inform the public of their business and the goods and services provide.  We understand that a business’ foundation is supplanted by trust and the ability to get your prospective clients to buy in to your ideals and methods. Coupled with our belief that small businesses are the backbone of the economy, we created the Small Business Series to give the public a more intimate view of the featured small business through interviews while providing  that small business a marketing outlet to advertise their company and make that connection.

Fentress Posey, Remax Realtor

 

Today’s featured small business owner is Mr. Fentress Posey, a trusted real estate agent located in San Antonio, Texas.  As a military veteran, Mr. Posey has a strong foundation of service and selflessness that is apparent in the endless thanks and referrals he receives from his “always satisfied” customers.

CMG:  Please tell us your name and the name of your business

FP: My name is Fentress Posey and the name of my business is Fentress Posey, Remax Realtor.

CMG: Where is your business located?

FP:  My business is located in San Antonio, Texas.

CMG:  What is your business’ statement?

FP:  Retired Veteran That Continues to Serve

CMG:  What is your background?

FP:  I completed my B.A. with concentration of Organizational Management during my 22 years of service in the United States military. I began to provide realtor services in 2013. 

CMG:  Who is your customer?

FP:  Smart consumers that express an interest to purchase, sell, lease, or invest in a home.

CMG:  Why do your customers select you over your competitors?

FP:  Due to my military background I am accustomed to working and communicating with people of every background. This ability allows me to personally invest in each one of my customers to provide an unparalleled level of service that can only be achieved with a trusted agent.

CMG:  Can you provide me with a description of your business?

FP:  Realtor services with RE/MAX, the country’s #1 real estate franchise.

CMG:  How did you get started in this business?

FP:  My past experiences from continuously having to move from base to base during my military career, left an incredible interest in housing markets, which eventually led to a second career doing what I love. Helping others.

CMG:  How do you market your business?

FP:  Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have been extremely helpful in providing a platform for me to engage with my customers and conduct market research. I also utilize websites Zillow and Trulia, in addition to constant interaction and work within the farming communities in my area.

CMG:  What are your goals for your company over the next 3-5 years?

FP:   It is my goal to maintain an average of four (4) closings per month, which will be achieved through the selfless serviced that is supplanted by my integrity and constant pursuit of excellence.

CMG:  How has technology, such as computers and the internet, impacted on how you conduct business?

FP:  I rely on the internet for the majority of my marketing and research needs. Additionally, much of the real estate process is process is completed with the assistance of technology. Be it responding to inquiries by logging into one of my social media sites to sending an email informing my client that i have found the house the answers all of their needs!

CMG:  What are the biggest issues for running this business? How do you mitigate them?

FP:  The operating expenses to seek out and service clients, look at properties, and market my services are continuous to create and maintain the level of consumer demand  for my services. An invaluable commodity is TIME, so keen time management skills are necessary to complete the multitude of task requires to operate a successful business. This coupled with fiscal responsibility and an understanding of process efficiency is a guaranteed recipe for success. 

CMG:  If you were to design the perfect team of 4 people to help you run this company, what characteristics would those four people have?

FP:  1. Attention to detail; 2. Great social and communication skills; 3. IT savvy; 4. Goal oriented; Working with a team of people with these attributes can’t fail.

CMG:  Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us. How would our readers contact you to acquire your services?

FP:  No problem! I appreciate the opportunity to inform your network of my services. I can be contacted through any of the means as follows:

Phone Number
Direct: (210) 488-7936
Mobile Phone: (210) 488-7936
Business Fax: (866) 388-8908

Email Address
fentressposey@remax.net

Web Site
www.fentressposey.com

Mobile Search
m.fentressposey.com

Mailing Address
RE/MAX NORTH – SAN ANTONIO IV
8131 W Hausman Road
San Antonio TX 78249

Text “FENTRESS” to 87804 for my Mobile App

Like my page on Facebook!

Tweet me!

CMG Business Group…. Propelling Industry to New Heights!