The Best Resources for Companies Seeking Funding
Funding For Startup Small Business
The following are some of the best resources for companies seeking funding and financing because in today’s technologically advanced global economy, starting your own business is not just a dream – it’s a real opportunity. From running a global business out of an urban high rise to working on a project based out of your garage – modern technology allows you to prosper in any environment. If you have the basic business equipment inventory: a computer, a printer, an internet connection; you can use the resources listed below to plan for your business.
Knowledge obtained through basic research will help you decide what type of business will make you a success. You have many options. You can purchase a franchise; build an innovative idea from start to finish into a business; work on a project basis from your home office as an independent contractor or consultant; open a storefront; establish a sole proprietorship; or enter into a partnership.
Regardless of your choice of business form, as long as you have the motivation to continually educate yourself and keep in pace with today’s latest technological trends, and foster your innate desire to succeed in business, your options are unlimited in America’s free-market economy.
Decide if your business will provide a product, a service, or both. Analyze how your personal characteristics and traits coupled with your skills and expertise can be used in your business. You need to differentiate yourself and your proposed business plan from what is already in the mainstream market. Decide what sets you apart to keep and build momentum.
Make a list of who your target audience and customers will be and research them. What’s their purpose, wants, needs, desires, objectives and goals? Next determine how your product or service will make their life easier. Identifying your target market involves placing yourself in their shoes and realizing what they need from someone who is creative and innovative like you.
The hands-on approach to researching and identifying your target demographic can be found at your city’s Chamber of Commerce. They have publications with information on businesses in your area that could use your products and services. Extract all contact information for each one and reach out to them. This can be via a personal visit, a letter or an email. Other good resources are your local Better Business Bureau, your library and your city’s website. Remember, one good target could multiply tenfold with a quick and effective internet research session.
Next, you should do an internet search on your competition to gain invaluable information about the latest and greatest marketing tools and strategies to promote your business in your city, state, the nation or even globally. Google Advanced Search is an effective tool for narrowing and expanding your research on competition as well as your market.
As you analyze your competition with Good Advanced Search, revise your search with keywords that narrow your investigation regarding what your target customers pay for similar products and services. Also search sites such as craigslist.org, other advertising sites, and angieslist.org, kijiji and eBay.
Once you have researched and determined today’s market price of your products and services, you can strategize a plan to undercut your competition (short-term business planning) and dovetail an innovative idea setting the quality of your products and services apart from the trending market (long-term business planning).
Having done all of the above, there are many options available to obtain startup business funding. Doing research on business funding services may seem a daunting task, but it is workable and relatively easy when you have a plan and some basic knowledge.
The first thing you want to know is what the lender wants from you. What are their requirements to grant a loan? What documents will all of them want and what information should you begin to gather right away. If the lender has a website, check to see if you can download their loan application, which will tell you most of what you will need to provide to them when you submit a loan. Don’t forget the resources you have available to you through the Small Business Administration (sba.gov).
Next you will want to seek tax planning advice. Again the sba.gov can help you in deciding what type of business entity would be the best fit for your company (i.e., sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company) and also to obtain a tax identification number for the business if it is needed.
After you have determined that information, you need to build your business plan. A business plan simply is a place where you list your business’ goals, mission and strategies. Once you have determined that information it will help you identify what your business will provide, who your customers will be and how to promote your product to them in the best possible way.
The business plan is critical to applying for and receiving your startup business loan – it is a factor that will be taken into consideration along with your credit history by startup business funding services. Include the following categories within your business plan:
- Detailed description of your business, products and/or services.
- Outline of your business’ financial projections for future growth.
- Compilation of the research you performed to support your financial projections – solid marketing data, economic data, demographic data, and target customers, including a description of their needs and your plans to meet their needs.
- Complete marketing plan including details of what platforms you intend to use to reach your target market – social media, email, newspaper ads, magazine ads, etc.
- Detailed executive summary included at the introduction of your business plan that must contain a professional and concise picture of your complete plan.
Acquiring knowledge is the primary factor to quickly and successfully obtaining a lender’s approval of your small business loan. Your knowledge about business funding services will help you gain pre-approval or simplify the approval process.
Remember, knowledge is the key to turning your talents, passion, and motivation into a profitable business while at the same time becoming your own boss. Keep these resources for starting your own business on hand to assist you down short-term and long-term loan pathways.