Small Businesses

small business capitalIf you start searching the web for help in raising capital for a small business, it may surprise you how many articles have been written about this topic. But as someone who routinely researches funding ideas online, I've become quite skeptical about most of the "helpful tips" offered by so-called business consultants. Most are written by lenders disguising themselves as entrepreneurs. It is for this reason that I've compiled a list of the six best ways I've found to raise capital without going to a bank.

hiring for small businessToday’s job market is not unlike the housing market; it can be awesome or abysmal, depending on which side of the desk you’re sitting on.  If you happen to own a small business that is in hiring mode, you are in an enviable position.  Instead of searching for that ideal management candidate who can afford to work at a startup, you may find yourself deciding between several overly qualified MBAs.  There is no doubt that this is a great time to hire, especially if you own a small business. 

business people handshakingEver since the recession started in 2008, business commentators and financial analysts have been telling the American public how hard it is to get a small business loan.  They say accessing business credit – whether in the form of loans, business credit cards, or working capital advances – is practically impossible without an impeccable credit history.  The problem is, most small businesses owners haven’t had time to build a credit rating for their company and they end up financing their business using personal assets, hence the belief that only wealthy Americans can start their own business. 

profitable small businessRunning a small business is tough; especially one that requires your full attention every single day.  And while there’s nothing wrong with a little “sweat equity,” some people want to remain behind the scenes and let the experts handle the details.  This may mean keeping an existing management team in place or working with an equal partner who will make sure the business operates smoothly.  Or, if you’re really just in in for the investment, it’s possible to remain completely hands-off as a business owner.

With the stock market still shaky and global markets a huge risk; investors would normally turn to real estate, but that’s no longer a safe investment either. Buying a small business seems to allow for much greater profitability if it is done wisely and with a keen sense of what’s “hot” right now.

It seems as if there’s a silver lining amidst all the scary economic news.  Surprisingly, this is a terrific time to become an entrepreneur.  Businesses are priced right and are often available at bargain prices with seller-assisted financing.  But many people don’t have experience negotiating a deal, and they need help buying a small business.  Where can you go to start learning about business ownership?  There are numerous websites devoted to entrepreneurship, but the best ones feature a directory of existing businesses for sale.

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