Wishes for the New Year

New Year’s Eve can be a reflective time for anyone, but especially for small business owners.  In addition to all the personal resolutions, you have many for your business as well.  For many small business owners, the line between ‘Personal’ and ‘Business’ blurred such a very long time ago.

Here are some articles I have written in the past few months, which might be related to your resolution for the New Year:

If you are hoping to have a more solid separation between business and personal, or want some direction on time management, then I suggest you read:  How to find time to get a life

Maybe you’ve decided that next year you are going to take the big step and buy your partner out; here are some tips: Business Acquisition: Buying Your Partner Out!

Or, you have just decided to educate yourself.  Read our archive of Business Articles, or check out this article I wrote on Free Online Business Finance Workshops

Happy New Year’s!

The New Yorker – Loan Denial

I found this cartoon on cartoonbank.com .  It reads:  “Here, perhaps you’d like one of our brochures on how we don’t give loans to people like you.” (Loan officer to man.)”

I like this cartoon because it reminds me why I love being able to provide small businesses with alternative financing options. To see what I’m talking about, you can read more from my small business finance blog.

Beware of Fraudulent Loans

Here is a  common fraud scam:

You need money, so you get a loan.  However, to get the loan, you have to pay money up front.  In the end, you never get your money.

More and more people and businesses are getting roped into fraud situations, where they pre-pay to get their loan – and then never get their loan.  What I have been trying to figure out is why would a business pay out money, when what they need is to GET money.  Something isn’t clicking here for me.  Of course, in the fraud cases, no one even got any money except the perpetrators.  But even if you are dealing with a reliable institution, it seems to make more sense to GET money first, and then pay it back. 

I would think that con-artists would need to offer something better that what is out there, but when you contrast this scam with what is offered by legitimate business cash advance companies, you wonder why businesses would even WANT to work on a pre-pay basis.  With business cash advance financing, YOU don’t even pay back the advance – because it isn’t a loan.  Your credit card receipts pay back the advance.  That’s why you can have bad credit, or no credit.  How nifty is that?

Anyway, if you ARE considering an advance fee loan, I highly recommend checking out this article on advance fee loan fraud.

Don’t pay money when you need money; get a business cash advance.

I hope to post this week some tips on how to spot a loan scam.

An Unsecured Alternative to Loans – For Businesses

I just read an article examining pros and cons of unsecured loans vs secured loans

I wanted to point out a third alternative for businesses which accept credit cards: credit card factoring.  Credit card factoring is also known as business cash advance, or merchant cash advance.  To learn more about it, go to our business cash advance website or read my postings comparing business cash advance to other financing options.

How to Fund 2007/2008 Tax Year Expenses

As 2007 comes to a close, many small businesses are looking back on the year, and planning for the next tax year.

How many of us are asking: 

“When should I add my major expenses?  Does it make sense to make large purchases in 2007 tax year, or should we tack it on to 2008 tax year and hope that there is more of a need to offset income?” 

The answer depends a lot on what your numbers were this year, and what your projections are for next year (I wrote about this tax issue in another posting a few weeks ago).  In any event,  you should make that decision carefully, and may want to consult a tax professional. 

What happens when you decide that the best decision tax-wise is to add more expenses, but you don’t have the ready cash you need? 

My suggestion:  check out a business cash advance.  Business Cash Advance is a financing solution based on credit card factoring.  Many successful small businesses find that this credit card factoring based solution (which is not a loan and has minimal requirements) is the best way to get the cash they need when they need it.  Different providers have different rules, but Fast Up Front, for example, can advance you up to $250,000.  Check us out – it is a great finance solution.

NFIB Small-Business Sentiment – 14 Year Low

“Meanwhile, on the small-business front, the National Federation of Independent Business NFIB small-business sentiment index fell to a 14-year low.

“This is an important development given that the 2000s expansion has been built on growth in small businesses and given that historically the small business sector has accounted for over 60% of new jobs in the U.S.,” Tony Crescenzi, chief bond strategist at Miller Tabak, said in a note.

This above is a quote from Christine Wise’s December, 11th – 1pm segment of Investor’s Business Daily delivered by Newstex.

Almost all of our clients are small businesses, and we know that this trend is hurting all of you.  However, remember that we are here to help you through the rough times.  Business cash advance is a great financing solution, whether your business has bad credit or no credit – we can usually help you hurdle the tough periods.

Getting Out into the Blogosphere – Technorati and Digg

Small and Large businesses alike have gotten on the blog-wagon over the past few years.  (Yours truly included, not to state the obvious).  Blogging is a great way to share information in a more casual, less official medium – and to communicate and share information with clients, competitors and the general public.  It is also a way to get PR and credibility for your business and industry across the net.

 If you are reading this, you are probably already aware of many of the benefits of blogging.  However, if you want more info this google search pulled up some good articles.

 Anyway, once you have a blog, a good next step for getting into the blogosphere is joining sites like Technorati.com and Digg.com.  I just took that step today with the Fastupfront Blog.

Here is our Technorati Profile

and here is our Digg profile

I just joined now, so I still have to add bio info and other cool stuff; favorite/add me so you can keep up with us.

Business Cash Advance – How to know who to work with?

If you are considering Credit Card Factoring / Business Cash Advance as a Cash Flow solution for your business, the next step might be picking an agency you want to work with.  I put together the 3 points which I consider the most important to examine before accepting a business cash advance from ANY agency.

1. Make sure that the details of the process are explained to you.

Misrepresentations are abundant in the world of financing, and credit card factoring is NOT the exception to the rule.  Make sure that you completely understand how the process works and how EXACTLY the process can effect your Working Capital.

2.  Fully clarify with your factor any Additional Fees / Hidden Costs.

Make sure that everything is clear to you and nothing is left vague or otherwise unclear.

3.  Work with an experienced professional.

You should feel comfortable with your advisor and have a good relationship with them.  You should be able to be confident in their experience and trust that their advice has YOUR best interests at heart.

Do your research, check around, but don’t forget to look into using Fast Up Front as your business cash advance provider.  I’m confident that when you look at the above points (and pretty much any other points as well) you’ll be very pleased with the service we give.

Working Capital Loan vs Business Cash Advance

I felt like revisiting Working Capital today – and wanted to compare a Working Capital Loan to a Business Cash Advance. 

Working Capital Loans

Working capital loans provide small businesses with the possibility of rapid growth by allowing them to meet their short-term financial needs.  Working capital loans are generally used to pay wages, clear up accounts payable, and other short-term obligations. Working capital loans generally reach maturity within one year – some of these loans require collateral, although others do not.  However, lenders DO check your credit history and DO require that you have ability to repay the loan on a fixed schedule.

Business Cash Advance

Business cash advances can also provide cash for working capital in a small business, without the credit check, and without the need to “repay” – This is because the business cash advance is not a loan.  Payments are settled against the clients’ monthly credit card sales receipts.  An added bonus that many credit card factoring companies offer is more efficient and cost-effective credit card processing.

Whichever financing method you choose – never underestimate the importance of keeping your working capital working.

see also… Working Capital Loans: Getting working capital for your business

Buying an Existing Business: Due Diligence

Athough I normally write about financing for existing businesses, I wanted to just provide some useful points here for anyone who is considering buying an existing business.  Key point: Due Diligence.

I came across this thread where a woman says she is looking for “creative financing” to purchase an existing business.  There are some great responses, including a lot of people who are skeptical if the new business is worth buying. It sounds like “Amy”(the prospective buyer) may not have done enough due diligence.

This prompted me to find some links on things to look out for when buying an existing business. 

Entrepreneur.com Article

Answers.com Topic

Here are two more articles which are from the UK – but which have good points:


Or, if you want to purchase a 200 point Due Diligence checklist (I’ve never seen this so I can’t specifically recommend it) you could check out Diomo’s Due Diligence checklist.

Here is the thread which inspired this post on creative financing for puchasing a business.