CALL US: (877) 502-5003

Small Business Blog

Read our small business blog and find out tips on marketing, social media, growing your business, getting funding, managing employees and planning for growth

Do You Need to Shore Up Your Cybersecurity Protocol?

Do You Need to Shore Up Your Cybersecurity Protocol?

From electronic bank fraud to hacks that reveal thousands of customers’ personal information, small and medium businesses face the same kinds of cybersecurity threats as larger organizations. The fact that you operate on a smaller scale doesn’t make these threats any less significant. Are you doing everything you need to do to stay safe?

Advanced Technology, Advanced Risks

In many ways, the advent of internet technology and mobile communications has been a democratizing force for small and medium businesses. Now, if you have a good product and you can market and sell it in a digital format, you can reach a global audience of billions rather than limiting yourself to the customer base that lives within a 50 mile radius of your shop. Whether your business provides its customers and clients with goods and services, chances are that you perform some part of your business in the digital realm.

Smartphones, digital bank accounts, business email, online shops, document sharing and storage tools...all of these elements play a part in the average business day. Sharing information with employees and transferring property to customers isn’t just a physical thing anymore. While these digital resources make life easier and increase efficiency, they also open both the business and the customer up to some significant risks. If your business stores customer financial information and deals with any other sensitive digital information, cybersecurity should be a primary concern.

Continue reading

Funding Isn’t the Only Element Needed to Expand a Successful Business

Funding Isn’t the Only Element Needed to Expand a Successful Business

Learning about FundKite’s alternative funding options can inspire confidence, but there’s still plenty of work to do after you’ve got your funds. Knowing what your immediate next step is after getting your funding in place can be the make-or-break element in ensuring future success.

Are You Ready to Go?

Feeling frustrated and trapped due to a lack of funds is an understandably common emotion for business owners to feel, and it stands to reason that great feelings of relief would then flood in along with the funding. From venture capital funding to our own alternative funding sources, business owners tend to feel on top of the world after they’ve secured the capital they need. Sure, getting much-needed startup or expansion funding is a milestone in and of itself, but it’s not a signifier that it’s time to rest on your laurels. If anything, securing funding is the equivalent of a starter’s pistol at the beginning of a race. It’s a signal that the race to accomplish your other goals is on.

Continue reading

8 Habits of Successful Small Business Owners

8 Habits of Successful Small Business Owners

Many small business owners are driven by their unique ideas and original personalities. These traits are exactly what lead them to take risks, generate ideas, and bring them to fruition. As unique as every small business owner is, however, there are a few characteristics that most successful leaders and entrepreneurs share. Here are a few habits that define such personalities:

Continue reading

What Expansion Looks Like In Seven Distinct Industries

What Expansion Looks Like In Seven Distinct Industries

What Expansion Looks Like In Seven Distinct Industries

One of the greatest strengths of small businesses is that they tend to be especially in-touch with their customer and/or client bases. This means that no two small businesses are ever going to be exactly alike--and neither are their strategies for growth. However, growth in various industries often does necessitate the same types of upgrades in real estate, equipment, inventory, etc. Because we work with clients in so many different industries here at FundKite, we are given the unique opportunity to see what growth and expansion looks like for a wide variety of companies. Here are a few examples how the businesses we work with tend to grow with time.

Continue reading

Denied Business Funding?

Denied Business Funding?

If your small or medium-sized business has been denied funding in a traditional form such as a small-business loan from a bank, you are not alone. The majority of small businesses tend to have less-than-perfect credit--and, moreover, large banking institutions tend to be reluctant to finance even the most stable of small businesses. This has led to an unfortunate number of companies that now find themselves in the exact position your company may be in if you are reading this article. Fortunately, there are a few alternative sources of funding out there--some of which may work better for small businesses in the first place. Moreover, in some cases it is even possible to solve such problems internally, without seeking outside funding at all. Here are a few possible solutions:

Continue reading

7 Tips To Ensure Success as you Invest in Your Small Business

7 Tips To Ensure Success as you Invest in Your Small Business

Deciding to grow your small business is a resolution as terrifying as it is exciting. Fortunately, these 7 tips can help you manage your time, keep a level head, and pay the bills. Though success is never guaranteed one hundred percent, luck often has less sway over the success or failure of a small business investment than does smart management.

Continue reading

The Best Ways To Reinvest Income Back Into Your Small Business

The Best Ways To Reinvest Income Back Into Your Small Business

Perhaps nothing is more exciting than seeing your small business begin to produce regular profits. This typically takes years for most startup companies, so the moment is almost always long-awaited and happily received. For the entrepreneurs who launched the company, profitability means much more than just financial success--it means that their dreams have truly taken flight.

Continue reading

A Brief Guide To International Expansion for Small Businesses

A Brief Guide To International Expansion for Small Businesses

Contrary to popular perception, international expansion is not just for the “big guys.” Each year, thousands of small businesses successfully expand their operations abroad. Of course, there are many challenges inherent in such an expansion, but the rewards also hold great potential. Though a great deal of research and consideration must go into the decision to expand internationally, this brief guide can serve as a springboard for further exploration.

Continue reading

8 Ways to Invest in Online Presence

8 Ways to Invest in Online Presence

If your small business is ready to invest and expand, the online world may be the perfect place to do so. It is no secret that the internet becomes an increasingly important part of the economy each and every year; however, many small businesses fail to invest in and develop the internet infrastructure needed to drive online success. This is oftentimes due to a lack of funding; however, lack of comprehensive business planning and an under appreciation of the value that the internet offers are also occasional culprits. With internet ROI skyrocketing and a plethora of funding options available to small business owners, however, the time for excuses is over. You owe it to yourself to research and understand your options. Here are eight common ways that small businesses can invest in the internet.

Continue reading

How Small Business Owners Can Become Better Leaders

How Small Business Owners Can Become Better Leaders

Being a small business owner means making tough decisions, building a unique vision, and, of course, leading and managing your employees. Contrary to popular belief, very few people are born as natural leaders: leadership is instead a skill that must be developed maintained throughout life. Small business owners who neglect this skill will ultimately find that their companies are not achieving all that they could be--after all, success is the result of a team effort made by happy, productive, and motivated employees. If you feel that your leadership skills still need to be developed (and, truthfully, this is never a bad idea) then these simple tips can help.

Continue reading

Who Should Apply for a Small Business Loan?

Who Should Apply for a Small Business Loan?

Throughout the life of your business, there are bound to be moments in which you need to seek outside funding. In fact, many small businesses use borrowed funds to get up and running. Other businesses seek out funds when they encounter challenging situations, such as an off-season or a sudden need for repairs. And still other businesses seek out funding during their most optimistic of moments--when they are prepared to expand and grow.

Whatever your reason for seeking funding may be, you will quickly realize that you have many options at your disposal. These options can generally be divided into two categories: traditional small business loans, and non-traditional funding options. Both of these categories offer their own specific benefits, which leaves many business owners wondering what type of funding to pursue. Here is a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of each type of funding:

Continue reading

How to Get Approved For a Small Business Funding

How to Get Approved For a Small Business Funding

Getting the first loan you need to get your small business up and running is often the most challenging task in the minds of would-be entrepreneurs. However, while the process can in fact be complicated and will certainly take some time and patience, it is far from impossible. The most important thing to remember is that if you have a solid business plan, there’s simply no reason not to take out a loan--that is, as long as you can present yourself professionally and project your potential profits accurately. Seeing as these are skills you will need as a business owner regardless, this should not be enough to deter you from following your dream. Below are a few of the most important tips to remember when applying for a small business loan.

Continue reading

All About Alternative Funding

All About Alternative Funding

Small business has always been considered a risky investment for banks to finance. After all, small businesses tend to have credit that is far less established, they have business plans that are as-of-yet unproven, and they lack the collateral to offer up should anything go wrong.

This situation has gotten more complicated over the course of the past decade--due in large part to the lasting influence of the great recession. Even though the economy has recovered in most tangible ways, banks have grown a bit more hesitant to make risky loans that could end up defaulting. As the Wall Street Journal noted, this has created a complicated situation: larger businesses are taking advantage of a recovered economy, while small and medium-sized businesses are still struggling to obtain the capital needed to truly thrive.

Continue reading

7 Common Reasons For Businesses to Seek Funding

7 Common Reasons For Businesses to Seek Funding

In the ideal world, small businesses would never need outside funding. Investors would line up outside the door as soon as you announced your startup. You would always have reserves of capital ready for the precise moment you needed to invest in new real estate, equipment, or vehicles. And you would never encounter a situation where you needed fast funding in order to get through a tough time or make urgent repairs.

Of course, the real world is a bit more complicated--and small businesses frequently find themselves in need of financing. In fact, the very nature of small businesses makes them especially susceptible to finding themselves in such situations. Unfortunately, banks are typically the most hesitant to lend money such companies.

Continue reading

The Top 6 Reasons why Businesses are Denied Bank Loans

The Top 6 Reasons why Businesses are Denied Bank Loans

Getting denied for a traditional bank loan can be a frustrating (or even heartbreaking) experience. It can leave you with some serious questions regarding your immediate finances--and it can even leave you doubting your business plan.

The first thing to do when you have been denied a loan is to simply realize that you are not alone. In fact, most small businesses experience significant difficulties when attempting to obtain funding. This owes to a variety of factors--many of which may even be beyond the control of a single business. That being said, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting approved--or at least understand why you might be denied. Here are a few of the most common reasons why banks choose not to fund small businesses.

Continue reading

5 Reasons to Invest in New Equipment

5 Reasons to Invest in New Equipment

Regardless of what industry your business works in, the odds are very good that your work involves some form of expensive equipment. Whether it’s a four-thousand-dollar espresso machine or a four-million-dollar construction crane, however, nearly all heavy equipment presents the challenge of financing. Small business owners tend to understand and value the importance of top-notch equipment in today’s market--but fear that the costs of an upgrade are prohibitive. This is unfortunate, because the alternatives to investing in new equipment--purchasing sub-par equipment or renting--ultimately end up being far more expensive while limiting the potential for future growth. When it comes to the tools that help you work, investing in quality is almost always worth it--even if it means finding an outside source of funding. Here are 5 reasons why:

Continue reading

The Small Business Starter Checklist

The Small Business Starter Checklist

Starting a business can be extremely rewarding--but it can also be overwhelming. This small business starter checklist can keep you organized through all the ups and downs.

Continue reading

How To Take Your Business To The Next Level

How To Take Your Business To The Next Level

Running a small to medium-sized business means lots of responsibility. Between handling finances and accounting, marketing and sales, legal issues and taxes, and virtually a thousand other everyday tasks, it can be easy to let the day-to-day grind distract from the big picture.

This is unfortunate, because the truth is that the big picture matters--and achieving long term goals is one of the most rewarding aspects of running a company. Here are a few simple steps that you can take in order to begin taking your business to the next level:

Continue reading

How To Save Money While Raising Capital

how to save money while raising capital

 

If you’re trying to raise money for your business, the last thing you want to do is over spend from your current funding sources. Office supplies, software, advertising and contractors are among expenses that can add up if they are not monitored properly. Here’s a few money saving tips that can help save money in the fundraising process.

Continue reading

Invest in Getting to Know Your Customers – The Right Way

Invest in Getting to Know Your Customers – The Right Way

As a business owner, you know your product or service inside out. You’ve looked after your customers personally and you’re even on a first name basis with some of them. However, when it comes to marketing, most businesses have a difficult time locating their customers out in the world. Without a good marketing strategy growth is difficult if not impossible and knowing your customers’ needs, desires and habits is the heart of a good marketing strategy. If you are looking at loans to invest in some professional marketing, you might want to familiarize yourself with what you can expect. We’ve prepared a quick rundown of how you can put your newly acquired dollars to best use and create relationships with your customers that last.

Let your customer define value

A big mistake business owners make is defining the value of their product or service themselves. Whether something has value or not is personal and it’s a perception based on many different factors. It’s not your perception of value that matters, it’s your customers. Shift the focus from convincing others how great your product/service is and move it to what your customers want. Adrian Davis, President of Whetstone Inc. tells us that “Adding value is a dynamic, custom, customer-specific process” which starts with getting to know aspects of their daily lives. “The bottom line - the more you know, the easier it will be, not only to engage them, but to make a real and sustainable difference for them.” This usually involves a combination of the right research, questions and meaningful dialogue.

Continue reading