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For nearly twenty years, cloud computing company NetSuite has studied the growth of small businesses from a multitude of industries. Many of these businesses faced a number of obstacles in their efforts to expand, possibly even more obstacles than they faced trying to lift their businesses off the ground in their early days. But despite being involved in vastly different fields, the businesses studied by NetSuite experienced very similar challenges and burdens.

This allowed NetSuite to compile a list of the top five most common barriers to growth. While some of the barriers were beyond control, most of them might not be so troubling if more businesses knew how simple it is to access and pay back small business loans from an alternative business financing company like United Capital Source.

1. FINDING YOUR NEXT CUSTOMER

Number one on the list was “finding your next customer,” i.e. expanding your customer base. It’s extremely common for small businesses to plateau when it comes to reach or popularity. They have a solid group of loyal customers but you’ve got to evolve to stay competitive, which could mean developing new products or services, dramatically increasing productivity rates, or giving your business’s image a massive makeover. But it’s seems that the real problem isn’t putting a plan into action, it’s figuring out the plan to begin with. The phrase “finding your next customer” suggests that small businesses don’t know who to market to, or which strategy will most effectively expand their reach.

If you want to answer these two questions, you’ve got to get to know your current customers on a deeper level. There’s a few ways you can accomplish this. One is by encouraging customer feedback by asking customers to fill out a brief, emailed survey in exchange for a reward. Another is investing in digital marketing by outsourcing a private company or hiring an in-house specialist. Your new help would dive into the accounts of your social media followers, find out how they feel about your industry, and find out exactly what type of person is most interested in your business. This research will reveal other voids in your customers’ lives that you can fill as well as how to tailor your marketing campaigns to attract your new targets.

WHERE TO START?

A small business that can’t find its next customer is likely short on cash, but United Capital Source offers numerous unsecured business loans tailored for this situation. You could start with a type of working capital loan that is famously easy to pay back: merchant cash advance. This business funding program supplies a lump sum that is only paid back when you make future sales.

As long as you pay off your advance without trouble, you will most likely become eligible for a second, larger round of funding that could be approved and distributed in just a few business days. Should you yield enough information to provide the foundation for a new product or service, you could use this second small business loan to secure the resources required to make it a reality.

2. IMPROVING CASH FLOW VISIBILITY

The third item on NetSuite’s list refers to the ability to forecast your cash flow situation in the coming months. It appears small businesses don’t know what kind of shape their finances will be in or what their regular expenses will look like due to a series of undisclosed factors. Lucky for them, visibility is among the various advantages to small business loans from United Capital Source.

Some of our clients use accounts receivable factoring, for example, to give their budget a sense of predictability even though they usually don’t get paid in full for their services for as much as 90 days. Accounts receivable factoring essentially allows you to get paid up almost immediately after an invoice is sent, creating a steady stream of cash that lets you fix problems now, make as many sales as you can, pay your vendors or suppliers up front or well ahead of time.

3. BUILDING A WINNING TEAM

This problem stems from the widespread tendency to hastily take on new hires just to fill empty positions. But a lot of experience or qualifications doesn’t necessarily make a candidate any more likely to stay loyal and grow with the company. This is why some of the most successful business owners in the world hire based on attitude or the capacity to learn.

Such individuals, however, are few and far between. It could take months to find a candidate of this nature, which doesn’t work for small businesses that want to put their plans into action as soon as possible. They also need to restore productivity to maintain their revenue stream. But with a working capital loan or merchant cash advance, you could take all the time you need to find and train the perfect candidates without worrying about regular business expenses. Credit card processing loans are particularly useful for this situation because your largest payments would be made when your revenue stream thickens up and your new hire begins to finance him or herself.

NONE OF THIS IS POSSIBLE WITHOUT…

The businesses studied by NetSuite were dealing with a host of different problems but one thing most of them had in common was that they didn’t seem to have the time to even think about growth. They were too bogged down with struggles related to inventory, balances, shipments, or broken processes.

These businesses would be pleased to learn that small business loans from United Capital Source are designed to let borrowers direct 100% of their attention to their investments, which often means filling the cracks that are taking up an unnecessary amount of their time. Some of our clients even use their funding primarily to remove these distractions and get on with their careers. Working with United Capital Source isn’t just about making returns on an investment. It’s about helping you run your business more efficiently and taking full advantage of the knowledge and following you have rightfully earned.

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