Business news outlets love to publish tips on how to be successful, save money, or manage your finances. At the expense of usefulness, they’re too often neutral, uninformative, and overgeneralized. The truth is the publishers probably view these checklists as filler content so that advertisers can plug their related product or service inconspicuously in between the lines. So we felt it necessary to produce our own checklist of tips that we feel you might actually benefit from. You won’t find any filler here:
#1 – Monitor your reputation online
It sounds general but just because you Google your company name every now and then, doesn’t mean you’ll spot the negative stuff. Put yourself in the mindset of an evil competitor. What would they write about you? Some searches that may help you locate potentially damaging content online are:
[Your Company Name] Reviews
[Your Company Name] Scam
[Your Company Name] Complaints
You may cringe at the thought of including those terms in the same sentence as your valuable brand name, but it’s much better to find/remove malicious content online, than to be oblivious to its existence.
#2 – Customers are more likely to share a bad experience than a good one
When we pay for a product or service, we automatically expect it to be good, so there’s no surprise that the satisfactory coffee and eggs you prepared for a customer this morning didn’t end up going viral all over Facebook. The fact that social networks exist at all means every business has to be on their best behavior all the time. As the owner, you would have it no other way, but do your employees feel the same way? Conventional wisdom used to be that an unhappy consumer would share their experience with twelve people. Facebook has upped that figure to the hundreds. Therefore it’s important to make sure that your employees take the same care that you do. If something still goes wrong, make a good faith effort to change the consumer’s dissatisfaction.
#3 – Your approach to financing. Lenders are not charities
Too many small business owners make the mistake of thinking that banks or financing firms like ours are charities. How is an underwriter supposed to approve an applicant that is using phrases such as “if we don’t get this, we’ll be forced to close” , “business has been real bad lately”, or “the recession killed our business and we’re just trying to survive.” Not to say that financial companies are heartless or indifferent to your situation if it really is that bad, but the whole point of lending money is to be assured that there is a 100% that it will be repaid. Using doomsday terminology can cause a business that looks great on paper to be reconsidered and declined. You don’t want that to happen!
#4 – Use financing proactively rather than re-actively
This one is probably our favorite tip! Ever hear that phrase that banks will only lend money to people that don’t need it? That’s not satire. While that phrase does NOT apply to us (we help businesses in all different kinds of situations), it should be used as a guideline for what lending is all about.
Considering debt in reactive situations is less likely to lead to growth. For example, financing used to replace broken equipment or pay past due bills may help you maintain the status quo but it won’t increase your revenues and bottom line.
Using debt proactively means there are no fiscal issues at hand and instead the outside funds can be used to increase sales, hire, or open an additional location. Even if you have ample saving at your disposal, there’s no reason to risk your emergency funds. Proactive financing has been proven to work for thousands of years.
#5 – Perform due diligence before entering into a major business relationship
We’ve seen the same misleading ads that you have,
Zero percent interest, free government grants, no credit checks, and you’re already approved!!
If those headlines from unscrupulous companies were really true, the rest of the banking system wouldn’t exist. We might be a little biased here. By choosing a reputable provider like United Capital Source, you can be confident that transparency is a top priority. All the terms will be explained by one of our experienced account representatives and reiterated in black and white for you to read. If you haven’t already heard about us from a friend, look us up online and you’ll quickly see that we’re one of the best.