Our Top Small Business Picks for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners

Periodically, our team selects some of the most insightful small business articles from across the web. The best articles we found about entrepreneurship include:

7 Things You Can Do Today to Help Your Business Succeed.

Have you ever felt like you’re wasting your time in business? Many times, we sit down at our desk and simply go through the motions. But at the end of the day, when we push back from our desk and head home, we think, “What have I really accomplished today?” Read the article at Forbes.

5 Signs You Have What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur5 Signs You Have What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur.

You have an epic idea. Now what? The real challenge for any entrepreneur isn’t getting started. It’s staying in business. Yes, you can be successful as an entrepreneur but it won’t be easy. It has never been easy to start and run a successful company. Read the article at Enterpreneur.

4 Simple Lists to Determine New Business Start-up Costs4 Simple Lists to Determine New Business Start-Up Costs.

The key to growing a financially strong business is starting out on the right foot. Many of your priciest business expenses will come from the initial start-up costs, and your preparedness for handling those costs can set the pace for how well your business will unfold. Read the article at Inc.

Five Toughest Things About Owning Your Own Business.

Owning your own business may sound fun and exciting. At certain points, particularly after a lot of hard work, it is. The road to entrepreneurial success is usually paved with several common challenges. Read the article at Succeed as Your Own Boss.

La Mancha Sims is the Founding Partner and CEO of Triton Financial Solutions, a business funding consulting firm located in Decatur, Georgia. You can reach La Mancha at 770-249-2357.

Let us know if there is a specific topic you would like to learn more about in our next post by sending us a message. We love to connect on Social Media.

Posted in Business, Business Ideas, Business News, Business Owners, Business Startups, Business Tips, Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Small Business, Small Business News, Small Business Owners, Small Business Tips, Start-ups, Startups, Success, Tips for Entrepreneurs, Tips for Startups | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Best of 2015: Top Posts from Triton’s Blog

The Best of 2015At the end of the year, we like to compose a list of the most popular posts that were published on the Triton Financial Solutions Blog in 2015. It is a great way to look back on the information we shared with you this year, and an insightful view of which posts our readers liked most.

Some of our most popular posts in 2015 were:

  1. 4 Misconceptions about Small Business Financing
  2. Understanding Why Too Many Credit Inquiries Can Hurt Your Credit Score
  3. I Have Excellent Credit, but the Bank Still Denied My Loan Application
  4. 4 Tax Deductions for Small Business Owners

Please enjoy the look back at the past year, and we wish you a very happy 2016!

Below is a short excerpt from each blog post. If you wish to read the entire entry, please click the hyperlinked titles.

1. 4 Misconceptions about Small Business Financing

How much do you really know about small business financing? Businesses that have been around for years as well as start-ups have several misconceptions when it comes to obtaining business capital.

The reasons for these misconceptions vary, but many business owners think traditional banks are not doing a good enough job of explaining their financing options, the requirements necessary to qualify for different types of business financing, how business credit is calculated and how lenders use business credit to deny or approve loan applications.

2. Understanding Why Too Many Credit Inquiries Can Hurt Your Credit Score

Many of our applicants are surprised when they realize that applying for credit from multiple lenders (such as department stores or auto dealerships) has negatively impacted their credit, and temporarily prevented them from qualifying for the business loans or lines of credit they need to fund their business.

They become frustrated that even though their overall credit may be good, multiple credit inquiries can have such a negative impact on their credit scores as well as their ability to access business funding. I hope the information below address some of these concerns.

3. I Have Excellent Credit, but the Bank Still Denied My Loan Application

As the economy continues to improve, many small business owners are more optimistic about the future. Established businesses as well as successful startups, nonetheless, are often finding it harder and harder to obtain small business loans from traditional banks. According to some estimates, since 2008, overall small business lending from traditional banks has decreased across the board. Entrepreneurs with excellent credit and cash reserves in the bank are frequently being turned down due to the traditional banks reluctance to loan to smaller businesses instead of larger corporations.

4. 4 Tax Deductions for Small Business Owners

It is nearing that time of year when small business owners are gathering the paperwork necessary to prepare this year’s taxes. However, don’t overlook these tax deductions for 2015.

This list is only a small slice of all that Triton has to offer. We thank you for supporting our Blog over the past year, and plan to bring even more informative posts to you in 2016!  Please feel free to contact me via email at lsims@tritonfinance.com or call 770-249-2357 and ask for La Mancha Sims.

La Mancha Sims is the Founding Partner and CEO of Triton Financial Solutions, a business funding consulting firm located in Decatur, Georgia. You can reach La Mancha at 770-249-2357.

 

Posted in Business, Business Financing, Business Ideas, Business Loans, Business Management, Business News, Business Owners, Business Startups, Business Tips, Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Finance, New Year, Small Business, Small Business News, Small Business Owners, Small Business Tips, Start-ups, Startups, Success, Tips for Entrepreneurs, Tips for Startups | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

I Have Excellent Credit, but the Bank Still Denied My Loan Application

As the economy continues to improve, many small business owners are more optimistic about the future. Established businesses as well as successful startups, nonetheless, are often finding it harder and harder to obtain small business loans from traditional banks. According to some estimates, since 2008, overall small business lending from traditional banks has decreased across the board. Entrepreneurs with excellent credit and cash reserves in the bank are frequently being turned down due to the traditional banks reluctance to loan to smaller businesses instead of larger corporations.

Small business loans started to become harder to obtain after the recession in 2009. Banks, anxious after losses suffered during the economic downturn, increased requirements for small business loans, making it harder than ever for startups without years of history and lots of capital. As recently as October 2012, traditional banks only approved 14.8% of all small business applications.

Businesses seeking loans for less than $100,000 have been particularly hard hit, an amount typically needed to grow a business in its early stages. Entrepreneurs (many with excellent credit scores) describe being turned down by numerous banks before ultimately giving up or turning to alternative lenders. Discouraged, many small business owners don’t even bother submitting an application to traditional banks for fear of being declined.

Some small business owners turn to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for assistance, but have misconceptions about what the SBA actually can accomplish for them. The SBA does not lend money, but guarantees small business loans made by SBA lenders like traditional banks. In recent years, SBA-backed loans have become even more difficult to obtain.

Another surprise occurs for many small business owners who assume that because they have good credit and money in the bank they will easily be approved. Most lenders look for excellent personal credit in addition to a strong history of business credit before approving loans. Other factors like debt-to-credit ratio, gross income and the number of loan inquiries can also impact an entrepreneur’s likelihood of obtaining a business loan.

If you’ve been turned down for a small business loan or you have questions about your eligibility, contact us at 770-249-2357.  Alternative lenders can bridge the gap between a small business’ need for capital and a lack of traditional funding options. Many who have been turned down by traditional banks can more easily obtain financing through non-traditional (or alternative) lenders.

La Mancha Sims is the Founding Partner and CEO of Triton Financial Solutions, a business funding consulting firm located in Decatur, Georgia. You can reach La Mancha at 770-249-2357.

Posted in Alternative Lenders, Alternative Lending, Business, Business Credit, Business Financing, Business Lines of Credit, Business Loans, Business News, Business Owners, Business Startups, Business Tips, Credit, Economics, Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Small Business, Small Business News, Small Business Owners, Small Business Tips, Start-ups, Startups, Success, Tips for Entrepreneurs, Tips for Startups | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Understanding Why Too Many Credit Inquiries Can Hurt Your Credit Score

Many of our applicants are surprised when they realize that applying for credit from multiple lenders (such as department stores or auto dealerships) has negatively impacted their credit, and temporarily prevented them from qualifying for the business loans or lines of credit they need to fund their business.

They become frustrated that even though their overall credit may be good, multiple credit inquiries can have such a negative impact on their credit scores as well as their ability to access business funding. I hope the information below address some of these concerns.

What is a Credit Inquiry? Whenever you apply for credit from any lender, retailer, auto dealership, mortgage lender, etc., you are authorizing the lender to ask (or inquire) for a copy of your credit report from one or all of the credit bureaus. Later, you may notice these credit inquiries listed on your credit report. There may also be businesses or lenders listed on your credit report that you do not know or did not directly give permission to receive a copy of your credit report. However, the only credit inquiries that count toward your Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) scores are the ones that result from your applications for new credit.

Are There Different Types of Credit Inquiries? Yes, there are two types of credit inquiries: hard and soft inquiries. A hard credit inquiry is when you are applying for new credit. A soft inquiry is when a lender pulls your FICO Score for marketing or other purposes, such as when a landlord or potential employer might pull your credit. Fortunately, soft credit inquiries have no impact on your FICO Score. Hard inquiries, on the other hand, only hurt your score if there are several in a short amount of time.

Why Does It Matter How Many Credit Inquiries I Have? To lenders, if you have applied for or opened several credit accounts in a short period of time, you may represent a greater credit risk and the lender may be less likely to extend you a loan or line of credit. They may assume that you will be unable to repay these credit accounts and will eventually default, or that you have some type of financial hardship, such as health problems or a job loss that will make it more difficult to repay the loan.

Will Only One Credit Inquiry Affect My Credit Score? The effect of applying for credit varies based on an applicant’s individual credit history. Typically, for most applicants, one credit inquiry will take less than five points off the applicant’s FICO score. Credit inquiries can have a greater impact if the applicant is a young person with a shorter credit history, or if the applicant simply does not have a lot of credit experience. Large numbers of credit inquiries, however, means greater risk for the lender. Some studies have shown that people with six or more credit inquiries on their credit reports are more likely to declare personal bankruptcy than people with no inquiries.

What is Rate-Shopping? InvestorWords defines rate-shopping as “The act of reviewing interest rates from various lenders and on various loan or credit products. Rate shopping allows a consumer to understand the costs of available products and the differences between lenders.” If rate-shopping is done within a short period of time, such as two weeks, it should have little impact on a person’s credit score.

What Can I Do to Limit the Impact of Credit Inquiries on My Credit Report? If you need a loan or line of credit, make sure you do your rate-shopping within a short period of time. FICO scores distinguish between a search for a single loan and a search for many new credit lines, in part by the length of time over which inquiries occur. Also, do not give permission for a lender to obtain a copy of your credit report if you are not yet ready to make a purchase.

Credit inquiries are only a small measure of your overall creditworthiness, but still very important.  People with high FICO Scores regularly pay their bills on time, keep their credit utilization (debt-to-credit ratio) low on credit cards and other revolving credit lines and apply for (and open) new credit accounts only when needed.

La Mancha Sims is the Founding Partner and CEO of Triton Financial Solutions, a business funding consulting firm located in Decatur, Georgia. You can reach La Mancha at 770-249-2357.

Posted in Business, Business Credit, Business Financing, Business Lines of Credit, Business Loans, Business Management, Business News, Business Owners, Business Startups, Business Tips, Credit, Economics, Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Small Business, Small Business News, Small Business Owners, Small Business Tips, Start-ups, Startups, Success, Tips for Entrepreneurs, Tips for Startups | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

4 Misconceptions about Small Business Financing

How much do you really know about small business financing? Businesses that have been around for years as well as start-ups have several misconceptions when it comes to obtaining business capital.

The reasons for these misconceptions vary, but many business owners think traditional banks are not doing a good enough job of explaining their financing options, the requirements necessary to qualify for different types of business financing, how business credit is calculated and how lenders use business credit to deny or approve loan applications.

Four of the biggest misconceptions that we frequently hear from prospective clients are:

1. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a Direct Lender.

The SBA does not make loans directly to small business owners. They do, however, make guaranteed loans through a variety of sources including banks and credit unions. The SBA guarantees a portion of the loan to reduce the risk to lenders, making lenders more likely to lend to smaller companies.

2. If my application is declined by traditional banks, I have no other options.

Banks are only one financing source available to small business owners. Other lending sources include alternative financing methods such as invoice factoring, credit unions or crowdfunding. The best option for you will depend on a range of factors, including how much financing you need, the length of time you have been in business, your business credit history and how quickly the financing is needed.

3. If I have no business credit or my business credit is not good, I can’t get business financing.

While traditional banks have increasingly made it more challenging for small business owners to obtain financing, a variety of alternative lenders (like Triton) are making it possible for small businesses to find the capital they need. Your business credit score is still important and you may have to pay a higher interest rate if your credit is not the best, but alternative lenders provide many options for you and your business.

4. Alternative lenders are too expensive.

In some cases alternative lenders can be more expensive than traditional bank lenders, but as demand for alternative financing has increased, prices have become much more competitive with traditional banks. Another advantage to working with alternative lenders is that the approval process is much faster than traditional banks. After speaking with an alternative lender, you will most likely be surprised at the affordable options that are available.

Whether you need financing today or you are planning for the future, now is the time to learn more about small business financing. I would love to hear from you, so please leave your comments below. Or you can contact me directly at lsims@tritonfinance.com or call 770-249-2357 with any financing questions you may have.

La Mancha Sims is the Founding Partner and CEO of Triton Financial Solutions, a business funding consulting firm located in Decatur, Georgia. You can reach La Mancha at 770-249-2357.

Posted in Alternative Lenders, Alternative Lending, Business, Business Credit, Business Financing, Business Ideas, Business Lines of Credit, Business Loans, Business Management, Business News, Business Owners, Business Startups, Business Tips, Credit, Crowdfunding, Crowdsourcing, Economics, Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Small Business, Small Business News, Small Business Owners, Small Business Tips, Start-ups, Startups, Success, Tips for Entrepreneurs, Tips for Startups | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Finding Some Luck In The Factoring Business

We think you will find the information in this blog post very useful.

Originally published March 23, 2015 by Don D’Ambrosio in Factoring Investor.

How many times have you read about a new startup and kicked yourself because you had the same idea? I remember when I was in college there really weren’t any big name coffee shops on every corner but there sure were a lot of students hanging out at the cafeteria sipping on coffee while studying. Fast forward a few years later and the idea of Starbucks seems like such a no brainer.

When we started our factoring company a few years ago the concept of financing accounts receivable was anything but new. There were many competitors with vast amounts of experience in the asset based lending arena. Prior to jumping into the ring we had diligently written our business plan, thoroughly studied our niche and built a marketing plan with the precision of a skilled surgeon.

Taking all of this into account do you know how many clients we funded in our first four months?

One.

That’s right, we funded one deal and it wasn’t even in our target market. Within six months we funded a few more but they were nothing to write home about.

Then it was gut check time.

The reality is that most startups don’t make it past the first year. You reach a point where you weigh your options and decide if it is better to cut your losses and close the doors or to pivot and reevaluate your strategy. Most people would say the choice is easy by merely changing your strategy and moving on to the next phase. However, when your capital is draining and the phones aren’t ringing the choice isn’t as easy as it sounds.

After some closed door meetings we decided to double down on our company. We totally revamped our marketing plan and infused more working capital into the company. Our bets paid off. It didn’t happen overnight but as we funded more deals momentum kicked in and the rest is history. That’s not to say we sit back and count our blessings. We know our competitors are out there and it’s a challenge bringing in new clients.

So often we get caught up on waiting for our big break to happen or playing the lottery every week with the hope of hitting the big jackpot. Heck, when the last super jackpot was up to 500 million I’m not embarrassed to admit I went and bought a ticket. The point is there will always be the guy or gal that happens to be in the right place at the right time and hits it big. Instead of being jealous of my successful colleagues’ good fortune and writing it off as dumb luck, I think more of the hurdles they had to overcome to reach their goals.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it”. Truer words could not be spoken but I’m still heading to Vegas next month.

Don D’Ambrosio is the president of Oxygen Funding, Inc., an invoice factoring company located in Lake Forest, California.

For more information, he can be reached at don.dambrosio@oxygenfunding.com or you can visit his company’s website at www.oxygenfunding.com.

Posted in Alternative Lenders, Alternative Lending, Business, Business Financing, Business Lines of Credit, Business Loans, Business News, Business Owners, Business Tips, Economics, Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Factoring, Finance, Invoice Factoring, Small Business, Small Business News, Small Business Owners, Small Business Tips, Success, Tips for Entrepreneurs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

4 Tax Deductions for Small Business Owners

It is nearing that time of year when small business owners are gathering the paperwork necessary to prepare this year’s taxes. However, don’t overlook these tax deductions for 2015:

  1.  Entertainment

One of the most common business expenses is entertainment. Having a breakfast or lunch meeting with a client or prospect at a restaurant , or just getting together for coffee is tax deductible as long as it is a genuine business meeting. You should keep a record of the meeting, including the client’s name and what was discussed as well as the receipt from the restaurant.  Only 50% of the bill is tax deductible, however.

  1.  Email Marketing

How many social media posts do you read each day versus your emails? If you are like most people, you read a few social media posts every day, but you read all of your non-spam email. Therefore focusing on email marketing makes sense. There are several companies that can provide you with paid email campaigns to send communications to your prospective client list. And although you will have to pay a fee for this service, you can deduct all of it.

  1.  Networking

One of the most effective marketing activities for small businesses is networking, in person and online. Networking allows you to build relationships that eventually will lead to referrals of new clients. Networking activities are tax deductible, including membership fees to such organizations as your local chamber of commerce or service organization.

  1.  Sponsorship Marketing

Your business may not yet have enough income to advertise in print or television media, which can be very expensive. But there are other ways to keep your business before the public. Sponsoring the local football team or participating in a local charity event are examples of strategies that can promote your business to attract new clients. Your efforts are deductible as advertising costs. To be seen supporting the community and contributing to its economic development is extremely powerful and creates enormous goodwill.

Conclusion

Taking advantage of these tax deductions can go a long way to helping small business owners lower their overall tax bill.

La Mancha Sims is the Founding Partner and CEO of Triton Financial Solutions, a business funding consulting firm located in Decatur, Georgia. You can reach La Mancha at 770-249-2357.

 

Posted in Business, Business News, Business Owners, Business Startups, Business Taxes, Business Tips, Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Small Business, Small Business News, Small Business Owners, Small Business Taxes, Small Business Tips, Start-ups, Startups, Tax Tips, Taxes, Tips for Entrepreneurs, Tips for Startups | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments