Alternative Financing Strategies In A Slow Market

The economy just struggles on. And, it is expected to continue at least until the next Presidential election is over and we set politics aside and get back to the real work.

In the mean time, current financial market conditions will remain unchanged - meaning that small businesses, even those that are growing, will continue to have a hard time accessing capital.

- Credit score requirements will trend higher precluding those without the most stellar score from the credit markets while continued economic setbacks of small business owners will push their scores in the opposite direction.

- Positive cash flow requirements will play an even greater role in credit underwriting even while most small businesses are facing declining revenues.

- And, collateral requirements will continue to trend higher; with values of 100%, 150% and even 200% or more.

All bad news for business owners needing a business loan to stay float or to grow and innovate their companies through this turmoil.

However, not all is lost to these entrepreneurs.

Here are a couple of suggestions of raising money during this unending slow market:

Are Cash Advances Smart Loan Alternatives For Businesses?

Many businesses are struggling in the current economy; due to the relentless recession and irresponsible lending habits of major lenders over the past few years, banks have tightened up on loan lending. Looking to avoid another market crash, such as that which has persisted for the past five years due to the banker's faulty home loans, government agencies have installed more regulations on lending practitioners. This is good news for the country, as it helps to protect home buyers and other borrowers from fraudulent or faulty loans, but it can be bad for business owners, who often need loans to keep their companies afloat.

Business owners often rely on bank financing to cover costs, which may lead them to seek out loan alternatives when unable to secure a traditional loan, including high interest cash advances or other loans which can perpetuate a cycle of loan dependence. Often, business owners barely break even after all the bills are paid, potentially leading to the loss of one's business and possible bankruptcy. For business owners who can't obtain traditional loans, cash advances may provide the needed funds temporarily. However, they are not the only option.

When a traditional bank loan is unattainable, the following list of alternative finance options for businesses might come in handy, including Merchant Cash Advances, Non-Bank Loans, Asset Based Lending, and Lease Backs:

*Merchant cash advances providers loan a lump sum amount to a business and collect the repayment by means of abstracting a percentage from daily credit card sales until the loan plus a predetermined fee is paid in full. On the plus side, merchants do not have to pay back the fee in a lump sum, making payments more manageable. On the con side, these advances have high interest rates and often take a long time to pay off, accruing fees over the length of the loan.

Your Business Exit Strategy - Strategic Planning

Many business owners spend years building up their companies to make them a success, but the hard work needed to run a business, and the day to day running of the company can mean that the financial health of the business takes main priority. This is to be expected, and it is important that business owners do keep an eye on their finances to ensure the smooth operating of their company, however problems can arise when it comes time to leave or retire and they realise they have spent no time planning their exit strategy.

It is important to start planning your exit strategy early, maybe even if you are not planning to leave in the foreseeable future, having a plan in place will secure your financial future. It may be worth considering the various exit routes available to you, and to set out your objectives for your exit. Good management over several years will ensure that your business is in the best position and will add value allowing you to start your exit quickly when you feel the time is right.

Planning your exit strategy over a longer period of time tends to work better as it is less expensive and less disruptive to the business. Also knowing what is in the pipeline gives confidence to your co-directors, employees, family and clients as they all know what to expect in the future.

If you receive the proper advice before leaving you can substantially reduce the amount of tax you have to pay, leaving you with the maximum amount of cash possible, and ensuring you don't have to worry so much about your personal finances once you have left the company.

Achieving Business and Financial Success

Success in life and success in business are not the same thing. Of course, business and finance are huge and important components of our overall lives. You'd be a fool not to pay considerable attention to these areas, without compromising the other aspects of your life.


Being successful in business and finance is not a simple task, otherwise we'd all be rich. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is no easy, or direct path to financial achievement. People find an infinite variety of ways to amass wealth and attain success in business and commerce. Others never find a way to progress financially. People can't decide on a career or enterprise, or how to progress once they're there. Some squander their money. Still others have setbacks, physical or mental challenges, and so forth.


H. L. Hunt was, by any objective measures, a financially successful individual. His business acumen was well-known. He made his fortune in the oil business, and by investing.

When asked about his "success formula" Hunt offered some prescient advice. His approach is direct, but not as easy as it sounds. FIRST: "Decide what you want." SECOND: " Decide what you're willing to exchange for it." THIRD: "Establish your priorities, and go to work.

Business University - Intellectual Hubs for Business and Finance Students

Finding a business university that meets all the needs of its students can be a difficult challenge for prospective undergraduates and postgraduates. Scholars with a natural flair and a passion to forge a career in business and finance will undoubtedly know that the City of London remains the intellectual and commercial hub of global finance.

Studying at a London business university gives students versatility with some of the widest portfolios of BA and Masters programmes in Europe. London attracts students from all four corners of the globe, and its universities serve the needs of professionals and companies through management education and by stimulating research and debate on key issues facing international business and finance.

Many London business universities focus on attracting the leaders of tomorrow into their undergraduate and Masters programmes, as well as some of the best international talent into MBA and PhD programmes.

Research is a crucial factor in any teaching institution and prospective students should consider a business university that undertakes research of national and international significance to its students.

The beauty of studying in London is that financial institutions have strong relationships with the city, creating a virtuous circle of learning. Students can benefit from the experience of business, and business benefits from the quality of a university's academic thinking and research.

Popular Business and Finance Magazine Subscription

In today's highly competitive business industry, subscribing to popular business and finance magazines are more important than ever before. These trade magazines can help you become updated with the current trends in your business niche. Whether you want new insights into your particular market or the current trends today in management, business and finance mags can surely help you.

There are literally hundreds of business magazines. They vary in many aspects. Many Sites offer cheap subscriptions of the most popular business and finance magazines. This can provide you with unbelievably big discounts than when subscribing to the publisher itself, or even more savings than buying them in your local newsstand.

But the main question now is, among these popular business mags, how do you know if you are making the right choice? Here are some tips to help you search for a good business magazine that is sure to benefit you and your business:

1. Look for magazines that covers every aspect of your business. You may need to get more than one type of business and finance magazine. You may even use some other subscription when necessary. For example, if your target market are teens, you will find a teen magazine subscription useful as means of market research. You can use theoretical or management magazines to help you look for solutions when issues arise. Do not limit your resources when it comes to your business. Magazines provide lots of information that you cannot find elsewhere.

Diversify Your Business Finance


The Government has announced a new initiative to help diversify business finance which will be led by UK industry experts from both the business and finance sectors.

UK businesses still rely heavily on bank funding to help finance their business activities even though there are many alternative sources of funding available to them in today's ever changing financial marketplace.

The Government wants to ensure, in light of recent and current banking reforms, that the flow of finance to businesses is maintained. Alternative sources of finance will be crucial to help businesses deliver the wider economic growth the UK economy needs.

The panel of experts will seek to establish a framework of alternative finance sources by working with businesses and business investors, financial institutions and providers of alternative finance to coordinate and facilitate the availability of funding that businesses need.

Bank lending

Even though there has been a recorded increase in new lending from the largest banks this year many businesses are still unhappy with bank lending levels and how they have been treated by their banks.

Tighter lending criteria, non-renewal of overdraft facilities and poor communication by the banks are the common problems cited by businesses as making their funding objectives difficult to achieve.

Financial Management and Budgeting in Business

Importance of Financial Management

Finance is a key functional area of business management. This area is commonly referred to as Financial Management. The term defines the achievement of key financial objectives by making investment and financial decisions. Essentially, it is the management of all the processes associated with the efficient acquisition and deployment of both short and long-term financial resources. Financial Management assists an organisation's management to reach its financial objectives such as the creation of wealth, solvency, liquidity, growth and return on investment achieved through a process of financial planning, control and decision-making.

Financial Control

Financial control consists of different strategies to manage finances necessary to achieve the primary purpose of every business; which is to earn profit. Budgets are the traditional financial control method and provide a measuring basis which performance can be assessed. By engaging in a yearly budgeting process a business can make plans and forecasts for the year ahead. Control action should be taken when actual performance appears not to be matching the outline of the budget. Therefore by monthly monitoring of expenses, controlling methods can be put into place when expenses becoming higher than figures stated in budget (such as spending cut backs or extra working hours). And by determining the reasons why figures do not match the yearly budget plan, a business can therefore make necessary plans for this not to occur in the future. Monthly monitoring of expenses is another example of a financial control. Such data includes cash balance, total wages costs and hours worked key sources of income, unusual or above budget expenditures.

Three Main Financial Statements

The 3 main financial statements necessary to analysis and improve on finance viability:

1) Balance sheet - 'A statement of financial position that shows the assets of a business and the claims on those assets'

Five Financial Management Tips For Small Businesses

Many small business owners are driven by entrepreneurial inspiration to start their own companies. Small businesses drive new jobs and innovative ideas. However, for all the "pros" which accompany running your own business - the thrill of bringing a new idea to market, fulfilling a goal, flexible schedules - there are also challenges. Owning the business may be the simple part. Running it smoothly and profitably often can prove difficult. Following are five financial management tips that should assist in running your small business more effectively so that you can enjoy all the "pros" that influenced the decision to own a small business in the first place.

1 Develop a Budget - This is critical to the success of any business. A budget that lists your projected revenue and expenses serves as a road map in guiding business decisions and making sure you carefully consider financial decisions with the "big picture" in mind. When you create a budget, you can see the cash inflows and outflows. A budget functions as a financial barometer, allowing you to project accordingly, optimize and manage cash flow, as well as anticipate future financial needs.

2 Stay Abreast of Your Financials - As a small business owner, implement a routine practice of reviewing your financial reports. Staying abreast of your financials also equates to maintaining up-to-date accounting and bookkeeping records, as well as managing your expenses, payables and receivables. Timely and accurate access to updated financials allows you to make informed decisions quickly that could significantly impact your company's profitability.