Tag: Small-Business

Busting 5 Myths About Small-Business Lending #business #blogs

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Busting 5 Myths About Small-Business Lending

Co-founder and CEO, Fundera

Like your mother and your high school history teacher likely told you over and over again, you can t believe everything you read on the Internet.

With the growing accessibility of information freely available online, modern entrepreneurs in search of funding to grow their businesses have a huge leg up on generations past. Yet for every bit of accurate and genuinely helpful advice, there is an increasing prevalence of misinformation and myths surrounding the small business lending space. Unfortunately, much of that misinformation can give business owners bad information about how small business loans work, giving them a false sense of their own eligibility.

Don t miss out on opportunities to secure funding for your business due to false information. Let s separate fact from fiction and bust five of the most common small business lending myths we hear every day.

1. Approval takes forever.

Whether you re itching to move forward with a new business idea or you need cash quickly to cover an unexpected expense, one of the most common questions business owners have when applying for funding is, how fast can I get cash in hand?

You may hear from well-meaning friends and relatives that getting approved for a business loan can take weeks or even months, but that information is outdated. With new online loan applications, an organized business owner can complete her application in less than an hour, and it can be reviewed and approved within 24 hours of submission. Many lenders can even offer cash in hand in as little as two days.

While some borrowers may take additional time to gather financial statements or get their credit reports in better shape, once you hit submit, the approval practice is very efficient. Don t let the fear of a long approval process hold you back from seeking a loan.

2. New businesses never qualify.

The startup funding quandary is a difficult one. You need an established business to secure funding, but you need cash in hand to get your business off the ground. Seeking funding from venture capitalists or angel investors is certainly the most popular route for securing startup funding, but is it the only way?

Many startup entrepreneurs assume that they need to be in business for a few years and have established business credit before they can qualify for a loan. However, more and more lenders are specifically offering startup loans that require little or no business credit history to qualify.

Applying for a startup loan will involve more scrutiny into your personal finances than other types of business loans. Your personal credit score will be the most important part of the application. You may also be faced with less favorable rates than you would receive as an established business. But if you re committed to finding funding and open to the necessary conditions, securing a loan for your brand new business is possible.

3. Online lenders are con artists with unreasonable rates.

We get it. The online alternative lending market is relatively new, and people are skeptical of new things. Unfortunately, many unscrupulous online lenders and brokers have engaged in predatory and dangerous lending practices, giving the entire industry a bad rap.

But in reality, some alternative lenders operating online offer single-digit interest rates. Those offering higher rates often are working with borrowers who are considered risky. Online lenders regularly consider a wide variety of borrower credentials outside of just the traditional credit report and score. Business owners who were turned down by their bank can frequently find the funding they need online.

As with any financial transaction, it s critical that business owners do their due diligence about an online lender before signing the dotted line.

4. Loan officers only care about your credit score.

This myth, carried over from the outdated traditional bank model for loan approvals, can leave business owners with less-than-stellar credit feeling hopeless about their funding prospects. Luckily for these entrepreneurs, growth in the alternative lending sector has led to a larger spectrum of factors being considered in the loan approval process.

Many lenders will now give equal weight to your company s revenue history, cash flow statement and other financial documents in determining your loan eligibility. This information often paints a very different picture of a business and its owner s financial standing than what a credit score alone can convey.

Even so, before applying for a business loan, it is still important that you take steps to make your credit report and score the best possible reflection of your financial history. Always make debt payments on time, and manage your credit usage responsibly. Also frequently check your credit reports for accuracy. If you find errors, contact the reporting agencies to correct the mistakes.

5. Approval is determined by a heartless algorithm.

Once upon a time, entrepreneurs seeking small business funding could walk into their local community bank, build face-to-face relationships with managers and loan officers, and be confident they understood the whole picture behind their loan application, including both cold hard numbers as well as the more intangible elements of their qualifications as borrowers.

These days, technology has all but replaced those in-person banking relationships, creating the impression that loan approval decisions are controlled by nothing more than a few concrete variables and an algorithm saying yes or no.

But while you may have lost the ability to look your loan officer in the eye and strike a deal with a handshake, the modern funding process isn t actually as impersonal as this reputation suggests. In reality, lenders consider a wide variety of both objective, number-based factors as well as more subjective considerations, like your business and marketing plan.

If you re concerned about certain elements of your loan application, like your credit score, take the time to flesh out your business plan, fully explaining how the funds you are borrowing will be used and how this investment will lead to a successful business.

Ultimately, your lender s main consideration is whether or not you will make your loan payments on time, every time. Your loan application should, both through financial documents and through your written statements, paint the best possible picture of your future ability to repay the loan.

If you do your research, stay organized, and can clearly and concisely convey this information to lenders through your loan application, your chances of being quickly matched with the a loan to meet your business needs is tremendously greater.





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Best Small-Business Loans for Veterans 2016 #minority #business #loans

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Best Small-Business Loans for Veterans 2016

You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved. Here’s how we make money .

Finding a small-business loan is a tough task for any entrepreneur. Bad credit, a lack of collateral and limited business history are all obstacles that small businesses may face. Funding can be an even bigger challenge for U.S. military veterans, whose financial history may have gaps because of their time in active service.

Despite these challenges, many veterans decide to become their own boss after serving their country. About 1 in 7 veterans is self-employed or a small-business owner, according to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.

To help overcome the financing hurdle, we’ve rounded up some of the best small-business loan options for veterans based on personal credit score:

Small-business loans for veterans if you have a 500+ personal credit score

For startups and younger small businesses, lenders typically base lending decisions on the owner’s personal credit. This could be an issue for veterans who did not get a chance to build their credit during military service.

If your credit is lacking, Kabbage offers a line of credit that does not require a minimum credit score to qualify. You will need, however, at least $50,000 in annual revenue. If your credit score is 500 or higher and your business generates at least $100,000 in annual revenue, you could get a less expensive loan with OnDeck. The lender offers an APR starting at 9%, up to 98%, compared with Kabbage’s 32% to 108%.

Small-business loans for veterans if you have a 600+ personal credit score

For companies with at least one year in business and low revenue starting at $25,000 StreetShares is a good choice, with APR starting at 9%.

If your business is generating at least $150,000 annually, you will get a greater range of financing products with Dealstruck, which offers term loans, an inventory line of credit and an asset-based line of credit. Also, Dealstruck could be a cheaper financing option, with APRs from 10% to 28%, while StreetShares’ APR maxes out at 40%.

Before you apply for a StreetShares loan, find out whether you meet the lender s minimum qualifications.

  • 600+ personal credit score.
  • 1+ year in business.
  • $25,000+ in annual revenue.*
  • No bankruptcies in the past three years.
  • No current tax liens or collections (unless you have proper documentation).

You only need 6 months in business if you have $100,000+ in revenue.
StreetShares is currently unavailable to borrowers in North Dakota or South Dakota.

Before you apply for a Dealstruck loan, find out whether you meet the lender s minimum qualifications.

  • 600+ personal credit score.
  • 1+ year in business.
  • $150,000+ in annual revenue.
  • Breaking even or profitable.
  • Personal guarantee and a lien on business assets required.

Looking to expand? SmartBiz has the lowest borrowing costs among online lenders. The lender provides SBA loans with 7% to 8% APR for businesses with strong finances. With a repayment term of 10 years, SmartBiz is a good choice for purchasing real estate or equipment, refinancing high-interest debt or acquiring another business. Qualifying can be tough, however, since you have to meet the SBA’s stringent requirements (including about a dozen required documents). Lending Club is a good option for expansion capital if you don’t qualify for SmartBiz. You need at least $75,000 in annual revenue to qualify. The company offers competitive rates (8% to 32% APR) and repayment terms of one to five years.

Before you apply for a SmartBiz loan, find out whether you meet the lender s minimum qualifications.

  • 600+ personal credit score.
  • 2+ years in business.
  • $50,000+ in annual revenue.
  • Personal guarantee required.
  • No outstanding tax liens.
  • No bankruptcies or foreclosures in last three years.
  • No recent charge-offs or settlements.
  • Must be current on government-related loans.

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2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly.

Additionally, this site may be compensated through third party advertisers. However, the results of our comparison tools, blog content and editorial reviews are based on objective analysis. For more information, please see our Advertiser Disclosure .





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The 15 Most Profitable Small-Business Industries #entrepreneurial #ideas

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The 15 Most Profitable Small-Business Industries

This article originally published March 4, 2016.

Being talented with numbers can really pay off if you re looking to start a profitable business.

Accounting and tax services takes the top spot on the list of the most profitable type of small business with a generous 18.4 percent net profit margin followed by real-estate services (15.2 percent), law firms (14.5 percent) and doctor s offices (13 percent) reports Sageworks. a financial data service that analyzed the net profit margin of more than 16,000 small businesses (that earned less than $10 million) between September 2014 and August 2015.

(The average net profit across all industries for this report s time period was 7.2 percent.)

What makes these industries profitable? For one, they re driven by human capital.

Service industries, says Sageworks analyst Jenna Weaver, are very common to find on the most profitable small-business list. This is generally due to lower overhead and startup costs. A lot of these industries you can start from your house.

While profit isn t the only matter for an entrepreneur to consider — other factors to consider are whether the business matches his or her skills, what sort of licensing or training is required and how the business would fare during a recession — it s an important place to start.

Related:The 10 Best Jobs in America for 2016

Here s the list of the 15 most profitable types of small businesses and their net profit margins.

1. Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping and Payroll Services: 18.4%

The accounting industry is consistently a top performer on our list, says Sageworks Weaver.

No matter how the economy is doing, everyone needs accountants. Also, this industry tends to have low overhead and repeat clients.

Read This:The Tax and Legal Playbook: Game-Changing Solutions to Your Small-Business Questions by Mark J. Kohler | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes Noble

2. Management of Companies and Enterprises: 15.5%

This industry is made up of small, privately-owned offices of bank holding companies and other types of holding companies.

Some well-known examples of holding companies (that do not fall into the small-business category) are Warren Buffett s Berkshire Hathaway and Carl Icahn s ICahn Enterprises .

3. Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers: 15.19%

While the real-estate market is largely dependent on the health of the economy, real-estate brokers and agents have low operating costs and all you need to get started is an agent or brokerage license.

4. Automotive Equipment Rental and Leasing: 14.55%

With the on-demand economy on the rise, Sageworks analyst Libby Bierman says that people may be leasing and renting more cars using on-demand services such as Zipcar — along with more traditional rental services such as Hertz .

Read This:Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase (Zipcar co-founder) | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes Noble

5. Legal Services: 14.48%

Anyone who has ever hired a lawyer knows it s not cheap. Law, like accounting, generally has low operating costs as well as repeat clients. However, this business category includes not only lawyers, but notaries, settlement officers (who deal in the transaction of securities) and title search agents in real estate.

6. Offices of Dentists: 14.41%

Dentists, like physicians, benefit from recurring patients, and while startup costs can be expensive — dental equipment is quite costly — the profession has the advantage of handling several patients at a time, plus many pay out of pocket.

7. Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution: 14.02%

This category of small, privately-held electric power companies includes not just your traditional, fossil fuel electric powers but also hydroelectric, nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal and more.

8. Lessors of Real Estate: 14.01%

Lessors, also known as landlords, show that renting both residential and nonresidential properties is a profitable gig once you recover the initial costs of purchase.

9. Offices of Other Health Practitioners: 13.30%

How is this category different from physicians? It s not, really. There is a census delineation between chiropractors, optometrists, mental-health practitioners and podiatrists — who fall under this category of other health practitioners — and all other types of physicians.

Read This:Start Your Own Medical Claims Billing Service by The Staff at Entrepreneur Media and Charlene Davis | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes Noble

10. Offices of Physicians: 13.01%

Being a doctor requires years of training, certification and likely, medical school debt. However, doctors also benefit from regular clients and relatively low overhead costs.

Read This:The Medical Entrepreneur: Pearls, Pitfalls and Practical Business Advice for Doctors by Steven M. Hacker MD | Amazon | Barnes Noble

11. Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment Rental and Leasing: 12.58%

It pays to rent or lease. These businesses typically rent or lease commercial machinery and equipment across industries.

Read This:The Complete Equipment-Leasing Handbook: A Deal Maker s Guide with Forms, Checklists, and Worksheets by Richard M. Contino | Amazon | Indigo.ca | Barnes Noble

12. Religious Organizations: 12.41%

Religious organizations are having a profitable year. Really. Remember, being not-for-profit doesn t mean your goal shouldn t be to make a profit. It s just how you distribute those gains. Instead of giving profits to shareholders, all of yours go to your organization s mission, which is the furthering of your church s aims. It has been a good year not only for churches, synagogues, monasteries, mosques and temples, but also for schools, colleges and universities that are operated by religious organizations.

13. Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services: 12.05%

Some types of businesses that fall under this category are businesses that provide either management or consulting on a range of expertise, including human resources, marketing and environmental issues.

Read This:Start Your Own Consulting Business: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Success by The Staff at Entrepreneur Media and Eileen Figure Sandlin | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes Noble

14. Specialized Design Services: 11.4%

Small businesses that specialize in interior, industrial and graphic design are flourishing, as the value of a product or business s function has become inextricably linked to appearance and design.

Read This:Start Your Own Graphic Design Business: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Success by Entrepreneur Press | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes Noble

15. Office Administrative Services: 11.3%

These administrative businesses are the backbone of business operations across a variety of industries — from food services to physicians offices — and provide the day-to-day administrative services, such as record keeping, financial planning and billing.

Read This:Start Your Own Personal Concierge Service: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Success by Entrepreneur Press | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes Noble





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Small-Business Grants for Women: 10 Go-To Spots #business #loans #online

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Small-Business Grants for Women: 10 Go-To Spots

You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved. Here’s how we make money .

If you’re starting a business and need outside financing, it’s natural to be wary of small-business loans. Why take on debt if you can get a grant that you won’t have to repay?

But small-business grants for women — or men, for that matter — can be hard to come by. “There’s not a pot of free money,” says Michelle Somes-Booher, a business consultant at the Small Business Development Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

If you need business financing, two more likely options are business credit cards and small-business loans for women. The competition is fierce for small-business grants, and it takes a lot of time and effort to find them and complete the applications. However, if you’re up for the challenge, the payoff can be worth it. Here are 10 places women entrepreneurs can look for small-business grants.

Federal small-business grants for women

The federal government offers some grants for small-business owners, but they’re designated for very specific purposes, such as certain research and development projects or for businesses in rural areas. Government grants can’t be used to cover startup costs or day-to-day expenses, and most aren’t earmarked specifically for women.

Grants.gov is a database of all federally sponsored grants. You can search for small-business grants here — just make sure you filter the results on the left side of the page to view grants specifically for small businesses.

2. InnovateHER Challenge

The U.S. Small Business Administration hosts an annual competition for businesses with a marketable product or service that positively affects women s lives. To participate, you must first enter and win a local InnovateHER Challenge to advance to the national semifinal round. The top three national finalists will win $40,000, $20,000 and $10,000, respectively.

3. Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs

The SBA facilitates these two competitive programs, which ultimately provide grants to small businesses that contribute to federal research and development. Eleven federal agencies, including the departments of Agriculture, Defense, and Health and Human Services, post grant opportunities on their websites. You can search all grant opportunities on the SBIR website.

State and local small-business grants

Because federal small-business grants are limited in number and often very competitive, you may have better luck looking for grants at the state and municipal levels. You’ll have to do your own research to pinpoint specific grant programs in your area, but here are some places to look:

4. Women’s Business Centers

The SBA sponsors about 100 Women’s Business Centers nationwide, designed to help women entrepreneurs with business development and access to capital. Some, such as the California Capital Financial Development Corp. lend money directly, while others simply help you find small-business grants and loans that you may qualify for.

5. Economic development agencies

Every state and many cities have economic development agencies focused on promoting a strong local economy. Even if the agency itself doesn’t offer a small-business grant, it will likely be able to point you in the right direction.

6. Small Business Development Centers

There are hundreds of these SBA-sponsored centers around the country, typically housed at colleges and universities. SBDCs offer free, one-on-one business consulting. Set up a meeting with your local SBDC advisor, who will be able to tell you about grants and other business financing opportunities in your area.

Private small-business grants for women

Some private organizations and businesses have created national grant programs for women small-business owners. Here are two to look into:

The Amber Grant Foundation awards $500 to a different women-owned business every month. At the end of each year, one of the 12 grant winners is awarded an additional $2,000. The application is relatively simple: Explain what your business is, describe what you’d do with the grant money and pay a $7 application fee. The foundation’s advisory board chooses the winners, looking for women with passion and a good story.

8. Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant

Eileen Fisher, a women’s clothing retailer, awards $100,000 to up to 10 women business owners each year. To be eligible, women must make up at least 51% of your business s ownership and leadership, your business must have been in operation for at least three years, it must not exceed $1 million in annual revenue, and it must be focused on environmental or social change.

Two other good possibilities for grants

These options aren’t specifically for women, but they’re good small-business grants to consider:

9. FedEx Small Business Grant

FedEx awards up to $25,000 apiece to 10 small businesses annually. The application requires an explanation of your business, how you’d use the money, photos of your business and — this part is optional — a short video explaining your business. You don’t need a FedEx account to apply.

10. Mission Main Street Grants

Chase Bank gives $150,000 to 20 small businesses each year through its Mission Main Street Grants program. To be eligible, you must have been in business at least two years and have fewer than 100 employees, and the application includes answering five essay questions.

Find and compare small-business loans

NerdWallet has come up with a list of the best small-business loans to meet your needs and goals. We gauged lender trustworthiness, market scope and user experience, among other factors, and arranged them by categories that include your revenue and how long you’ve been in business.

To get more information about funding options and compare them for your small business, visit NerdWallet ssmall-business loanspage. For free, personalized answers to questions about financing your business, visit theSmall Businesssection of NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor page.

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We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines. and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly.

Additionally, this site may be compensated through third party advertisers. However, the results of our comparison tools, blog content and editorial reviews are based on objective analysis. For more information, please see our Advertiser Disclosure .





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Small-Business Grants for Minorities: 9 Opportunities #business #degree #online

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Small-Business Grants for Minorities: 9 Opportunities

You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved. Here’s how we make money .

Minority business owners face challenges when starting or expanding a small business, including access to affordable small-business loans. Grants and financial assistance can help bridge the funding gap.

Here are some of the best small-business grants and other useful financing resources for minority-owned businesses. NerdWallet also has compiled a list of the best small-business loans for minorities .

  • Grants.Gov . This website allows grant seekers to find and apply for federal funding opportunities. It contains information on more than 1,000 grant programs across all 26 federal grant-making agencies, including the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  • The USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program . This is a grant for the development or expansion of small businesses in rural areas — minority or not. To qualify, you’ll need to have fewer than 50 employees, less than $1 million in revenue and be located in an eligible rural area. Grants range from $10,000 to $500,000.
  • National Association for the Self-Employed . This is a nonprofit association that’s a good resource for all small-business owners. It provides educational resources and grants, and in 2015, it will have awarded more than $48,000 in grants to small businesses. To apply for a grant of up to $4,000, you’ll need to become an active member of the association, provide a detailed explanation of how you’ll use the funds, show how the grant will support your business growth, and provide some supporting documentation.
  • FedEx Small Business Grant Contest . This annual grant contest by FedEx awards 10 small businesses with grants of up to $25,000. Any for-profit small business that has been in operation for at least six months is eligible to enter.
  • Small-Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs . These two programs provide contracts and grants for startups that are looking to commercialize innovative biomedical technologies.
  • Minority Business Development Agency . This agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce promotes the growth of minority-run small businesses by connecting owners to financing resources, federal contracts and market opportunities. The White House announced in August that the MBDA would partner with two organizations to launch the Minority Business Enterprise Technology Initiative, which aims to help aspiring technology entrepreneurs bring new products and services to market.
  • National Minority Supplier Development Council . The council is a corporate member organization focused on increasing business opportunities for certified minority businesses. The council also operates the Business Consortium Fund. which offers a variety of financing programs and business advisory services for certified minority-owned businesses.
  • SBA 8(a) Business Development Program . Socially or economically disadvantaged small-business owners are eligible to receive help through this Small Business Association program, which provides business development assistance, training workshops and management and technical guidance. To qualify, a small business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by a citizen who has been subjected to cultural bias or prejudice and placed at an economic disadvantage because of race or ethnicity.
  • Operation HOPE Small-Business Empowerment Program . This program is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs in low-wealth neighborhoods, which often include minority communities. It provides access to small-business financing options, as well as help with setting up a business plan and financial statements, credit counseling and educational resources.

Find and compare small-business loans

If you’re looking for financing, NerdWallet has come up with a list of the best small-business loans to meet your needs and goals. We gauged lender trustworthiness, market scope and user experience, among other factors, and arranged them by categories that include your revenue and how long you’ve been in business.

For free, personalized answers to questions about financing your business, visit theSmall Businesssection of NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor page.

This post was updated. It was originally published Dec. 3, 2015.

Image via iStock.

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We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines. and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly.

Additionally, this site may be compensated through third party advertisers. However, the results of our comparison tools, blog content and editorial reviews are based on objective analysis. For more information, please see our Advertiser Disclosure .





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Best Small-Business Loans for Veterans 2016 #sba #loans

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Best Small-Business Loans for Veterans 2016

You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved. Here’s how we make money .

Finding a small-business loan is a tough task for any entrepreneur. Bad credit, a lack of collateral and limited business history are all obstacles that small businesses may face. Funding can be an even bigger challenge for U.S. military veterans, whose financial history may have gaps because of their time in active service.

Despite these challenges, many veterans decide to become their own boss after serving their country. About 1 in 7 veterans is self-employed or a small-business owner, according to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.

To help overcome the financing hurdle, we’ve rounded up some of the best small-business loan options for veterans based on personal credit score:

Small-business loans for veterans if you have a 500+ personal credit score

For startups and younger small businesses, lenders typically base lending decisions on the owner’s personal credit. This could be an issue for veterans who did not get a chance to build their credit during military service.

If your credit is lacking, Kabbage offers a line of credit that does not require a minimum credit score to qualify. You will need, however, at least $50,000 in annual revenue. If your credit score is 500 or higher and your business generates at least $100,000 in annual revenue, you could get a less expensive loan with OnDeck. The lender offers an APR starting at 9%, up to 98%, compared with Kabbage’s 32% to 108%.

Small-business loans for veterans if you have a 600+ personal credit score

For companies with at least one year in business and low revenue starting at $25,000 StreetShares is a good choice, with APR starting at 9%.

If your business is generating at least $150,000 annually, you will get a greater range of financing products with Dealstruck, which offers term loans, an inventory line of credit and an asset-based line of credit. Also, Dealstruck could be a cheaper financing option, with APRs from 10% to 28%, while StreetShares’ APR maxes out at 40%.

Before you apply for a StreetShares loan, find out whether you meet the lender s minimum qualifications.

  • 600+ personal credit score.
  • 1+ year in business.
  • $25,000+ in annual revenue.*
  • No bankruptcies in the past three years.
  • No current tax liens or collections (unless you have proper documentation).

You only need 6 months in business if you have $100,000+ in revenue.
StreetShares is currently unavailable to borrowers in North Dakota or South Dakota.

Before you apply for a Dealstruck loan, find out whether you meet the lender s minimum qualifications.

  • 600+ personal credit score.
  • 1+ year in business.
  • $150,000+ in annual revenue.
  • Breaking even or profitable.
  • Personal guarantee and a lien on business assets required.

Looking to expand? SmartBiz has the lowest borrowing costs among online lenders. The lender provides SBA loans with 7% to 8% APR for businesses with strong finances. With a repayment term of 10 years, SmartBiz is a good choice for purchasing real estate or equipment, refinancing high-interest debt or acquiring another business. Qualifying can be tough, however, since you have to meet the SBA’s stringent requirements (including about a dozen required documents). Lending Club is a good option for expansion capital if you don’t qualify for SmartBiz. You need at least $75,000 in annual revenue to qualify. The company offers competitive rates (8% to 32% APR) and repayment terms of one to five years.

Before you apply for a SmartBiz loan, find out whether you meet the lender s minimum qualifications.

  • 600+ personal credit score.
  • 2+ years in business.
  • $50,000+ in annual revenue.
  • Personal guarantee required.
  • No outstanding tax liens.
  • No bankruptcies or foreclosures in last three years.
  • No recent charge-offs or settlements.
  • Must be current on government-related loans.

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We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines. and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly.

Additionally, this site may be compensated through third party advertisers. However, the results of our comparison tools, blog content and editorial reviews are based on objective analysis. For more information, please see our Advertiser Disclosure .





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What It Takes to Be a Small-Business Owner (Infographic) #loans #to #start #a #business

#small business owner

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What It Takes to Be a Small-Business Owner (Infographic)

Former Staff Writer

Being a small-business owner isn t easy, but an overwhelming majority of entrepreneurs wouldn t have it any other way.

While small-business owners cite having to wear so many hats and finding new customers as their biggest concerns, according to the below infographic courtesy of online marketing company Constant Contact. a whopping 84 percent said that, if given the opportunity, they would start up all over again. The ability to pursue their passion and the freedom that an entrepreneurial lifestyle allows are their biggest motivators, they said.

And that s a good thing, because small business continues to contribute to the global economy in huge ways. Roughly half of all U.S. jobs are provided by companies of less than 500 employees, and 54 percent of U.S. sales happen at small businesses. Additionally, small businesses donate 250 percent more than larger corporations to nonprofits and other charities.

For additional stats, check out the infographic below.





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Small-Business Grants for Minorities: 9 Opportunities #small #business #association

#minority small business grants

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Small-Business Grants for Minorities: 9 Opportunities

You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved. Here’s how we make money .

Minority business owners face challenges when starting or expanding a small business, including access to affordable small-business loans. Grants and financial assistance can help bridge the funding gap.

Here are some of the best small-business grants and other useful financing resources for minority-owned businesses. NerdWallet also has compiled a list of the best small-business loans for minorities .

  • Grants.Gov . This website allows grant seekers to find and apply for federal funding opportunities. It contains information on more than 1,000 grant programs across all 26 federal grant-making agencies, including the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  • The USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program . This is a grant for the development or expansion of small businesses in rural areas — minority or not. To qualify, you’ll need to have fewer than 50 employees, less than $1 million in revenue and be located in an eligible rural area. Grants range from $10,000 to $500,000.
  • National Association for the Self-Employed . This is a nonprofit association that’s a good resource for all small-business owners. It provides educational resources and grants, and in 2015, it will have awarded more than $48,000 in grants to small businesses. To apply for a grant of up to $4,000, you’ll need to become an active member of the association, provide a detailed explanation of how you’ll use the funds, show how the grant will support your business growth, and provide some supporting documentation.
  • FedEx Small Business Grant Contest . This annual grant contest by FedEx awards 10 small businesses with grants of up to $25,000. Any for-profit small business that has been in operation for at least six months is eligible to enter.
  • Small-Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs . These two programs provide contracts and grants for startups that are looking to commercialize innovative biomedical technologies.
  • Minority Business Development Agency . This agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce promotes the growth of minority-run small businesses by connecting owners to financing resources, federal contracts and market opportunities. The White House announced in August that the MBDA would partner with two organizations to launch the Minority Business Enterprise Technology Initiative, which aims to help aspiring technology entrepreneurs bring new products and services to market.
  • National Minority Supplier Development Council . The council is a corporate member organization focused on increasing business opportunities for certified minority businesses. The council also operates the Business Consortium Fund. which offers a variety of financing programs and business advisory services for certified minority-owned businesses.
  • SBA 8(a) Business Development Program . Socially or economically disadvantaged small-business owners are eligible to receive help through this Small Business Association program, which provides business development assistance, training workshops and management and technical guidance. To qualify, a small business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by a citizen who has been subjected to cultural bias or prejudice and placed at an economic disadvantage because of race or ethnicity.
  • Operation HOPE Small-Business Empowerment Program . This program is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs in low-wealth neighborhoods, which often include minority communities. It provides access to small-business financing options, as well as help with setting up a business plan and financial statements, credit counseling and educational resources.

Find and compare small-business loans

If you’re looking for financing, NerdWallet has come up with a list of the best small-business loans to meet your needs and goals. We gauged lender trustworthiness, market scope and user experience, among other factors, and arranged them by categories that include your revenue and how long you’ve been in business.

For free, personalized answers to questions about financing your business, visit theSmall Businesssection of NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor page.

This post was updated. It was originally published Dec. 3, 2015.

Image via iStock.

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Lender reviews

See how different lenders stack up in NerdWallet’s expert reviews

We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines. and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly.

Additionally, this site may be compensated through third party advertisers. However, the results of our comparison tools, blog content and editorial reviews are based on objective analysis. For more information, please see our Advertiser Disclosure .





Tags : , , , , ,

What It Takes to Be a Small-Business Owner (Infographic) #business #website

#small business owner

#

What It Takes to Be a Small-Business Owner (Infographic)

Former Staff Writer

Being a small-business owner isn t easy, but an overwhelming majority of entrepreneurs wouldn t have it any other way.

While small-business owners cite having to wear so many hats and finding new customers as their biggest concerns, according to the below infographic courtesy of online marketing company Constant Contact. a whopping 84 percent said that, if given the opportunity, they would start up all over again. The ability to pursue their passion and the freedom that an entrepreneurial lifestyle allows are their biggest motivators, they said.

And that s a good thing, because small business continues to contribute to the global economy in huge ways. Roughly half of all U.S. jobs are provided by companies of less than 500 employees, and 54 percent of U.S. sales happen at small businesses. Additionally, small businesses donate 250 percent more than larger corporations to nonprofits and other charities.

For additional stats, check out the infographic below.





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50 Must-Have Features for Small-Business Websites (Infographic) #green #business #ideas

#small business websites

#

50 Must-Have Features for Small-Business Websites (Infographic)

Websites are a necessity for businesses of all sizes today — though, surprisingly almost half of small businesses don t have websites. Still, there are so many design options to choose from and so many websites that it can be tough to know how to stand out.

Beyond layout and color scheme, there are a lot of features that are paramount to successful small-business websites. Some are obvious — such as an easy-to-remember domain name, a logo and contact information — and others are more subtle, like an online chat button or specific pattern for the content on the site s inner pages. Thankfully, website design and marketing firm 99MediaLab offers pointers for an effective page from top to bottom, inside and out.

Check out the infographic below to learn the best features to have, as well as SEO tips and the technical aspects to consider. See if your site measures up.

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