Coffee with Glen, CEO of Brazzlebox
I received a lot of feedback on my blog the other day regarding loans for small business so I wanted to inquire more some from some of my industry partners. What I was told it could come down to are the 5 “C’s” which are Credit, Collateral, Capital, Cash Flow and Character. I was in a fairly heated discussion as I get annoyed when in the end it doesn’t matter how good your business plan is or how much experience you have, if your credit score is not 670-680 or higher than you pretty much have little to no shot securing funding through a bank. I remember my first Chamber of Commerce meeting… There were a lot of fresh faces ready to take on the world and hopefully make a decent living or try to become a millionaire. But with so much ambition every had the same question… where can I get money to help me get started?
Looking for Grants? Play the lottery instead…better chances. If you had success with grants, very well done.
Be prepared to go the friends and family route if you are looking for a small amount of start up cash. It will be the quickest and they will believe in you the most. Websites like Kickstarter.com have actually funded some really good start-ups (smaller amounts of funding). It is worth checking out.
Before my first business I had worked with our local small business development center which was outstanding. They provided direction on building my first business plan which helped me understand if I had a revenue model that would work. I would recommend checking out your local SBDC chapter online or even make an appointment to meet with a counselor (it’s free). They can also help with SBA loans and provide the guidelines of how that works and what the expectations are. We will have a full SBA topic on this blog soon.
If you are fortunate to have a decent credit score you must also be prepared to put up collateral. If you have equity in your house or in a car be prepared to put it up. The bank will want to see that you have ‘skin in the game’ but they also want the loan secured as much as possible. Have a detailed business plan and the more detailed the better, plenty of online business plans you can use as a guide. Character? I have a feeling you already have this nailed – go in excited about your business and they will respond favorably. Remember it is an underwriting process which is why it starts with needing a good credit score.
Real quick, let’s talk about the term ‘skin in the game’ which I have become to loathe. Once you have made the decision to go into business on your own…your skin is in the game, plus your muscle, blood and bones. You do not have to mortgage your house 3 times and put up your dog as collateral to have skin in the game even though you will be told that is what you need to do. Myself and all of us at Brazzlebox applaud your decision to try and make it in this country on your own and provide a product or service that can benefit consumers. The results of your hard work will be incredibly rewarding as your efforts will benefit you!
I will continue to look into different funding sources for you that may work well with start-ups or for businesses looking to expand. This is a topic that will get a lot of attention by me and by Brazzlebox.com. We will get the best answers and find the most trusted resources for you.
If anyone has any information on small business lending or funding please comment on this blog and provide a link to help everyone out. We are all in this together and at Brazzlebox – you’re among family!
Enjoyed our coffee this morning!