The State of Small Business Borrowing

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A loan pre-approval offer for your business to expand, invest, or cover payroll may not be on the table any longer. Small businesses are dealing with a lot of rejection this time around when looking for a small business loan, and banks seem unwilling to go forth with loans that were pre approved only a few month ago. “The loan is no longer available to us because that was a special offer a few months back, and the bank is not offering it now.” A small business owner claimed. The companies that are struggling to pay past loans are high, and that can be an indication why banks are unwilling to acquire more debt int he form of loans made to small businesses.

For more about this and other topics, follow the links below.


U.S. small business borrowing falls, delinquencies rise

Borrowing by small U.S. firms slipped in September, and the percentage of firms late on repaying existing loans rose to its highest in nearly four years, data released on Tuesday showed.

The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index fell to 128.9 from a downwardly revised 132.8 in August. Measured from a year earlier, it was the fourth straight monthly decline, with the index at its lowest point since January.

Companies also struggled to pay back existing debts, PayNet data showed. Loans more than 30 days past due rose in September to 1.64 percent, the sixth straight monthly increase and the highest delinquency rate since December 2012.


Bank turned down your small business loan? Now it must offer an alternative

From today, the UK’s nine largest banks will be legally required to help entrepreneurs find funding elsewhere, thanks to the bank referral scheme

Katrin Herrling felt she had nowhere to go when, in the midst of the financial crisis, her bank suddenly changed its lending terms. She had inherited a dairy farm and needed support with her cash flow during the four months of the year the cows weren’t producing milk. “Nothing in our position had changed but the banks felt they had to rebuild their balance sheet,” she says. “I didn’t know where to turn … I [knew] that just going to another bank where I didn’t have an established relationship wasn’t going to solve the issue. Outside of banks, I had no idea.”

From today, entrepreneurs should not find themselves in Herrling’s position. As part of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, the UK’s nine major banks will be legally required to refer those SMEs they refuse to finance to an alternative provider, under the bank referral scheme.


Study: Women Small Business Owners Being Shut Out of Major Government Contracts

Jane Campbell

Jane Campbell is the director of the National Development Council’s Washington office and president of WIPP.

When Komal Goyal started her IT company, 6e Technologies, in 2003, she knew she had what it takes to run a successful business. She’d made a name for herself in the IT services space and had a robust list of contacts in the commercial arena. What she didn’t have was a hefty government contract—something that could propel her business to new heights—so she set her sights on locking one down. Thirteen years later, she’s still trying to nab one of the large umbrella contracts with the federal government that could double the size of her business in just a few years.

The problem is that most of these super contracts—the kind many federal agencies favor because they create a pre-approved list of businesses that can supply unlimited goods or services during a specified period, of up to 10 years—have requirements to allow various socio-economic groups to compete, but not for women.“The contracting officers putting together a list of possible vendors must ensure certain groups have access to these contracts,” Goyal said. “If women-owned businesses aren’t one of those boxes to check off, we don’t even get the chance to compete.”


 

How To Avoid Business Mistakes

business (2)Retirement plans for the small business owner is probably one of the most important issues they face every year. Retirement accounts are  not something small business owners offer their employees, but even for themselves is not something that is widespread nor considered at all. Hiring an outside firm to oversee those financial aspects for the business is costly, and many small businesses cannot afford such an expense. Does your business need a loan? Are you making too many mistakes in your business and don’t know what to do? Do you need to set up a retirement account and don’t have any information?Follow the links below for more information about these topics.


Why online lending will take off with small business owners

At a minimum, banks are perfect partners in the new game.

Earlier this month, the momentum behind the online lending industry was in full view at LendIt—an industry gathering that didn’t exist four years ago, but grew from about 700 attendees last year to more than 2,500 this year. What was clear is that it’s no longer a question of whether these disruptors will change the game in small business lending, but how quickly.

In fact, in his remarks at LendIt attendees in New York City, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers predicted that online lenders could eventually capture upwards of 70% of the small business lending market. That may be an overly optimistic prediction, but one thing is clear online lending is a welcome innovation in the small business sector.


Small Business Retirement Plans in the Hands of Lobbyists

 Financial advisers will be lobbying Congress this week on 401(k) plans for employees of small businesses.

The 401(k) accounts many rely on now are complex, require an outside administrator, and as a result are not cost-effective for some small businesses to set up for their workers.

Tom Iorio, an Edward Jones financial adviser in Rantoul, Ill., says they’re lobbying for a program for small companies.

“There are several bills out there in Congress that are trying to incentive small businesses to more easily get into what we think of as the traditional 401(k) market, like a small 401(k) or a ‘simple 401(k)’ is really the term that they’re using,” he says.

In a 401(k) program, employees may make tax-free contributions and select their investments within a plan that is administered on behalf of the employer. Employers also can contribute to employees’ accounts.


Avoiding Small Business Blunders

Entrepreneur Reva Minkoff aims to stop small businesses from making the same mistakes over and over.

Common mistakes account for too many small businesses wasting an average of 25 percent of their pay-per-click advertising budget each month. After identifying the same basic mistakes in 95 percent of the accounts she consulted on, Reva Minkoff started the award winning-website DigitalGroundUp in the summer of 2012 to train small business advertisers and over 300 students in successful digital marketing through short, hands-on online courses.

The company has since collaborated with major companies such as Facebook, while Minkoff herself wasinvited to the White House to live tweet the arrival ceremony of new British Prime Minister David Cameron. I recently interviewed Minkoff by email.

What are the worst mistakes small businesses make in advertising?

Not tracking their results. It drives me nuts when companies don’t know what’s happening on their website, what the results of their marketing are and how both are factoring into their bottom line. If they’re spending money on something, they should know what they’re getting out of it, and if they don’t, their agencies and developers should be working with them to help get them that information.

What are the most common pieces of advice you give students?

I remind students to focus on the overall concepts and not the interfaces. The fundamental digital marketing concepts haven’t changed from day one. As long as students understand them, they’ll be able to adjust to any other changes that may come their way and make the right decisions when faced with a new concept.


Can Lousy Managers be Changed?

business (10) There are a lot of lousy managers, everyone has met them, worked with them and worked for them.  They can create havoc in a workplace, particularly in a small business where their impact is profound.   Many businesses have closed due to incompetent managers.  Because of their influence it’s vital for their supervisors to take responsibility and evaluate the situation – can they be turned into good managers?  The answer is yes, maybe and no.

Yes – some lousy managers can be turned into good ones.  Their poor management skills are usually not their fault.  They were never taught how to be effective and are doing the best they can.   They’re eager to learn, motivated to grow and respond to training and mentoring.  They can be good managers, they can be changed.

Maybe – some lousy managers can be turned around.  These managers know that they’re not doing the best they can.  But, they don’t change because they haven’t been told directly and honestly that they’re doing a poor job, subtle hints don’t work.  Nor, have they had to suffer the penalties of being a lousy manger.

Unfortunately, human nature is such that many people give the least amount of effort until they are forced to do otherwise.  The longer they’re allowed to get away with harmful behavior the more they’ll do it.  When appropriately confronted with facts and consequences, they’ll respond and change with direct supervision, training and an action plan.

No – some lousy managers can’t be saved.  They were unsuited to or ambivalent about being a supervisor from the start and never committed to the position.  Or they may have been adequate at one time, but now don’t care.

No matter the reason, no amount of supervision, training or disciplinary action will help them be a good manager.  No one can make them care about themselves, the company or the employees.  They’re either unwilling or unable to change and have to be let go.

Lousy managers will always be around and some will change, others might change and a few won’t change.  It’s up to their supervisors to recognize which type they’re dealing with and take the appropriate action.  After all, it may save the company.


Does your Business Need Mentoring?

business (3)The value of mentoring for entrepreneurs has invaluable benefits to them according to research. Many businesses and young entrepreneurs have acquired insights through mentorship, and have learned from their mentors’ mistakes business acumen that will help them with their business and endeavors.  Business people coming out of an MBA program can benefit the greatest and make fewer mistakes by having a mentor that can guide them and direct them to the right path.


Ohio River Bridges Project means big business for local contractors

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The Ohio River Bridges Project means big business for some local companies.

Major progress on the Ohio River Bridges Project and the reconfiguration of Spaghetti Junction is taking place. Cranes are up and cement is mixing. Four major components of the bridge project are: ready mix concrete, structural steel, aggregates and asphalt paving.
Advance Ready Mix is working on both the Downtown and East End Bridges. Business has been so good with this project, the company says it’s hiring more truck drivers.
“What percentage of your business is the Bridges Project?” WDRB’s Valerie Chinn asked.
“I’d say right now it’s 10-20 percent of ours,” said Chad Deters, sales manager for Advance Ready Mix. “We still have a lot of other work.”
“It came at a really good time when the economy was down,” Deters added. “It really kick-started our year last year and kept on rolling.”
The company was not working on the Bridges Project when a woman was killed in the crosswalk on the Louisville side of the Clark Memorial Bridge at Second and Main by an Advance Ready Mix truck.


Business mentoring franchise expands to serve Springfield, northwest Ohio

A business mentoring concept has opened a second location to serve northwest Ohio and the Springfield area.

The Alternative Board — a concept of business advisory and executive business coaching boards — is forming another franchise based in Russia (Shelby County), which will serve the northwest of the state. Ed Miller, a longtime consultant, is the owner of The Alternative Board of Northwest Ohio.

“The fact you’re dealing with decision makers and CEOs in this concept, it appeals to the intellectual and academic side, this type of concept,” Miller said.

The board will likely attract businesses in the manufacturing and professional services industries, but its goal is to bring in business leaders from multiple industries to provide many perspectives similar to a board of directors for smaller companies in the $1 million to $8 million revenue range that might not have an established group of mentors.


Support for minority businesses costing Ohio taxpayers

Consumers know you pay more when you buy a product through a middleman who must mark up the price to make a profit.

State government, by its own design, is spending hundreds of thousands of additional taxpayers’ dollars with middlemen as part of its quest to support minority businesses.For many years, when state purchasing officials needed software from Microsoft, they placed orders with two of the company’s authorized resellers.

Now, state agencies buy software through three middlemen created by a contract through which they resell the resellers’ software to the state, an investigation by The Dispatch finds. The minority-business enterprises (MBEs) relay orders to the resellers while tacking on fees of 3 to 4.75 percent of the cost, increasing the expense to the state.


Are You In The Right State To Start A Business?

business (8)The small business sector has been for many years an employment power in the United States, it accounts for more than half the jobs generated in this country since 1995. There are approximately more than half a million businesses generated each month and although of those businesses only 7 out 10 will make it past the 2 year mark, the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans is well deserved. The question now to ask is whether you are in the right state to start a business, or you need to think about the pros and cons of starting your business where you are.
Read more about this topic by following the links above.


Here’s where Ohio ranks on small business friendliness

A national small business advocacy group says Ohio ranks among the top 10 for its tax code’s friendliness toward business.

The anti-tax Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council ranks Ohio No. 8 for its tax system’s overall friendliness toward small business. Ohio’s neighbors, Indiana and Kentucky, ranked 11 and 32, respectively.

The “Small Business Tax Index 2014” looked at 21 different measures to determine a state’s tax friendliness. Those include the top personal and corporate income tax rates, top capital gains and dividends tax rates, property taxes, additional taxes on S-Corporations, unemployment taxes, and whether a state has a death tax.

“When it comes to state and local taxes – as well as levies at the federal level – the direction that policy should be pointed is clear. Keep the overall tax burden low. Preferably, do no [sic] tax income at all,” the group writes in its report.


Dayton No. 66 among best cities for small business

Dayton trumps Detroit, Las Vegas, Birmingham and many others when it comes to the best city to work for a small business.

The Miami Valley ranks No. 66 in the U.S. for small businesses, according to a new ranking from Wallethub.

Cities were evaluated by several metrics, including the number of businesses with fewer than 250 employees per 1,000 inhabitants, industry variety, net small business job growth, average monthly earnings for new hires and average number of hours worked.

Columbus was the top-ranked Ohio city at No. 23.

The top city on the list was Minneapolis, followed by Salt Lake City and Miami.

Stockton, Calif. ranked last.


NBC4 Investigates: Why Does Ohio Owe Businesses $1 Billion?

COLUMBUS, Ohio – As Ohio’s economy begins to recover, the state is clearly focused on jobs, and numbers show some growth, but did the state actually harm more businesses in the past?
An NBC4 investigation reveals how one state agency allegedly crushed thousands of small businesses.

While the jobs picture in Ohio is rebounding, a huge shadow is being cast by the past – and the bureaucracy in the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).

Small businesses can’t operate without worker’s comp insurance, and in Ohio, they can only get that from BWC.

Unlike other states that carry private insurance, Ohio’s BWC is a monopoly.

In 2006, Ron Foreman owned a successful contracting company, which used to be located near downtown Ashville, and employed 40 people.

Freeman’s family, including his two sons at West Point, was prospering. His small business was a model of what state leaders say they want in Ohio.


Play Above the Line at all Times!

The most common challenge that arises in executive business coaching relationships is the program going off the rails because of unhelpful mental attitudes. It is for this reason that the issue is raised even before we get started.

Both the business business coach and the client must commit to the coaching process and will have to work as a team to ensure that goals are established and realized. There is one important rule that we must both comply with:

 

Play above the line at all times!

 

Above the line, you own the ship and have an OAR to steer it.  Below the line, you make your BED and you must lie in it.  By playing above the line, we take ownership of what is happening around us and accept the responsibility and accountability that goes with it.

 

When something goes wrong, the easiest thing to do is to blame it on somebody else, find an excuse or deny that there is a problem.  This ‘playing below the line’ is destructive, as it does not resolve anything and problems get worse.  This type of reaction is typical of the victim mentality – failure is a self-fulfilling prophecy for people who think like this.

 

Playing above the line is constructive because taking ownership of, and responsibility for, challenges leads to the resolution of problems. It also ensures that they don’t happen again.  This pro-active approach is typical of people with a victor mentality.  Team members need to commit to playing above the line at all times.

 

It’s Victor Mentality or Victim Mentality. Always play Above the Line…be a Victor.