Category Archives: Getting Started

3 Likely Reasons Your Business Loan Application May Have Been Rejected

Many small business owners turn to borrowed capital to fuel growth and fund other initiatives, yet access to borrowed capital can sometimes be a challenge. Depending upon where you apply, your business credit profile, and other factors, it might be difficult to get a loan approval. Not all lenders look at the same criteria when evaluating whether or not they’ll approve a small business loan.

But here are three red flags that could put the brakes on any loan application:

1. You have a bad personal credit score

With the exception of maybe the biggest and most tenured small businesses, the need for a business owner to maintain a good personal credit score will never go away. With a personal credit score below 680, for example, it’s unlikely you’ll find success at the bank. And the SBA threshold is around 650 for most applications.

Some non-bank lenders will approve a loan with a lower credit score but will want to see other metrics in place. If your personal score is struggling, making improvements will help increase the odds of success when you need a small business loan.

The first step is to find out where you are. Annualcreditreport.com is one place you can access a free copy of your credit report once per year. You can also check out the three main personal credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and Transunion, who all offer low cost credit monitoring.  Continue reading

Ask SCORE: How can I use the business model canvas?

methodology-b5e4177c0e51a4b1c552fbec08455ccd8643b8ac6fcced615e7b2452e4d5563bThe Business Model Canvas is an entrepreneurial tool that helps you visualize, design, and reinvent your business model. It was developed by Swiss business theorist and author Alexander Osterwalder.

For a startup, using the tool can help you develop a clear view of your value proposition, operations, customers, and finances. As an existing business owner, you can use it to identify how the different components of your business relate to each other.

It can help you decide where you need to focus your time and effort.  Continue reading

Why Your Business Needs Its Own Email Domain

why-your-business-needs-its-own-email-domainWhen you first started your small business, did you haphazardly begin sending emails from your personal email address? Or, if you’re still in the planning stages of starting a new business, do you think you’ll be fine sending your business emails from a Yahoo! or Gmail account?

If so, think again. The email domain from which you send your emails has a major effect on your business’s credibility and reputation. Here are six reasons why every small business should have its own email domain.

Continue reading