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How To Select The Right Home Business Model

Having the right idea is only the start of setting up a business. To run it successfully will depend on the type of business model you select from the beginning. It is wise to speak to an accountant on which option is right for you, however I’ve put together five business models and some key points to consider before deciding.

Business Model #1 – Proprietorship

This is the simplest and most common type of business model. There are no legal obligations to consider you can simply set-up shop and start selling your product or service. If in Australia you will need your Tax File Number and a Business Number to buy from other businesses. Registering for Goods and Services Tax is optional and is only needed once you earn over a certain threshold. A proprietorship gives you great flexibility to start your business on the “cheap” and without any major commitments apart from declaring your sales at tax time. But you should know that setting up this type of business means that you are legally responsible for anything and everything. Other than that this is a very tax efficient business model for small businesses.

Business Model #2 Partnership

A partnership is a relationship between two or more people who come together to run a business and share the profits earned. It is also sometimes know as a “firm”. Typically you would use an accountant and sometimes a lawyer to set it up, but mainly to formalise the rights and duties of all the partners and decide each partners share of the profits.

They are easy to set-up and it means that the business has access to more capital as there is more than one person contributing. Depending on how many people want to form the partnership you may need to check if there are too many of you. One drawback is the fight over power and you do need to check liabilities because personal assets are targeted should there be an issue with credit default.

This model works well for professional service firms such as accountants, lawyers, doctors etc.

Business Model #3 – Company

A company is just one person or a group of people. There is also a variety to choose from depending on the business model such as private, public listed, not-for profit, etc. When I started my business I opted for a private company but setting it up is complex process, expensive and involves much paperwork. But once it is set-up you can run many entities underneath. It is separate legal entity and involves at least a director but can also have shareholders and a board if it’s publicly listed. The best thing about a company is the limited liability. If there is a credit default, personal assets of directors and shareholders stay protected – although you should note since the global financial crisis there has been a big crack down in this area and cases where directors have been fined. For a start-up this business model should only be selected on the advice of your accountant.

Business Model #4 Franchise

A franchise is where you are the boss but don’t have to worry about branding. marking, product creation etc. This hard work is all done for you and is turn-key in the sense that the Franchisor instructs you on the exact method to set up your business so you hit the ground running from day one. The downside is that the marketing, product development, branding and working side of the business are in the hands of the Franchisor so there is little scope for innovation from the Franchisee. There are also royalty fees to pay and the up-front commitment cost.

Franchises come with high levels of support and an established brand name., is that you can find a business to suit all pockets, no matter which industry you want to set foot in. You should consider this model is you don’t like risk and want loads of support and handholding.

Business Model #5 Trust

Many people don’t think of Trusts as a business model but they are a great addition to a company structure. This was the option I also included when I set up my business. The trust becomes the majority shareholder and the trustees are primarily responsible for managing the assets and business for the benefit of the company.

I don’t recommend setting up a Trust on your own. They are often regarded as a Tax loophole and that’s because there is so many was of setting up a Trust. So get your accountant to do it for you.

Trusts allow you to keep control over your assets. This is perfect when you venture into property and don’t want to lose your assets to a relationship that goes sour. Trusts are therefore idea for family businesses, where you want to create a structure that preserves assets for future generations. You could also use a trust where you want to keep long-term control over managing the business.

The Various Advantageous Features Of Small Business Start Up Loans

The most essential requisite for starting a new business is finance. Because banks and other conventional lending sources are apprehensive about giving loans to start up businesses, it is an important task for these business owners to arrange for appropriate financing sources. Since there is a huge difference between small business start up loans and loans for established businesses, it is extremely important to find a suitable lending source according to the requirements of the business. Start up loans are more dependent on loans for all of their financial needs than established businesses, and needs to be financed for almost everything required to set up the business. So before you start a new business, it is overly important to make a detailed research of the market to find the most appropriate lending source and loan deals for your business.

Let us discuss some of the important features of small business start up loans:

  • These loans are mostly provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA), which is a United States government agency providing financial support to small businesses and aiming at building up the strength of the country’s economy by supporting the establishment of small businesses. SBA does not provide these loans directly to borrowers, but through private-sector lenders that are guaranteed by the SBA.
  • Since start up business owners do not have enough capital, these loans are mostly obtained at lower interest rates.
  • SBA acts as your guarantor, and helps you in acquiring business start up loans in case you do not possess properties for mortgage purposes.
  • Small business start up loans can be obtained very fast. You get them as soon as you apply for them. This is extremely helpful for new business owners who are mostly dependent on loans for all their business requirements.
  • These loans can be secured even by individuals having poor credit histories, including arrears, bankruptcy, late or missed payments, insolvency, IVA etc. Small business loans provide an opportunity to the borrowers to improve their credit history.
  • These loans can also be used for refinancing an already existing business.
  • Business start up loans can be available in any amount, ranging from a few thousand to more than $100,000. It is advisable for borrowers to make a meticulous research on the market and a detailed comparison between the terms and conditions offered by various lenders to find the most suitable one for your business.

These loans are available for anyone having plans to start a new business.

Starting a business involves various details. Here are some of the important purposes a business start up loan can be used:

  • Purchasing the office space.
  • Purchasing essential machineries, furniture and other office equipment.
  • Purchasing necessary electronic equipment like a computer, fax machine, printer etc.
  • Hiring staff and paying for their salaries.

If you are new in the world of business, it is always advisable to consult an experienced and knowledgeable counselor to discuss your best options for a business start up loan, and the various ways of finding the right lender for you. It is also important to make perfect and flawless business plans before you decide to apply for loans.

3 Sources Where Your Small Business Can Get A Loan Today – Yes, Even Your Small Business

Now, when we talk about small business loans, we mean just that – small business loans. We are not talking about a $1 million loan to purchase some commercial real estate or $500,000 to buy some investment property. We are not talking about a $3 million credit line just to show capital on a balance sheet. And, we are not talking about a $250,000 equipment loan for a regional construction company.

We are talking about true small business credit – loans under $150,000. Capital amounts that the 22 million small businesses in this country could use at some point in time for working capital, to renovate their location, purchase inventory, marketing, meeting payroll, developing new products or to simply have the capital on hand to acquire and satisfy customers (what business is really about).

But, we have heard ad nauseam that banks are just not lending to small businesses – claiming there is too much risk in smaller firms. So, many small companies are not even applying for credit anymore out of fear of being turned down. And, as a result, we are seeing small businesses not reach for or obtaining their full potential – essentially letting profitable opportunities slip by.

However, just because banks don’t see the true value of small companies, that does not mean that others don’t – others who are willing to do what they can to fund your business.

The Benefits Of Small Business

There are some 22 million small businesses in the U.S. and they are quite the power house.

According to the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, small businesses;

  • Provide two-thirds of all new jobs in the nation.
  • Contribute almost 50% to our Gross Domestic Product.
  • Account for 97.8% of all exports. And,
  • Create 16.5% more innovation than larger firms.

All items that help make America the country that it is.

But, if banks think these firms are too risky, that is OK, because given the entrepreneurial spirit in this country, other financing firms (lenders) are stepping up to cover the small business loans that banks and traditional lenders will not. So now, you don’t have to be afraid of being turned down anymore.

3 Sources That Will Fund Your Small Business

1) SBA Loans: Sure, SBA loans have to go through banks – which are not lending. However, banks might not be lending for their own loan portfolios but they are lending under the SBA’s programs.

Did you know that over the last three years, the SBA has been growing the number and dollar amount of the under $150,000 loans they back – even given that banks (who originate these products) are not approving them?

From the latest SBA data;

In 2012, the SBA guaranteed 14,520 under $150,000 loans for a total loan amount of over $802 million. In 2014 (two years later), the SBA increase the number of these loans to 16,043 with a total volume of $955 million – with a down year in 2013.

Part of this increase is the fact that the SBA has reduced or waived its fees on these smaller loans. From the SBA’s website:

“The SBA determined to eliminate the fees on loans of $150,000 or less after conducting a review of the 7(a) Loan Program. As a result, a small business owner obtaining a $150,000 loan will save more than $2,500.”

Bottom line – the SBA is actually doing what it can to fund small businesses in this country – including yours.

Programs to look for:

The 7(a) program offers nearly any business loan under the sun from working capital to commercial real estate.

The CDC/504 program only focuses on real estate and equipment lending. But, if your business needs either one of these under the $150,000 amount – including renovating your location – then by all means as this is a great program.

And, the express program – which is capped at $350,000 – is a great program. Quick and easy access to needed capital.

Now, for some quick benefits of SBA loans. The SBA’s guarantee does several things:

  • By capping interest rates and fees, these products tend to be cheaper in the long-run for the borrower.
  • Lower down payment requirements – meaning that you can keep more of your own money in your own business.
  • Long loan terms also allow payments on these facilities to be more affordable. Just image which loan payment would be easier to make on a $100,000 loan at 10% interest. A bank may require the loan to be repaid in 36 months – making the monthly payment $3,227. While the SBA could extend the term to 6 years (72 months) making their monthly payment $1,853. The lower the payment amount, the easier it is to cover with current cash flow, making the overall loan less risky and easier to get approved.
  • Express programs can significantly speed up funding as some traditional business loans can take months to close while those under the express programs can be funded in the matter of weeks.

If you have been fearful of applying for a SBA loan, knock it off and go apply!

2) Alternative Lending: Alternative loans (non-bank loans) from factoring and business cash advances to revenue based loans have really picked up steam over the last 5 plus years.

These lenders are focused solely on small businesses and as such have created products that allow them to approve more loans to companies that traditional lenders will not touch – by not using old and outdated underwriting standards but by focusing more on technology.

Most alternative lenders – especially the leaders in this space – have seen their loan volumes (thus their approval rates) – increase by 150% or more year after year.

A couple of examples: According to the SBA, their largest lender – Wells Fargo – approved and funded just over $266 million in small business financing last year. However, OnDeck Capital, a leading revenue based lender, nearly doubled that amount over the same period. Further, CAN Capital claims to have funded over $800 million in 2013 – far out pacing even the top 100 SBA lenders combined.

While these loans are high-cost loans, they offer several benefits like approvals when other lenders say “no” as well as quick (in the matter of days) funding.

3) New Players: Peer-to-peer lending is know for its ability to match regular people who have extra money to lend with regular people who need to borrow. These loans are typically personal loans that can be used for nearly any purpose – like starting or growing a small business.

However, just this year, Lending Club – the leader in P2P lending – has begun to offer a true small business loan product where businesses can borrower anywhere from $15,000 to $100,000 at low rates. And, their approval and funding is not based on some standard cookie cutter formula that most businesses just do not meet but comes from regular people who listen to your story and decide for themselves the merit of your financing request.

Conclusion

Capital for your business is still available.

Don’t always believe what you hear. Sure, small business lending is tight – when compared to the hey days of the mid-2000s. But, that does not mean that you still cannot get the funding your small business needs to start, grow and succeed.

To truly know if your company is qualified for business loan all you have to do is one thing – and that is to apply. But, if you don’t apply, you will never know for sure and then all you can do is reflect on how far your business COULD have gone.