Where in the US Might You Start Your Business?

by Crestmark 11. June 2013 05:47

For most, the best place to start a new business is where they live. After all, one of the benefits to working for yourself is deciding when and where to do your work. All the same, some cities can be more economically friendly toward small business than others.  Starting a business in one of these under-valued places could give you an advantage: 

1. Dallas, Texas. This fast-growing city has 6.5 million people and a number of industries to support and expand. Twenty Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, make Dallas their home, but it's a valuable hub for small businesses, too: Over 80% of all businesses in the city are small, and these companies employ around 40% of the city's workforce. Dallas’ Business Assistance Center program offers resources and counseling for CEOs of businesses with five or fewer employees which could be invaluable for those entrepreneurs. 

2. Denver, Colorado. With a population of more than 2.6 million, Denver is a thriving city. Its residents have eclectic tastes, with interests ranging from outdoor sports to fine arts, and this makes it easy to find a profitable niche. The city is also the second-biggest hub for aerospace industries in the country, which generates a heavy demand for related services from the private sector. Small businesses with fewer than fifty employees make up 95% of the area's economy, and those employees are highly educated; one in three workers in Denver has a BA or higher.

3. Lincoln, Nebraska. The capital of Nebraska boasts the lowest unemployment rate in the country. With just 3.5% of the population unemployed, there are a larger-than-average number of working people with disposable income, which in turn can help feed a budding business. Prominent industries in Lincoln include medical, banking, information technology, education, call centers, insurance, and rail and truck transport.

4. Provo, Utah. This college town is supported by Brigham Young University, the third-largest private college in the country. The university serves as a backbone to the local economy as a constant stream of students require the services of a wide variety of businesses. Moreover, as those students graduate, they enter the workforce with valuable skills or start businesses of their own. Google Fiber also has a deal on the table to take over the iProvo fiber network in Provo, an announcement that will likely put Provo and its growing tech presence on the map.

5. Nashville, Tennessee. Although this city is still world-renowned for its music scene, Nashville has plenty of other things to offer. The city is a major cultural hub of the South, and tourist industries flourish there. On average, business costs are 18% lower in Nashville than in other similarly-sized cities, and the cost of living is 10.1% below the US average, making it conveniently affordable.

Wherever you decide to open your new business, the key is to find your customers and deliver what they want. As long as you can dominate a niche, you can be successful anywhere.  

Looking for lending  in your area? We have regional office locations in five states, and sales representation in locations across the country. No matter where you are located, give us a call. We can help you wherever you are.

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Social Media Time Management for Small Businesses

by Crestmark 28. May 2013 05:13


Small businesses are told to have a social media strategy to stay competitive.  For the most part, they know it’s necessary; they’re just not sure where to go with it.  Which social media outlets are most successful?  Which platform will get your company the most publicity? How do you manage your time between the endless amounts of new social platforms being released every day?  With all the other management and marketing strategies your business has going on, social media may seem like the last thing you want to add to your “to-do” list.  However, it doesn’t have to be a stressful process.

Develop a Plan: First and foremost, before just jumping into the social media pool, you’ll need to have a solid strategy.  Don’t just start posting and commenting without a plan.  Know your target audience; get a feel for who you’re trying to reach and what you’re trying to get out of using social media to reach customers. This will help you maintain credibility and relevance as a business.

Test the Waters: So this is your first social campaign- maybe ever.  Don’t panic!  Social media is a platform that doesn’t thrive on perfection.  Use trial and error to determine what engages followers.  Ask questions.  Don’t be afraid to learn from others and even learn from your clients!  Being “new” to social media can be a great excuse to learn and gain respect from consumers who don’t expect you to know all the ropes just yet. 

Start Small: One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your social media endeavors is to take on more than you can handle.  If this is your first ever attempt at going social- don’t create a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Vine, and Instagram all at once.  It is always better to do one thing really well than to try and haphazardly to have your hands in everything at once. For entrepreneurs—and really anyone in a B2B industry—Linkedin is a great place to start to grow your network.

Track, Track, Track: Keep a close eye on your website analytics and definitely take a few minutes to install a social media dashboard. These custom Google dashboards will not only allow you to see how many people are coming to your site from every social network (whether you have a profile on there or not), but what devices those users are coming from and how those users end up converting.

Have you already gotten started with your social media efforts? Connect with Crestmark on Linkedin today! 

 

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Business

Financing the US Oil Boom

by Crestmark 22. May 2013 10:59

Although scientists have known about the presence of crude oil in North Dakota for decades, it wasn't until 2008 that technology made it possible to extract oil from the rocks of Bakken shale. Now, with fracking, North Dakota is home 200 active oil rigs, and it produces around 20 million barrels of oil each month.

oil financing

This oil boom is a tremendous boost to the economy. While other parts of the nation have suffered through a recession, North Dakota has enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate in the country. The population of some small towns has doubled in recent years due to the influx of workers for the oil fields. The benefits of the Bakken shale oil fields have spread to other areas of the United States and Canada as well.

While the huge increase in oil production is great for the economy, it would not be possible without access to working capital to support the growth. Crestmark is proud to partner with companies in the oil & gas industry to provide financing solutions to support their businesses. Capital is often needed for pipeline expansion, refineries, staffing, trucking, machinery, temporary housing and many other things. Through a variety of lending options, Crestmark is able to offer flexible financing to help continue the growth in North Dakota and throughout the United States.

As the oil industry grows, it provides a trickle-down effect that strengthens the local economy as well. More workers moving to the area creates a new demand for restaurants and supermarkets, car dealerships, and many other services.

All of these new businesses also require access to working capital to get up and running. Not only is Crestmark equipped to handle to financing needs of large oil & gas companies, but we are also a strong partner to small businesses, offering SBA loans alongside our asset-based lending, accounts receivable financing, and factoring programs.

To speak with a lending expert, give us a call at 888.999.8050 or fill out our online contact form.

 

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Industry Financing

The Need for Flexibility in Fast Fashion

by Crestmark 25. April 2013 02:57

"Fast fashion" is a term used to describe the newest trend in high-fashion apparel. In order to compete with second-hand stores and bargain brands, some formerly high-price designers have begun offering large quantities of affordable, attractive clothing engineered to capture a buyer's attention and inspire an impulse buy. In order to keep profits high, designers must release a constant stream of affordable and desirable clothing.               

             textiles financing


The key to success in the fast fashion industry is creating a product that provides an irresistible temptation—it should be something customers want now. Creating this environment requires the designer to be flexible and courageous, and designers must be able to change their tactics quickly to keep up with market demand. Fashion today is an industry with a short shelf-life, and this creates a unique set of requirements for financing any fashion business.

When looking for a lending institution to finance your fast fashion business, you'll need to choose  a lender with a quick turnaround and competitive rates. Your profit margin will be slim, especially in the beginning, while you focus on building a loyal customer base and establishing sourcing relationships, so keeping your costs as low as possible will enable you to maximize profitability. Moreover, a fast-paced industry, such as fashion, requires a  financial partner that can respond to  your needs quickly, not one that labors over decisions or credit applications.

Other attractive features in a lending relationship include options for import or export financing. As your business grows, you may want to expand beyond our borders and begin marketing the product overseas, and export financing is an important tool in that process. Similarly, importing product can help keep prices down and make it easier to keep up with a competitive industry but only if you have a financial partner that both understands your trade cycle and offers competitive import financing options.

Finally, finding a lender who is flexible and who can add value to your business is crucial. Any time you ship product to customers, you run the risk of not being paid. By choosing a non-recourse factor, you can reduce the credit risk to you posed by these circumstances. For any fast-moving business with uncertain profits, this is extremely important.

Launching any business comes with risk, but choosing the right lending institution will help mitigate these risks and increase your chances of success.. Careful research, coupled with  an understanding of your needs, will help you find the right financial fit. In choosing the right financial institution, to finance your fast paced, fashion business, you will be placing your business in the best place to succeed. 

 

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Industry Financing

Is Accounts Receivable Financing Right for Your Business?

by Crestmark 10. April 2013 06:44

 

When it comes to financing your business, it can be challenging to determine which type of financing is right for your particular business in your particular situation. Accounts Receivable (A/R) financing allows you to borrow money against your existing invoices – this can be a great option, but how do you know if it’s right for you?

Here are six indicators that will help you determine if accounts receivable financing is the best option for you:

1. Inability to Obtain Traditional Lending – To be considered for a loan, lenders evaluate the kind of risks your company takes on in order to approve your loan. New businesses can have a hard time getting quality loan rates because the risk to the bank is higher, and the lack of collateral allowance often stands in the way of being approved. However, if you find your business turned down by traditional lenders, A/R financing could be an option.

2. Quick Growth – Quick growth doesn’t seem like bad news, but if it is an unanticipated surge in sales, you may find yourself struggling to catch your breath. This unexpected growth expansion can require extra supplies for manufacturing, more staff, and often more money to pay the bills. Unfortunately these frequently occur well before your company receives income from the growth.  If this is the case, you may be a good candidate for an A/R loan.

3. Expanded Offerings – Introducing a new product line, service, or other new branch of your business can be very exciting, but it also comes with a unique set of challenges. There’s often a need to invest in new equipment, personnel, or other items necessary to get this part of your business up and running.  In this scenario, A/R financing may be a good option.

4. Seasonal Sales – While many businesses experience relatively stable sales throughout the year, others can be very seasonal. High demand for seasonal merchandise or expected participation in upcoming events can cause sales to skyrocket, in which case, accounts receivable financing might suit you.

5. Strong Customers - Lenders are more likely to offer accounts receivable financing to companies with paying customers whose credit is in good standing.  While overdue accounts can be used as collateral, some lenders prefer to deal with customers that are less than 90 days late. Some lenders, including  here at Crestmark, provide invoice collection efforts and client credit reviews as part of their services.

6. Net Payment Time - Accounts receivable financing might be right for your business if your invoices request payment within 30 or 60 days. You could be a good candidate if you only need a quick infusion of money before the payments are due to bridge the gap between accounts payable and accounts receivable.

If your business is currently experiencing any/all of the items listed above, AR financing may be a great option.  For additional information, and to speak with a lending expert in regards to your particular business, give us a call at 888.999.8050.

Has your business run into any of these circumstances? Has accounts receivable financing worked for you?

 

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Accounts Receivable Financing


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