Small Business Line of Credit

A business line of credit is one of the most popular forms of business loans. For the business owner or operator, particularly for small businesses, a business line of credit can be a lifeline of financing that can allow them to pay their bills, meet their payroll and continue to operate even when times are tough or business is slower than usual. For banks and lending institutions it allows them to hold the business on a short credit lease while they determine their viability in the marketplace.

The good news about a business line of credit is that it usually easy to get, even for businesses that have not been in business for a long time. The bad news is that financial institutions like a bank or credit union often will want personal guarantees or co-signing arrangements before they hand over access to a business line of credit.

A bank or other lending institution usually requires a business to have been in operation for a minimum of two years before granting a business line of credit. That is because the likelihood of a business failing within the first two years is far greater than at any period in its term of operation. Once a business passes this threshold a bank is much more likely to consider a business as a candidate for loans or lines of credit.

A business line of credit can be used for short term cash flow management, to make special or seasonal purchases, to re-stock inventory or supplies or for just about any other reason that can satisfy the banks demand for its usefulness to the business. A business line of credit is not normally made available to pay for salaries or bonuses to the employees of a business or to repay creditors from other banking arrangements.

These funds can be made available to the business in a number of manners under a business line of credit. They are sometimes available in a revolving cash account that can be borrowed against up to a certain amount or even in the form of a credit card that can be used by the company to make purchases for the business as required. Some business lines of credit require minimum payments plus interest every month and others have interest payment only options.

To see if you qualify for a business line of credit it is best to approach a bank or credit union where you already do your business banking. They know you, not just from seeing your face as you make deposits or withdrawals but they also know your personal credit history and this becomes an important factor in granting a business line of credit. Banks are most comfortable lending money to customers that they already know than the off the street business. This will help you not only get the business line of credit that your business may need but also help you get the best possible interest rate for your hard earned business dollar.

Staying on Top in Challenging Times – 5 Essential Elements For Growing Connecticut Businesses

As the current state of our economy is a challenge for nearly every small business owner, it is important to keep in mind basic strategies to help attract customers.

Offering specials to lure in customers is a great first place to start, but there are other easy actions that business owners can take to be proactive and attract more commerce. Take R.J. Julia’s in Madison, Connecticut for example; this bookstore hosts events such as readings and get-togethers by the authors they sell, and they create a sense of community for their readers.

Staying in Touch: What’s Important to your local business customer?
Consumers are looking to save money by reducing their spending. Malone’s Sandwich and Coffee shop in Clinton’s center is a quaint little cafe that serves breakfast, lunch and an array of snacks and coffee concoctions at small town prices, a necessity that has kept the Connecticut small business on track. Although many higher priced fast food places have lost business, ‘dollar menu’ sales have soared for McDonald’s and Burger King…and smart Connecticut restaurant and cafe owners are able to take these lessons to heart.

Another local business, the Cooking Company in Killingworth and Haddam, CT offers a mix of freshly prepared sandwiches and salads prepared as take out or, for those with more time available, a nice area to sit down and eat. The dinner menu is also full of great food, and is prepared for those that need a delicious and healthy quick meal. This upscale Connecticut restaurant also offers desserts that could be found at a fancy bakery! And for those with a busy schedule, the take out option for the freshly prepared food is a great incentive.

Five Small Business Marketing Tips for Our Times
Business owners may not have found solace in this recession, but many agree on some tried and true tips that can make the most out of the current market place. Many Connecticut businesses are finding this challenging environment the jump start needed to really think creatively.

Smart restaurateurs, salon owners, contractors, and shop proprietors need to ask themselves: What makes my customer excited? Where do they hang out, both online and around town? Who are the people in town that others listen to… the ones that ‘spread the news’?

1. Motivation. Despite the economy, it takes some serious motivation to keep a small business running. It starts with the owner: Lead by Example. Workers will follow the lead of an owner full of dedication and enthusiasm. An atmosphere of friendly competition can stimulate higher sales and productivity. Encourage more by rewarding your employees for new ideas and creativity!

2. Build customer loyalty. This is a main goal for any growing business owner, but this loyalty may be what keeps a business going during the recession. If the 80/20 rule holds true (which says that successful companies get about 80 percent of their business from 20 percent of customers), then a mix between exceeding expectations and really getting to know these customers will be the perfect blend to keep you’re them coming back. Remember…It’s a lot easier and more cost-effective to keep an existing customer than it is to find a new one.

3. Keep up with the marketing campaign. Active marketing is absolutely essential in this climate. The reality is that customers are being very careful with their dollars…they take more time to make decisions and they look at more options first. You can bet your competition is working hard for your customer, too! Businesses that aren’t aggressive in their marketing can face the grim reality of a dwindling customer base and lack of new sales.

How to market your local business in this economic climate? Well, that’s another whole article in itself!

4. Utilize the Internet. Don’t Wait another Moment. With all of the technology we have today, its imperative to get online, build a website, and market It. Be aware that this is where a large percentage of people start looking for what they want. The internet can be a powerful tool to reach new audiences for business owners. An experienced marketing professional can be invaluable in this economy; having a versatile specialist in the online marketing world can greatly improve a business campaign.

5. Have confidence. Keep a positive attitude. Try new ideas. Build a clear Brand presence that defines your business. Ask the advice of other entrepreneurs you respect. Many Connecticut small businesses are thriving right now and yours can be one of them.

A Partially Empty Sales Floor Costs You Dollar Store Sales

It is a real challenge to keep the sales floor of a busy dollar store business fully stocked and organized. After all the huge number of dollar store sales combined with the need to continually restock and straighten merchandise is a challenging combination indeed. Yet those who know how to start a dollar store recognize the importance of doing just that cannot be understated. The biggest consequence of failing to do so is lost sales. As you are about to discover those lost sales come from many different sources. Read on as I present a partially empty sales floor costs you dollar store sales.

Empty space on the sales floor means lost dollar store sales

Those who know how to start a dollar store recognize the most obvious of reasons for lost sales; it is the loss of sales in that specific, empty space. Never allow space to sit empty on your sales floor. Always immediately fill in with newly arriving replenishment merchandise, back stock items, or by spreading merchandise that is already on display.

Empty space on the sales floor motivates shoppers to jump ahead

As shoppers are slowly moving down an aisle examining everything available in your store, they will quickly skip ahead when they find empty display space. Not only do they frequently skip the blank space, but also sales area before and after that blank space. The result is lost sales! Keep your aisles properly filled to maximize sales per square foot of display space.

Empty space on the sales floor causes shoppers to ignore entire aisles

If shoppers see large areas that sit empty, or possibly multiple areas in an aisle without any merchandise at all they will often skip that aisle completely. When this happens you are losing not only the sales from the empty space, but also sales from all other products displayed in that aisle.

Empty space on the sales floor can lead to questions about you closing

If too much empty space is allowed to appear in your store the logical question from shoppers, employees and vendors will be about how long you are planning to remain in business. The consequences can be devastating to a business. Lost customers, tightening vendor terms, and employee unrest are all on the list.

Empty space on the sales floor can motivate shoppers to turn and leave

Those who know how to start a dollar store recognize there is a fine line regarding the amount of empty space shoppers will accept. When that line is crossed your shoppers will not hesitate even a moment before they turn around and leave. They will then go to a competitor’s store where they will stay if the right merchandise in the right quantities is available to them.

To your success as you discover how to start a dollar store!