Worried you might not get that business loan? You can relax a little: 90 percent of those who applied between 2013 and 2015 got approved.
Big bank loan approval rose 1.3 percent from February 2015 to February 2016. Institutional lenders rose a full 2 percent in the same time frame.
Some businesses can’t meet the requirements for such a loan or pose too high a risk for traditional lenders, but they might qualify for a loan from microlenders; they normally look for relatively good credit and a demonstrable ability to repay.
The Small Business Association defines a microloan as one of $50,000 or less, a sum often seen by traditional banks for business loans as too low to be profitable.
Crowd-funding options let you raise funds as you promote and position your brand while you engage your target audience.
Venture capital investments broke $59 billion for 2015 and helped more than 1,400 companies – mostly new and early stage – raise funds for the first time.
Alternative lending sources continue to gain popularity because of quick approval times and almost guaranteed approval, but they often charge very high interest rates.
More than half of all small business websites lack pertinent information such as a contact number, email address, or even physical address.
Mobile commerce will only continue to grow. A mobile-friendly website with payment capabilities keeps you closer to almost 60 percent of consumers.
Watch for emotional analytics to gain ground in 2016 and provide deeper insight into consumer behavior. Even Facebook is on the action with its new response options.
An increased online presence means increased online risks, so make sure you’ve got good online security features and protect your customers’ data.
NOTE: Google announces last Spring if your website is not optimized for mobile viewing your chances of appearing in search results are slim to none. You may have the most well optimized website on the planet, if you are not mobile optimized you will not rank above the bottom 20% of all results for all relevant keywords.
Want to improve your customer service? Quickly and honestly respond to their emails, phone calls and social media posts.
Learn more about your customers’ experience. Solicit their feedback through anonymous surveys, check out what they have to say on review sites, or have someone act as a “secret shopper” to assess customer service.
Your business community is most likely your home community as well. Show your appreciation for its confidence and patronage by giving back to community causes- donate to local charities, get involved with government, or volunteer your service.