America’s SBDC Blog

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To Factor or Not to Factor

April 25, 2012

If you’ve heard about invoice factoring and are considering it for your B to B company, be sure it fits your needs.  Factoring is a type of specialty lending that’s not meant to replace bank lines or other commercial loans, but to augment them when the need for cash flow is greater than a basic line of credit can provide.  Factoring is helpful for young, non-bankable companies with growth opportunities, and for companies that can benefit by outsourcing their credit and collections activity.  Full-service factoring companies will provide finance, credit services and guarantees, and accounts receivable management.

Here are the Top 10 reasons to consider and NOT to consider factoring for your business:


10. Your B2B company needs a line of credit to support growth, but isn’t bankable yet.
9. Your customers demand credit but your suppliers demand cash.
8. Your customers love to keep you guessing.
7. You just don’t have time to manage receivables.
6. Your growth is outstripping your cash flow. (more…)

Four Steps for Getting Your Marketing Message on YouTube

April 23, 2012

Many small business owners hope their YouTube videos will be the next viral sensations. Even if your video doesn’t achieve such great heights, YouTube remains a great low-cost way to publicize your business and increase your brand awareness. We’ve identified four steps that can help you achieve YouTube success.

1. Don’t deviate from your tried-and-true marketing messaging. Unless your video is the debut piece of a brand new marketing campaign, stick to marketing that works. That doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with humor, a story, or another device to show your business in a new light. But you should reinforce how your business solves customers’ key pain points with language they’ll encounter in your other marketing materials.

Fair warning: Tastes in humor vary. What you consider funny may be boring or offensive to others. When dabbling in comedy, make sure the script reflects a funny situation rather than relying on esoteric cultural references or irony for laughs. The latter two have a tendency to go over many viewers’ heads. (more…)

How and Why to Support Young Entrepreneurs

April 20, 2012

Young Entrepreneurs are more important than ever, and it is vital for current entrepreneurs to support this next generation of business leaders.

Regardless of background, ideology or industry – most people in the world agree that entrepreneurial innovation positively impacts society and the world. Future leaders and entrepreneurs grow up in a world where technology and information change more quickly than ever. Information learned in school can be obsolete by the time students graduate. This is why young entrepreneurs need the support of the people that understand how a swiftly changing environment impacts the business community and how that relates to the role of an entrepreneur.

Current entrepreneurs and small business owners should invest in supporting and training up-and-coming entrepreneurs to ensure the most vibrant workforce possible for all entrepreneurial endeavors. It benefits everyone to encourage and train students interested in starting businesses, and the network of SBDC’s is an example of how small business support can make a difference. (more…)

Get More Results from Your Facebook Page

April 18, 2012

Everyone’s using Facebook these days to engage their customers, clients, members, and supporters. But how many businesses and organizations are actually getting results from all this activity?

The good news is that there are proven tactics that can help you get what you really want from your investment in Facebook marketing: More fans, more shares, and more business.

Here are four things to keep in mind:

1. Facebook users like to “Like” businesses and organizations on Facebook. Customers and prospects will Like your Page too if you ask them to — just give them a good reason to become a fan. Tell them why they should Like you, whether it be for access to an exclusive offer or download, or even just because you post some awesome and engaging content.

2. Getting more “Likes” and fans is only part of the story. It’s not about how many fans you have — it’s about the quality of the engagement with the fans you have. That’s what matters most. Sure, it’s great to have a large list size or fan base, but if no one is reading, commenting, or sharing your content, it doesn’t really matter. (more…)

Young Entrepreneurs: How to Counter ‘Lack of Experience’ Concerns

April 17, 2012

It’s a common experience—we’ve all been told one thing, only to find the opposite holds true. And for many young entrepreneurs, this phenomenon comes to fruition when working with older business associates. Growing up, you may have been told, “Do not let anyone look down on you because of your youth.” But this doesn’t always hold up in the real world.

Because we live in a society that generally assumes people gain worthwhile experience over time—and for good reason, because it’s often the case—you’ll likely encounter potential investors, partners and even customers who will intimate (or vocalize) their concern about your youth and relative inexperience.

While this is the cross the young entrepreneur must bear, it doesn’t mean these opportunities are beyond your reach. As you pursue new business where your youth seems to put you at a disadvantage, try to include these points as you argue against a perceived lack of experience. (more…)