America’s SBDC Blog

A “Forbes 100 Best Websites for Entrepreneurs”

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…)

Preparing For Take-off Once The Crowdfunding Bill Is Passed

April 5, 2012

Funding sources are hard to find, and without capital businesses in the initial phases of development find it difficult to move past the idea stages. “While Americans currently have trillions of dollars sitting on the sidelines in money market accounts, countless brilliant ideas, technology, research and innovation have been squandered for lack of investment, with ongoing consequences for our health, our economy and our society.

We need to encourage investment in entrepreneurs and innovation in every way possible and provide a fast track system to launch viable new ventures.” I said this several years ago to many government officials and it looks like some of them are finally listening to all of us who have been fighting to get a crowdfunding bill passed.

You can learn more here at — the creators of the framework for the bill that passed the house by 407 to 17. So as the senate moves toward (we hope) the passing of the Jobs Act, which also passed the house with overwhelming bipartisan support, (that has the Crowdfunding bill in it), one thing is certain: its passage will provide startups and early stage small businesses with expanded access to capital. (more…)

How to Provide the Electronic Payment Options Your Customers Want

March 19, 2012

In an economy where consumers prefer debit cards and credit cards over checks and cash, accepting only non-electronic payments just doesn’t cut it anymore.

To reach the greatest number of customers, you must accept electronic payments. We’ve consolidated the myriad options into the most popular choices among small business owners, whether you own a storefront, home business or fully online shop.

Before You Begin

All credit card companies charge a per-sale fee, usually between 2.5 percent and 5.5 percent. No matter what technology you use, you will pay for the privilege of accepting credit cards.

To compensate for the lost revenue, most businesses raise prices accordingly. A price adjustment that small is, in most customers’ minds, a drop in the bucket. You probably won’t hear a word about it.

Merchant Accounts

For many decades, the only way to accept plastic involved opening a merchant account through a bank or lending institution. And, for many small businesses, merchant accounts remain the best route. (more…)