2011-02-10 / Features

Tips For Growing Your Small Business

Owning a small business is an American tradition. And while staying afloat can be tough for small businesses in this economy, creative thinking can help you grow or get the cash you need to survive and flourish.

From getting the word out about your small business to coming up with money for inventory or expansion, some rarely-mentioned tips and tricks can help you succeed.

“Small businesses don’t have as many options as large corporations,” says Stephen Sheinbaum, CEO of Merchant Cash & Capital, an organization that provides funding to small businesses. “Your path to success will depend on your knowledge of your financial options.”

Expect the Unexpected

Successful business owners try to plan for every contingency, but know that sometimes life throws you curve balls.

Small business owners should plan for downtimes and for growth opportunities – which can sometimes happen at the same time. Needs may vary from cutting staff to acquiring more space. In addition, ask yourself how weather and market trends may affect your business; for example, a long winter can hurt restaurant owners but increase DVD sales.

A formal business plan can help you manage your company’s profits, but an unexpected event may require an influx of cash to expand, buy equipment, meet payroll and fund future growth. A smart business owner knows when he or she must act fast to survive.

Know Your Financing Options

With traditional lenders tightening credit and reporting requirements, many small businesses are turning to funding alternatives and cash advance programs to finance their growth. These alternative sources often offer less documentation and quicker access to cash with no collateral requirements.

For example, some innovative organizations, like Merchant Cash & Capital, will now advance cash to a small business to be repaid from revenue from future credit card transactions. Once the cash advance is provided to the merchant, MCC begins to collect a small, agreed-upon percentage of daily credit card sales until the advance is completely paid back. For more information, visit www.merchantcashandcapit al.com or call 1-866-792-9366.

Get Free PR

Once you have a solid plan and cash in hand, marketing is key. But you still want to be frugal.

Forming strategic partnerships or bartering with other local businesses is often a great way to get new eyeballs on your product or service without spending money. For example, a family restaurant may partner with a local doctor to make heart-healthy meals. Or a dry cleaning service can ally with a local supermarket for special coupons and promotions.

Or if you’re looking for press coverage, sign up online for a service like Help A Reporter Out. It’s free and gives you access to reporters across the country looking for expert sources for their stories. You can find out more at www.helpareporter.com.

Remember, there are many different ways to get creative to promote your business or build it.

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