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Ensuring Your Small Business is Fiscally Fit for Long-Term Growth


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There are many steps small business owners can take to ensure your company is set for long-term success. First and foremost, as an owner, create a business plan. The process of putting together this plan makes you work through the fundamentals of a viable business, including how it will maintain financial stability.
 
A business plan details what you’re going to sell/provide, how you’re going to sell/provide it, why there is demand for what you’re selling/providing, how you’re going to out-maneuver your competitors, and how much money you intend to finance, earn and reinvest. It also establishes the milestones you aim to achieve and the overall timeframe for doing so.
 
Unfortunately, many companies float along rudderless because the owners lack the motivation or discipline to create the business plan. The process of developing the plan can be intimidating, and if you’re routinely scrambling to put out fires, it becomes a low priority. However, keep in mind that without a plan, it’s nearly impossible to borrow from a bank or get buy-in from investors.
 
To start, resolve to build or update your business plan this year. Like any daunting task, crafting your strategy is much easier when you break it down into manageable pieces. A great tool to help you do this is the Small Business Administration’s online business plan builder: https://www.sba.gov/tools/business-plan/1. You simply create a login and start your plan. Complete the easiest parts first, and that will give you confidence to complete the more challenging aspects later. You can save your plan as you go, and the SBA will save your information for six months after your last login date.
 
As you shape your plan, you will need to outline bookkeeping processes and provide statements for cash flow projections, as well as your profits and losses (P&L). Your bank can help you with these. Many banks have SBA loan experts, who provide this type of assistance. You can also get free help from an SBA resource partner such as SCORE, a Small Business Development Center (SBDC), or a Women's Business Center (WBC).


Once you have your business plan, you’re ready to start the loan process. Some practices work better than others for small businesses. We recommend that small business owners stick to equity financing over debt financing. Equity financing enables businesses to obtain loans without incurring additional debt.
 
Before approving a loan, your financial institutions will want a record of the equity within your business. Equity holdings can include real estate, vehicles, equipment, inventory and more. Equity assures your bank that you can repay the loan, even if the business fails. Banks will also consider your company’s credit score, equity contribution and loan-to-value ratio before lending.
 
Additionally, a lender will want to see that you have invested your own money in your business. Investment expert Warren Buffet refers to this as “skin in the game.”
 
Weigh all borrowing decisions carefully. It’s important to be lean on fixed assets, and study up on financial statements and the risks that can come along with borrowing. Get expert advice from your bank and/or an SBA lender before being tied to any financial decisions.
 
Since its founding in 2005, Paragon Bank has maintained a solid focus on the community and customer service. For more than 10 years, Paragon has delivered innovative products and financial expertise, convenience, and a deep understanding of what both businesses and individuals need from a bank, in order to provide solutions that make a difference. In the areas of business or personal banking, lending options or wealth management, Paragon delivers cutting edge technology, an experienced team and the most service-oriented staff of any community bank.
 
For more information about Paragon Bank, please call (901) 273-2900 or visit www.bankparagon.com

Posted: 6/7/2017 11:25:49 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: Bank, Business, Paragon, Small




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SMALL BUSINESS
Your business may be small, but that doesn't mean that your impact can't be huge! The Greater Memphis Chamber's Small Business Council serves to encourage, support, recognize and be a resource to small- and medium-sized businesses in the Memphis area. Here, our talented panel of contributors will present big ideas that could make a huge difference to your small business. And don't be afraid to ask questions ... no matter how small.

CONTRIBUTORS
VOSS GRAHAM
Sales & Small Business Ownership
Voss W. Graham is CEO and Senior Business Advisor for InnerActive Consulting Group Inc. He is known by his clients as "a knowledgeable partner who helps our team achieve business growth." He provides practical experience as a small business owner for over 29 years, yet is often engaged with Fortune 500 companies in the development of their people and business strategies.

OBSIDIAN PUBLIC RELATIONS
Public Relations
Several professionals and strategists from the local Obsidian Public Relations firm provide excellent advice on everything from research to media relations to event planning. They believe that all companies, no matter how big or small the company or its budget, should have a public relations plan driving how they manage their relationships with key stakeholders. Public relations is an integral part of doing business the right way.

JOEL MYERS
Human Resources
Joel Myers is a career Human Resources professional, with over 40 years in the field including 26 years in consulting.

TOM PEASE
Small Business Advice
Tom Pease is a small business owner of an office equipment dealership called e/Doc Systems, Inc. He has also owned a full-line Kawasaki dealership as well as a document shop. He used 30+ years of experience in owning a business to author two books, including: Going Out of Business by Design: Why 70% of Small Businesses Fail and Small Business Survival 101. He also has published 85 columns in The Memphis Daily News as the Small Business Advisor.

LORI TURNER-WILSON
Marketing & Public Relations
Lori Turner-Wilson is CEO and Founder of RedRover Company, a sales development, marketing and PR consulting firm. Lori works with companies large and small, from start-ups to mature organizations, to help them improve the productivity of their sales force and the return on their marketing investment. Lori writes a weekly syndicated column for the Daily News, Memphis News, Nashville Ledger, and Desoto Times, among others, titled “Guerrilla Sales & Marketing,” for which she won a 2011 Summit International Award and 2012 International Communicator Award.

INFERNO
Design and Digital Strategy
Founded in 1999, inferno provides brand development, advertising, public relations, design and digital marketing services to clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Headquartered in Memphis with a satellite office in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the award-winning firm produces results-driven work by passionately combining strategic thinking, creativity and culture to ensure the success of its clients. For more information, visit www.creativeinferno.com.

FISHER PHILLIPS LLP
Labor & Employment Law
Fisher Phillips attorneys are ready to help you take a stand: in court, with employees and unions, or with competitors. Fisher Phillips has the experience and resolve to back you up. That's why some of the savviest employers come to the firm to handle their toughest labor and employment cases. The firm has 350 attorneys in 32 offices, including Memphis. For more information, visit www.fisherphillips.com.

PARAGON BANK
Finance
Since its founding in 2005, Paragon Bank has maintained a solid focus on the community and customer service. For more than 10 years, Paragon has delivered innovative products and financial expertise, convenience, and a deep understanding of what both businesses and individuals need from a ban, in order to provide solutions that make a difference. In the areas of business or personal banking, lending options or wealth management, Paragon delivers cutting edge technology, an experienced team and the most service-oriented staff of any community bank.



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