Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How do you help your candidates get financed?

Some small business financing companies create unwanted complications while others increase success rates and closing times.
Today, we are seeing the emergence of many different funding models for small businesses and franchises. Direct lenders still exist. There are new self-service opportunities springing up continually through ever-evolving technology platforms. And finally, there are full-service companies who facilitate lending in-house through many different sources. The face of today’s business funding marketplace bears little resemblance to even that of two years ago.

Advances in the industry are so great (and options so plentiful) that the direct lending model is now behind the times. Funding is tough to come by, and the direct lender has only their loans to offer. If you don’t fit into their box, then you don’t fit at all. With underwriting requirements as difficult as they are, direct lending is often the fastest way to slow down the time it takes to get funded!

Self-service is an amazing concept and we all love the shiny new toy. While the “do-it-yourself” type of personality is certainly inclined to jump at this option, it’s still too early to say whether this model will be accepted by the broader market until significant improvements are made. As an entrepreneur, I confess I’m also drawn to “the next big thing,” but, in this case, my experience tells me that today’s leaving-it-up-to-the-client models can create extended timeframes, unnecessary confusion, more expense and, ultimately, more work for all involved in the transaction.

Full-service firms, such as Guidant Financial, provide for small business and franchise candidates many options selected and/or assembled from multiple funding sources. This approach ensures that clients have a competent, qualified financing consultant dedicated to guiding them through the transaction and ultimately driving the process. No worries about stopping and asking for directions, because the full-service provider is navigating the course!

The full-service business funding model provides:
• Access to multiple funding options such as SBA loans, Unsecured Credit and Rollovers
• A seamless customer experience
• An expedited time to close
• The ability to compare (and deploy) many options through one company
• Fewer possibilities of making mistakes and ill-informed decisions

Buying a franchise or small business can be an arduous task and a confusing journey, and financing today is a major contributor to the level of difficulty. By working with a full-service financing firm—one with  proven success—the process can be much easier and the route less treacherous for brokers, businesses and borrowers!

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