Business is no easy feat and is not for the faint-hearted. When people leave the workforce to start a business, they realise business is a shock. I was once in the workforce and quit my job to ‘live the dream.’ I soon discovered some cold harsh facts about business I wish I’d known.
Of course, there’s no better teacher than experience but I’d like to save you the heartache.
Today I’m dishing up:
- Hard facts about business if you are considering leaving your day job
- Information about business survival in Australia
- Why you should consider business finance
- How to get the right information for securing a business loan
Hard facts about business you need to know
You have to be everybody and do everything
Business owners have to do everything. There’s no one to send invoices and accounts to. There’s no one to fix the photocopier if it breaks down. No one will clean out the coffee machine and the bins don’t empty themselves at the end of a long day. No one will help you make a million decisions or help you solve a hard problem.
Help is not a cubicle away
If something goes wrong in business, it’s harsh. There’s no colleague in the next cubicle to whinge to or cry on the shoulder of. Business people have to ‘suck it up’ and carry-on no matter what happens. Their livelihoods and everything they’ve invested ‘to date’ is riding on every decision made.
Whether a competitor stole an idea or a pitch is pressing, startups feel alone and isolated. Further, most are alone for many years before even a sniff of help arrives, if that help ever does.
The fun is fleeting
Finally, I speak from experience when I say that the ‘fun and fluff’ in business is fleeting. Much like the hug a mum might get in the daily grind and ‘labour of love’ that is parenting. The fun stuff is just a small percentage of a business person’s daily equation. The rest is just plain old-fashioned hard work. If you want to succeed in business – you have to put the long arduous hours in. There’s no getting around that.
Business survival in Australia
Businesses who hire are more likely to succeed
Here are some interesting facts about small business in Australia.
In short, people who don’t enlist help in their businesses at the right time are less likely to survive.
There’s always a chicken or egg moment
There are also many businesses in Australia stuck in this ‘chicken or egg’ quandary.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
You might want to take a leap of faith in your business to take your business to the ‘next level.’ Doing so requires that you hire more staff. But you currently may not have the volume of work to support new staff members. In fact, you need the staff in the first place to increase the volumes, so you can sustain bringing on new staff.
Cashflow is usually an issue
Then there is the issue of cashflow. That leap of faith may be difficult because cashflow is often inconsistent. Your business may be seasonal and have significant ebbs and flows throughout the year.
Business people in trades know this well. July is dry for many tradies when people aren’t inspired to renovate. But as soon as spring and summer hits – the work is back in full force.
Hot Tip: Read this: Release your cash from unpaid invoices by factoring
The big banks love to decline
Unfortunately, the big banks are stringent with small business applications. They do not favour seasonal or inconsistent income. They will often decline applications on this one factor.
But there are many other factors the big banks will decline a business loan on. These include and are not limited to:
- The security you have to put up for the loan
- When you only have a few clients and ‘put all your eggs in the one basket’ so to speak
- You are a start-up and you don’t have enough history in your business
- You have too much debt or have other existing overdrafts, credit card debt or loan facilities
- The industry you are in may be weakening due to external factors E.g. Technology might wipe out your industry altogether in the future
- Your credit history isn’t favourable
- Banks don’t have the time to take a good look at what you are really trying to achieve and do
Some reasons you might consider a business loan
- You’ve started your business with no funding at all and you need money
- You’d like to expand your business and move out of the home office
- Your business requires a premise (e.g. restaurant)
- You need to hire staff to keep up with demand
- You’d like to expand on a great idea
- You want to build a relationship with a lender for future endeavours
- You need tools and equipment for your business
- You need to buy stock for your business
Finding the right business loan is daunting
Here’s the difficult thing businesses face when raising finance:
- The chicken or egg scenario makes timing a loan difficult
- The process of choosing which loan can be time-consuming and ‘too-hard basket’
- There are so many business loan options on the market – it is hard to know which one to choose
Get the right information
I’m a big believer in using the right tools. There’s also no point in reinventing the wheel when there are so many shortcuts out there. So I am happy to report that I’ve done the research for you.
The following is an excellent online resource I found that is really helpful.
It’s called the Definitive Guide to Small Business Loans.
The guide delivers everything you need to know to raise funds for taking that next step in business.
I recommend reading this guide from beginning to end. It is comprehensive and packed with step-by-step information.
This guide includes:
- Australian small business background
- What is a small business loan?
- Business loans offered by banks (including pro’s and con’s)
- How to apply for bank business finance
- Types of finance offered by Non-Bank Lenders (including pro’s and con’s)
- How to apply to a non-bank lender
Have you taken out a business loan and how did it help your business? Leave your thoughts in comments below or on our Facebook page.