Sunday, April 1, 2012

Define Small Business?

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a small business as a business with less than five hundred employees. That is the basic definition but there are a number of exceptions that would even include companies with as many as fifteen hundred employees. There are also revenue maximums. You need an attorney navigate that mine field.

Few people would define a company with hundreds of employees as a Small Business. The needs and challenges faced by a company with four hundred and ninety-nine employees are also far different from the those faced by businesses with just a few employees. The purpose of this article is to develop a definition of Small Business to use in creating tools and resources for the types of companies that most people would understand to be Small Businesses. The definition we develop is not a legal one nor is it absolute.

For our purposes a small business is;

1. A business owned by an individual or small closely held group, usually no more than three.

2. The owner is often perceived by the customers as the company. The customers are buying from Joe not Ace Carpet company.

3. The ownership is entrepreneurial. By entrepreneurial I mean the ownership accepts the risk and rewards of the business.

4. The business is nearly always managed by the entrepreneurial ownership. If there are owners not involved in the operations of the company they are usually relatives of the entrepreneurial ownership or providing a source of working capital for the business in exchange for a significant portion of anticipated profits. these owners are often invisible to customers and even sometimes staff.

5. The business is dependent of the skills and enthusiasm of the owner. Without the owner there is no business.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Importance of the Small Business Administration

Despite being overworked and underfunded, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is taking body shots from all sides. And it just isn't fair. How many people can truthfully say to a small business owner, "I am from the government and I'm here to help?"

Leading the way in disbursing federal subsidies and other help is the SBA, whose mission statement says that its role is to "maintain and strengthen the nation's economy by aiding, counseling, assisting and protecting the interests of small businesses."

In the wake of 9/11, the SBA issued $1.2 billion in disaster loans. In just 90 days since the wrath of Hurricane Katrina, the SBA has already dispersed $1.3 billion to thousands of small business owners under the regulatory guidelines established via federal legislation on Capitol Hill.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Start-Up Financing - Get a SBA Loan for Start-Up, Franchise, or Business Purchase

One of the best ways to obtain start-up financing for a small business is the SBA 7(a) Loan Program. The SBA (Small Business Administration) is a governmental entity whose sole purpose is to support small business in the United States. One of the programs it sponsors is the 7(a) Loan Program which allows new businesses to take advantage of bank financing.

There are 3 ways to use the SBA 7(a) Loan program when looking to finance your first business using a bank loan. We'll cover each and how they relate to the 7(a) loan program.

Start-Ups
The first business approach that can be utilized under the 7(a) program is starting a business from scratch. This means you've created the business idea yourself and you plan on launching your very own business. For this approach you will need to know several things:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

SBA Clean Tech Loans Really Concern Me - Let's Talk

As the coordinator for a think tank, we spend a lot of time looking over entrepreneurial business plans for new startups. I am always amazed at the number of business plans that I've been reading, especially in the last five years that have to do with clean technologies, green companies, and alternative energy. Still, I am quite concerned because many of these business plans simply do not have a compelling reason to risk the capital. Okay so, let's talk about this for second shall we?

If I as a retired entrepreneur, and founder of a think tank do not feel comfortable recommending these startups to angel investors and venture capitalists, for fear that it might tarnish my reputation, and realize it's not even my money involved, then why is it okay to use taxpayer guaranteed money to fund some of these same projects? If they aren't viable, they shouldn't be done. If their only chance for success has to do with tax rebates, temporary waivers from regulatory agencies, and low-cost funding from the government - then actually they are not viable at all, certainly not in the free marketplace.

In that case, may I ask why we are bothering with this? I know the answer, but I pose the question because I am a little bit tired of the political agendas, the anti-fossil fuel motive, and this new religion of global warming. This country needs reliable and low-cost energy. By having that we are giving a boost to all of our industries, meaning they can compete better globally. If we overtax our infrastructure, and take that money and funnel it to projects which are not viable, all we are doing is manipulating the free-market system in a pathetic and disgusting way (my opinion, because I'm not allowed to say that, as it isn't politically correct, which is in itself pathetic).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Should the SBA Be a Cabinet Set in the US Executive Branch?

The other day, I was talking to a gentleman who was involved in politics, and also worked in race relations, how fitting it would be to listen to his wisdom only a few days before Dr. Martin Luther King's holiday. I was amazed to hear of his love of free-markets, small business, and his view that free-markets allow for freedom, diversity, and transcend race and gender issues. I agree, in fact, I believe that free-market capitalism solves more than just economic issues while it creates abundance for all. Okay so let's talk.

There was an interesting article recently in Government Executive News titled; "Obama proposes reorganizing trade agencies, giving SBA Cabinet status," by Tom Shoop and Charles S. Clark published on January 13, 2012 - and the article stated:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Unsecured Small Business Loans - Good News - Stimulus Bill Allows SBA 90 Percent Guarantee For Loans

Anyone remotely involved with small businesses, whether as a consultant, lender, supplier, leasing specialist, trade association, or simply as a consumer who is tired of driving by sections of town and wondering why your favorite business unceremoniously threw in the towel, would very much like to hear some good news. Not to mention the small business owner itself. After all, there are 27 million small businesses that deserve to be thriving in this nation, but too often were ignored by the Bush administration. Classically non-complainers by nature, they just want a scrap of hope thrown their way. And I'm not talking about wide-eyed idealists looking for handouts-in all due respect to Emily Dickinson, they're not looking for the"thing with feathers that perches in the soul". Just give us a few bucks and we will run with it. This is a continuing article (20 in all) on the subject: Help. Is anyone out there loaning to small businesses anymore?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Boon That Is The Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration(SBA) was established in 1953. Since that time the agency has dispensed huge amounts of money in loans and loan guarantees, contracts, consulting assistance and other programs for business across the United States.

The seeds of the formation of the SBA were sown within the challenges of the Great Depression and World War I and grew due to numerous predecessor organizations.

Earlier Small Business Administration Agencies