Category Archives: Blog

BLOG: SBA 7(a) Loans — Basic

7(a) loans are the most basic and most often used of those in the SBA’s business loan program. The purpose of this loan is to help start-up and existing small businesses with financing, guaranteed for a variety of general business purposes.

The first thing you should understand about this loan is that the SBA does not make loans itself, but rather guarantees loans made by participating lending institutions. In this way, taxpayer funds are only used in the event of borrower default. This reduces the risk to the lender but not to the borrower, who remains obligated for the full debt, even in the event of default.

All 7(a) loans are provided by lenders who participate with SBA in the program. While not all lenders choose to participate, the majority of American banks do. These lenders are called participants, and offer the loan under a guarantee basis. This means they are provided by lenders who choose to structure their own loans by SBA’s requirements and receive a guarantee from SBA on a portion of this loan. The lender and SBA, then, share the risk of any potential default. The guarantee only covers payment default; it does not cover imprudent decisions by the lender or misrepresentation by the borrower. (more…)

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BLOG: Deployment: Sustain or Suspend Your Business

162SFS-Deployment-1Please Note:  This series, “Preparing your Business for Deployment,” is focused on our military entrepreneurs who may have to deploy.  However, the information and checklists would apply to any business owner who may need to take a sudden leave of absence from their business due to a life changing emergency.  It is suggested that all entrepreneurs should have some sort of plan in place in case they need to either sustain or suspend their business in their absence. 

Preparing for a deployment is a stressful event for any military member and their family.  However, for the military entrepreneur it is even more so and it is imperative to plan ahead.  So if you are an active service member, National Guard, or a Reservist you are encouraged to follow our “Deployment” series in order to have a plan for your business and ensure that both you and your family are financially secure.

Before building your plan, you first need to decide whether you will sustain your business (keep the doors open) or suspend your business (close your business temporarily or permanently).  In the first part of our series we will provide you a checklist to weigh your options and make a decision.  In future posts we will go into more details about what to consider and how to create the plan for your business in the event that you must deploy. (more…)

BLOG: Financing your Business Part II – Credit Factors

iStock_000003732935SmallThe first part of this series, An Overview of Business Financing, gave you important questions to help you determine your need for financial assistance.  We also briefly touched on some of the programs the SBA provides to assist business owners that are seeking financing.  However, before you can qualify for SBA’s financial assistance, you should first understand some basic credit factors that apply to all loan requests.

BLOG: Registering as a Government Contractor

In our “Choosing your Entrepreneurial Path” series we discussed Government Contracting as one of the options.  Since this is a Virginia SBDC blog and the government literally lives in our backyard, it is likely that many of the entrepreneurs who are reading this are considering or already are building a government contracting business.

With that said, in this and future post we are going to dive much deeper into government contracting and the federal contracting process.  To start us off we are going to look at the importance of small business classification and the registration process. (more…)

BLOG: Business Loans – Overview

When looking to fund your business, there are many options available.  Depending on what type of business you are operating or looking to start, the amount you need and the reason for your funding will likely determine the type of financing you want to obtain.  In future posts, we will look more closely into the most common type of financing businesses obtain through the SBA.  However, to give you a general idea of the different financing options available, here is a brief overview: (more…)

BLOG: Financing your Business Part I- An Overview of Business Financing

Now that you’ve chosen or possibly started down your entrepreneurial path, the next step is to determine how to finance the start or the ongoing operations of your business.  But first, there are certain things you should think about.

Questions to ask yourself before seeking Financial Assistance

1.  Do you need more capital or can you manage existing cash flow more effectively? (more…)

BLOG: Choosing your Entrepreneurial Path: Franchising

An important step in the small business startup process is deciding whether or not to go into business at all. Each year, thousands of potential entrepreneurs are faced with this difficult decision; because of the risk and work involved in starting a new business, many new entrepreneurs choose franchising as an alternative to starting a new, independent business from scratch.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to hurry into business, so it’s important to understand your reasons for going into business, and determine if owning a business is right for you. (more…)

BLOG: Choosing your Entrepreneurial Path: Government Contracting

In a previous blog post, we talkedabout some of the different entrepreneurial paths one could choose.  Today, we are going to give you a brief overview of Government Contracting and whether this path might suit you.  As we explore the different paths we will start with some of the reasons why a particular path might suit you in regards to your military experience and the advantages that come with being a veteran. (more…)

BLOG: Choosing your Entrepreneurial Path: Buying a Business

Many find the idea of running a small business appealing, but they lose their motivation after realizing, as they develop their business plans, talk with investors, and research the legal issues associated with start-ups, that it can be a big risk. For those disheartened by such risky undertakings, buying an existing business is often a simpler and safer alternative. (more…)

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