Cash flow is one of the biggest challenges for small business owners, and we’ve teamed up with our friends at Fundera for what we hope would be an engaging discussion on this important topic.
Join us on Tuesday at 1 p.m. Eastern for the first Fundera-Bluevine Facebook Live Chat on “Managing Your Small Business’s Cash Flow.”
Just go to Fundera’s Facebook page to join the conversation which will be led by two Fintech experts.
Meredith Wood is vice president of content at Fundera who was written extensively on small business financing and management.
“Keeping cash flow in check is a challenge for every business owner,” she wrote in November in an article on “11 Tips For Managing Cash Flow For Seasonal Businesses” in Fundera Ledger. “In fact, cash flow challenges represent the number one reason that small businesses fail—including businesses that are on track for long-term profitability.
Stuart Blake is a veteran of the small business financing industry who grew up around small businesses in New Jersey. He has deep insights into the financing challenges of small business owners based on these experiences. He shared some of them in one of the most popular blog posts in the Bluevine Business Blog.
The article, “How To Get a Business Line of Credit and 5 Mistake to Avoid,” offers not just valuable tips for when and how to apply for a line of credit, but also stresses the importance of integrity in running a small business.
“Sometimes, business owners are tempted to paint a less than truthful image of their business when applying for financing. Bad idea,” Stu writes.
“It’s important to keep this in mind: Never, ever compromise your integrity or the integrity of your business. … You must definitely always try to put the right foot forward. But just as important, don’t put the wrong foot forward.”
Best States to Start a Business
Interested in starting a small business? You should consider starting one in a big state.
Arizona, Montana, California would be among the top choices. But the No. 1 state for launching a small business is Texas, according to a new report by personal finance site Wallethub.
Montana is at No. 4, California, No. 8 and Arizona, No. 9. Right behind Texas are Utah, No. 2 and George, No. 3.
Wallethub analyzed each state, assigning a score based on key factors: access to financing, availability of skilled workers and affordable office space.
The report cited U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data that said one-fifth of startups typically survive less than a year, and about 50 percent don’t make it to their 5th anniversary.
“Startups fail for different reasons, a “bad location” among the most common,” the Wallethub report said. “Choosing the right state for a business is therefore crucial to its success. A state that provides the ideal conditions for business creation — access to cash, skilled workers and affordable office space, for instance — can help new ventures not only take off but also thrive.”
Picking Software for Your Small Business
Choosing the right business software could also help your small business thrive and succeed.
“Good software can enable your small business to increase sales by saving time and money while expanding capacity,” Anita Campbell, publisher of Small Business Trends, writes in a guest blog in the U.S. Small Business Administration site.
“But you must choose wisely — because the wrong software can be an expensive mistake.”
The blog post includes Campbell’s “tried-and-true checklist,” which notes the importance of ease of use, seamless upgrades and testimonials from other small businesses.
It’s also smart to do some research on the software vendor, she said.
“For mission critical processes, I hesitate to put my company’s future in the hands of software or an app that may or may not be updated a year from now,” she said. “You see this problem with some mobile apps and content management system plugins. … Perhaps an app looked promising, but it’s still buggy and unreliable a year later. The more mission critical the need, the more you should insist on financially stable vendors that are committed to their software.”
Starting a Podcast for Your Small Business
There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of podcasts on the Web today. Does it make sense to start your own podcast channel for your small business?
Definitely, says Gerri Detweiler, education director of Nav, in “7 Reasons Your Small Business Needs a Podcast.”
“More than one-third of small business owners listen to podcasts, according to a survey by Bredin, a small business research firm, and listenership increases with company size,” Detweiler writes.
She quotes podcast producer Spencer Shaw who said, “If you’re a business in an industry that has a high customer value then a podcast may be one of your most effective education and marketing tools.
“I find podcasts work great in the legal, financial and business services industries. It can work in other industries like real estate where the show is representing a geographic area or high-end services or products.”
SmallBiz Talk is a weekly summary of small business news and insights.