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Old 12-12-2004, 12:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Financing Small Buisness

The situation is that recently two stores in the town I live in both went out of buisness (one due to the death of the owner, the other due to financial troubles) both of which served the same (at least very similar) clients. Now, there isnt a single buisness in town that provides services to what (I believe) is a rather large potential customer base. A good friend and myself have been frequent customers of gaming stores for the last 10 years and are looking into the possibility of trying to start a small buisness. None of the stores in town in the past have lasted more than 5 years, but we firmly believe that we know where they all went wrong (expanding to try to compete in areas that weren't profitable, impropper inventory, lack of an online presence, etc). My main problem is both of us are currently in college (though have few actual collegiate debts due to good scholarships, etc), but neither one of us has an extensive credit history. Funding is a major concern (as we have been discussing what type of facility we would need, and it unfortunately seems that there aren't any options that meet the criteria we would like)...any suggestions on what our options are for funding (is a long-term loan totally out of the question, would we have to find some third party with the necessary financial history, etc)
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Old 12-12-2004, 12:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: People's Republic of KKKalifornia
1. Start with a solid Business Plan. If you don't know how, go to the library or "Google" it. Think, "Small Business for dummies" or "How to Write A Business Plan".

2. Your school or county may have a Small Business Association. Look it up. They will have all the info you need to start your business; registering, permits etc.

3. Did you do your research? Locatin? Pictures? You have to be able to present your idea clearly to a bank or whatever.

4. Research bank loans. Many banks have Minority Business Programs (women, blacks etc) or Small Business services. Inquire. DO you even know how much you need yet?

It might seem like a lot, but break down the larger problem into small parts. You'll get there. Write down your goals an objectives, keep good notes, organize, stay focused, be professional.

When talking to professional services: Bank, city planning etc. - Get a haircut, wear a suit, speak in complete sentences, be presentable. Most of all, be prepared. Knock 'em dead with your presentation!

Good Luck!
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Old 01-10-2005, 09:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
Tilted
 
Location: Dallas
With a good idea and a good business plan, you'd be surprised the types of people that will be willing to listen to you and consider helping you out financially... you can start low with a friends and family round of money, and then go toward angel investors... and if there truly is a need, you may even be able to get a bank involved.
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Old 01-11-2005, 08:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: drowning in a sea of unstable emotions
I have been on the path to starting my own small business since May and I strongly recommend that you contact the Small Business Administration for a loan. They have great rates and can give you the startup capital that you need to open up your store. Unfortunately many banks will not give you a business loan without the support of the SBA unless you have shown a profit and have impeccable personal credit. Check out this site for more info...

http://www.sba.gov/financing/index.html

Also, look into free government grants. Depending on your location there are state grants, federal grants, and just plain FREE MONEY for startup costs as well as demographic grants based on the availability of the service in your area. There are a lot of books out there that can give you the addresses to contact as well as help in writing the grant itself....needless to say that it is a complicated and lengthy process to get funding, but it has been proven to work!!! I'm still in the process of working on this

Before you precede you need to assess the marketing strategy you would have and the need for your store to work. Look into why these stores have failed (bankruptcy, lack of structure, etc.) You should also study up on your competition for pricing and availability of such needed service.

This endeavor takes perseverance, unappreciated hard work, personal funding, and soul searching but once you make your first sale it is well worth it. I have been marketing heavily for the past 6mo. and I have finally scored my first client that has the possibility of making me very busy for the next few years. This is the goal I was working for and it feels great to say that I am officially in business and I have my first check in the mail!!!!!

I hope this helps! Keep on researching and you'll find that anything is possible.
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Old 01-11-2005, 09:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
Tilted
 
Location: Dallas
by the way... I pick up from the original post that the business they are considering is a game rental/ sales type business. Make sure you look at your potential competitors... both online and offline businesses. I've started seeing TV spots advertising a gaming company like Netflix (don't remember the name right now) and we've also got GameStop growing like gang busters here. It's VERY easy for companies like that to have an impact on your business plan.
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