We’re looking for small business owners facing debt collectors or possible bankruptcy or ones seeking debt relief.
There are many media sources reporting there is a new reckoning for small business owners.
These media sources are reporting as the Pandemic Recedes, Small Businesses Face a New Plague: Debt Collectors. Creditors may have held off collecting unpaid debts, but rest assured, they’ll want to get paid. The worst of the pandemic may be over, but many small businesses are headed for a reckoning.
As relief efforts like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) wind down, and state and federal protections such as eviction moratoriums begin to lapse, companies that may have been limping along or on the edge could soon topple.
These media sources are saying, “Expect a total avalanche of bankruptcies soon.”
Small businesses form the backbone of the United States economy. According to the Small Business Administration, 99.9% of businesses in the U.S. qualify as “small” (500 or fewer employees), and these employ 58.9 million people — or 47.5% of the private workforce.
Considering how vital small businesses are to our economy, it’s shocking to learn that 70% of small businesses will have failed by their 10th year.
For 82% of business owners, that failure comes down to cash flow problems—basically, the amount of money that’s coming in versus the amount that’s going out.
If you’re struggling with debt management and cash flow problems as an entrepreneur, you’re not alone. Though it can feel discouraging, there’s good news: with a few simple steps, you can get back on your feet, relieve some of your debt, and get back to providing the products or services that make your business so valuable to the community.
The Facts on Small Business Debt
Though out-of-control debt can certainly be damaging, debt isn’t a bad thing. For many business owners, loans are the only option for getting their business started, buying equipment and inventory, and managing expansions.
Let’s take a closer look:
- The majority of businesses use financing. Although some business owners may fund their ventures out of pocket, 69% of small firms use financing to reach their goals. As a quick breakdown, Finder.com discovered that businesses use loans to invest in a new opportunity or expand (59%), cover operating expenses (43%), and refinance (26%).
- Unsecured debt is commonly used. To fund their start-up enterprises, many small business owners seek unsecured business funding. Basically, this means that they take out loans that have no collateral (house, land, equipment) attached. Around half of small business owners have a business card, while 29% use credit cards to meet capital needs in their business. On average, small business owners have a monthly payment of $2,032.
- Pros and cons of credit cards. Unsecured loans like credit cards are attractive to many entrepreneurs because they’re easier to get, take less time to receive than other loan types, and often have fewer restrictions. The downside is that credit card debt often has high interest rates.
- Overall business debt in the United States. Though debt can seem overwhelming, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s very common. For example, the average business loan from a small bank is a whopping $150,000.
Working in conjunction with your financial advisor, attorney, mentor, and other trusted consultants, review the various options available to your business. While the options for handling your debt vary, they can be categorized in 2 primary ways:
- Preserve your business by dealing with your debts or
- End your business in a way that mitigates the negative consequences.
Let’s look at ways to save your business, as this is the preferable path in nearly all situations. Some of these suggestions involve managing the debt itself, while others are geared toward freeing up more money that could then be used to pay down the debt. In many cases, it’s ideal for 2 or more options to be used simultaneously.
Possible Debt Solutions for Your Business
: Reach Out to Your Creditors.
It can be tempting to look for big solutions with big payoffs, but some of the quickest relief can come from a simple conversation. It can be tempting to look for big solutions with big payoffs, but some of the quickest relief can come from a simple conversation. Before you take any other action, get in touch with your creditors. They need to know what you’re struggling with. They’ve undoubtedly spoken with many other entrepreneurs in similar situations and could have some helpful suggestions.
In some cases, the lender might agree to a restructuring of your repayment. Perhaps they will even decrease the interest rate so you have more breathing room from a financial perspective.
: Bail Out Your Business Using Your Own Money. Just as business owners use personal resources to start a business, some will also go back to that original source to handle debt. This approach requires you to have the cash necessary to put a serious dent in what you owe, which can be a challenge for any business owner whose business might be struggling.
Another factor to consider with this approach is the obvious risk involved. Carefully review the situation before deciding whether it is reasonable to use your money in this way. When done correctly, paying off debt with your own money can alleviate the pressure and put your business back on the road to success. In other cases, it can lead to severe financial consequences.
: Lower Your Business Costs. When you’re spending less money on various costs, you have more financial firepower to throw at your debt. Work with your team to find ways to save money on your recurring expenses. This might include putting off the hiring of additional staff, reducing the amount of money you spend on utilities, or finding a more affordable internet provider.
At the same time, look for ways to offset your remaining costs by making extra money for your business. Consider selling computers and other electronic devices that aren’t needed or renting out some of your lesser-used equipment.
: Work With Your Suppliers. Communication is always essential when you’re dealing with financial strain. Reach out to your suppliers and explain the situation. If you have established a good relationship with the supplier, you can expect them to be empathetic with your position.
Ideally, your suppliers will offer solutions. For example, they might help you find comparable products that come with a more affordable price tag. Or they could hook you up with a discount on your orders. In some situations, they might even arrange for deferred payments so you can put your money toward immediate debt relief.
: Work With Your Customers. You can also work things from the opposite direction by connecting with your top customers. If you have customers who owe you money, you could incentivize them with the same type of discounts you sought from your suppliers. It might be better to get a slightly reduced amount of money today than the full amount in 3 months.
: Consolidate Your Loans. While many of the suggestions thus far on the list have been of the à la carte variety, this is a much more substantial way to relieve your debt. When done correctly, consolidating your loans can potentially bring the following benefits:
- Only one creditor to deal with
- Only one payment to manage
- Lower interest rate
- No negative impact on your credit
The way it works is a debt consolidation company or nonprofit lender agrees to take on your various debts. They pay the remaining balances on your outstanding loans and then “consolidate” everything into one monthly payment.
Not only does this arrangement simplify your life and save you time, but it can also provide a lower interest rate. To qualify for a debt consolidation loan, you might need to secure the loan with business assets such as property, real estate, or equipment. If you find yourself unable to meet the terms of this new loan, you would need to forfeit your assets.
: File for Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: This is hardly the preferred route. But if your business faces financial demands that are temporary in nature and you feel you have long-term viability, bankruptcy might be a potential solution.
You should know in advance that bankruptcy is a costly process. And the amount of paperwork and hoop-jumping required can be daunting. But if you have the assistance of a trusted attorney, you can determine whether or not this is a good solution.
A bankruptcy can often work when your total debt exceeds the value of your business assets. With Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, you basically renegotiate debt and pay the asset’s value, as opposed to the total amount you’d otherwise owe. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is for businesses such as corporations or partnerships, while Chapter 13 is used for sole proprietorships.
Any type of bankruptcy will impact your credit in a major way. This results in difficulty obtaining loans down the road. Even when you are approved, the interest rates and terms will be much less favorable than before your bankruptcy. But bankruptcy is still an option that should be considered. Thousands of small business owners file for bankruptcy each year, and many of them are able to continue on with their entrepreneurial dreams intact.
: Properly Applying Marketing Fundamentals-Why it is critical to build a Greek Parthenon Type of Business. The Parthenon Philosophy Debt Solution
The Parthenon Philosophy is the most powerful marketing concept I have ever encountered. It was introduced to me several years ago by marketing master Jay Abraham. And since, everything I do in business is based on this very same principle.
Most small businesses owners I interact with continuously rely on one or two marketing approaches to grow and sustain their business. Direct sales and / or referral marketing aka word-of-mouth marketing are the two most common instruments businesses deploy to get more clients and increase their revenue.
What happens when direct sales becomes less effective?
What happens when people stop sending you referrals?
Your business stream diminishes and you start losing ground. That’s not a very smart approach, don’t you think?
So why not increase the stability of your business by building it on several robust pillars aka revenue streams. Why not build a Greek Parthenon type of business from the very beginning.
The Diving Board Philosophy vs. The Parthenon Philosophy
Let’s start with a brief description of both philosophies.
- The Diving Board Philosophy states that you build your business on a single revenue stream or marketing pillar (e.g. direct sales).
- The Parthenon Philosophy states that you build your business on several robust pillars or marketing profit centers (e.g. direct sales + referral system + joint ventures + advertising + email marketing + telemarketing + podcasting).
OK, so now that you understand the underlying principle of the Parthenon Philosophy and why it’s critical to build a business that has a strong foundation, you might be faced with the following trick question:
But which pillars?
Especially with the online craziness going on and the gazillions of marketing weapons at hand, how do you know what works and what not? How do you know which pillars to pick?
I’ll get into that in a few seconds but first, let’s have a closer look at the different ways you can grow your business. It’s not as complicated and overwhelming as most people think it is. Actually it’s quite simple.
There are ONLY 3 ways to grow a business… any business.
There are only three ways to grow your business:
1. Get more clients.
2. Get each client to do more business.
3. Get clients to do business more often.
Generally speaking, when people think about growing their business, they tend to focus on getting more clients.
Greek Parthenon Pillars
We are bombarded on a daily basis with all kinds of marketing instruments, tools, messages and what not. And there lies the biggest challenge: Where do you put your attention? Which ones do you choose?
Here’s a quick checklist as to how to go about this topic so that you pick your marketing channels wisely:
1. Always start with your prospect’s and customer’s mind. Get inside the head of your ideal audience: prospect, customer, client, or patient. One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is they start with tactics or strategies. That’s the wrong order. Start with targeting first.
2. Be crystal clear about your unique selling proposition (USP). Be a preferred choice.
3. Pick your offline marketing streams first, especially if you have a brick and mortar business.
Nothing beats Face-to-Face marketing to this day and age. If you onboard customers by attending all kinds of trade shows and fairs, include that into your marketing arsenal. If advertising on the local radio station works amazingly well for you, continue doing that.
This is how you build your own Greek Parthenon: trade shows is marketing stream #1, advertising on local radio station could be marketing stream #2.
You’re a consultant or work-at-home business owner?
Great. Don’t dismiss the power of offline just because sitting in front of the computer is “more comfortable”. There are a ton of home-based business owners who generate way more sales via offline methods than online gurus who do a couple of hundred or thousand dollars by posting on social media, writing a blog, or uploading some fancy YouTube videos.
4. Pick your online marketing streams based on #1… Your TARGETING.
Go where your audience is. If they spend most of their time on Facebook and LinkedIn, you gotta be there. If they like to consume video, make sure you use YouTube appropriately.
Browsers search on Google, buyers search items on Amazon… therefore look at how you can embed Amazon into your online marketing strategy. It’s a fantastic revenue stream.
Have an email marketing system in place, a so called follow-up or autoresponder sequence. Use Facebook’s powerful targeting features to capture leads, promote your next event, or get people to call you straight from a local awareness ad.
Whatever you do, just don’t rush into too many channels. Pick 1-2 social marketing channels and master those prior to adding another one to your portfolio. Online marketing is not about having profiles all over the place and posting willy-nilly.
Furthermore, you need to be aware of the fact that as a small business owner you have more important tasks to accomplish than sending out tweets or wasting numerous hours on Periscope, Snapchat, you name it trying to figure out how this next social thing works — especially if your ideal clients have never heard of Snapchat & Co.
Wrapping It Up
The world is changing at a rapid pace. New online marketing platforms are launched on a daily basis. Innovative search engine tools, CRM tools, or social media tools are a dime a dozen.
It’s paradise for those who suffer from the Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS) and it’s a mess for all those looking to find out what really works. Use the above checklist as a starting point and let it guide you to success. No one knows your customers better than you do.
- How many marketing pillars are necessary to your long-term business success?
- What are these pillars?
- Contact us and we’ll discuss them with you.
Grow Your Business System Debt Reduction Strategies.
: The first way to quickly grow your business is by building a sales funnel. If you don’t have a sales funnel, you’re making a monumental mistake. Sales funnels can help to automate your business. It helps you to scale and grow quickly and easily. Sure, there’s some front-end work involved. Obviously. But, once those processes are in place, it’s smooth sailing from there.
: Manually tracking transactions is hard. No one wants to do that. It gets too cumbersome as the business grows. If you want to scale quickly, use a customer management system. There are plenty to choose from. But, it really depends on your line of work. Of course, cloud-based software like SalesForce is always a viable option.
: When going to market, and you’re really looking to get your offer to the masses, you need to research the competition
: Loyalty programs are great ways to increase sales. It costs up to three times more money to acquire new customers than it does to sell something to an existing customer. Other resources pin this number anywhere from four to 10 times more. However, any way that you slice it, acquiring new customers is expensive.
: Analyze new opportunities in your business by understanding your demographic better. Understand everything from distribution channels to your direct competitors, and even an analysis of foreign markets and other potential industries. There are likely dozens of new opportunities you could pursue immediately with the proper amount of analysis.
: One of the most best and most effective ways to grow a business quickly is to build an email list. Clearly, that means you need to have a lead magnet. Why else would people subscribe to your list? And, with a lead magnet, comes the necessity for a sales funnel. Look into companies like Aweber, ConstantContact, ConvertKit, Drip, GetResponse and others for building and managing your list.
: Strategic partnerships with the right companies can truly make a world of difference. It could allow you to reach a wide swath of customers quickly. Identifying those partnerships might be easier said than done. But, look out for companies that are complementary to your own. Contact them and propose opportunities for working together.
: Doing licensing deals is a great way to grow your business without too much added effort. If you have a product that you can license to others and share a revenue of, that’s an ideal way to grow quickly. Taking a popular or successful product and bringing it to a company with a large footprint can help you achieve market saturation quicker.
: If you have a successful business, and you’re really looking to grow quickly, consider franchising it. Although franchise costs are high and moving to a franchise model is complex and takes a lot of marketing know-how, it could make all the difference if you’re truly looking for quick growth.
: Look into diversifying your offers. What complementary products or services or information can you offer in your business? In order to grow, you need to think about expansion. Identify new opportunities within your niche. Uncover the pain points. What else can you sell to your clients. Where else can you add value in the exchange?
: Growing a business takes significant effort. If you’re dealing with razor-thin margins, consider building passive income streams. This way, you don’t have to worry so much about keeping the lights on, so to speak. Passive income will afford you the opportunity to make mistakes and not have to lose your shirt. It’ll keep you in business and provide a basis to grow and market and scale quickly by giving you ample resources.
: Sometimes, acquiring other businesses is a very quick way to grow your own business. If you can find competitors or businesses in other industries that would complement your own, you could use them as platforms to scale fast. Take a look within your industry and even outside of it to find potential for potential opportunities.
: Webinars are a great way to promote any product or service. It can also help you grow any business relatively fast. Webinars provide an automated selling tool for literally taking any product or service to market and reaching a wide audience quickly. The webinar medium is great for captivating audiences to clinch sale after sale, automatically.
- Michael Kissinger Professional Summary – MKE: Your Beautiful
- Michael Kissinger Professional Summary • Get a Blueprint to follow so your strategies are effective while meeting your objectives with the least amount of risk… • Get the secrets that will help you save time, reach new markets, joint venture with the giants, customize your market,…
Our Mission: We empower business owners to effectively communicate with a highly skeptical, media-blitzed consumer by using progressive marketing strategies that produce tangible results. We’ll help you uncover the pain points of your ideal audience, differentiate yourself from your competitors and focus your valuable resources on your company’s strengths. This will enable you to constantly be on the lookout for new opportunities and never stop growing.
Elite Mastermind: Join the ranks of high-performance business owners.
+ Learn how to market to the affluent.
+ Surround yourself with businesspeople who are already successful.
+ Grow your business faster.
Strategic Marketing Coaching and Consultng: Customized strategic marketing advice from Michael Kissinger to finally get results and grow your business.
+ Interactive sessions.
+ Valuable feedback.
+ Proven systems, strategies and tactics.
Disclaimer Our vision is to help you bring your biggest dream into reality. As stipulated by law, we cannot and do not make any guarantees about your ability to get results or earn any money with our ideas, information, tools, or strategies. Your results are completely up to you, your level of awareness, expertise, the action you take and the service you provide to others. Any testimonials, financial numbers mentioned in emails or referenced on any of our web pages should not be considered exact, actual or as a promise of potential earnings – all numbers are illustrative only, as I am sure you understand. That being said, we believe in you and we are here to support you in making the changes you want for your life and giving you methods, strategies, and ideas that will help move you in the direction of your dream.