Tags: Entrepreneur | small business | funding | economy

Entrepreneur: Watch These 5 Small-Business Financing Pitfalls

Entrepreneur: Watch These 5 Small-Business Financing Pitfalls

By    |   Monday, 04 April 2016 07:25 AM

Entrepreneur Contributor David Nilssen warns that this year “will be a rollercoaster ride of potential opportunity — and pitfalls.”

He offered five small-business financing trends:

1. The online lending market will grow – but unwary borrowers beware!
Beware of the online lending sector of the financial technology (fintech) industry. 
“These online lenders aren’t regulated the same way as banks, and you need to read the fine print carefully. Generally, these lenders focus on merchant cash advances (with a payment arrangement that takes weekly or even daily dips from your incoming cash) or working capital loans with repayment front loaded into the first few months of the loan term. Their terms may be unclearly stated, and unsophisticated borrowers can find themselves on the hook for as much as 30 to 80 percent in rates and fees.”

2. Banks will edge back into the (small) lending business
“Lower-dollar business loans have dwindled in the last ten years, even as Small Business Association funding caps have risen. In 2016, thanks in part to the market threat presented by the booming fintech industry, traditional banks will ease back into lower-dollar lending and will explore alternative funding options.”

3. The SBA has plenty of money to fund your business in 2016, but watch those rates.
“SBA approved $23.6 billion in business funding in 2015, and the 7(a) funding cap for fiscal year 2016 is currently set at $26.5 billion. SBA loans are variable and reset quarterly: with a volatile worldwide stock market and potentially rising interest rates in 2016, these loans will become more expensive than in the past 5–7 years.”

4. Boomer entrepreneurs’ usage of 401(k) business financing will continue to climb.

The Rollover as Business Startup (ROBS) strategy can fully fund their business, or work as an equity injection in conjunction with a traditional SBA loan. This strategy has been in use for over a decade and has become increasingly popular since 2008.

5. Get ready for business to hit the brakes in August through early November.
It’s common for presidential elections to derail the momentum of the economy as candidates make undeliverable promises or dire threats, and Congress freezes like a deer in headlights.

To be sure, small-business owners are losing confidence in this year’s presidential candidates, and we’ve still got seven months to go before the election, BizJournals reported.

An online survey of 531 small-business owners recently conducted by OnDeck found that 34 percent said they don’t have confidence in any presidential candidate. That’s up from 25 percent in a survey taken last fall.

“Given their active participation in past presidential elections, candidates would be wise to engage this vast voting constituency of 28 million small-business owners,” said James Hobson, chief operating of OnDeck, an online lender to small businesses.

Small-business owners are a skeptical bunch these days, however. Only 30 percent are optimistic about the future climate for business in the U.S. And only 36 percent think their state will be a welcoming home for small business.

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Entrepreneur Contributor David Nilssen warns that this year "will be a rollercoaster ride of potential opportunity - and pitfalls."
Entrepreneur, small business, funding, economy
Monday, 04 April 2016 07:25 AM
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