Merchant Cash Advance Steps in During Recession to Save Small Businesses

The global credit crisis has seen banks struggling with cash deficit, barely managing to stay afloat. Small businesses have obviously been badly hit with the drastic drop in consumer disposable income. With no money coming in from consumers, and banks not approving loans, small businesses have been shutting down or on the verge of it.

The Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) industry has saved many small businesses from closing down during the economic downturn. MCA providers focus on the future performance of the business rather than its current financial situation. If the business has an acceptable credit history and shows good credit card sales, business owners can get a merchant advance within 2 weeks to support their business.

The survival of small businesses is integral to the economy

Small businesses contribute to the U.S. economy in a big way. According to the 2004 census, there were at least 25 million small businesses in the United States, with 600,000 new businesses adding to the count every year. These businesses account for at least 50% of the employments in the private sector.

Closure of small businesses leads to the loss of wealth and employment in the economy. Lack of funds is forces small businesses to lay off employees or shutdown service. It is vital that small businesses have the necessary funds to survive this lean time and continue to generate revenue and employment.

With this end in mind, the U.S. government in 2008 and 2009 facilitating funding of banks to prop them up and encourage business loans. However, getting loans from banks is still very tough, even with good credit scores. The approval process is stringent and time-consuming. A failing business cannot afford the time lost in waiting for a loan when it needs funds urgently.

MCA providers have an efficient system that allows businesses to get the business advance fairly quickly. The funds can be utilized immediately to keep the business going while it adapts to the new economic environment. MCA providers have played a key role in keeping many businesses on their feet.

MCA industry – a successful player in the new lending market

The new lending market is seeing the rise of the MCA industry. Traditional bank loans are still an option for business financing but need to rethink their loaning strategy to be useful to struggling businesses. The MCA falls more costly than a bank loan, but it places trust in the business’ capability to perform. The MCA provider gets a percentage of the credit card sales and is with the business in good times and slow times. As MCA does not require posting of collateral, the business owner is saved the worry of losing personal assets.

The MCA industry is regulating itself to shakeout disreputable providers looking to rip-off desperate small business owners. Top MCA providers are setting a benchmark for other providers to ensure the MCA industry stays in business.

Small business funding is a lucrative industry. With the change in the lending market, more players can be expected to enter the arena to fulfill this need. Small business owners will have the option to choose from various financing sources. In today’s unpredictable environment, the MCA industry stands out for its convenient, fast and flexible financing options.

Small Business Lead Generation – Why Spamming and Cold Calling Does Not Work

Every small business is the proverbial Needle in the Haystack, so small business lead generation is critical to an entrepreneur’s survival and the growth of his/her small business. The thing that most entrepreneurs forget, though, is that it is a lot easier to turn a prospect or lead into a customer if the lead calls you versus when you call them. It cracks me up when I hear titles of articles, seminars, or books about how to “Make Effective Cold Calls” or how to “Warm Up Cold Calls”. In the past decade (through two recessions, mind you,) I’ve built a total of four multi-million dollar businesses from scratch, and none of that revenue was ever generated from any “cold call”. In fact, I’ve had over 405 of the Fortune 500 companies become clients, and they have all called or emailed my companies. They searched my companies out when they had a problem instead of us trying to find people within these companies that were facing the specific problems that we could solve. These are a few of the secrets that we have uncovered to help small businesses generate more leads (and more quality leads).

Cold Calls do not Work at All in a Digital Age

Cold calls, email spam, blast faxes, pop-up windows, forced “opt-in” subscribers and the like just don’t work in this digital age (I’m not sure any of them ever worked very well for very long). The ones that crack me up the most are the companies that send out blast email spam guaranteeing us that they can get our website to the top of Google in 48 hours. Seriously? Do you think that if they could actually do this that they would be wasting their time spamming millions of people trying to beg someone to buy their service? Last month, there were 165,000 people who went to Google and searched for the term “Google search optimization”. If they could get to the top of Google with just that one term, they would have about two million people potential leads coming to them every year. So why would they need to spam people? If you are so good at what you do, why are you spamming me? Why are you cold calling me? Why are you trying to force me to subscribe to your newsletter? The truth is that cold calling and spamming people shows desperation, not success.

Get Potential Leads to Call You to Turn more Leads into Customers

The internet is the great equalizer for small businesses. Big businesses have websites, but their bureaucracy forces them to move very slowly in implementing new technology and captivating on new opportunities. However, nimble small businesses can capitalize on these opportunities immediately. It is actually very easy to get to the top of a Google search result. It is very difficult, however, to stay there. In fact, it is a fulltime job. But it is a very lucrative fulltime job. Logically, this is why this is your most important goal for your small business. When someone has a question, where do they go for an answer now? In decades past, if you had a challenge or a question, you might ask a friend or coworker or if it was a really big problem, you might go to the library and search for an answer. Today, though, people go immediately to Google. The listings at the top of the first page have a lot more credibility than the ones on the second, third, or four-hundredth.

If your small business is listed at the top of the results when they enter their question, and then they click through to your website and get the answer to that question, your small business is now at the top of their short-list for solution providers. If they call you or email you, you automatically have about a 25% chance or so of turning that lead into a client. In contrast, if your small business is listed at the top of page two on Google, in order to have someone contact you, they will have already looked at listings from at least 10 other competitors. Most potential customers will not be that thorough, so you will generate fewer leads, and now, since you are competing with at least ten other competitors, your percentage of closing drops to below 10%.

Get Leads to Call You by Giving Away Something that They Need or Want

What is common knowledge to you is uncommon to most people. Remember that your expertise and knowledge is extremely valuable to people who are searching on Google for answers as in the previous example. So if you can help them answer the question – and really help them in the process – they are more likely to share with you their contact information. Once they do, you now know two things about them. First, you know that they have (or had) a specific problem that you can help them solve. Second, you know that they already know who you are and trust has started to develop from them that you are an expert in your industry.

What you give away doesn’t have to be costly, but it must be valuable. Costly means that it doesn’t have to cost you anything to give it away. For instance, if you have a lot of informational content on your blog, then you might ask people to register in order to conduct a search of your blog for specific topics. Or, you might give away a special report or access to a video or audio file with information that a prospect might need. For example, if you are a dentist, you might offer a video about how to teach a three-year-old to brush properly. Anyone who requests the free information will likely have a young child and be concerned about the child’s oral health. Whatever the gift, just make sure that your costs are low and the value of the item is high from the customer’s perspective.

So forget the cold calls and spam, use your website to get more leads to call you, and then use a high-valued free gift to encourage prospects to contact you, and you will generate great success through small business lead generation.

Lead Generation for Small Business Made (REALLY) Easy

Lead generation for small business is the best business-generating tool, method or strategy I know of, bar none. Properly executed it can lead to an increase in sales-conversions of 1,134% – and that’s a real number from the trenches.

So here are 3 reasons…

Lead generation for Small Business

Is so powerful and here’s how YOU can easily put it to work for you in your business.

First, it completely differentiates you from your competitors. Almost without exception, your competitors are focused on sales. Their ads, their websites, their whole attitude is based on the idea they must make the sale. As a consequence their only marketing strategy is to try to sell “off the page”, and so they get (if they’re lucky) a 1% conversion rate and an appalling ROI on their marketing and advertising efforts.

Secondly, it changes the whole dynamic you have with your prospective customers and clients. See, they have the advantage in that they have money in their pockets you want in yours… and you have to get them to give it to you instead of to your competitors. By doing lead generation the right way, small businesses can get that valuable “foot in the door“.

And thirdly, it means you have several bites of the cherry, so to speak, and get the chance to form a relationship with your prospective buyer… meaning you’ll not only sell more but also, generally, be able to sell at a higher price.

So, how do you put it to work for you?

The first thing you need is a way of collecting names and contact details — and these days the easiest and most convenient details to collect are email addresses. The explosion of the Internet’s popularity has been a real windfall for small business marketing, even if most small business owners don’t realise this yet.

Why?

Because the low cost and simplicity of getting local people online to visit their website and exchange their contact details for some small but valuable item of information (e.g. a special report or guide to choosing, say, the best electrician, house painter and decorator, butcher, baker, and candlestick maker) represents a remarkable opportunity. Imagine… how many electricians in YOUR local area are giving away a free report about how to choose an electrician, or plumber or car mechanic without being ripped off?

None, I bet.

So the ones who do it will be perceived very differently from (and better than) their competitors.

The key to this can be summed up as “begin your relationship by giving“, which is the exact opposite of the traditional method of doing business. And once you have their details, you can market to them by email and other means at your leisure, taking the softly-softly approach to things rather than the hard-sell.

Fact is, though, almost no small business has the courage to do this – but those who do… well, they reap the benefits.

And they reap them to the tune of an increase in conversions of 1134% or more — that’s more than TEN TIMES as many sales just by switching from an immediate-sale model of marketing to a lead-generation model.

And that’s got to be worth it, hasn’t it?

Small Business Lead Generation Made Easy Online

With people giving Yellow Pages and directory inquiries a miss and going straight to the internet to search for local businesses, it is essential for small businesses to both have an online presence and a small business lead generation system in place. There are two roads to go down to get more business prospects – SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (Pay Per Click).

SEO is more of a long term goal, as it can take months to get high up on the search engines for the keywords people are typing in to find your type of small business. Of course, if you do know some tricks of the trade you can get more exposure faster and your small business marketing will pay off a lot quicker than that. The major search engines do cater for the local small business.

Google offers a free local listing, which all small businesses should take advantage of. Google ‘Google Local Business Center’ and you will find where to sign up. You will need a free Google account to set up this listing, and then you can enter in your business details and your business classification. Google will then mail you a postcard with a confirmation pin number on, which you will need to enter to activate the local listing. Once you are live, people performing searches in your local area for your type of business are likely to see your business listing and a map at the top of the Google search page. It’s a great start to online lead generation, as people find your business quickly and easily.

Yahoo offers a similar service. Do a search for ‘Yahoo Local Listing’ and take a look at what they have to offer. They do have a free basic listing, but the monthly paid “enhanced listing” option is worth considering, as you can enter in a detailed business description, more photos and offer online coupons to encourage your visitors to pick you over your competitors. These online coupons are great for both B2B and B2C lead generation.

Having these listings in place give you a good head start in getting your website found when people search online for your business type. They are just a small fraction of the many ways that SEO can get your website noticed by your business prospects. Other ways include finding sites with high PR (page ranking) and getting backlinks from them, as well as entering your business details on online directories. Your customers need to be able to find you for small business lead generation to be successful.

Now, if you are looking for a quick and worthwhile use of your business resources to generate leads, then the way forward is to use PPC. Unlike using SEO, you can often see results and traffic on your first day using this method of B2C and B2B lead generation. Google AdWords is the most popular and most effective PPC program used.

As small business marketing using PPC is fairly new and local keywords still relatively cheap, it is an ideal method for small business lead generation. You sign up for an AdWords account, enter the local keywords that you would like to bid on, and depending on the competition and how much you bid, you are on the first page of Google straight away and people can find you. You only get charged when people click on your ad, and you can track and test what keywords are most effective.

In conclusion, you can see that SEO is important in the long term for getting your site ranked high in the organic listings, but in the meantime, while you are achieving those high rankings you should use PPC for your small business lead generation.