Financing Small Businesses

One of our continued focuses as it has related to these articles is the constant need for financing amount small businesses. Most importantly, we have discussed the many ways that are available for a small business to receive the capital that it needs in order to launch operations or achieve business growth.

Foremost, we recommend that if you are a business that is in operation that you continue your search for debt capital. This is primarily due to the fact that debt capital comes at a much lower cost than having to sell a substantial portion of your business to a third party. This has been one of the common themes throughout our discussions and we are going to continue to focus on the appropriate uses of debt capital. Most importantly, if you are seeking a business loan, whether it is conventional or from the Small Business Administration, that you have a significant amount of tangible assets in place to back the financing that you are seeking. It is imperative that you have collateral if you are seeking conventional business funding from a bank or a financial institution.

Additionally, one of the things that you can do if you do not qualify for this type of financing is to work closely with a private funding source, such as an angel investor, as it relates to your capital needs. One of the things that these private investors may be able to provide you with is the down payment that you need for conventional bank financing or lease financing. As we have discussed before, these individual financiers will be able to provide you with a significant amount of information and expertise as it relates to your business. As such, we strongly recommend that if you cannot receive a bank loan that you seek out a qualified business partner or angel investor that can assist you through this process.

In closing, financing a small business is extremely difficult. There are many risks involved whether or not you are seeking debt or equity financing. When it comes to receiving a bank loan you can expect that you are going to have to provide a personal guarantee on each dollar that you borrow. As it relates to equity capital or money from a private investor you are going to need to sell a significant portion of your business. Prior to seeking any type of financing you should always consult with your business advisers to determine which methodology is in the best interest of your business.

Business Copywriting for the Web: What You Need to Know

The importance of your company’s website — its design and business copywriting — cannot be overstated. It is part of your brand, part of your marketing strategy and, most importantly, a big part of who your company is. This business copywriting overview serves to inform you how to make the most of your company’s website.

We’ll walk you through three important questions to keep your website’s business copywriting on track.

1) What is the purpose of the corporate website?

This question sounds deceptively simplistic but you’d be surprised by the number of people who really don’t know what their website is for. Is its goal to generate new leads, to inform visitors on what the company is about, or to directly sell your products or services? The way you answer those questions will help determine your business copywriting strategy.

Some companies have a website just to have a website. They know they are supposed to have one but they’re not sure what they’re supposed to do with it. If this is you (and don’t feel you are the only business who is in this situation), take the time to define the purpose of your website and then make sure it matches your business copywriting style.

2) Who is the intended audience?

Your website as a whole, and your business as an extension of it, will suffer if you don’t know who your audience is. It is important that you know who you are writing for and make your business copywriting align with that. Take a moment to describe and really drill down to the nitty-gritty who your intended audience is.

For instance, if you are writing for college students, your web copywriting should reflect that by using easy-to-read copy, pithy headlines and maybe even slang or euphemisms to show your company relates to this age group. However, if you are writing to the parents of college students, you would choose a formal writing style that is more deliberate and conservative.

Your business copywriting style should match your audience’s style

This subtle but significant audience discrepancy should drive your web copywriting style. To best engage your visitors, write to them in the tone, style and manner in which they identify. Failure to write to the audience effectively could cost your business both in customers and credibility.

3) Is your website selling products or is it providing information about its products?

Again, subtle differences make a huge impact. Business copywriting for selling and for educating are two different things. Using the fictitious company ABC Pens, read the following paragraphs and decide which one sells and which one educates:

ABC Pens has been in the business of manufacturing pens since 1984. Designed by engineers and astronauts, ABC Pens is created according to the highest standards in the industry. They are used by military, police and firefighters, who make up the majority of our client base. The ink used in ABC Pens is made of polymer-lens gel; they come in black, blue and red ink.

ABC Pens, the only pens trusted by the military’s special operation forces, are made of solid metal alloy so they bend but don’t break in the toughest environments. Durable and sturdy, ABC Pens are guaranteed to withstand the toughest and most abrasive conditions so you can trust them to write when you need them most. Their state-of-the-art, smudge-free ink means you won’t have to worry about a ruined signature if your important document gets wet.

The second paragraph is selling and the first is educating. Know the purpose of your website and then make sure your business copywriting matches up. If you are selling products directly on your website, for instance, you will have a different business copywriting strategy than a site that is merely educating visitors about who their company is.

To summarize, the business copywriting on your company’s website should have a defined purpose, a targeted audience and a clear mission to sell or inform. Use different writing styles depending on whether you are selling your product or educating your audience on your product. No matter your business, copywriting is key to having an impactful online presence.