Tax Refund vs. Eligible Income

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With Tax Time soon approaching, we feel obligated to remind you of our continued advice about the best methods to prepare your tax returns if you plan on applying for Business Financing in the future.

With Trevor’s 30 years as a Mortgage Loan Officer, he saw this time and time again. While the tax professionals and CPAs might do a marvelous job of getting a Self-Employed Business Owner a GIANT REFUND (or simply lowering the tax bill) these folks never seem to have a discussion with their clients about the long term ramifications of such deductions/lowered income.

The “look back” period to qualify for a mortgage is 2 years; for a business loan of any type, it’s 3 years. That means the Lender will take those “Bottom line” numbers and average them for the time period in question (2 or 3 years) and create a qualifying income. When Schedule C shows a loss or minimal income over the time period, well, do the math. It ain’t pretty.

For a Self-Employed Borrower with a Schedule C (including many LLCs), lowering the net income on Line 31 by deducting oodles of expenses lowers the potential loan. IRS does not “require” anyone to deduct expenses; this is an “option” which helps to lower tax liability. BUT it also reduces a Borrower loan qualification by lowering income.

Whenever you complete a tax return you don’t have to deduct expenses! This feature of a tax return allows you to lower your tax liability.

BUT IT ALSO LOWERS YOUR INCOME.

And for any Loan you may request in future (up to three years later) the Lender will use that bottom line income to calculate your qualifications.
Take extreme care and think long term strategically before making a final decision on a tax return.

Be sure to watch our YouTube video about the “LOOK BACK” period!

We are scheduling FREE 15 Minute Phone Consultations to review disaster financing eligibility and qualifications.

Small Business Must Roll the Dice

This comment in an online forum about SBA EIDL loans says it all about two key concepts:

“…who knows what this winter is gonna be like here so I’m afraid to give it back yet.”

The business owner has EIDL monies left over and had considered (oh so briefly) prepaying the loan with the remainder of the monies. And then the new surge hit.

Concept #1: Utilization of EIDL monies as a way to replace lost revenue for working capital due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no finish line; no concrete timeline; complete uncertainty.

If you have not used all your EIDL monies, we recommend holding on to the funds through the coming months. You want to have a better understanding of a “diminishment” of the COVID-19 pandemic to such a level that there’s no fear of upcoming possible lockdowns where you have to close your business. Likewise, to know there’s no upcoming lockdowns to gauge if you will have customers coming through the door.

Concept #2: “who knows what this winter is gonna be like…” speaks to the SBA’s continuing failure to recognize the drastic difference of this disaster from all “traditional” natural disasters. The EIDL processing guidelines and the Loan Agreement and the lack of clear, unambiguous guidance on how to use the monies from and EIDL all need to be addressed by the Administrators of SBA.

We’re eight months into this pandemic; that’s more than enough time for this Federal Agency to have created at the very least some better guidance on how to use the monies beyond stating, “Working capital” in the Loan Agreement.

Business owners are terrified to use the funds incorrectly, many of them saying, “I don’t want to go to jail!” This is absurd.

SBA! Please, please, please, we are begging your Administration, recognize the unique features of the COVID-19 pandemic disaster and modify your guidance for EIDL funds so that business owners can use the money without fear of contravening the terms of their Loan Agreements!

We’re all holding on out here for this disaster to end. We’re all holding on out here, trying to survive and keep our business’ doors open. We’re all holding on for more detail from SBA and a resiliency to the fact this disaster is like no other disaster in American history.

Contact us with some good news if you are in a position to know what is going on in the background of this nonsense.

Old News on EIDL LOANS

Linda Rey manages the marketing for our business financing practice. She recently posted relevant information on Reddit about our recent experiences with EIDL loans, both new applications and the Reconsideration process. A troll responded with, “Old news.”

COVID-19 is ongoing with no definitive end point in sight.

Old news” doesn’t describe the continuing inquiries we receive from anxious business owners. A quick scan of any relevant online forum about EIDL programs reveals the simple truth: business owners still struggle with EIDL loans they’ve obtained (utilization) and fighting for monies they need to survive.

The U.S. Congress and the Small Business Administration (The SBA) responded with amazing alacrity in the early days of this crisis to provide vital support to Americans and American businesses. Yes, there’s been tremendous chaos around those initiatives.

In our opinion, that chaos, specifically about EIDL program loans, arises from two sources.

First is the overwhelming number of requests. According to an SBA Press Release on October 28th, 2020, SBA has funded nearly 9 million loans worth $7 billion. Chaos or not, the SBA did an incredible job of helping American businesses with the two COVID-related loan programs, EIDL and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Our second opinion about the chaotic state of SBA EIDL response focuses on the SBA’s internal operations mindset. We mentioned in our introduction the drastic difference between a natural disaster such as a tornado, flood or wildfire, and the COVID-19 disaster. This pandemic is like no other disaster ever experienced in American history. And yet, with all their heroics on the frontlines performed primarily by the amazing SBA agents, loan officers, and processing staff, the upper level SBA Administration applied standards more relevant to the traditional natural disaster phenomenon.

To this day, we are dumbfounded by the SBA’s Administration’s failure to radically adjust the thinking and ultimately guidelines and processes for the EIDL program.

As amazing as our Government’s response has been to the financial uncertainties of this pandemic, there is surely more assistance to come in the future. As of this writing there is no second stimulus package negotiated or finalized in Congress. It is our opinion this will change as the pandemic moves into the second year of human distress. With any future stimulus package there are sure to be improvements and revisions to existing SBA programs.

Presenting this information at this time, in our professional opinion, will help business owners understand the basics of the EIDL program in anticipation of just such changes. When you install a fire extinguisher in your house, you probably took a moment to read the directions, didn’t you? Hopefully, you’ll never need it, but a basic understanding of when and how to use the extinguisher will surely come in handy in the event of catastrophe.

We welcome any questions, comments or concerns you may have if it means some insight or assistance to help sustain your business.

COVID-19 Recommendations For Your Business Survival

We were recently invited to attend a professional event as guest speakers. At first we thought we would attend via video conferencing. We then discovered that the event organizers expected us to physically visit their office to participate in the event. This raised serious concerns for us, especially since Trevor was ill with COVID-19 over the Summer.  We sent an email to the event organizers expressing concerns and asking a series of questions about their safety protocols.

As soon as we hit the “SEND” button, we realized they could have been more proactive in providing information to us FIRST about the safety protocols. Thus was inspired the following advice to our business owners. We hope you will find this useful. We welcome comments about this advice.

DO MORE FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS WITH YOUR COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS AND MESSAGING

The time is right for you to help your customers with concerns about visiting your business. Step up your safety protocols and your message about those protocols. Many more Americans are aligned with recommended safety guidelines including mask-wearing and social distancing. As a business trying to survive through this pandemic, get the word out to more people that you understand their concerns.

With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis your customers have concerns about meetings outside of their home or office. Be proactive in your understanding of their concerns. Apart from any local, State or Federally mandated safety protocols, determine how you can add to those fundamentals. If you’re not required to provide free masks, do it anyway. If you’re required to have a certain size of plexiglass divider, install larger dividers. If you’re required to have a specified number of hand sanitizer stations, add more.

You can’t really go “over the top” during this pandemic; the more you do to acknowledge the concerns of your customers about their own safety and that of your employees, the better the likelihood of increasing your customer attendance.

Once you’ve done that, then you need to “go tell it on the mountain” and broadcast the level of protections you’ve implemented.

Get the word out through every channel possible. Your messaging could include a phrase like this: “We want to provide you with assurances of safety protocols before you visit our store/restaurant/office. We want you to feel safe during these uncertain times.”

With messaging like this, you are both acknowledging the “pain points” that many people are feeling and you are increasing the numbers of customers likely to visit. It’s not enough to attract customers who already feel more comfortable going out and about during the pandemic with less anxiety; you need to pry the other, more anxious customers out of their protective environments.  Your message and your protocols will accomplish that goal.

Take a proactive stance that can only raise your customer’s confidence in your attempts to keep them safe. We have some suggestions for advance messaging before a customer visits your office/store/restaurant:

  1. Consider providing a list of the safety protocols you’ve implemented. On the list, note which ones are government recommended and which ones you’ve added for the extra level of caution.
  2. The next suggestion is a really difficult concept because you are acknowledging the customers’ concerns in a way that many businesses fail to do. Essentially, you’re going to remove some of the burden of safety precautions from the customer.

While it may seem that the following questionnaire might frighten away people, we believe the opposite to be true: you will actually attract more customers.

Understand that the vast majority of Americans are already worried about being infected with the COVID-19 virus. Ignoring that concern, assuming that everyone is taking precautions into their own hands or trusting a business with only minimal safety protocols is a fatal mistake for a business trying to survive the pandemic.

Become a “partner” with your customers by acknowledging their worries. Create a dialogue to demonstrate your intense interest in their safety and that of your employees.

We recommend that you include in your messaging these additional information points about your focus on the safety of your customers and employees:

  • Describe how many other people will be in attendance on the day of the event/meeting/reservation, including before and during your customer’s visit.
  • Provide detailed descriptions of the protocols in place currently at your business.
  • Provide a diagram of the business space demonstrating the measurements in relation to your customer’s ability to maintain social distancing. Note the plexiglass and hand sanitizer locations on the diagram.
  • We recommend you send a questionnaire to customers either before they attend a meeting at your office or visit your store/restaurant. Make this questionnaire part of your safety protocols in advance of the customer’s visit.

We know that many businesses are providing a short form of this questionnaire only at the moment of entry. In our opinion, while this is compliant with recommended guidelines, it doesn’t do enough to soothe the worries of many more people. And you want to attract as many customers as possible to survive this pandemic.

We’ve set up a minimal questionnaire. You’re welcome to copy this and use it along with your local, State or Federally-mandated questionnaires:

Please REPLY to this email with your answers to the following questions so that we can assure your safety of you and the safety of our other customers:

  • What is your personal opinion on mask-wearing requirements? 
  • Do you wear masks constantly, occasionally, rarely, or never?
  • Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 or been in proximity recently with someone diagnosed with the virus?
  • Have you attended a social or professional event with more than six people in the last 30 days?

We recommend you provide this questionnaire, along with the list of safety protocols at the moment a customer confirms attendance at a meeting or even when they make a reservation at your restaurant. We know that many business owners may be fearful that such communications may actually scare customers away. Frankly, we cannot imagine how your interest in clear communications and a dedication to customer/employee safety can be more frightening than the actual COVID-19 virus!

Remember that you want to attract the customers who are taking extreme precautions. They may even be the customers reluctant to venture out of their homes.

Wishing you the best during these difficult times! Stay safe, stay well.

 

3 Metrics to Watch

We find business credit financing solutions for business owners.  We also find that many business owners hold anxious trepidations about the concept of borrowing money.

Yet, the need does arise for working capital to continue to grow your business success story.

Whether the working capital need is unexpected–due to an unusually large order from a customer, a seasonal downturn in revenues, or a sudden opportunity for growth such as purchasing a competitor–or a planned requirement such as equipment purchase or investing in a new marketing plan, your business will need capital to grow.  Unless your profit margins or cashflow planning have created a massive pile of cash for just such a capital expenditure, you’ll need to go outside your company to find that money.

The alternate choice to credit financing is to bring in capital from other equity sources.

Refinance your personal home or leverage your retirement accounts and bring in the required capital.  Sell off valuable equipment, ideas, collectibles.  Bring in an equity partner.   We’ve pontificated at length about the last option…do you really want a partner who may wind up telling you “how to make the pizza?

There are many reasons why choosing equity sources for capital infusions are bad for you personally and professionally.

Yet, too often this is the path chosen: equity sources.   Business owners go down this path for several reasons: time-constraints to obtain the capital; anxiety around the idea of borrowing.

Credit financing to obtain working capital doesn’t have to frighten the heck out of you.  At Aurora Consulting, we understand the worries that come along with borrowing money: “What if there’s a downturn in my business and I cannot repay this loan?”

Especially after the global meltdown and subsequent recession of a dozen years ago, lingering fears and doubts remain laced through our economy and our economic thinking like clogged drainpipes during a sudden torrential downpour.  The water has to move, and move quickly, but the remnants of various and miscellaneous flotsam and jetsam are jamming up the pipes and the rainwater backs up causing all kinds of other problems.

The same is true of these lingering doubts about borrowing money.  Credit can be a good thing and nothing to be fearful of when approached sensibly and when the credit terms are incorporated into your business planning.

Still, these worries hang on.

We’ve come up with the concept of 3 important business metrics you can keep an eye on after you’ve borrowed that needed working capital.

Remaining vigilant on these metrics can help you avoid a sudden negative revenue issue which could lead to default on credit obligations.  While it may seem obvious to you that these are the metrics ANY business should constantly monitor for maintaining profitability and continuing growth, as with all advice and observations we provide from Aurora Consulting, our real-world experiences demonstrate these ideas are not so obvious to every business owner.

What is obvious is worry and anxiety.  Thus, our presentation of these not-so-revolutionary-ideas.

  1. Profit margins: pricing and expenses
  2. ROI: products/marketing plans/infrastructure/product development
  3. Customer Retention/Construction

Monitor these important metrics by maintaining your financial reporting to the most current and efficient methods.   We often see businesses with financial statements such as P&Ls and cashflow statements that are not up to date.

A balance sheet isn’t just for your CPA to use when you’re filing your tax return!

And the ever important marketing and business plans?  Wow, we are constantly shocked when we request these vital documents from our clients to include in a financing request package only to be told they don’t have one!

Creating and maintaining these financial reporting documents is incredibly easy with the sophisticated computer applications available, even for your smartphone!

Making the time to check  in with them is another thing altogether.  We sometimes feel as if our clients present us with financial statements and they haven’t reviewed them, recently, or ever.

That’s why we suggest you at the very least monitor these three important metrics on a constant and vigilant basis. WHY?

First, it’s good for the overall health of your business.
Second, you will find you can anticipate challenges and successes before they arise.
Third, you can plan for those challenges and successes well in advance and avoid nasty surprises and cashflow chokeholds.

Finally, and best of all, you can lower or maybe even eliminate altogether your anxiety and fears of credit financing capital to grow your business.

REACH OUT to us and ask us anything whether you agree or disagree. We would love to hear of the “fly by the seat of your pants” stories too!

The Truth About Credit “Repair”

The most fundamental truth and reality check is this: a consumer cannot “remove” an account that is legitimately your account that is showing on your credit report.

While the account may appear to removed during the dispute process on the report provided by the credit bureau, the reality is that account is most likely to return to a credit report at some time in the future because it’s your account.  This is true whether it’s a positive or negative account.

In other words, if that account was truly yours to begin with, it’s going to reappear at some point on the credit report.  The confusion arises from the dispute process. During the dispute, the credit bureau is required by law to remove the disputed account from the credit report while they investigate the validity of the information with the original creditor.

Often, the bureau provides an updated report showing the removal.  And the investigation process, required to be only 30 days by law, often takes longer. Thus, the credit bureau “extends” the 30 day investigation period, and representing to the consumer that the information has been removed during the investigation.

This is the part where you need to pay attention.

This is one of the major frauds of the entire credit repair concept.  Once the credit bureau receives the accurate information from the original creditor, that account goes back onto the credit report.

A credit report can only be “repaired” to the extent that incorrect information can be amended to accurately reflect:

  • Correct status of an account (such as paid)
  • Removal of a duplicate account (often happens when a minor discrepancy in account balance or account number is reported by the creditor)
  • Removal of an account from a family member with the same name that appears on your credit report (John Jones Sr. mortgage appears on John Jones Jr. report)
  • Correct name misspellings or home addresses, and other personal identifying information of that nature.

Closed accounts aren’t necessarily the problem with improving a credit score.  That’s only one component of the overall scoring algorithm. What most consumers with decent credit misunderstand is their use of their current accounts. Such as, the more legacy accounts you have open and active today, with 50% or less utilization (relative to credit limit) and an on-time payment histories, will generate a better score.

Even with a higher utilization of 50% or more on several revolving accounts, assuming 3-5 active accounts with two years or longer histories and active use, scores can be very good and even excellent.

Please reach out for any further clarification. This is where we see most consumers flail with thinking through the process of “repair” and/or hiring someone to manage the minutia, which will only result in frustration and regret.

When we work with our business financing clients, we include a merged credit report with Classic FICO scores from Experian and Equifax as part of our qualification process from the very beginning.

Most Lenders won’t run a credit report until late stages of the loan application process. Our method helps us to understand and advise the business owner of any challenges on the credit report that may impinge on our ability to secure financing from a Lender.

Trevor, our Chief Financing Rock Star, was a Mortgage Banker for 30 years; credit is one of his areas of special expertise.

Reach out to discuss what you may be experiencing that is contrary to this or perhaps inhibiting you from moving forward in a financing request you’re currently pursuing.

Download our E-Book, “Rebuilding Your Credit After Bankruptcy”. Maybe you haven’t filed for bankruptcy; you will still pick up some tips in this ebook.

You Want to Repair Your Credit

We want you to have peace of mind that, should you need to apply for business financing, you’ll be prepared to keep your business going through this or any unexpected crisis.

If you are considering business financing in the future, or simply want to know what to do and how to go about applying for business financing, Aurora Consulting offers a flat fee consultation to help navigate the bumpy road, the treacherous waters of financing.

We review all aspects of what’s required in a loan application including your credit report, financial statements, business plan and marketing plan. We review with you items in your credit report and what happens when you try to repair your credit.

Our consultation includes a credit report with real credit scores from Equifax and Experian.  These are the “Classic FICO” scores only available to financial services institutions.  These scores can be radically different from the scores available to consumers.

When we run the credit report, we assess any challenges that could affect your loan application in the future.  More importantly, we’ll give you the correct advice, based on decades of experience in lending and based on current experience working successfully with Lenders on business loan applications, to address any challenges on your credit report.

What makes us crazy is when a new prospective client says, “I’m holding off for now because I want to take care of my credit report.”

There is no way a business owner can know what is acceptable and what is unacceptable to a Bank for business financing.
We can, and we do know.

Worse, in our experience, more often than not, people take actions to “take care” of their credit that actually does not help them in the business loan process. Sometimes, what they think they’re doing to help, makes their credit worse!

4 things NOT to do with your credit report:

  1. Don’t pay off Collection or Charge Offs or Judgments. Many times these accounts don’t affect a loan approval depending on type of account and amount.  Plus paying these accounts off can lower your credit score dramatically.
  2. Don’t pay down credit card balances.  You may pay down the balance to a level that seems worthy, but actually could have a negative effect on your score.
  3. Don’t pay credit card balances to zero.  If an account has a zero balance, the credit scoring system has nothing to score!
  4. NEVER pay anyone to “repair” or “restore” your credit. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you’re paying for something you can do yourself. And the “guarantees” these companies offer often fail to materialize. Read this article for credit repair scams.

EMAIL NOW if you want to explore how your credit could impact your financing.

Download our EBOOK on how to rebuild your credit after bankruptcy. This information was curated after 30 years of reading thousands of credit reports.

We Anticipate Problems to Create Solutions

Our Process Anticipates Problems, Creates Solutions

The good news is that Banks are lending again on a limited basis for non-disaster loan requests.  The bad news is that the loan products are limited and the underwriting guidelines are very, very restrictive.

Many industries/businesses are excluded from loan programs.  Banks simply cannot determine yet the viability of the businesses to survive the pandemic. Risk is too high and thus doors to the lending vault are tightly shut.

Today we spoke to a Bank on four different loan scenarios. Each of these businesses has challenges on their loan applications of different sorts, whether it’s credit, cashflow, type of business, COVID-19 impact on the ability of the business to earn income.

In the hour-long conference call with the Bank, thanks to our qualification process here at Aurora Consulting, we easily addressed the Bank’s concerns and answered their (often) difficult questions as they assessed the risk on each loan scenario. In three out of the four scenarios, we received positive feedback of interest from the Bank. While this interest does not guarantee a loan approval, this, in our experience is a giant hurdle we overcame. 

The rest of it is the loan process.

We also spoke today with a prospective new client in a follow up to our initial call last week.  This client seeks over $4Million in funding for a unique business, a business for which many Banks and Lenders do not provide funding due to their lack of understanding of how this business operates.

We had already identified a Lender for this financing request.

In our follow up call today, the prospective client indicated they would soon make a final decision on moving forward with Aurora Consulting to secure the financing. They also indicated they were working on their credit.

STOP. RIGHT. THERE….BEFORE we go any further. (Meatloaf medley playing).

A client should not “work on their credit” without proper guidance. Luckily, we provide that kind of guidance here at Aurora Consulting. While we don’t believe in credit repair/restoration, we do have decades of expertise with credit and we also know the appetite of commercial lenders when it comes to credit. Note: We have not yet seen this person’s credit.

Our process at Aurora Consulting includes running a credit report as soon as we sign a consulting agreement with a new client. We do this so that we can anticipate any issues that could slow down or prohibit the lending process. We do this upfront so that we can provide advice that leads to a positive result for our clients.

The same holds true for our entire process. We review all financial statements, business plans, marketing plans and any other pertinent items in the early days of working with a new client.  

We do this to anticipate and resolve problems a Bank or Lender may have in the future.

When you apply directly to a Bank/Lender for commercial financing, these items, credit reports, financial statements and the like, are not seriously reviewed until the very late stages of the loan application process. By then the applicant has spent time collecting and submitting documents and spent money on application fees, appraisal fees and other associated costs.

Literally most Banks/Lenders do not run a credit report until the very final stage of the application process, weeks or months after the initial application. At that point, if a credit issue arises on the credit report, all those weeks and months of work are quite literally flushed down the toilet and the loan is declined.

Our role as your financing Broker is to review all relevant documents, including a credit report, in the early stages of your request, before the application, before we’ve even considered conversing, in depth, with a Bank/Lender.

That’s why today, we hit the mark with 3 out 4 of our loan scenarios getting the green light from a Bank to move forward to the application process.  

We were prepared for every question and concern the Bank had because we’d reviewed credit and documents. We anticipated problems in advance and could converse honestly with the Bank on possible workarounds for those problems.

It’s what we do, because we are the business-owner’s advocate. We work for the business-owner. We would be remiss if we didn’t share with you that banks call us when they can’t underwrite the loan. So we understand their process.

Ask us any questions when it comes to business loans. If you want your business to survive, and THRIVE despite the worst crisis we’ve seen in our lifetime, please call us with your questions.

Email Curious@AuroraConsulting.biz

Proposed vs Passed Legislation

We’re often very blunt about things, especially Trevor as he is Scottish.  “Right between the eyes” is a favorite expression of his.  We don’t like to dance around the truth and we certainly despise getting someone’s hopes up about something that’s not reality.

These principles served both Linda Rey and Trevor very well during their respective careers in Insurance and Banking.

At Aurora Consulting, we embrace and continue to follow those principles to assist our business financing clients.

 

We’re going to give it to you now right between the eyes: We refuse to discuss proposed legislation about COVID-related stimulus and disaster financing until and at such time as, that legislation has passed the House of Representatives, the US Senate, and has been signed into law by the President. Period.

Passed gets our attention; proposed stays on our “pay no mind” list.

We relied on this attitude in the early days of the pandemic lockdowns when so much was complete chaos, speculation, despair and distress.  We fielded calls, texts, and emails from our friends, colleagues and clients, each of them despairing for any kind of positive news about Government assistance to help them survive the pandemic lockdown, whether about the EIDL program or the proposed CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program.

In every instance, we patiently listened to and carefully counselled folks.  We emphasized the word “patience” time and again and coined our phrase for the pandemic, “Ever-Evolving.”

Based on our guiding principles, we waited for concrete information.  The SBA website provided skimpy information at best for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.  We charged forward and submitted applications, spoke to several trusted and experienced colleagues, and submitted our clients’ applications, utilizing our decades’ of experience completing successful applications for loans and insurance.

We pivoted with each new challenge that came up, apprised our clients of the situation, and continued hammering at the wall until we achieved positive results.

We used the same methods for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We opted to wait to submit applications until there was more cogent guidance from Lenders and SBA on the functionality of the program.  When we finally submitted our clients’ applications we achieved positive results again.

There’s a lot of talk on the internet, especially on YouTube with glamourous videos, purporting to provide definitive knowledge of what’s in store for extended stimulus and disaster financing legislation.  We call that “static.” PLEASE subscribe to our channel for updates especially for our WTF Wednesday videos.

At Aurora Consulting, we seek results based on reality.  We don’t search for self-inflation of our professional egos by providing incomplete or inaccurate information to the general public at large or our clients in particular.

We know you’re impatient and desperate to hear there is more assistance on the way.  We know that we will wait until that proposed legislation becomes passed legislation.  Only then will we dive into the details to find results-based financing solutions for our clients.

Email us anytime at Curious@AuroraConsulting.biz with questions or comments on what you’ve been experiencing with business financing and disaster relief financing.

Tough Questions from Lenders

The good news is that Banks and Lenders are opening up their coffers to provide business credit financing. The other news, that’s more anticipated than “bad,” is these Banks want business owners to answer some tough questions about preparedness for further pandemic-related challenges.

If you are applying for business financing—a loan or line of credit—that’s not Disaster Relief-related, here’s a sample from one of our Bankers on what to expect:

  • How has your business been impacted throughout the crisis?
  • How have you and your employees been affected? Your suppliers? Your customers?
  • What are your key priorities over the next 30/60/90 days?
  • How do you anticipate accomplishing these goals? What hurdles do you anticipate?

To achieve a successful response to your application, you should answer these questions with all appropriate gravitas and extreme detail.

  • The Bank wants to know that, should the pandemic-related lockdowns get tighter:
  • How have you planned to get through that?
  • Do you have cash reserves?
  • An employee-furlough action plan?
  • Do you have the ability to provide your services or products with a serious downturn in customer traffic (think early days of lockdown)?

Banks make loan decisions by assessing the risk on the credit profile of the Borrower. As with any aspect of a loan application, the COVID-19 pandemic has created another layer of risk for Banks. Your successful loan application will take that risk assessment into account as you prepare your application for submission by anticipating how to make a Bank/Lender get into a “comfort zone” about your ability to make payments on the loan as other challenges from the pandemic arise.

Reach out to discuss if your answers to these aforementioned questions would suffice. We are your advocate in the process.

Email us at Curious@AuroraConsulting.biz.

Short-Term Solutions for Long-Term Goals

There are two scenarios that some business owners take when starting and maintaining their business.

First, no debt.  These businesses were started with savings and/or investments from the business owners.  These businesses fund daily and annual operations costs with money generated from the profits of the business.  These business owners most often do not like the concept of credit debt, or, worse, have a severe anxiety about the idea of borrowing money to run their business.

Second, belief in debt.  Using debt in the form of credit financing is a reliable source of capital for starting and running a business when the concept is applied with smart planning. These business owners understand that obtaining capital to start or grow a business from a bank loan or other financing source can be a great way to preserve existing profits and working capital, and also a viable option to find the money needed on a larger scale.

Pandemic Panic financing such as disaster relief loans, SBA economic injury disaster loans (EIDL) and paycheck protection program (PPP) loans due to the COVID-19 crisis is a type of credit financing that, in most all cases, could be a band-aid on a gaping wound.

Longer term financial considerations, as your business strives to come through the crisis and survive on the other side, it’s important to consider other types of credit financing to help you obtain the working capital you need.  We’re exploring many different options for our clients.  One of those options is Asset-Based Lending, specifically, .

This is an excellent option for a business with valuable and well-performing Accounts Receivable to obtain quick sources of working capital to assist through this crisis.  The Factor Financing Lender works hand in hand with you and your business team to create a system where your customers invoices are assigned to the Lender.

For a very reasonable cost, you can obtain immediate access to the cash value of that invoice practically as soon as you send it out to your customer.  This quick access to capital dramatically improves your Cash Flow situation, helping to make you stronger on a daily basis to survive and thrive through this crisis.

Factor Financing Lenders vary in their criteria for the types of businesses and types of receivables they prefer.  We’ve assembled a healthy matrix of different types of Factor Financing Lenders to provide you with an array of financing options for your business to help you through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Curious? We are here to answer your questions about this type of financing. Email us at Curious@AuroraConsulting.biz.

 

Plan Prepare Prosper with a Business Plan

There are business owners that are still focused on how they can conduct business today based on the old normal. We’re here to say that you might as well flush that notion down the toilet. It’s a sad reality indeed. We’re not saying that a business cannot be prosperous in today’s climate. No! We are merely saying that there are conditions that must be considered on how you can market your business. We need to reconcile in our minds that this is a “new normal” paradigm.

It’s an apocalypse of sorts. The old normal isn’t coming back anytime soon, if at all.

In our experience as financing brokers we discovered that with the more than two dozen businesses we spoke to ranging in revenue from $60,000 a year to $6,000,000 a year, not one of them had a written business plan. And that was during normal times! It’s a bit crazy that people run their business without a written business plan. It is an essential document for your business. It’s a working, living, breathing document of your business.

And here we are now during the pandemic paradigm.

Now more than ever you need a business plan if you plan to go back to business or keep your business alive. A business plan is a written guide book, that not only helps you to survive this crisis, but also prepares you for new, unexpected challenges as they arise. Those challenges are coming! And those challenges are unknown! The consequences of those challenges are uncertain.

Too many business owners have seen how, in this pandemic environment, a sudden challenge can arise in an hour, a day, a week, a month. And they’re not prepared to deal with that challenge. Even if they had a business plan that they created during normal times, that business plan is mostly useless if not completely useless under this new paradigm, under this new normal.

We are promoting the idea that you need to create a written business plan right now that helps you to survive and helps you to face every unknown challenge that could come your way.

Contact us at Curious@AuroraConsulting.biz to discuss how you can plan, prepare and prospect during this pandemic.

6 Podcast Episodes That Stopped Me in My Tracks


With COVID 19 hanging around longer than what anyone expected with no eradication in sight, it’s a mistake to think you should stop marketing for your business. I know how difficult it is to market a product or service that you may not or cannot offer right now.

My business is (was) a commercial financing brokerage. Banks aren’t lending right now due to the “all hands on deck” disaster relief financing efforts to help small businesses survive. Given our resources in lending, we pivoted quickly to stay connected to know how the banks and lenders were receiving (or not receiving) guidance from the Small Business Administration (SBA).

This gave us an opportunity to share information and insight. This provided an opportunity to create and share content. One of the ways to grab people’s attention is to share what you know. How you share that information and insight is through the various platforms available to you. There are different ways to broadcast your message:

  1. Written word such as emails and blogs
  2. Audio such as podcasts
  3. Video such as long-form, short-form or live video.

On March 15th of this year, the tough and undeniable realization was that we were going to have to dramatically pivot how we do business in order to earn an income.

Based on my background in insurance, marketing and financing and my partner’s experience with mortgage banking, financing and marketing, we began strategizing the avenues we could possibly earn income.

One thing we have in common is our love and success with marketing. Ultimately, marketing is the way we can get our brand and our business out to the world.

About a year ago, I stumbled upon a popular podcast hosted by Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner. it’s called Social Media Marketing. As I worked in the yard (almost every day), I would get my exercise in, stress out and learn a few lessons along the way.

I put together a list of the six Social Media Marketing podcast episodes in 2019 that stopped me in my tracks. They prompted me to put into immediate action various tips and techniques to make marketing not only more effective but more fun.

There are so many more episodes that this podcast offers depending on your hot button with what you enjoy (or don’t enjoy) with marketing. Maybe it’s advertising strategies on a specific platform. It’s there. Maybe it’s online traffic vs. foot traffic. It’s there.

The six I chose happen to be evergreen so you can hear their stories and apply their suggestions even during a pandemic. Stelzner has over 400 episodes in the Social Media Examiner library. I encourage you to check out the library of episodes to see what catches your eye and rings your ear.

Six of my favorite episodes are;

Narrative Storytelling: How to Weave Stories Into Your Marketing – Ep. 336 with Melissa Cassera of https://melissacassera.com

I listened to this one twice. Everyone loves stories, but some of us may not be good storytellers when it comes to creating content. You will increase the attention of your reader, viewer, listener if you employ solid story structure.

Find the episode here: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/narrative-storytelling-how-to-weave-stories-marketing-melissa-cassera/

Phrases That Sell: 8 Copywriting Tips – Ep. 337 with Ray Edwards of https://rayedwards.com

This was the first episode I heard Stelzner use the term “solid gold” when it came to preparing us for what would be included in this episode. Ray Edwards has done copywriting for some of the top influencers in the marketplace. You can find this impressive list on his website.

Find the episode here: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/phrases-sell-8-copywriting-tips-ray-edwards/

How to Create Long-Form Videos That Sell – Ep. 342 with Daniel Harmon of https://harmonbrothers.com/home

This was fascinating to hear the success of these two brothers in creating videos for companies that no one heard of but had incredible, almost unicorn success with the content they created for their clients.

It’s inspiring to think of the ways you can create video content, if this is a format you feel comfortable engaging. Video is inarguably the most valuable platforms to leverage your “top of mind” factor.

Find the episode here: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-create-long-form-videos-sell-daniel-harmon/

Instagram Stories for Business: How to Create Engaging Stories – Ep. 369 with Alex Beadon of https://www.alexbeadon.com

This episode caused me to break out in a sweat because it was something completely new and I was already overwhelmed with all the new ways I could make marketing more effective.

It was compelling to switch how I was looking at Instagram stories as a viable platform. I hadn’t embraced snapchat or live video person so I didn’t think this platform or method would work for me. Instagram has been soaring in its popularity and effectiveness to build fan and brand loyalty.

Alex made me realize the important of consistency when it comes to showing up for your clients, colleagues and future clients.

Find the episode here: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/instagram-stories-for-business-how-to-create-engaging-stories-alex-beadon/

How to Create Content That Attracts Customers – Ep. 356 with Melanie Deziel of https://www.storyfuel.co

Melanie used to be a journalist and her experience included training her fellow journalists how to create a framework for content. This was fascinating to learn how far you can stretch and repurpose content from one platform. For example, with one podcast episode, you can then create a blog. From the blog, you can extract “snackables” for social media posts.

Melanie’s book Content Fuel will help ease the pain of what to create (“focus”) and where to publish (“format”).

Find the episode here: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-create-content-that-attracts-customers-melanie-deziel/

Magical Words That Sell: How to Build Trust in Your Marketing – Episode 391 with Marcus Sheridan of https://marcussheridan.com

Now, this one was a little extra special for me because I met Marcus Sheridan in Cleveland at an insurance seminar and literally stopped him in HIS TRACKS to take a picture. I didn’t know Marcus then, but it wasn’t the last time I would hear of him and learn from him.

His magical words will help you generate your own magical words for your magical marketing message. He focuses on how your website is likely not appealing to the visitors in the way you think it is.

Find the episode here:

Those are the six that helped me prepare for the biggest pivot of all: The coronavirus lockdown.

As I mentioned, there are over 400 episodes. Please do not mistake my choosing only six episodes as means to dilute the library of informative content that will help you too and keep your readers, viewers and listeners coming back from more.

You can find our musings and madness here:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Linkedin

Youtube

Stay safe, stay well.

Who’s Not Afraid to Say “I Don’t Know”?

Who else is an avid fan of Warren Buffett? The “Oracle of Utah” presided this weekend over the annual—virtual—Shareholders meeting for Berkshire Hathaway. Mr. Buffett was a stout, granite-like, believer in the recovery of the American economy after the crash of 2008. This time, not so much.

Much of his ideas, though overall optimistic, were tempered with uncertainty for the future of the American economy in particular and the Global economy as a whole. “Nothing can basically stop America” and “You can bet on America” are two optimistic quotes in an article about the Berkshire Hathaway meeting and Mr. Buffett in today’s NYTimes.com. But he tempered much of his positivity with more than a few “I don’t knows” when queried by the audience and journalists on the uncertain future of a continuing COVID-19 world.

Not that he was necessarily espousing “doom and gloom” as much as he was following a traditional line of thinking for himself and his company: Cautious optimism. Warren Buffett would rather lose out on an opportunity for an investment than to have acted to quickly, without the due consideration such a decision deserves. You can clearly see this as a bedrock concept of his success as a stock investor. He’s not sure which way the economy is headed, but he’s hoping for the best.

Warren Buffett is a student of economic history, and he presented his analysis at the meeting of the American economy from 1789, up to and past The Great Depression. He pointed out that the stock market took 22 years to recover to its highs between 1929 and 1951. His realistic assessments are important for us at Aurora Consulting as we determine ways to continue our Brokerage and find working capital for businesses.

We’ve spent the past six weeks working feverishly—including more than a few all-nighters—to help our clients obtain SBA Disaster Relief financing, in particular the EIDL program and PPP loans. We’re happy to report we’ve been quite successful with that project. But now we find ourselves casting about to see what our horizon looks like, and how to continue helping our clients.

To take two of Mr. Buffett’s phrases into our context seems appropriate today. “I don’t know” is the first. We have some good ideas and you will see those concepts unfolding in the coming days and weeks. Already this week we’ve scheduled conferences with different types of Lenders as part of our deep-dive into lending availability for our clients. We’ve also created basic strategies for Aurora Consulting on the best ways to move forward and help Small Business during the ongoing pandemic and its attendant economic challenges.

The second of Mr. Buffett’s quotes, and the inspiration for this blog, seems most appropriate to what we do here at Aurora Consulting, we find working capital from Banks and Lenders for our Small Business clients. Warren Buffett, as quoted in today’s NYTimes.com: “This is a very good time to borrow money, which means it may not be such a great time to lend money.” Realistic words, a realistic assessment from The Oracle of Utah.

Here at Aurora Consulting, we’re going to embed the Oracle’s words into our strategic thinking so as to best serve our Small Business Clients. If you want to know more about how we help business owners, please email Curious@AuroraConsulting.biz.

 

Don’t Get Burned by Your Business Partner

Here’s a Valentine’s Day business tip for all the business partnerships out there, especially if you LOVE your business!

An entrepreneurial relationship can go sideways FAST if one partner begins to scrutinize another’s activity in their respective roles. It happens believe it or not. People change, goals and dreams change and how one approaches their profession, their job, their business can change due to a myriad of reasons such as:

1. An entrepreneur may feel they have “arrived” and they want to slow down a bit.
2. One learns and knows how to effectively delegate in order to scale the business.
3. They want to transition in order to finally honor their passion, their “calling”.

Contributions to the venture can be overlooked by a partner(s) when resentment sets in by another. If reasonable, kind, compassionate communication fails, resentment can creep in faster and most insidiously.

Hiring an outside consultant could be beneficial. VET that consultant vigorously. Check their background and their experience with managing businesses and business partnerships. You do not want to find out too late that they have no idea how to navigate a difficult situation.

Equally and most importantly, the following must be considered. You will want to consult with your business attorney on this.

1. Draft an operating agreement that specifically outlines duties of each partner.
2. Review the role and duties of each partner at least once per year.
3. Document the file with minutes of the meeting.

When an agreement / document is referenced on a regular basis, issues can be addressed before they get unruly and people get ornery. Memories fade and/or get distorted to match a current perspective.

In this age, where narcissism and borderline personality are a true epidemic (and perhaps incurable), victims can stay stuck in bad habits out of fear and confusion of bad behavior. This is no way to live a happy life. We all deserve to be happy and to seek a way to be happy when something feels off.

You don’t have to be an “Outsource Junkie” like myself, but research on how you can continually improve how your partnership can soar to the heights of what you envisioned when you got into business with your partner(s) in the first place.

It’s Not Your Bankers Fault

How to Manage Your Credit Score Video Thumbnail
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If your credit score is low and your financing request isn’t approved,  it’s not the Banker’s fault when she delivers the bad news of a loan denial to you.

Your Banker wants to be your friend, your “go-to” financial resource to help you build your business.  But there are are areas out of the Banker’s control, not the least of which is your credit history and subsequent credit scores.

Certainly you should be aware of your credit score…with the caution that, as a consumer, you cannot access the true credit scores used in financial services-related decisions.  This score is otherwise known as the “FICO CLASSIC” and all the credit monitoring services in the world cannot provide you with access to this score.  Thus there can be wide variances between the scores you find online and the “true” score your Banker will pull when you apply for credit financing.  In our experience at Aurora Consulting, we’ve seen variances in either direction, positive and negative, as much as 100 points in the scores.

But if you have very low scores, chances are very good that you are aware of your credit history circumstances.  That is, scores less than 620, and certainly any scores that are in the 500’s.  Many consumers with scores at 620 and above, where they’re not hitting the high-700’s or even the 800’s, tend to believe they have “bad” credit. This is not always the case, and often that kind of score range, down to 620, will qualify for business credit financing.

But if you are fairly certain, even with the incorrect consumer-access scores, that you have credit circumstances that are pushing your scores down below 620, you need to be aware and to disclose that to your Banker.

And you should be specific with your Banker about those circumstances.  For example, “I’m currently delinquent on the mortgage on my other house,” or, “I have several small collection accounts from three years ago that I have not yet paid off.”  If you’re clear and honest with your Banker about your potential credit history, it helps to manage those expectations, both yours and hers, when presenting a financing request application.

At Aurora Consulting, our process with each client includes a credit report that we run at the very outset of our relationship with the client. Because we’re working on behalf of the client, we have a different perspective on the credit review process.  And we actually have successfully placed loans with credit scores in the 500’s.   The options in that range can be limited. But there are options.  And, like with your Banker, we find it very helpful when the client is clear with us upfront about concerns for their credit history and scores.

Finally, being aware of your credit status is important for you personally and professionally to be aware of how you are managing your money and your bill-paying as you grow your business. When the Banker denies a loan request due to low credit scores, the issue is the lack of awareness of this money-management, not the Bank’s lending protocols.

You can find out more about the “Myths Of Credit Repair” by downloading our free white paper.

WATCH OUR VIDEO HERE.

Bankers and Artists

background abstract art with gold dollar sign in center

background abstract art with gold dollar sign in center“When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss Art.
When artists get together for dinner, they discuss Money.”
~ Oscar Wilde

Bankers have the money, control the money, determine where the money will go and who will get it.  In the vernacular, those decisions are called “loan approvals.”  Do Banks skew to the conservative when making lending decisions?  Depends on the Bank, but overall, the answer is probably “YES.”  Sure, riskier credit scenarios can find a home, along with commensurate difficult terms including higher interest rate and other factors.

That leaves the Artists, or, you, the Business Owner, out in the cold and wondering about how to obtain the capital you need to grow your business.

At Aurora Consulting, we believe the path to success for your business credit financing request lies in three factors.

The first factor is the choice of Lender.  Different Lenders have different tolerances for risk.  And, different Banks have different perspectives to find a profitable return for their Depositors’ money. Any given Bank may create lending opportunities due to a strategic decision to lend more in certain credit profile areas.  In both these types of Banks/Lenders, though the credit risk may scare away a more conservative Bank, the terms of the loan don’t have to be onerous.

We believe the second, and maybe the most important factor in credit financing success is in presentation.  We recently watched the Will Smith movie “Hitch” where he plays a coach of sorts to lovelorn men seeking to get out of their own way to find success in love.  Much of the advice “Hitch” gives has to do with presentation, the manner in which a man listens to a woman, the way he honors her presence, and more.

We think that the Loan Application and the manner in which it is presented to a Lender is the fundamental key to success, combined with the other two success factors.  That’s why we strive to ask all the same zillion questions an Underwriter may ask, why we collect so much documentation up front from our clients, and why we carefully package our loan requests to present to Lenders.

The final factor for success in credit financing is the positivity of “The Close.”   Obstacles pop up along the way in every financing transaction.  Our aim is to overcome obstacles with positive attitudes and a sharp focus on getting to the closing.  We use positive language, we seek out positive solutions; we refuse to be waylaid by negative emotions, words, challenges.  This is our Closing Attitude at Aurora Consulting.

Bringing these three success factors together is what we do at Aurora Consulting.  It’s no secret to any experienced financial professional, but it certainly feels like it’s our own secret recipe for credit financing success.

Pages from a Salvador Dali notebook including doodles and calculations of income and expenses, the artist thinking about Money.  
Pages from a Salvador Dali notebook including doodles and calculations of income and expenses, the artist thinking about Money.

Whether you are an entrepreneurial “Artist” seeking to bring your vision for success to life with business credit financing, or a Business Owner searching for the best solution for your working capital needs, let us at Aurora Consulting be your concierge to guide your financing needs to the right conclusion, the one where the Bankers embrace your “art” and release the money to fund your continuing business success story.

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The Lender Reviews Everything

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When you apply for financing and your tax returns and/or personal financial statement shows that you have interests in other businesses or property, the lender will want to review the financials on those other businesses.

When it comes down to it, the Lender has the right to ask for this information.

The question from our client is often, “Why is this germane to my financing request for my business?  That other business has nothing to do with the business I’m financing.”

While this may be true, remember that you’re asking the lender to assess the risk of lending money to you and to your business (the one on the application), and if there are negative aspects to your other businesses that affect the financial health of this business, the lender wants to assess that risk.

The good news is that you can control the narrative to an extent. Describe what the other business is via a summary statement and how it interacts with the business you are financing.  Especially with regards to debt.

There’s nothing wrong with full disclosure.  Get it out of the way upfront. Don’t wait for the Lender to ask for it.

Understand why the Lender wants that information instead of fighting the request.

The Lender has the right to ask these questions.  Pushing back is okay, as long as you do so in a gentle fashion.  In the end, it’s about achieving your goal of obtaining the financing you need to grow your business with the least muss and fuss as possible.

Contact with questions about the most important documents to have in order at all times. Solutions@AuroraConsulting.biz.

Kick Overwhelm To The Curb

Do you ever have to prompt your kids to eat something, wear something, do something or go somewhere?

They resist; you persist because you want the best for them.

You’re selling, but you’re able to do that because ultimately you believe it’s best for them because you love them. You are delivering value by showing something that’s good for them.

Your kids are like the general public at large and your business is the parent that is trying to show them something of value.

I’ve been marketing since about the mid 1980’s. But I didn’t know I was marketing. 

My favorite course in college was marketing. We reviewed businesses that excelled because they applied business fundamentals that introduced their products and services to consumers.

Then when I joined my father’s insurance agency.
My first thought was “I don’t want him to be the best kept secret.”
My other thought was “this could take a while. People need to get to know me.”
My mantra became “there’s no immediate gratification in a long term strategy.”

I networked and joined business organizations to meet other business owners. I created events to engage the community.
I grew revenue 800%. He was able to retire when I bought him out and then I sold my shares to my sister six years later.

It was all from marketing. 

This was inspired by a conversation with a few of the Board members of an IDS Chapter in CT who brought me in to do a presentation. I asked, “what do you want me to talk about?” 

I wanted to do something different from what may be expected.
I didn’t want to beat a dead horse with the obvious platitudes about marketing. 

Nor debate about which is better:
Facebook vs. Linkedin
Posting in the morning or afternoon
Writing a Blog or recording a Vlog.

You don’t need me to tell you to post on social media.
It’s been trending for the past decade or more. Being an early adopter has left the station.

They said, We’re overwhelmed. Many of us are Solopreneurs and doing everything ourselves.”

FEELING OVERWHELMED

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with marketing? I have good news and bad news.

I believe being overwhelmed is an opportunity to learn how to grow in some capacity.
Your business could be at the precipice of growing to the next level.

Being overwhelmed, to me, is the difference between doing the things we want to do and doing the things we think we should be doing. It’s an internal conflict. It’s why we procrastinate and make excuses instead of delegating.

A side effect of being overwhelmed is complacency.

I don’t want to steal my therapist’s thunder, but most of the time, many of us, in general, have the same doubts and fears. 

People aren’t paying attention to us as much as we think they are. They’re too worried about their own stuff.

I’ve listened to hours of marketing podcasts where professionals share how they got started and invariably it begins with some fear and doubt as they stumble to figure things out.

Is there anyone here that DOESN’T want to grow to the next level?

Anything I share with you today is nothing i’ve not been through already.
I’ve worried. I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’ve doubted. And I’ve succeeded.

Marketing is not an event. It’s a process.
And when it comes to process, we don’t seek perfection, we strive for progress.

Who has a purpose they are trying to accomplish?

Marketing is about understanding our purpose and the goals we set to achieve the fulfillment of our purpose along with the good we want to put out into the world.

Sometimes it feels like marketing it’s not always practical or executable.
It’s too much, we’re too busy. We can always find an excuse. I know I do.

If we’re following our purpose, it’s practical.
If we’ve not achieved all of our goals yet, we must make it executable.

i can talk to you about tactics and techniques, but it’s boring, and you know it already.
You can google everything and anything for FREE.  You know more than you know.

It’s the motivation, inspiration and creativity that we seek sometimes.

I’ve been saying for years:
You have to start somewhere in order to celebrate progress.
It’s basic benchmarking.

Rachel Hollis said it better,
“You can’t get to great if you aren’t putting “good enough” out in the world.”

Rachel Hollis also wrote a book about the lies she told herself and how she overcame them. 

I’m going to share the lies I told myself when I started social media in 2009:

  1. I have nothing to say.
  2. No one is listening to me.
  3. I don’t have an audience.
  4. There is so much noise, no one is finding my stuff.

This is ego hijacking our brains. 

Because the truth is:

  1. I was most talkative in high school. So, Duh!
  2. I’ve been hired so people are listening.
  3. I’ve built an audience.
  4. I started with my inner circle & circle of influences to let them know what I’m doing out here in the world.

CONNECTION
Remember when we discussed purpose? There’s a reason I didn’t say passion or profit first.

Who doesn’t love financial gain? With profit, sometimes we let our money junk get in the way. Sometimes we charge too little or too much or we procrastinate because we don’t know what to charge or how to charge.

With passion, we keep ourselves mired in minutia because it’s an art or it’s too important and it has to be perfect and we don’t let go.

Purpose allows us to dig deep within ourselves to reveal and share our values. And values have impact.
Impact will tempt people to pause and perhaps notice you. And the more they notice you, the more likely they will remember you. When they remember you, they will buy from you when they need your products and/or services.

Your marketing strategy should include your story. People don’t want to feel alone. They want to connect.
We’re biologically wired to connect as humans.

Sharing your story, your struggle to make it in this business causes connection. People can relate.

No one cares what you post unless they know that you care. Thank you Theodore Roosevelt.

Let’s talk about the “Judgey Judge Judys” in the world. If anyone judges your content and proclaims it as a failure, thank them. It’s a gift. It’s called feedback. Feedback directs us on how to improve.  It’s not about perfection, it’s about progress.

Y’all still with me?

CONTENT
Content is king; consistency is key.
It doesn’t have to be all business all the time. The best marketing is when people don’t pontificate all the time with all that they know.

No matter your industry, build in visuals. I don’t want to invite you to my pity party, but I used to post about insurance.
Now, with my new business, I post about Business Credit Financing. It’s not very exciting content.

Find the emotion. You’re bringing your product or service to life.

Here are some things you can do to stockpile content for your business.

  1. Photographically document your process, parts of the process, pieces of the process.
  2. Train your clients to know you’ll be wanting their feedback along the process. Ask how they are feeling and why they are feeling that way. Bring them into the process.

Why is this beneficial?

You want to know what they are feeling at all times because this provides relatable events with what other people are feeling. This provides direction on your how your content will reach people who may need you in the future.

Document and/or develop “case studies” to capture a keyword library for you to enrich your content though your clients’ experience.

  • What is their Pain
  • What are their Problems
  • What are your Solutions
  • What is their Satisfaction

Lewis Howes, renowned podcaster of the School of Greatness said “Create what you would want to listen to if you were stuck, starting out or striving.”

People are paying you for your perspective. They have a problem. You have a solution.
Your job is to find more problems so you can help them solve it.

You are doing a disservice by not sharing your solutions and your creativity.

In my previous business, I amassed 13,000 Twitter followers. When I first started using Twitter, I politely stalked my competition & strategic alliances to see what they were posting and how their content was relevant to a similar audience I was trying to develop. 

Let’s go back to feeling and/or being overwhelmed.

Who feels that sometimes, somedays maybe they squander 30 minutes here and there?

Maybe you’re binge watching Netflix.
Maybe you’re aimlessly scrolling Facebook or Instagram.

Did you know that 30 minutes per day is 182.5 hours which is almost 23 days lost which is more than 3 weeks potentially squandered vs. being productive. 

How will you start taking that time back?

It Can Happen That Fast

We’re famous here at Aurora Consulting for the phrase, “Growth sneaks up on you!”  We’ve written a blog about it and have done a few videos where this notion comes into focus as the reason we are doing the video in the first place.

Even the best-prepared, most-organized, super-efficient Business Owner can find themselves with a new client who’s blowing up the revenue to extraordinary levels, or new orders for products and services that far exceed previous orders and expectations.

We like to say, “One Vehicle leads to 20 Vehicles.”
It can happen that fast.

We believe in your business success story.  You are putting in the effort every single day to grow your revenue and live the business life of your dreams.  That’s why we also believe that your financial services relationships today are so vital to your business growth tomorrow.

Begin with your Banker relationship.  It’s not enough that you know your Business Banker’s cell number; she has to answer it when you need her.   It’s not enough that she promises to get it done; RESULTS are the only thing worth talking about.   

Both these items are great metrics to help you understand if your Business Banker puts as much value in your relationship as you do.   If your Banker is meeting these basic standards, then you’re in good hands.  If not, then you should reconsider your banking relationships.

Along the lines of your relationships is thinking about future credit financing. We heartily recommend you invest some time at least once a year, if not more often, to sit down with your Business Banker and review your business’ financials.  You want to know if you are positioning yourself in the most favorable way possible to apply and be approved for credit financing when you need to grow from ONE vehicle to 20 vehicles.

Some Business Owners fear exposing their financials to their Banker.  Maybe the fear surrounds the Banker questioning the Bank’s commitment to your relationship.   We have found the opposite to be true for one reason.  

Your Banker’s commitment to you is driven by the motivation to maintain and grow your banking relationships with the Bank.  When we say relationships, we mean bank accounts.  Bankers are driven to grow depository relationships.  That’s their goal.  And once they have your business, they want to grow it and make sure you stay with them.

Reviewing your financials with your Banker can only further the Bank’s confidence in you and your business.  And it may provide you with cogent advice and knowledge that will help you prepare for that moment when you need 19 more vehicles.

At Aurora Consulting, we are Brokers. We work for you, not for the Bank.  And we know the tolerances that Lenders have for financing businesses on a growth trajectory.  

We understand the Underwriting guidelines and how your business financials fit into those “boxes” at different Banking institutions. We’re happy to review your financials too and prepare you for the eventuality you’ll need credit financing for more vehicles.

Email us at Curious@AuroraConsulting.biz to chat more about how you can proactively position yourself for future financing.