Survival of the Fittest

B.E. gives you the tools you need to help ensure the success of your venture

the business and then private loans. Larger companies rely much more on bank loans. New companies, however, generally don’t have access to commercial bank loans because they lack operating experience and solid credit history, says McCrackin. “It doesn’t matter if an entrepreneur is asking for $10,000 or $1 million, bankers require the same information.”

CAPITAL RESOURCES
Angel Investors: Typically among the earliest sources of funding for budding entrepreneurs. Such investors are available to finance your business and believe in your vision just as much as you do. They provide seed capital ranging from a few thousand dollars to as much as $1 million. Angel Capital Association, www.angelcapitalassociation.org

Interpersonal funding: Private monies from friends and family, a fast and easy source. Terms are usually more lax than with other forms of borrowed capital. Receipts should be drawn up to show the exchange and any stipulations for repayment. Circle Lending, www.circlelending.com

Loans: The Small Business Administration offers various loan programs. Its Community Express Program grants loans from $5,000 to $50,000 in conjunction with preferred lenders (www.blxonline.com/Products_Community_ Express.cfm). Small Business Administration, www.sba.gov

Microlending: For startups without access to traditional financing. Regional and national nonprofit groups make loans from as little as $500 up to $35,000, and repayment terms are less stringent. Lenders may also offer financial and business workshops. Each organization has its own lending requirements. ACCION USA, www.accionusa.org

Venture Capitalists: The least likely source of funds for startups, according to NSBA president Todd McCrackin. He says venture capitalists tend to shy away from very new businesses and rarely invest less than $5 million at a time. National Association of Investment Companies, www.naicvc. com; National Venture Capital Association, www.nvca.org

Where to go for help:
Association of Small Business Development Centers, www.asbdc-us.org
National Business Association, www.nationalbusiness.org
SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), www.score.org
The Minority Business Development Agency, www.mbda.gov

Books
Raising Capital for Dummies by Joseph W. Bartlett and Peter Economy (For Dummies; $24.99)

MARKETING
Every Little Bit Helps
Effective marketing strategies can gain you clients and, ultimately, revenues
By Tennille M. Robinson
“I actually bite my nails, which most people find to be the most ridiculous thing in the world,” says TriciaLee Riley, owner of the Polis Bar of Brooklyn, in New York.

After 13 years in the cosmetics industry, Riley launched Polish Bar, a salon that offers manicures, pedicures, makeup application, and waxing, in August 2006. The 32-year-old entrepreneur attributes her success to a multilayered marketing strategy. “The most important thing to me is marketing,” she maintains. “I have a marketing calendar that runs 12 to 18 months out, and everything on it is very detailed.”

For entrepreneurs like Riley, marketing and advertising is a vital ingredient in attracting customers and, in turn, boosting revenues, market share, and cash flow. “From the service you offer to the décor, all transcend into your marketing and advertising initiatives,” says Steffon Isaac, Polish Bar’s creative director. “Once you understand what your customers want, need, and value, you can then take that data and craft a tailor-made initiative.”

The marketing thrust included the placement of Polish Bar’s line of body products in the restrooms of local

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