The Best Job Search Techniques

Hundreds of thousands of positions were obtained by job seekers last month, so employers are definitely hiring. If you are frustrated in your job search, then perhaps you should rethink your job search plan. Here is a recap of job search techniques and how to get the most out of them.

JOB BOARDS

The first thing a job seeker does is head for the job boards. After all, isn’t it exciting to find positions that fit you like a glove? The chief problem is that the job boards are the most competitive way to way to find a position and have the least probability of success – generally less than 5% of jobs are filled this way according to industry statistics. That is not to say that you shouldn’t use them – it just means that they should not be the heart of your job search.

Start by using Indeed.com or SimplyHired.com as these are job board aggregators, meaning they pull jobs from all the other job boards as well as company web sites to give you a single place to find openings. Also look at Craig’s List which is becoming a great place to find local job postings. And do NOT apply over the Internet. Yes that’s right, pull yourself out of the big pile of resumes in HR and use this simple technique.

First, find out who the hiring manager or key influencers are. You can usually do this by going to LinkedIn.com and doing a company search. Once you have their name and phone number give them a call and say something like: “A friend told me you might be interested in someone with my background. I have (insert your 2-sentence pitch), and I have just a few questions for you.”

Then ask them some questions that show you’ve done some homework on their company. Be very friendly, down to earth and personable and build some rapport, At some point they will ask you for your resume at which point you have now put yourself at the top of the decision maker’s pile and skipped the HR screeners. Using this trick can be the difference between being screened out and getting noticed.

RECRUITERS

Recruiters have about a 5-12% effectiveness rate in securing a new position for you so you should consider whether they should be a part of your plan. Here we are only talking about those who are paid a fee by the employer, and I would caution you to steer clear of those who want you to pay the fee for their services.

Start by considering whether the type of position is typically filled by recruiters. For example, recruiters will not generally work with entry level people or career changers as employers are paying them a hefty 20-30% of your first year’s compensation as a fee for their finding you. Entry level people are easy to find and a recruiter will generally not offer a career changer up as a candidate if they have no track record in the desired field.

If you decide to work with recruiters, then use a service (hint: like ours) that will present your resume to the largest number. These are inexpensive and very effective, especially in saving you time. Remember that recruiters in California can be searching for candidates on Texas, so do not limit your search locally.

NETWORKING

Networking is the king of effectiveness in job searching as it has always had over a 50% effectiveness rate. Especially in this market, networking should be the heart of your search plan as employers are much more inclined to hire someone who is referred to them as compared to a stranger. Networking is not as much fun as applying through job boards and requires a good deal more discipline, but the difference is not only in its effectiveness rate, but also in the quality of the job you obtain.

Most people think networking is sharing your resume with friends and neighbors but this is the worst thing you can do as you just lost control of the process as you wait for the phone to ring. Networking as a subject is a long article unto itself, but here are the key techniques.

Develop an “elevator pitch”, the 3 to 5 sentences that describe who you are and why an employer should want to speak to you. Develop support materials that include a networking business card too. Also make sure you are posted into LinkedIn.com which is becoming the top networking site for professionals.

Now identify the 5-10 companies you are most interested in joining. You can use LinkedIn which sports a fairly robust company search tool to do this. Then research the company online using a variety of excellent tools like Zoominfo, Spoke, Highbeam and many others you can easily find. Try to learn as much about the company as possible so you can impress an insider.

The next step is to identify people inside the company which you can also do through LinkedIn. Now your job is to network yourself into a meeting where you can impress them with your knowledge of their challenges, and how you can help them. Start by thinking about people you know who knows someone who is inside the firm. It’s great if you can get to the decision maker and it’s equally good if you can get an insider to walk your resume into their office. This is your Step 1 in networking.

Step 2 is to expand your search to other firms. Remember that good networking is asking people for advice as people are much more likely to give you advice than help you get a job. Here you want to know about industries, companies or people you should talk to who can help you focus your efforts. An easy, painless way to get going with this is to go to the regularly held networking meetings that are advertised in your local paper.

Now, if you are unemployed, plan on calling 25 people and having 3-5 face-to-face meetings per week. This is where discipline comes in, but after you have done this a couple of times, it becomes easier. Ask each person who else you should talk to and add them to your database.

In short, your job search plan should include the 3 major ways to contact an employer: job boards, recruiters and networking. Recognizing the different effectiveness rates of each in securing a new position, make sure you put a heavy emphasis on your networking efforts. Remember that although there are far fewer jobs open then last year, you only need one. Follow these steps and you will slash your job search time considerably.

Why Networking is the Most Effective Job Search Technique

When most people need to find a new job, they start with the online career sites, employment offices or local want ads. It seems obvious to look in the places where people are advertizing for jobs. Yet, studies consistently show networking to be the most effective way to find a job. Networking is the act of working with people you know to help you find the things that you want. Its efficacy is not surprising considering that when done properly, job seekers are making direct contact with hiring managers or people that can lead them to hiring managers. Further more, it provides a way to tap into the hidden job market.

The phrase “hidden job market” refers to all of those jobs that exist but are hidden from view, that is, they are not advertised. Hiring managers will often hold-off advertising a job until exhausting their own circle of contacts. Placing ads and sorting through potential candidates is costly and time consuming. It also involves the risk of hiring an unknown entity. It is easier, cheaper, and safer for the hiring manager to recruit from friends and/or professional contacts. You increase your chances of getting the job you want by tapping into that hidden job market. As evidence, here are some statistics from resumagic.com on how Americans find employment:

35% — Found job through a friend, relative or other associate
30% — Contacted an employer directly, without answering a classified ad
14% — Answered a job classified advertisement
08% — Found job through on-campus recruitment or job placement office
06% — Employment agency or search firm
05% — State-run unemployment office
02% — Other

The above percentages indicate that 65% of people who are employed found a job that was never publicly advertised.

Case study
For many people, networking still feels like something that will only work for other people. I am proof that’s wrong. While not unique or connected in any special way, with the exception of one position I found by cold calling, I networked my way into every other position as I worked my way up the corporate ladders in multiple industries. Here are some examples of how I worked with the people I knew to find the jobs I wanted.

Cast Iron Foundry: Just before graduation, I was talking with my faculty advisor about jobs. He gave me the name of a man at a trade association coincidentally near my home. I visited him on the way home from school. He, in turn, referred me to the Chief Metallurgist at a nearby company that fit exactly with what I wanted to do. They hired me. The job was never advertised.

R&D Consortium: A vendor salesman that used to call the company that I worked for went to work for the Consortium. He told me they were looking for engineers with business acumen and put me in touch with the hiring manger. I got the job. The job was not advertised. When I had gone as far as I could in that company, I sent out hundreds of resumes and answered dozens of advertisements to no avail. Finally I found my new job through networking.

Life Insurance Agent: I decided to work for myself. I researched companies in the life insurance industry and knew some agents. A personal friend who was also an agent led me to his company where I eventually landed my first position. They had an active recruiting program ongoing and the personal introduction paved the way, even though I had no obvious qualifications.

Large Pharmaceutical: Several years later when I decided to change careers again, I networked my way into a local, major pharmaceutical company doing business development. The job was not advertised.

Six years later, the company was restructuring to prepare for a spin off the division I was in. I was laid off and networked my way to a job as program manager within the same company. The job was not advertised until after I started only to fulfill HR requirements.

Three years later it was time for me to move on. I networked my way to find a manager job in yet another division. This job was advertised and I saw it on the job board, but I thought it was not a good fit. I networked my way into the vice president’s office. She encouraged me to apply and asked me to meet with the hiring manger.

Why It Works
I am nothing special, nor is my history with networking. What is special is the power of networking. I have tried responding to ads and sending out hundreds of resumes, but like most people, my carefully worded documents and phone calls fell in to the black holes of human resource departments. Every time it proved to be a huge amount of effort without any payoff. Instead, the solution was talking to people- lots of them. Want more proof? Think about how you have found jobs, or ask your friends about their careers and how they found their jobs. I bet you will find that they knew someone who gave them an “in” or a critical heads-up. This is networking. It may not have been formal, or even intentional, but it was networking at its best.

In real life it plays out like this: a company may advertise an open position and receive 1,000 resumes. HR will receive those resumes and, after filtering the resumes based on their criteria, will narrow it down to maybe ten resumes. If the hiring manager gets an email from a trusted contact recommending a friend for the job and attaching a resume, that “friend” just leapfrogged to the front of the pack. The other ten candidates are complete unknowns beyond their resumes, but the friend comes with a trusted recommendation. The hiring manager eliminates much of the risk involved in bringing in a new employee. In order to be successful in your job search, you need to find those contacts that can get you in front of the hiring managers. Networking makes you a known quantity, allowing you to levitate to the top of a massive stack.

Why Volunteering Is Among Proven Job Search Techniques

Volunteering will make you stand out over other job seekers and give you better chances at getting interviews. It is among the proven job search techniques that new graduates and career changers without relevant experience can utilize.

When you are job hunting you are actually selling yourself. You need to find your vantage point that will differentiate you from other job seekers. In the sales profession a product or service’s unique quality is often leveraged. It is very much the same with job hunting, you need to be a desirable candidate who deserves an interview.

Volunteering gives you that vantage point and the desirability factor. It shows hiring managers and employers that you have strong work ethics by doing unpaid work to help others. It is a manifestation that you seek self-fulfillment alongside attaining financial goals.

It also shows that you can go along well with others, which is essential in any work environment. Hiring managers value team players and look for people who will have no problems adapting and immersing in the company’s culture. Another benefit is the utilization and development of your skill set. Students who volunteer for telethons to raise funds for charities, causes and researches develop their communication skills.

Volunteering also enhances time management skills. You need to strike a balance between your personal life, paid work (if you have one) and volunteer work. Some volunteer jobs are quite demanding with requirements of 30-hours per week. Others are more obliging and allow you to work from home. Whatever the set up may be, it requires you to assess your goals and priorities, and in the process develop organizational and time management skills.

It is a bonus if you have volunteered for a position that is similar to the role that you are targeting for work. It shows future employers that you have a passion for that particular role. In other words, volunteering gives you the experience in the position that you are applying for. This will also give you references from those in your field. And to state the obvious, volunteering gives you access to the “hidden job market.” All these strengthen the premise that indeed, volunteering is among the proven job search techniques that people can employ.

Generate Your Own Leads With This Innovative Job Search Technique

So you are “looking for a job”, huh? You’re doing all the right things like scanning the paper and hitting up all the big job boards on the web, correct? Oh, and surely you’ve contacted all your peeps, friends and acquaintances…you know, you’re networking? Resumes are flying around like leaves on a windy day and you’ve written so many custom cover letters that you see them in your sleep…would you say you’re in “job search mode”? Consider some of these suggestions to take it to the next level.

When you find yourself looking for work in today’s job market you can’t just get up in the morning and spend an hour mulling over the latest job postings and maybe sending out a few resumes. Certainly you need to do this but that is just the beginning. Your job search needs to be forever in the forefront of your mind as you go about your day. Opportunities and new ideas are always there, you just need to learn to identify, nurture and weave them into real prospects.

Let’s assume you have a particular skill set whatever that may be and you have naturally targeted that industry in your quest for a job. After a few weeks you may feel you have exhausted your niche and applied for every position there is in your field. Maybe you have for that matter. It’s time to open up your mind and take another look around. After you’ve done all the daily leg work, with your job hunt in mind, really start your day and hit the streets.

As you step out into the world, whether you walk, ride the bus or drive a car, be conscious of the businesses you pass, all of them. Take note of workers you see. Whether they are related to you field or not select one specific business and try to imagine their vendors or other businesses that they might have relationships or share services with. Try to formulate a web of related business in your mind. Think of the specific names of the companies in this web. Now take each one and ask yourself how might your skills align with this company however remotely? Hopefully by doing this you will be generating your own leads! Perhaps companies and maybe even things you never considered doing will occur to you and spark interest. Who knows, maybe you’ll find you are interested in a whole new field!

The beauty of this job search technique is that you can do it anywhere, any time. Turn on the t.v. and analyze commercials for ideas. Walk downtown and take a looking at each store front, or even a directory of businesses in a skyscraper. Open up the phone book and spin a related business web. Follow up on these self generated leads by researching these companies on the internet or stopping by in person. Inquire about positions and/or submit resumes.

By keeping your job search in the front of your mind you can easily generate your own leads. The related business web technique described here is a great way to take the extra step when you feel you’ve done all you can. By using your head you can find a job that you never even thought of before. Be creative and the opportunities will show themselves to you.

Creative Job Search Techniques – Build a Network

With the recession about to hit us and job losses on the increase, you need to employ some creative job search techniques if you want to get hired.

The truth is that most people are taught the wrong way to find a job and so they end up using the least effective job search methods available. This makes life tough at the best of times, but a lot more difficult at times of economic uncertainty.

So, if you want to find a job when the government is telling you we are on the verge of recession, at a time when people are losing their savings and their jobs and having their homes repossessed, you need to find some efficient job search techniques.

So, how do you go about finding a job? If you are like most people, you search online and you look in the local press or specialist journals. Then you send in an application form or a résumé or CV with a cover letter and you wait for a reply. If you are particularly industrious, you may send out hundreds of these applications and still not get an interview.

Experts agree that these methods, whilst being the techniques most frequently taught and most frequently used, are in fact, the least effective, accounting for a very low percentage of success, somewhere in the range of 5-14%.

So, you could get a job using these methods, but if the success rate is so low, you need some more ideas.

One of the most effective job search strategies is building a network of contacts. You’ve heard the theory that there are only six degrees of separation between everyone on the planet and whether that is true or not, the more people who know you are looking for work, the greater the chance of meeting someone who is interested in hiring you.

Creating a network does take a bit of time and effort, but it will pay off. You can start with friends and family and use professional networking sites on the internet. You can also contact professional colleagues and people you have worked with in the past.

Don’t be put off by the fact that you don’t think that anyone in your immediate circle is likely to know anyone who might give you a job. Everyone that you know has their own circle of friends and acquaintances.

Go about building your network in a professional manner. Look at it as a job in itself and spend time developing it every day. Be sure that you have a good generic resume or CV typed up, which can be targeted to a specific job very quickly or used as a general introduction.

If you are employed at the moment but afraid that you may lose your job in the current crisis, start building your network right away. Even if you do avoid being laid off, your network will be a valuable resource for the future.

Business Finance Training and Effective Business Solutions

Business finance training refers to programs that teach individuals how to handle various financial duties. Finance training is similar to finance tips in that both help business owners make better monetary decisions, but training programs offer a more detailed explanation of finance strategies. Training programs vary in price and can be used by the owners and employees of a business.

The most basic business finance training provide information on budgeting, preparing financial statements, managing cash flow, strategizing, forecasting, improving performance, and applying basic procedures and concepts to more effectively manage a business. These programs are recommended for new business owners to help them understand standard business practices. Once these basic methods are mastered, more specific financial training may be looked into.

Advanced business finance training delves more deeply into a certain financial procedure or concept, usually at a higher cost than basic programs. Advanced programs may teach business owners how to set up effective business models, make decisions based on quantitative analysis, manage and control accounts, practice due diligence, measure productivity, and strategize concerning mergers and acquisitions.

Taking part in any kind of business finance training gives a business owner the resources to make more intelligent business decisions that result in increased productivity and profits. Many different types of courses are available either online or at a specified location. Some programs may even offer the option to train at the business. Taking into consideration the needs and abilities of a business is the key to finding the best business finance training.

A business finance solution generally refers to methods of funding and maintaining the finances of a business. Most solutions involve ways of obtaining working capital, but others also offer ways of protecting and increasing that capital.

To obtain working capital, business owners look to finance solutions that offer funding by several different means. The most common means are loans and financing. Asset-based loans use a business’s assets, such as inventory and equipment, as collateral. A business may also opt for a property loan in order to acquire commercial space. Invoice financing, such as factoring, involves liquidating or selling a business’s accounts receivables in exchange for quick funding. Some businesses look to trade financing to supply their inventory. The business will tell its financer the amount and cost of goods needed, and the financer will pay for the goods. The business then repays the amount financed over a specified period of time.

Most companies that provide business finance solutions also offer ways to protect and increase a business’s capital. Credit protection safeguards a business from daily risks, such as customers not paying on time, so that the business does not suffer incredible losses. This makes it much easier for the business to borrow money in the future, and it protects the balance sheet. A finance solution may also offer business insurance plans that increase the stability of a business. The most common types of business insurance are employee and public liability, car, property, and health insurance. These business finance solutions are designed to protect businesses against potential losses.

Functions of Business Finance

Strength and soundness of business depends on the availability of finance and competency with which it is used. The abundance of finance can do wonders and its scarcity can ruin even a well established business. Finance increases the strength and viability of business. It increases the resistance capacity of a business to face losses and economic depression. It is just like a lubricant, the more it is applied to the business, the quickly the business will move. Following headings explain the importance of finance to business:

(1) Initiating Business: Finance is the first and fore most requirement of every business. It is the starting point of every business, industrial project etc. Whether you start a sole proprietary concern, a partnership firm, a company or a charity institution, you need ample amount of finance. It is equally important for profit seeking and non-profit activities. It is equally important for a multinational organization and for a free dispensary.

(2) Purchase of Assets: Finance is needed to purchase all sorts of assets. Even if credit is available some down payment is to be made. Mostly finance is needed at the start of business for the purchase of fixed assets. These fixed assets consume a large amount of initial investment of the entrepreneur, so he may face liquidity difficulty in running day to day affairs of the business.

(3) Initial Losses: No business attains high profit on the first day of commencement. Some losses are normal before the business reaches its full capacity and generate enough revenue to match cost. Finance is necessary so that these initial losses can be sustained and business can be allowed to progress gradually.

(4) Professional Services: Certain business need services of specialized personnel. Such personnel have rich experience in specialized fields and they can provide useful guidance to make business profitable. Nevertheless these services are costly. Finance is always needed so that services of such professional consultants can be hired.

(5) Development: Business is always exposed to change. New innovations and emergence of new technologies replaces old techniques out of market. So in order to remain in the market, it is needed to keep the business well equipped with all emerging tools and techniques. This required finance. New technology is always expensive as it is better than others. So finance is needed to purchase new equipment and keep the business running.

(6) Information Technology: Information technology has now changed the geography of the business battle field. The home markets have now extended virtually to other comers of the world. The whole world can be your customer or competitor. To face such a fierce competition, IT is needed. Skills and competency in IT can perform miracles. But finance is again the decisive factor. It is very much needed to incorporate expensive IT products in the business.

(7) Media War: The advertisement and promotion have now become a vital elements for the success of business. The way a businessman approaches a customer and convinces him to purchase his product has become more important than the quality of product. With advertisement on International media, a businessman can reach the minds of millions of people around the globe. However, advertisement is a luxury which every business can’t afford. Huge finance is required to meet advertisement expenses.

(8) Resource Management: Finance is very essential for efficient resource management. Resources here include capital and human resources. Maintenance of plant and equipment and training of employees all need finance. Establishment of new industrial units, expansion of plant capacity, hiring of well learned skilful laborers – all
these factors can lead to huge revenue but at the first place they need finance to start with.

(9) Stock Investments: These investments are those which are made to hold ample stock of raw materials in hand. Bulk purchase of raw materials is profitable in a sense that purchase discount can be attained and there is no danger of production halts. So companies most often hold huge amount of stocks and raw materials. But such an investment can be made only if a company has sufficient capital or finance to carry out its daily operation easily besides holding huge stock.

(10) Combating Risks: Everything is exposed to one or more risks. A business is also exposed to variety of risks. These risks include natural hazards, burden of any huge liability, loss of market or brand name etc. Finance is needed to make business powerful, so that it can sustain occasional losses and liabilities.

The Primary Cause Of Business Financing Frustration

Finding proper business financing is not easy at the best of times for most small and medium sized business owners and managers.

There are a number of reasons that collectively explain why the business financing market can be so difficult to understand and navigate.

But probably the single biggest reason is the lack of useful information about how the business financing market actually works.

Business financing information and education sources predominantly come in two forms: 1) Text books; 2) Major bank advertising.

If you’ve ever read through a educational finance text book or taken a business financing course, you already know how difficult it can be to apply the theories, principles, and strategies to a small or medium sized business.

Our formal education system provides limited information as to how the market place works, how to plan for financing requirements, how to manage periods of growth, decline, transition, start up, etc.

Sure academic books and courses can go through all these areas in great detail, but is the information practical, real world, something you can relate to and apply yourself as a manager or owner of a small or medium sized business?

In most cases, the answer is a resounding NO.

Most finance text books speak to big business financing dynamics that are not easily transferable to small and medium sized business scenarios.

Outside of the formal education system, the next great source of business financing information is the information provided by the major banks, which they tend to make available to you by the boat load through their broad based marketing campaigns.

Unfortunately, the information by itself seldom helps you determine if a particular institution would be able to provide you with financing, or what would be required to qualify for a loan.

The good news is that business financing sources continue to grow in numbers as more and more lenders carve out a particular piece of the market to service.

In order to take advantage of these alternatives, you need to have a solid approach in place when seeking business financing.

Here’s a short list of things to consider

>>> Develop a solid, ongoing, understanding of both your personal and business assets, income, and cash flow.

Regardless of the business financing model, these elements will always come into play to some degree.

Being able to demonstrate a solid understanding of your business financials is also an indication of your ability to manage the underlying business.

>>> Monitor and manage your personal and business credit.

Small and medium sized business financing is focused on both personal and business credit histories.

Regular reviews of both personal and business credit reports from the major credit reporting agencies are important to avoid errors and credit practices that can severely damage your borrowing power.

>>> Develop your marketing position.

Yes, seeking business financing is a marketing exercise.

When applying for business financing, you’re marketing your business to lending sources and they in turn are marketing their business financing programs to you.

Think of the lender as a customer to better understand what they’re looking for. Then, develop a business proposal that addresses all their potential needs and concerns.

>>> Research Lending Sources

There are lots of business financing sources. But there is also lots of variation in the types of business applications each one is prepared to consider.

Broad based lenders rely on credit history and net worth. As you get more specific in terms of financing application and industry, lender programs become more narrow and can be harder to locate.

You need to consider things like industry, sector, and geography when looking for business financing sources.

Financing consultants and business loan brokers can be an excellent source of information to aid you in this process.

>>> Qualify The Lender

Before you make a formal application, find out if the lender has the programs and lending track record to meet your specific needs.

Too often, the lender is doing all the qualifying.

>>> Compare your options

Depending on the scenario, there can be several financing strategies that could work for your business.

Make sure you take the time to compare before making a decision. The extra time spent could save you considerable time and money in the long run.

>>> Start Today

Regardless of what your business financing needs are right now, you should regularly invest time staying on top of your business financials, monitoring your credit, and researching financing sources that fit your industry and potential future requirements.

When the time comes to acquire capital, your proactive efforts can make all the difference in getting the capital you need with terms and timing that are acceptable to your business.

Business Finance Funding Advice and Commercial Financing Help

The Working Capital Journal is one of several commercial financing resources which should be reviewed regularly by small business owners to assist in keeping up with the imposing difficulties posed by rapid changes in the business finance funding climate. As noted below, there have been some surprising actions taken by lenders as a direct result of recent financial uncertainties. The increasingly complex and confusing environment for working capital finance is likely to produce several unexpected challenges for commercial borrowers.

The working capital finance industry has primarily been operating on a regional and local basis for many years. In response to cost-cutting that has permeated many industries, there has been a consolidation that has resulted in fewer effective commercial lenders throughout the United States. Most business owners have been understandably confused about what this might mean for the future of their commercial financing efforts, especially because this has happened in a relatively short period of time.

Of course, for some time there have been ongoing complex problems for commercial borrowers to avoid when seeking commercial loans. But what has produced a new set of business finance funding problems is that we appear to be entering a period which will be characterized by even more uncertainties in the economy. Previous rules and standards for commercial financing and working capital finance are likely to increasingly change quickly, with little advance notice by business lenders.

Business owners should make an extended effort to understand what is happening and what to do about it due to this realization that substantial changes are likely throughout the United States in the near future for commercial finance funding. At the forefront of these efforts should be a review of what actions commercial lenders have already taken in recent months. The Working Capital Journal is one prominent example of a free public resource that will facilitate a better understanding of the responses by business lenders to recent economic circumstances.

By publicizing actions taken by commercial lenders, this will contribute to these two goals, both of which are likely to be helpful to typical business owners: (1) To highlight controversial bank-lender tactics with a view toward reducing or eliminating questionable lending practices. (2) To help business owners prepare for commercial finance funding changes. To assist in this effort, sources such as The Working Capital Journal are encouraging business owners to report and describe their own experiences so that they can be shared with a broader audience that might benefit from the information. Some of the most significant commercial financing changes reported so far by commercial borrowers involve working capital loans, commercial construction financing and credit card financing. A notable situation of concern is that predatory lending practices by credit card issuers have been reported by many business owners. Some specific businesses such as restaurants are having an especially difficult time in surviving recently because they have been excluded from obtaining any new business financing by many banks.

One of the few recent bright spots in business finance funding, as noted in The Working Capital Journal, has been the continuing ability of business owners to obtain working capital quickly by business cash advance programs. For most businesses accepting credit cards, this commercial financing approach should be actively considered. Business cash advances are literally saving the day for many small business owners because most banks appear to be doing a terrible job of providing commercial loans and other working capital finance help in the midst of recent financial and economic uncertainties. For example, as noted above, restaurants are virtually unable to currently obtain commercial finance funding from most banks. Fortunately, restaurants accepting credit cards are in a good position to obtain needed cash from credit card receivables financing and merchant cash advances.

Small Business Finance Success Improves With Realistic Options

The goal of being realistic when seeking new commercial loans and working capital financing will help commercial borrowers avoid a number of commercial finance problems. With proper preparation business owners should be in a better position to obtain new financing despite the difficult challenges impacting most working capital loans and small business financing. Nevertheless it should be anticipated that terms of financing will be different from prior commercial financing. Because of recent commercial lending difficulties, business owners actively assessing the most effective options for their small business finance decisions are likely to find the smoothest path to business loan success.

In view of volatile conditions which have recently impacted credit markets, this will not be a simple task. A very common example of the problem is illustrated by how much misinformation and confusion there has been about business financing and working capital availability. Getting more accurate information about what is realistically possible can be one of the most difficult challenges for commercial borrowers.

When seeking to identify realistic choices in a confusing working capital management climate, a number of harsh realities must be confronted by all small business owners. For most current commercial financing decisions by business owners, there are several major factors to anticipate. In the first example, additional small business loan collateral is being requested by most commercial lenders. Second, many regional and local banks have discontinued lending for business financing and working capital. In a third example, businesses which are not currently profitable or not current in their debt payments will have extensive difficulties. Fourth, business construction funding currently is very limited in most areas. In a fifth example, lenders are eliminating unsecured business lines of credit for most small business owners.

Despite the new business financing limitations just noted, there are practical working capital options for small business owners to consider. An increasingly effective commercial financing option in the midst of an uncertain economy is a merchant cash advance program based on credit card processing activity. Even though this commercial funding option has been available for a few years, it has not been used by most small businesses. For most businesses which accept credit cards, merchant cash advances should be evaluated as an important tool for improving business cash flow. Small business owners wanting to pursue this financing option should consult a business financing expert who is knowledgeable about this working capital management approach as well as other small business loans.

Even though working capital loans are not as widely available as they were just a few months ago, this kind of small business financing is still in fact obtainable. Since some of the largest providers have stopped making these business loans, the main change for business borrowers is the likelihood that they will be dealing with a different commercial lender. Small business owners will benefit from finding an experienced and candid business financing expert to assist in evaluating realistic options because the most effective working capital financing providers are not aggressively marketing this capability.

As stressed above, when making commercial financing decisions it is becoming increasingly important for business owners to first determine their effective business finance funding options. Because of recent volatility in financial markets, this task is likely to be much more difficult than most commercial borrowers realize. It is advisable to explore commercial finance options that might be necessary if economic conditions change even further even for business owners who are satisfied with their current working capital financing arrangements. The use of Plan B contingency financing is an important tool to assist commercial borrowers in this process.