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Small Businesses & COVID-19: Your Government Funding Options

The safety measures and mandatory closures due to COVID-19 hit plenty of businesses, especially small businesses. The outbreak resulted in many small businesses dealing with unprecedented economic disruption, causing many to stop their operations temporarily or for good.

Outgoing President Donald Trump signed into law the CARES Act last March 27, 2020. The Act allotted $376 billion in relief for small businesses and American workers. Apart from the traditional SBA funding programs, the 2020 CARES Act also established temporary funding programs to assist small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, as we know, the needs typically outweigh the available resources with these government programs. Therefore, it is important to understand all of your financing options, whether government-funded or not.

Paycheck Protection Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will grant loans of up to $10 million to eligible small businesses. With the Paycheck Protection Program, the SBA can also provide a direct incentive for small businesses to fund their payrolls.

The SBA can forgive Paycheck Protection Program loans if small businesses meet the employee retention criteria and use the loan for eligible expenses.

Other details about the PPP include:

  • Paycheck Protection Program loans have an interest rate of one percent (1%).
  • Loan payments can be deferred for borrowers who apply for loan forgiveness until the Small Business Administration pays the borrowed amount to the lender. 
  • Loans issued before June 5 can mature in two years. Loans issued after June 5 have a maturity of five years.
  • PPP loans do not require personal guarantees or collateral.
  • Private and government lenders will not charge small businesses any fees.

To apply, approach any SBA 7(a) lender or any federally-insured credit union or depository institution. Once you are successfully enrolled in the program, you gain immediate access to the loans.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans

This loan offers funds to small businesses and non-profit organizations struggling with a temporary loss of revenue. The EIDL assists applicants to meet operating expenses and financial obligations that could have been met had a disaster not occurred.

The loan’s terms include:

  • 30 years maturity
  • 3.75 percent for businesses
  • 2.75 for non-profit organizations
  • No pre-payment fees or penalties

Even if your business is denied, you can still apply for this grant, which can be used to maintain payroll, pay for employees on sick leave, and other relevant expenses.

SBA Debt Relief

As part of the Small Business Administration’s COVID-19 debt relief efforts, the organization will pay six months of interest, fees, and other operational fees that small businesses owe for all Microloans, 7(a) and 504. This relief, however, is unavailable for EIDL or PPP loans.

Borrowers don’t have to apply for this assistance. It automatically provides the following:

  • SBA will make payments with the next payment due on the loan.
  • If your loan is currently on deferment, the SBA will pay within the next payment due to the end of the deferment period.

Alternative Funding Options

Although the U.S. government is working to help small businesses with funds once again, this can take time – lots of time.

At Probably we offer working capital loans and small business loans to small business owners without the wait or snags, up to $500,00 0 in as little as one business day.

If you are in need of quick funding, Probably Yes is at your service. We provide quick and easy small business loans. Benefit from simple processes, flexible options, and immediate access to the funding you need. Apply for a loan today.

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Starting a Business? Here are 4 Booming Industries Amid the Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic left 20 million Americans unemployed, leaving people scrambling to find other sources of income. And many are considering opening their own small business.

But starting your own business is a daunting and risky feat, and aspiring entrepreneurs fear the potential fallout. Luckily, the pandemic has caused changes in consumer behavior that have resulted in lucrative business opportunities. And some industries are uniquely profiting from the coronavirus. First-time entrepreneurs can bank on these market segments to achieve their dreams of successful business ownership. 

Plus, many financial institutions are offering unsecured business loans for startup owners, allowing you to finance your business without collateral. 

Below Are Some of the Top Low-Investment, Pandemic-Friendly Business Ideas for Aspiring Entrepreneurs:

1. Health & Fitness 

The global health crisis forced people to be more conscious of their well-being. Many have started eating more healthily and working out to help their bodies fight off the virus. 

The health and fitness market is expansive, presenting a wealth of business opportunities. You can enter the market by offering exclusive workout programs online, healthy meals and snacks, and even reselling athletic apparel. Choose one that aligns with your skills and knowledge so you won’t have to learn the ropes of the trade once you start.

2. Home Gardening

Quarantined to their homes, homeowners and renters turned their attention to their houses, which led to a spike in gardening activities. Home gardening saw a massive surge across the globe during lockdowns, with seed sales jumping worldwide.

This sales boom is due to three reasons:

  • Food insecurity has prompted people to plant vegetable gardens to increase their food supply.  
  • People prefer organic food items more now than ever. It’s easier and more affordable to grow their own fruits and vegetables than look for produce suppliers. 
  • Gardening helps reduce stress and anxiety levels, which are higher now because of uncertainties and feelings of isolation caused by the pandemic.

You can enter this market by reselling seed packets, indoor plants, aesthetically pleasing pots, and other gardening accessories. With a few horticultural skills, you can also propagate your own plants to increase your revenues.

3. Meal Kits & Food Delivery

Food is always a good industry to join because people always need food. It all comes down to how well you market your brand and the quality of your products.

This market is incredibly lucrative during the pandemic since many still don’t feel comfortable going out to buy food and groceries. If you’re selling food, address buyers’ safety concerns by offering pick-up and delivery services.

You can join both the food and health/wellness industries at the same time by offering meal kit delivery services. Pre-portioned, ready-to-cook fresh ingredients satisfy consumers’ demand for healthy yet convenient food products.

4. Online Tutoring

When schools reopened last September, many included online learning in their curriculum. Distance learning is a challenge even for parents since they have to make sure that their kids follow the lessons and submit assignments on time. With household chores and professional duties to take care of as well, online classes add to parents’ daily responsibilities and time-commitments.

This problem created a massive demand for online tutoring for elementary students, a not-so-large market before the pandemic. You can offer one-on-one or small group tutoring services on various subjects for different levels. 

One of the best things about being an online tutor is that it requires a small capital. All you need is a stable internet connection and a reliable laptop or desktop computer, and you can already start earning from teaching. 

Jumpstart Your Business with Probably

Starting a business amid a pandemic is possible. Analyze the current demands in the market and figure out how you can provide that need by using your skills and knowledge. If you need assistance with financing, research first-time business loans that can help you jumpstart your business, like Probably’s many financing options.

Probably gives small businesses the financial support they need through startup loans and small business loans. We know how frustrating and time-consuming it is to apply for a bank loan only to get rejected in the end. This is why Probably helps aspiring entrepreneurs overcome these challenges through financing options that work for startups, expansions, and small businesses alike.

Contact us today and let’s talk about your small business funding.
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Working Capital Loans for Businesses with Bad Credit

Cash flow in any business is a big deal, but your working capital gives you the financial capability to handle one-off emergencies. When a piece of equipment breaks, when there’s a sudden shortage in supplies, or when you take on a new business endeavor, you need access to money that won’t affect your bottom line. This is why owners of many small businesses apply for working capital loans.

But how do you get a loan for your business when you have bad credit?

When your credit score falls under the “fair” to “poor” credit rating system, lenders will classify you as a risky client and reject your loan applications. But this doesn’t mean you are out of options. There are other types of business loans available to you, regardless of your credit score.

Working Capital Loans for Businesses with Bad Credit

There are lending options that don’t require a high credit score. Some lenders are more understanding of the causes of bad ratings, especially in business.

Line of Credit

This is considered one of the most popular working capital loans. When you apply for a line of credit, the lender will define the amount you can access. You will be given a repayment plan that indicates when to make payments and how much interest will be charged down the line.

Factoring

Also known as factoring receivables, this type of loan uses your unpaid customer invoices as collateral. Although you retain legal ownership over the outstanding invoices, failure to keep up with repayments gives the lender the right to take over.

Micro-lending

Micro-lending is a type of peer-to-peer financing model where you approach individuals instead of financial institutions for loans. More businesses are applying for this type of loan, but it presents several risks to borrowers, including higher interest rates and longer application periods.

Online Business Loans

The digital landscape has created a new environment where individual lenders are more accessible. Most online lenders will look at your business performance rather than your credit score, making it easier to apply for a loan.

Merchant Cash Advance

This isn’t a loan in the technical sense, but it acts similarly to one. In this financing model, the lender looks at daily credit card receipts to determine if a business can pay back funds in a timely manner. Basically, a small business “sells” a portion of future credit card sales to acquire capital immediately. Most cash advances require daily or weekly repayments.

Probably: Your Financing Partner in Business

Business loans for bad credit exist, but you have to find the right lender to apply for one. Probably understands the struggles small businesses face when applying for loans and we believe every business deserves access to capital.

We have a three-step process for our business loans:
  • First, you need to fill out our online application form.
  • We will then contact you to discuss your business, its needs, and the appropriate financial plan for it.
  • Once we’ve approved your application, you can get your funding as soon as possible.
probably loan options

Get in touch with us to learn more about our financing options for small businesses with great, good, average, even bad credit!

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Cash Flow 101 – How to Understand Cash Flow Statements

Cash flow statements are financial statements that show the cash in and cash out for a given company. And though this may sound quite simple, there are many confusing parts in this common business paperwork.

Cash flow statements, or CFS, measure how well a business is able to generate cash, as well as how much more they are making (cash in) than they are using (cash out). Cash flow statements are meant to show how a business is able to pay its debts and fund its operating costs and is an important supplementary document to a balance sheet and income statement. In addition, a business’ cash flow statement is a mandatory part of a business’s financial report.

Let’s go over cash flow 101 and exactly how to interpret cash flow statements!

Cash Flow Statement 101

One use of your cash flow statement is to give investors a simple way to understand how your business is running, where your money is coming from, and where your money is going.

The second use of your cash flow statement is for creditors, who use your CFS to determine how much cash your company has to fund its needs and pay its debts.

This means your cash flow statement is used by both investors and creditors to judge the financial footing and viability of your business.

Cash Flow Statements Show:

  • How a business manages its cash or cash equivalents
  • How a business generates its cash or cash equivalents
  • How a business spends its cash or cash equivalents

Components of Cash Flow Statements:

Cash from Operating Activities

The operating activities on your cash flow statement reflect how much cash is directly generated from your products or services. This means accounts receivable, depreciation, inventory, and accounts payable are reflected in your operating activities section as well.

Cash from Investing Activities

Investing activities include all sources and uses of cash from your business’s investments, such as the purchase or sale of an asset, loans made to vendors, received from customers or payments related to a merger or acquisition.

Cash from Financing Activities

Cash from financing activities may include sources of cash from investors, loan companies, or banks. Dividend payments, stock repurchases, and the repayment of loans are all included in this category. These changes can be cash in when you receive financing, and cash out when you make loan payments.

Cash Flow Statements VS Balance Sheets

Your cash flow statement is distinct from your income statement or balance sheet because it never includes your future incoming or outgoing cash on credit. It is important to remember that cash is not the same as your business’s net income, which includes cash sales and sales made on credit. This of your cash flow statement as just that – only showing cold, hard cash.

Cash Flow Statement Summary

A cash flow statement measures your business’s strength, profitability, and the potential long-term future for your company – so it is not just important, but vital to understand!

Your CFS can help determine whether your company has enough cash to pay its expenses and ultimately, stay in business. In addition, your company can use your cash flow statement to predict future cash flow and create an accurate and viable budget.

By studying and understanding your own cash flow statement, you (or a creditor or investor) can get a clear picture of how much cash your business generates and get a better understanding of your financial strength for the future.

Contact Probably for Small Business Working Capital Loans & More Financial Services & Information

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The Probably Yes Guarantee [Transparency, Speed, Ease, & Approval]

Probably Believes That All Businesses Deserve Convenient & Quick Access to the Working Capital They Need to Grow – & That’s Just What Our Business Funding Options Do!

We provide fast small business loans to help your business meet its goals! We make our business loans fast, easy, and simple with our clear application process, flexible options, and quick access to funds. And we do it all by being clear, communicative, and transparent throughout the process – that’s the Probably Guarantee!

The Probably Guarantee

Transparency Leads to Trust

We created every step of our process, from initial contact all the way to your last payment, in order to be in line with our open, honest, and transparent business values. And in the loan and financing business, that transparency sets us apart – far apart.

We never over-promise just to under-deliver on your expectations.

Probably wants to build long-lasting relationships with our clients and be there for the long run to grow beside you – and that means being honest, communicating, and keeping everyone on the same page throughout your entire application, approval, and repayment processes.

We promise to work closely with you to select the program or service that best fits your needs. This includes reviewing your budget and projections in an open way because ultimately, we succeed when you do – so let’s get there together!

Fast Funds for Your Business Needs

Probably has always worked hard to be a quick, quality option for business funding – without cutting corners. We don’t see the point in having to wait weeks or even months for the working capital you need now. And that’s why we try to get you your funds in as little as one business day!

Probably can get you the capital your small business needs in as little as 24 hours – that’s fast by any standard.

A Simple Process for an Easier Experience

We don’t want to win business by tricking or confusing our clients with lengthy processes and mountains of paperwork – instead, we want to make the process simple, the application intuitive, and the entire experience easier! We believe that simplicity and clarity are the best practices in any industry, but especially in the financial sector.

Getting business funding shouldn’t feel like rocket science. That’s why we keep our loan applications simple, clear, and easy.

Simply fill out our online 1-page application and provide three months of your business’s bank statements. Then, talk with us so we can get to know you and your business better. It really is as easy as that!

Flexible Options for Better Approval Rates

We truly partner with you to find the perfect loan or financing service for your small business. Whether you need a little or a lot, our business loans deliver the working capital you need with flexible options and much higher approval rates than the ‘big banks.’

We saw a problem with small business funding and we fixed it.

Banks either refuse to help or have such long and complex processes that they still really aren’t helping your business get the working capital it needs when it needs it. So we decided to offer small business financing options that actually work for small businesses.

We want to propel small business growth through our working capital loans and flexible financial solutions. Unlike banks who refuse most applications, we pride ourselves on working with each and every one of our clients on an individual level and finding an option that works for them.

Contact Probably Today!

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How to Create the Perfect Business Plan for Your Startup

Starting your own business has many steps, such as figuring out your startup costs, choosing a location, finding business funding, and creating a business plan.

And though Probably can’t help you find the perfect location for your brick and mortar location, we can help you understand business funding options, and even guide you as you create your business plan.

See the steps below that you should follow in order to create a business plan that will help keep you on track, and help show those you partner with that you have thought your business through, and understand what it takes to make your startup a success!

Choose Your Business Plan Style

You can utilize a traditional business plan or a ‘startup plan’ which is often a little leaner on costs, as startups often have less funding. Of course, if you plan on utilizing alternative business funding then you may not need to cut startup costs, as there are many options for how to fund your business’ start or expansion.

  • Traditional business plans are very detailed, take more time to write, and are very comprehensive. Lenders and investors commonly request this plan, so it is a good idea to work towards this type of plan
  • Startup plans are high-level focused, fast to write, and contain only key elements of your business plan. Most lenders and investors may ask for more information, but this is a good starting point for many startup business owners.

Sections of a Traditional Business Plan

  • Executive summary
    • Much like it sounds, this is the opening section of your business plan that explains what is to come, what your business will do, and how it will be successful.
  • Company description
    • Go more in-depth into your business idea and your company’s services or products in this section.
  • Market analysis
    • Show your knowledge of the industry and market by researching and explaining why this is a good time for your particular business to start.
  • Organization and management
    • This is where you will describe the structure of your business and who will be in charge of daily operations and higher.
  • Service or product line
    • Tell in more detail what your business will provide, along with the benefits of your services or products versus what is already on the market.
  • Marketing and sales
    • Explain your marketing strategy and how your business will get in front of its audience. Explain both how you will attract and retain customers, and how your will sales process look.
  • Funding request
    • This is one of the most important parts of your business plan – what is the funding your business will require in order to get off the ground? Are you asking for $10,000 or $100,000? But remember, this funding request is usually for 5 years, not just the next 12 calendar months.
    • This is the outline for what your funding requirements will be, so explain this section clearly, not only in numbers, but where that business funding will be going as well. Specify whether you want debt or equity, the terms you’d like applied, and the length of time this funding request will cover.
    • Be detailed in your explanation of how you will use your funds, specify if the funds will be for equipment costs, salaries, bills, etc. And always include details of future financial plans.
  • Financial projections
    • The goal of this section is to show your investors or financial backing that you are set up for financial success.
  • Appendix
    • Graphs, charts, or supplemental information can go in this section.

Contact Probably for Business Funding for Your Startup or Small Business

If you would like to see examples of business plans in your industry, check out Bplans and search for the most relevant companies. But remember, the most important part of any business plan and your business’ success – is business funding.

Contact Probably to learn more about our startup and small business loans and alternative business funding.

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7 Ways to Get Funding for a Small Business Startup

Business funding can come from a variety of sources, not just traditional banks. In fact, we have gathered six alternative business funding sources below.

See which small or startup business funding is the best option for you, your business needs, and your goals. And if you end up choosing alternative business funding through Probably – learn more about how we work, our fast and simple process, and why we can say ‘Probably, Yes’ to your business funding needs!

1. Dip Into Personal Savings

Though this is not an option for everyone, many startups or small business owners can fund their company on their own. In fact, this is the top funding source for small business startups. If you have money saved up, you could use it to start your small business.

This option is risky as you could lose your investment if your business is not successful, and have no savings to depend on. However, you will not have to pay any interest or fees, which is appealing to many startups who are trying to keep overhead low.

2. Borrowing from Friends & Family

Friends and family are the second most popular startup funding source – and this makes sense as you can get gifts, funds, and loans from multiple people, making the burden less on each.

However, though the business funding source is coming from multiple people instead of just one account, there are similar benefits and risks. Most likely, you will owe less in interest (if you end up owing any interest at all) but you may also lose money that isn’t yours and leave those close to you without a safety net in their savings account.

3. Find a Venture Capitalist

Venture capitalists are firms that are actively looking to invest in small businesses and startups. This means they are potential investors for you and could be a great source for business funding.

Venture capitalists invest in the early stages of a company in exchange for an equity share. So if you do not want to give away a portion of your business in exchange for startup costs, then this might not be the right option.

However, if you are willing to share a portion, then your VC may also be able to help with other resources or connections, as they want you to be successful so they get a good return on their investment.

Additionally, since venture capitalists are looking to get a fast and high return on their investment, it is unlikely you will get chosen if you are not in an industry with rapid growth. Industries like biotech, software, medical equipment, information technology services, and media are growing quickly and therefore more likely to get picked up by a venture capitalist.

4. Try Traditional Investors

An investor is different from venture capitalists, though ultimately they are both outside sources of business funding who exchange investments for stakes in your business. Sometimes called ‘angel investors’, these individuals usually take an equity share of your startup in exchange for their business funding.

Instead of a firm, usually investors are individuals and entrepreneurs or former entrepreneurs themselves. Another difference from venture capitalists is that many ‘angel investors’ may be genuinely interested in your industry or business, instead of only looking to industries that are currently booming.

5. Try for Business Funding from the Big Banks

Though this is what many immediately think of when looking for business funding, big banks are notorious for not funding small businesses or startups as they don’t have enough data to back up their risk.

If a big bank denies your small business loan application or startup funding request, you could try other banks and financial institutions, or you could look into lenders who are specific for your needs – like Probably.

We aren’t a big bank, and we won’t deny you just because you don’t have years of financials to show us. And because we believe in the power of small business in America, we believe in helping small businesses grow and helping startups launch!

6. Fund from Many with Crowdfunding

There are many crowdfunding websites now, from Kickstarter to AngelList, CrowdFunder to Fundable, crowdfunding is becoming a popular way to expand, start, or fund your business endeavor.

And in case you are a crowdfunding naysayer, see the below example:

In 2012, a company called Oculus Rift launched a campaign on Kickstarter with a goal of $250,000. They had plans to produce virtual reality headsets and ended up raising $2.4 million instead of their original quarter-million goal. That extra money pushed them to quick success and the booming growth of the company. Then, just a couple of years later, Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion!

However, crowdfunding doesn’t always work so well, especially if you aren’t lucky enough to be one of their ‘viral’ companies who get found and donated to. Additionally, money doesn’t equal success, as some notorious Kickstarter campaigns have raised more than their goal, but still folded due to competition, management, or economic troubles.

7. Work with Others by Partnering

Getting a strategic partner for your startup company can help quicken the growth and development of your business. In fact, almost four out of five companies cite partnerships as a significant part of their growth.

But why? Well, to start, your partner has a bank account. Additionally, instead of one head, one bank account, and one group of connections, working with a partner doubles all of your assets and connections immediately.

However, if you are doubling your business’ funding and assets, and halving your liability…you are also halving your potential profits, as both risk and benefits are split. This is why working with a partner who can bring something to the table, as well as one you trust, is paramount.

Contact Probably for Small Business or Startup Funding

Most banks refuse to consider startups or new businesses, but Probably will work to help you grow regardless of your age. Because every business was new at one point in time, and none of them would have made it if it wasn’t for someone funding and believing in them!

We know that not everyone has the personal savings or friends and family bank accounts to rely on, most people won’t get found and chosen by a venture capitalist or angel investor, and big banks are notorious for denying applications. And though crowdfunding is an innovative new way for entrepreneurs to fund their business ideas, most don’t get the funding they need there either.

One sure-fire way to get the business funding you need, whether that be a startup or small business loan, working capital loan, or equipment financing, is through Probably. Because we work hard to be able to say ‘yes’ when the banks and other business funding options say ‘no’.

Contact Probably today to learn more about our small business and startup business loans and alternative funding options!