June 18, 2012Whether you're trying to grow your current business or have plans to start one, finding the cash needed can be overwhelming. There are many options to consider from traditional bank loans to “crowd funding.” To help you narrow down the choices, there are a few good online tools to consider: Intuit’s Loan Finder: Intuit, developer of the popular QuickBooks software, offers a free tool to identify funding options and loan experts to help you through the process. If you're not sure about what funding options are out there or how to prepare an application, consider this tool. Intuit will shop around your online loan application to hundreds of lenders—from banks to credit unions and micro-lenders to more alternative lending options. Multifunding’s Banking Grades: Multifunding offers a free online tool that grades banks based on their small business lending. The tool calculates the percentage of a bank’s deposits that are going to small businesses. So, if you're set on applying for a traditional bank loan, this tool can help you identify a bank that has a track record of lending to SMB’s. SoMoLend: This web-based service matches entrepreneurs with investors in the same geographic area. SoMoLend targets small upstart companies with up to 15 employees that are seeking loans between $100 to $1M. Investors on SoMoLend run the gamut from banks to individuals. What differentiates these investors is that they are focused on lending to businesses in their own communities. So, if you need a little help with finding the right funding option for your existing or start-up business, one of the above tools might be useful to you.
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If you’re starting a second business, then you know everything that’s involved with a business launch. However, there are a few business basics that every entrepreneur should revisit before diving into another enterprise. Consider these business basics and then put them into a well-thought-out business plan:
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