CDFIs are all certified by the U.S.A Treasury. These are now a recognized segment in the business finance market, they specialize in providing loans to underserved areas of the community and/or impoverished populations.
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CDFIs sometimes keep a sharp focus on improving the economic opportunities in struggling communities. They are also keen on giving support to women and minority group entrepreneurs. WBCs and CDFIs are area a particularly useful help source for start-up companies, businesses struggling with a poor credit rating, and business owners who need fairly small loans. In general their maximum loan amount would be in the region of $100,000. In addition, these institutions can often provide advice and expertise to you as a business owner.
5. Networking is important! Do it like never before. It really is a most effective ways to market a business and build profitable opportunities. Successful networking means actively forming and nurturing relationships with people. That means businesses and community leaders, and other individuals who represent potential prospects for your company.
We're not just talking about garnering prospective customers here; remember it is important to cultivate connections in all areas:
- Connections as vendors
- Connections as possible partnerships
- Connections as investors
Keep in mind that the networking game isn't the same as the sales game! Instead of having the single and relatively simple aim of selling a product, the mission with networking is that of informing other businesspersons and influential people you're your business exists. It gives you the chance to highlight to them what you do, in turn, if you forge good connections, your contacts will recommend you.
Networking needs to be a main part of the self-employed lifestyle. It should knit intrinsically into all your activities. Bear in mind that you are effectively networking each time you:
- attend a gathering hosted by a local business by a local trade association
- meet another known business owner or community leader
- send out an email introducing some of your contacts to one another
- pen a letter to the press, chat in an online discussion forum
- or lunch with a local business owner
6. Always be sure to build good relations with your contacts prior to needing their help. For instance, let's us suppose that you really need the backing of your local government representative. You'll stand yourself in better stead to ask for their help if you are already known to them and have a good connection. If you appear out of nowhere asking for help you are unlikely to get it as that sort of behavior can make you look like the sort of person who only appears when they want something. In truth you do want something, but business etiquette dictates that there are ways and means to go about this.
To close, let's leave the emphasis on networking. It's probably the least painful aspect of running a business and it should become organic. How bad can it be, meeting people, socializing, chatting online, and lunching? C'mon girls, it's almost a perk!