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We know that there can be a lot of questions about Alternative Financing and which direction you should go. To make sure that you have all the information that you need to set your business on the right path, we created our Insider’s Guide to Business Funding.

Here’s an excerpt to get you started (or download the whole guide here):

Doug Wiens, owner of Orange Coast Winery in Newport Beach, California, lives and breathes wine. He’s been in the wine business since the 1990’s. Doug and his wife Debbie had a dream of opening their own place where they could do things their own way.

In 2011, they opened Orange Coast Winery, an urban micro-winery where they see their vintages through every step of the wine making process from crushing the grapes to blending, aging, and then serving in their Newport Beach tasting room.

After three years in business, Orange Coast Winery was doing well. They had built a strong membership base, felt confident in the wine they were making, and found their niche in a crowded marketplace – a tasting room that served wine from “dirt to glass.”

Doug and Debbie realized that to take their business to the next level, they would need to invest money in upgrading their tasting room and kitchen to focus on getting customers in the door, and to purchase materials for producing and bottling more wine.

They had big plans. The only thing missing was the cash needed to get things off the ground.

When the Wienses looked into a bank loan, their hearts sank. The bank wanted collateral, and they simply didn’t have it. Their proven track record as business owners wasn’t enough. Their above-average credit scores weren’t enough.

Even if they could pull together all the necessary paperwork the bank required, they felt they were still facing rejection. Frustrated but determined, they started looking into additional options like Alternative Financing. Although Alternative Financing sounded like a good option, Doug and Debbie started to see that not all Alternative Finance companies offer the same level of service and trustworthiness.

The more they researched, the more they understood what they should be looking for when comparing their options.

What to Look For:

1. Competitive Pricing
Credible Finance Companies will not lend businesses more money than they can afford and will use a risk-based approach to ensure businesses have access to funds at a fair price.

2. Real People Providing Ongoing Customer Service
If something is not clear and you have questions, look for financing companies that have experts dedicated to getting you the answers you need.

3. Simple Application Process
You can apply for financing online or speak with an expert directly to determine the best funding options for your business.

4. Access to Customer Support
After funding, it should be easy to connect with your financing company to access your account information and get answers to your questions by contacting customer service, or accessing an online portal and/or mobile app.

5. Reputation
Look for consistent positive customer reviews, a high rating from the Better Business Bureau, and industry awards and recognition.

6. Easily Accessible Company & Contact Information
Look for a company with an easy-to-find phone number and a visible About Us section on their website with profiles of employees, company news, and frequently asked questions.

What To Avoid:

7. Commission-Driven Brokers
Brokers often work on commission, which means they are motivated to sell small business owners the most expensive financing possible.

8. Triple-Digit Interest Rates
Some finance companies charge up to triple-digit interest rates to business owners who have not done thorough research and have an immediate need for funding.

Want to know what else the Wienes learned about Alternative Financing?
Get your FREE copy of the Insider’s Guide To Business Funding. You’ll learn how to navigate through the confusing landscape of lenders, funders, and brokers so that when you need funding for your small business, you’ll have the information to make a smart business funding decision. Download your free guide now.

Our mission at Swift Capital is to unleash the potential of every small business by providing them with fair and convenient access to working capital. We harness data and technology alongside personalized human expertise to see the true potential in every business. Did you like this post? Tell us what you’d like to see on our blog. Email us at newsletter@swiftcapital.com or tell us here.

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