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    6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 8, 2009 1:24 PM by KBrouse

    Looking for a very small business loan

    KBrouse Newbie
      Hi everyone!

      I have been operating a small reptile and invertabrate supply business from home for a couple years now and now have the opportunity to get into an actual storefront. I need to hash out my business plan and apply for a small business loan.

      The storefront will be ready on February 1st. Any recommendations on how to get the business plan together and where to look for financing?

      Thanks,
      K
        • Re: Looking for a very small business loan
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Looking for a very small business loan, Welcome

          I am a SCORE Counselor and both SCORE and I can help you "hash out" your business plan.

          SCORE is FREE both in person and online.

          Once you have the plan and send me a copy, we then talk about financing.

          Good luck, LUCKIEST
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Looking for a very small business loan
            moneyresource Newbie
            I may be able to help. There are alternative ways to actually access money that do not require jumping thru as many hoops as a true business loan. How would you rate your credit?

            moneyresources@hotmail.com
            • Re: Looking for a very small business loan
              Bridge Navigator
              Before you incur the added expense of monthly rent, tell us more about your business.

              Do you ship supplies nationally or is it a local business?

              Do you sell through the web?

              How do you currently advertise?

              Will having a storefront increase your sales, if so, do you have an estimate of how much? Make sure the incremental profit will cover the additional expenses (rent, utilities, phone, etc.).

              How would your business model change if you moved to a store front?

              Could the additional expenses be used in some other manner (advertising) that would increase incremental profits more than moving into a storefront?

              If you financial situation requires you to get a loan just to enter a lease, you might want to review your overall business plan and make sure that it will be viable.

              Best of Luck,
              Greg
              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: Looking for a very small business loan
                  KBrouse Newbie

                  A bit on where I've come from:
                  I've been raising reptiles and invertebrates for many years now and have always had a hard time finding proper supplies and food for my animals. A couple years ago, I was talking to other herp owners and discovered we all seem to have this in common. So I decided to do something about it.
                  I currently carry a basic line of supplies as well as insect and rodent feeders. I'm registered with local law enforcement and Animal Control to be able to take in rescued and surrendered reptiles that would otherwise be euthanised. I also raise and breed my own animals, focusing more on quality, personality and over-all good health rather than high dollar "designer" morphs.
                  I still work a full time "real job" and make $1000 a month (give or take) from selling reptile and invert supplies as pretty much, a hobby.

                  Why I want to pursue this as a business:
                  My current "real job" is driving for a body removal company. I do removals for funeral homes and our district's Medical Examiner's Office. I've been doing this for four years now and have had slipped discs, broken bones, and strained muscles, not to mention the thousands of memories that I'd just assume not have. I'm on-call 24 hours a day, five days a week. I have to make a change. This job is literally killing me.

                  Do you ship supplies nationally or is it a local business?
                  I do have a solid customer base locally, but I also ship animals and supplies nationally.

                  Do you sell through the web?
                  I just created the first page of my website. Its just the front page, no links yet, but the feedback I'm getting from my customers have been positive. Should you want to take a look and tell me what you think, heres the link.
                  http://mayantraders.homestead.com/
                  The sitebuilder is pretty easy, so I'll be purchasing a domain name and having it upgraded soon.

                  How do you currently advertise?
                  Currently, its all been word of mouth.

                  Will having a storefront increase your sales, if so, do you have an estimate of how much? Make sure the incremental profit will cover the additional expenses (rent, utilities, phone, etc.).
                  There is no direct competition locally so this is a large untapped market in this area. I predict a storefront will increase my sales by atleast 300% easily.

                  How would your business model change if you moved to a store front?
                  That is one of the issues I'm trying to muttle through right now. Hence my need for a solid business plan. Everything up to now has just been a "natural progression" I guess you could say?

                  Could the additional expenses be used in some other manner (advertising) that would increase incremental profits more than moving into a storefront?
                  I think the website will be a huge asset in increasing sales. I also want to be able to hit local Reptile Expos (we have ALOT of large ones in FL) which would be like hitting pay dirt for advertising and networking, but my job right now doesn't allow me the time to do this.
                  I think at this point, the storefront would be an added bonus because for one, all the product and breeding projects I have at home wouldn't be here and I wouldn't be living in a 1200 square foot pet store. And second it would be more convenient for my clients and potential clients.

                  If you financial situation requires you to get a loan just to enter a lease, you might want to review your overall business plan and make sure that it will be viable.
                  I know I can handle the lease. Its the initial set up (carpet, cabinets, shelving, cash register, rack systems, initial inventory, etc) that has to be done the first month along with the deposit and first month's rent I'm having the tough time with.