Pleasing the Bank

We need to get a loan to tide us over as we start to ramp up to our busy season. All the banks have been calling us saying they want our business, and so far we’ve talked to a couple. When we get into the details, we find they are hard to please. While the local reps say they want our business, the higher-ups don’t seem so eager. One bank said they didn’t want our business, another said they needed more information. Is it worth it going through the process? If we don’t get a loan it could be really tough managing cash until all our clients pay up.

THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Understand what the bank wants. Be prepared to fill out a lot of forms. Ask for a realistic loan amount and repayment terms. Back up what you say with a business plan.

You need to have business experience. If you’re a startup with less than two years of history, getting any bank loan will be close to impossible. You’ll probably do better getting a personal loan and personally lending money to the company until there’s some history to show.

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Building Bench Strength

We need to build depth in people who can handle critical responsibilities. If one or two of our key players were out for an extended time, we’d be in big trouble. But I’m not sure who to move up, or when. How do I do this?

Thoughts of the Day: Find out what departments are backed up. Build certification courses. Hire for capable and potential. Get organized for growth.

Building bench strength – what does that even mean? Think about a company that can expand easily by 30%, 50%, 100% or more, confident that the workload will be handled correctly and profitably. Who would need to step up? And who would back them up? That’s bench strength.

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Teaching People to Reach for More

As a leader, I know I’ve made a big mistake, more than once. By taking things away when people couldn’t get everything done, I’ve taught them to throw their hands up and throw in the towel. How do I teach people to stick with it and climb up that big hill, overcoming more challenges than they think they can, without having them get lost, and without jeopardizing the business’ progress? Appreciate the help!

Thoughts of the Day:   Manage your expectations into the realm of reality. Be willing to let people fail. Listen carefully to what’s going on. Build an expandable toolkit. Put the customer front and center.

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Visibility on Social Media

Know that being visible on social media is important. We need to have better consistency with our posting to social media. Unfortunately, we find that allocating time to social media gets lost in the rush of everything else we have to get done. Also, coming up with a theme is time consuming and hard to come up with. Any ideas of what we can do?

Thoughts of the Day:  Make social media someone’s job, and make sure that person buys in to the importance of it. Identify the platforms your audience is on. Make a content calendar. Put technology in place to help manage social media. Create a mix of what you sell and who you are / what the company stands for.

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