Best Small Business Insurance Info: How to Find and Choose the Best Insurance Solution for You

Are you a small business owner? No matter what kind of company you run, you’ll need general liability insurance and maybe some additional coverage depending on the industry you’re involved in. How do you know how and where to apply for the best small business insurance policy?

Read reviews on various insurance companies by other businesses in your industry to learn which ones offer quality solutions. Consider whether or not you want an insurance representative or broker to help you find the right coverages. If you decide to work with a specialist, ask what kind of information he or she will need in order to determine your specific needs. Have all of the documents and information prepared. Small business owners typically need to provide details such as physical location, number of employees (if any), total payroll size, business assets, gross annual sales (if there are any to report), and so forth.

Even if you decide to apply for insurance on your own without the help of a broker, you’ll still need to have this information ready.

Best Small Business Insurance as an Investment

Think of commercial insurance as an investment. It will cost money, but it will protect your business from unexpected expenses such as lawsuits and worker’s compensation. The best small business insurance will also protect you from industry-specific problems. For instance, if you are involved in web design, you don’t want to risk financial losses associated with technological glitches, miscommunication, etc. If you are a small beauty salon owner or barber, you don’t want to risk equipment malfunctioning, allergic reactions to certain chemicals, or someone tripping and falling on your property.

No business, no matter how small, is 100% immune to possible lawsuits. People will sue over literally everything these days, and only the best small business insurance will protect your assets. If you want to stay in business for a long time, and hope for the ability to expand it someday, then you should be prepared to handle any kind of accident. It will be very difficult to survive if you suddenly owe a lot of money in compensation, or find yourself dealing with damage caused to your place of business due to extreme weather. The only real solution is to have good insurance from a reliable company that has a lot of positive reviews.

So, where can you get the best small business insurance online? Check with Hiscox Inc. to see what they have to offer for business owners in your industry. You can either get a quote through the website or call and speak to a licensed agent.

Small Business Start Up Financing

The number one question I get asked as a small business start-up coach is: Where do I get start-up cash?

I’m always glad when my clients ask me this question. If they are asking this question, it is a sure sign that they are serious about taking financial responsibility for start it.

Not All Money Is the Same

There are two types of start-up financing: debt and equity. Consider what type is right for you.

Debt Financing is the use of borrowed money to finance a business. Any money you borrow is considered debt financing.

Sources of debt financing loans are many and varied: banks, savings and loans, credit unions, commercial finance companies, and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are the most common. Loans from family and friends are also considered debt financing, even when there is no interest attached.

Debt financing loans are relatively small and short in term and are awarded based on your guarantee of repayment from your personal assets and equity. Debt financing is often the financial strategy of choice for the start-up stage of businesses.

Equity financing is any form of financing that is based on the equity of your business. In this type of financing, the financial institution provides money in return for a share of your business’s profits. This essentially means that you will be selling a portion of your company in order to receive funds.

Venture capitalist firms, business angels, and other professional equity funding firms are the standard sources for equity financing. Handled correctly, loans from friends and family could be considered a source of non-professional equity funding.

Equity financing involves stock options, and is usually a larger, longer-term investment than debt financing. Because of this, equity financing is more often considered in the growth stage of businesses.

7 Main Sources of Funding for Small Business Start-ups

1. You

Investors are more willing to invest in your start-up when they see that you have put your own money on the line. So the first place to look for money when starting up a business is your own pocket.

Personal Assets

According to the SBA, 57% of entrepreneurs dip into personal or family savings to pay for their company’s launch. If you decide to use your own money, don’t use it all. This will protect you from eating Ramen noodles for the rest of your life, give you great experience in borrowing money, and build your business credit.

A Job

There’s no reason why you can’t get an outside job to fund your start-up. In fact, most people do. This will ensure that there will never be a time when you are without money coming in and will help take most of the stress and risk out of starting up.

Credit Cards

If you are going to use plastic, shop around for the lowest interest rate available.

2. Friends and Family

Money from friends and family is the most common source of non-professional funding for small business start-ups. Here, the biggest advantage is the same as the biggest disadvantage: You know these people. Unspoken needs and attachments to outcome may cause stress that would warrant steering away from this type of funding.

3. Angel Investors

An angel investor is someone who invests in a business venture, providing capital for start-up or expansion. Angels are affluent individuals, often entrepreneurs themselves, who make high-risk investments with new companies for the hope of high rates of return on their money. They are often the first investors in a company, adding value through their contacts and expertise. Unlike venture capitalists, angels typically do not pool money in a professionally-managed fund. Rather, angel investors often organize themselves in angel networks or angel groups to share research and pool investment capital.

4. Business Partners

There are two kinds of partners to consider for your business: silent and working. A silent partner is someone who contributes capital for a portion of the business, yet is generally not involved in the operation of the business. A working partner is someone who contributes not only capital for a portion of the business but also skills and labor in day-to-day operations.

5. Commercial Loans

If you are launching a new business, chances are good that there will be a commercial bank loan somewhere in your future. However, most commercial loans go to small businesses that are already showing a profitable track record. Banks finance 12% of all small business start-ups, according to a recent SBA study. Banks consider financing individuals with a solid credit history, related entrepreneurial experience, and collateral (real estate and equipment). Banks require a formal business plan. They also take into consideration whether you are investing your own money in your start-up before giving you a loan.

6. Seed Funding Firms

Seed funding firms, also called incubators, are designed to encourage entrepreneurship and nurture business ideas or new technologies to help them become attractive to venture capitalists. An incubator typically provides physical space and some or all of these services: meeting areas, office space, equipment, secretarial services, accounting services, research libraries, legal services, and technical services. Incubators involve a mix of advice, service and support to help new businesses develop and grow.

7. Venture Capital Funds

Venture capital is a type of private equity funding typically provided to new growth businesses by professional, institutionally backed outside investors. Venture capitalist firms are actual companies. However, they invest other people’s money and much larger amounts of it (several million dollars) than seed funding firms. This type of equity investment usually is best suited for rapidly growing companies that require a lot of capital or start-up companies with a strong business plan.

New Small Business Loans Starter Guide: What Are Your Options for Financing As a New Business Owner?

It’s not easy at all for new businesses to get all of the funding they need. Even if you have excellent personal credit, you still might have trouble obtaining all of the business money you need. The good news is that there are a variety of options available these days, including online banks and crowdfunding. Just take the time to research all of the new small business loans and determine which ones you should try going for.

Microloans might be worth looking into as well. There are SBA microloans, which are typically available up to $50,000, as well as non-profit organizations that offer micro-lending options for up to $35,000.

Before applying to any kind of loan, there are a few factors you must consider about your own finances. In addition to your own credit report, you need proof that you will be able to repay the loan. Make sure you communicate any experience and expertise you have that will be directly applied to the business you are trying to establish.

You’ve probably come to the realization that new small business loans don’t come with the lowest interest rates. If you’ve been in business for less than two years, you will have a more difficult time qualifying for a big loan with a low interest rate. If your credit isn’t the best, you might have to put up some collateral and get a secured loan.

New Small Business Loans for Equipment

If it’s primarily equipment you need, then go for an equipment financial loan. This type of loan is specifically designed to help organizations pay for the equipment and machinery they need for getting started. They are similar in structure to a traditional loan, although the repayment terms can be for a longer period of time. Keep in mind that the proceeds can ONLY be used to purchase the machinery / equipment you need. The downside to an equipment loan, obviously, is that if you default, the lender has the right seize that equipment.

While some entrepreneurs actually take out a personal loan to fund their startup, this might not be the best idea considering that if the business should fail, you and you alone will be responsible for it. Not only will the business fail, but your own personal credit will be destroyed.

Your best bet is to look for new small business loans with online lenders, such as US Business Funding. There are many options available, such as vendor programs, equipment leasing and financing, working capital, and so forth. The approval rate is very high, and you can get started right away.