All business owners do it … we talk to friends and other entrepreneurs about our businesses and usually either complain or paint a rosy picture. Even if the conversations are a reiteration of simple facts and figures, what often happens after you’re done talking is the other person offers advice.

Frankly, some of the best advice entrepreneurs get about their business comes from external people or advisors. Why is this? When people are not involved in the day-to-day decision-making about your business, they often see blind spots or opportunities that you’ve missed. The reasons for this are:

  • They may have experienced exactly the same issues in their business in the past.
  • They may have a skill set you don’t have, like human resources, accounting or marketing.
  • They don’t have an emotional involvement in your business and are able to focus on the exact issue at hand.

One real skill in growing a successful business is knowing how to successfully weed through all the various pieces of advice you are offered from these external sources. You may get what appears to be some great advice from a wealthy entrepreneur you admire, that in actuality may not be right for your business. Conversely, you may get a simple tip from one of your lower-level administrative employees that could have a huge positive impact.

Try Before You Buy

When presented with new options to accomplish goals or solve problems, people usually get excited, but then quickly realize there is going to be a cost to attempt any of these new goals.

So … how can your business be nimble for new initiatives, knowing that you may need extra funding to easily jump in another direction in a matter of weeks or months? The solution is a short-term business loan. Part of your long-term planning for your business should be to have capital available for issues that arise, as well as a honey pot you can tap into when you want to try out a new strategic opportunity.

Having a short-term business loan available to fund these initiatives is a good way to keep you honest and make sure the initiative is working. Why? When you fund a new idea or solve a problem with proceeds from a short-term business loan, you tend to stay keenly focused on whether or not the initiative is working. You’ll keep asking yourself the questions, “was it worth borrowing this money to do this task,” and, “should I borrow more, or should I stop the process now?”

I commonly get asked where the best place to go for a short-term business loan is, and I always end up giving the same answer: Find some form of cash flow financing. It’s more conservative to finance cash flow you will be receiving in the future from your reliable customers, than to borrow against some of your other company assets or your reputation.  A common example of this type of financing is invoice factoring.  Factoring is compelling because it is:

  • Easily attainable — funding happens within days, rather than months.
  • Primarily based on the creditworthiness of your customers.
  • Often designed to be short-term in nature.

As a business owner, as soon as you hear one of those great ideas from one of your advisors, friends or colleagues, you may want to jump to implement it. Financing your invoices is a great way to pull forward some near-term cash and invest in that project or solve that problem.