Ready to start a business? Let’s talk funding  

Gina Bertoletti

If you are a business start-up you know how difficult it can be to gain access to the same resources as an established business. In this article, we will explore resources available for newly established businesses.

Funding: It can be difficult for start-ups to obtain a loan through a traditional bank. The requirements are often in favor of established businesses who have a proven business model and that are generating revenue. Fortunately, there is funding for start-ups, with a prime example is an SBA loan. The SBA does not lend funds, rather they reduce the risk for the lender with their personal guarantee making it easier for a lender to say yes. SBA-backed loans are often very competitive and payment terms make them small-business friendly and in some cases, no collateral is needed. There are a few requirements the business will have to fulfill to qualify, but this option is definitely worth considering. For more information go to www.sba.gov.

Also, the REI Women's Business Center provides loans to young companies. They are able to customize loans and they offer both an SBA 504 loan where only a 10% down payment is required and also an SBA 7a loan. Regardless of who you turn to for funding, you need to provide a set of financials including a balance sheet, income statement, and a cash flow statement. MNTC’s business incubator, the Business Development Center, can help you prepare these.

Insurance: If you are not a member of a local Chamber of Commerce, you should be. Local chambers offer a wealth of networking, training, and new-business benefits at a nominal cost. In particular, the Norman Chamber of Commerce offers a health care plan for its members. If you have 2-50 employees you have access to either Greater Choice Oklahoma serviced by United Healthcare or Oklahoma Chamber Blue serviced by Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Human Resource: So you think you are ready to hire your first employee? The worst thing a new business can do is hire someone as a knee-jerk reaction to being overwhelmed. Hiring a qualified individual to help manage the day-to-day tasks is worth every penny when considering the payoff of being able to focus on the growth of the business. This is the best time to consult with one of MNTC’s business advisors. Moore Norman has resources to help with job descriptions, interviewing, job postings, and even access to quality and reliable individuals who are ready to work. These services cost you nothing but your time. In addition, Moore Norman’s BDC can help you navigate the legal documentation business owners must maintain for each employee.

Employee Development: Have you ever head the saying, “If you don’t train your employees, someone else will.” Human capital is your most worthwhile investment and an educated workforce will contribute greatly to your bottom line. From manufacturing safety, to soft skills and even customized training, MNTC specializes in providing training for businesses of all sizes.

Business Coaching: Business coaching can be cost prohibitive for most. MNTC has two certified coaches on staff who are available to help those that work and live in the Moore, Norman, and south Oklahoma City area. As your personal business coach, our goal is to help you and your small business move forward. Consultations are free.

Gina Bertoletti is the Business Development Coordinator for Moore Norman Technology Center. Moore Norman Technology Center’s BDC considers it a privilege to help the small business community. For questions, or to set up a free small business consultation, call 405-801-5890.