What is online marketing, and what does it mean for your business?

Marketing is a broad term often used for the combination of advertising and PR to drive brand identity, recognition, and ultimately, sales. How you market yourself determines your results, and those results are driven by strategy. 

Traditional marketing often encompasses anything used by companies prior to the existence of the internet. Brochures, print advertisements, TV commercials – these are all older forms of branding and creating campaigns. One of the most famous (albeit controversial) marketing campaigns of all time – Da Beers Diamonds – proved how messaging can ultimately redefine how you sell your product.

Da Beers created the slogan “Diamonds are Forever,” branding the idea in the 1930s that their diamonds should be used as a symbol of love and marriage. Before that, diamonds weren’t even used for engagement rings. This is just an example of the power branding and marketing has to create narratives about your product, driving your sales. The internet has changed the way we do everything, and marketing is no excuse. Making brand presence online is now vital to driving sales, and there are several ways to do this successfully. 

Types of Online Marketing 

Website – Your company’s website is often the first line of contact, and should be informative while remaining concise. Don’t overload with text, and keep links easily accessible. 

Targeted Ads – Targeted ads, like Google ads, are easy to use and fairly cheap marketing tools that follow your customers once they’ve visited your website. Once someone has expressed interest in your products, you can use Google AdSense to make sure your customers stay interested. Google has changed the advertising game, and with their AdWords and AdSense. AdSense is the service that shows ads for your business on related sites or after someone visits your site (retargeting). They’re highly customizable and controllable, which is part of what makes them so appealing. 

Emails – Email campaigns are some of the simplest and most traditional ways to reel in customers and let them know what you’re about, so if you already have an email audience, using this to create a newsletter or advertisements could be beneficial. Email ads aren’t new, but they are incredibly effective. Emailing has a median ROI of 122% – this is four-times higher than other marketing formats, including social media, direct mail and paid search ads. It’s likely that you already use email to communicate with your customers, so creating marketing campaigns with them can be quick and easy.

Social Media – It’s not breaking news that we live in an increasingly social media-centric world, and many people get the majority of their news, advertisements and products through it. Often, businesses must pivot their advertising to target these people and businesses.

In 2018, Hootsuite (a social media management website) reported that there are over 2.9 billion active social media users in the world, and that’s up 13% from 2017. Facebook has consistently been the most popular, with Youtube being second-most popular. When you post on your company’s Facebook page, it’s estimated it can reach 10.7% more people than your current number of followers – and in business, the more people you reach, the better. 

SEO – Unfortunately, sometimes it’s all about the ranks. With SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, you can somewhat control how high your site is ranked in searches. There are several ways to do this, but often it includes repeating keywords and phrases across page content. 

Goals of Marketing your Small Business

Keep a solid brand – Keep your branding consistent across all platforms. This makes your product and brand recognizable. There’s a reason why sports teams have colors – to make people think of the team whenever they see it. The University of North Carolina has a specific HEX code of their signature Carolina Blue (#7BAFD4). While there are many other variations of blue that look like Carolina Blue, the purpose behind keeping it the same on all of their online platforms means it’s immediately recognizable. It’s right on brand.

As for a company that has mastered keeping a consistent brand, look at The Wing. They’re a coworking space specifically for women, and across all digital platforms (social, website, email, etc), they have a clear and obvious brand. All of their posts have the same design, style, colors and graphics, along with the same messaging. This makes them recognizable, and “known for” a specific thing – and that’s the point of branding. 

Know your audience – The Wing, again, knows their audience. Young, professional women. Their branding has a young and professional feel, which remaining feminine, bright and minimalist. They know their millennial cohort, and they’re catering to it. All online marketing should be made with your audience in mind. If you’re selling car parts, don’t put a cake on your logo. 

If you have the ability to collect basic information on your customers, use that information to shape your brand strategy. Google Analytics can do this for you. If most of your customers live in one state, focus your targeting ads there. If you’re a B2B company that has an older demographic reach, investing a lot of time and money into Instagram marketing might not be the best move. Know your audience, and know what they like. It’s now easier than ever to collect analytics and understand your audience, and online marketing gives you a chance to target them directly.

Retaining customers – You don’t just want to recruit customers, you want to keep them. This goes beyond targeting marketing. Word-of-mouth is still one of the best ways to bring in business, and keeping your products and business on your customers’ minds is a way to do that. How do you achieve that with online marketing? Emails. Once someone buys your products, you can send them emails detailing other products or services. This creates retention. 

Clear objectives – You obviously know what you’re selling, but do you know why you’re selling it? In order to make your products memorable, you have to make the messaging consistent. What are you trying to achieve? How will your customers benefit? Keep that clear in your mind. The problem you’re trying to solve is your biggest objective, and everything else is just a side-effect of that. 

Again, take The Wing as an example of clear, online branding. The Wing is a coworking space for women only, and they have crisp, clear objectives that are obvious from the moment you click onto their site – “The Wing’s mission is the professional, civic, social, and economic advancement of women through community.”

The ultimate goal of all your online marketing should relay the same message, over and over again, in new and creative ways. Think of it as train tracks – the train always runs on the same tracks. There could be hundreds of stops along the way, but the train doesn’t ever change its course, or leave its tracks. All of your messaging should run parallel to your ultimate objective.  

Marketing Tools

FaaStrak is a company giving you tools to market your company online, no matter what you’re selling. They see the value in helping customers take advantage of powerful advertising tools, and want to help them reach the marketing goals described above. They’ve created a custom digital graphic building tool that’s simple and easy for anyone to use, not just their own customers. Click here to use their site to create your own marketing graphics, all for online marketing.

If you’re looking to learn more about building your business’s credit or finding financing, FaaSfunds is here to help. Click below to get started.

You have a business idea and plan, but now you’re looking to raise business capital. Where to start? Saving money is hard, and asking for money isn’t any easier.

Getting business capital for your small business varies depending on the industry. There are several different types of funding that fit better for different business sectors. Here’s a breakdown of popular funding methods for different industries:


Startups in the arts and entertainment sector, according to data released by Seek Capital, obtain business capital mostly from VCs, and government-backed loans. They cost about $25,000 to $50,000 to start, and 53.1% make it past the first five years. 

Real Estate

Real estate startups mainly get their business capital from government-backed loans and personal savings, and they cost anywhere from $10,00 to $25,000 to start. About 59% make it past the first five years. 


Retail is the largest sector of the economy, and employees the most individuals. Most startups are funded through grants, bank loans and government-backed loans. They cost around $50,000 to $100,000 to start, and have a 55.1% five-year success rate.


Most information/tech startups use venture capital (VC) money, grants or credit cards. They’re the cheapest to start – $10,000 to $25,000 – but has the lowest five-year success rate at 44.3%.


Education startups are obtaining business capital primarily through business and personal credit cards and grants from the government. They’re also relatively cheap to starts at $10,000 to $25,000 and have a 56% five-year success rate. 

Transportation and Warehousing

Transportation and warehousing startup’s main methods of funding include bank loans and personal and business credit cards. They cost about $25,000 to $50,000 to start and have a 50.1% five-year success rate. 

So, what are the different modes by which startups can obtain business capital?

Personal Funds

This is usually the most popular way to obtain business capital for a startup. Over 90% of startups get started without loans or grants. You don’t have to solicit for money, and you don’t have to worry about giving up ownership of your company. This method works if you

1. Have savings to spend and

2. Have time to save up.

Saving up can, however, take attention away from your business. Sometimes ideas need immediate action, and in order to capitalize on our quickly-changing consumer economy, you can’t wait to save up to act on them. 

Friends and family

This is often one of the first lines of finding business capital. Depending on the industry your startup is in, crowdfunding from friends and family might be the go-to. According to Martin Zwilling for Forbes, professional investors like to see that people trust you, and often by means of investing in your company. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t proceed with caution, however. Taking money from your friends and family could affect relationships – if they don’t understand the nature of the startup world, or if they’re insistent on knowing the details of where their money is going, it could put a dent in friendships or family relations. 

Angel Investors

Angel investors are high net-worth individuals with a history of funding startups. The hard part isn’t finding them – they’re everywhere. The hard part is convincing them to invest in your ideas. You have to have a flawless plan and an even more flawless pitch. Lilach Bullock for Forbes says, “Find the right angel investor and not only will you benefit from their financial support but also their wisdom: oftentimes, they offer mentorship as a side dish alongside their capital.” There are also Angel Groups, which are groups of angel investors who pool their investment money. Angels are usually good for those looking to raise $25,000 to $250,000.


Grants are exactly what they sound like – business capital you don’t have to pay back. There is an infinite amount of grants out there, whether they be from the government or from other companies. They usually have some precursors, though. Many grants require your business to provide certain services or products, but some don’t. They’re also very competitive. There are many for diverse entrepreneurs and business owners – women, minorities, veterans, etc. Grants require pretty long application processes and aren’t often for that much, but the temptation of free money is usually all it takes to give them a shot. 

Venture Capital

The words might make some business owners cringe. Venture capitalists. But they’re often a vital part of getting business capital. VC money usually comes from firms, and they usually want quite a bit of equity and control. Zwilling says not to go after VCs unless you need more than $1 million (so, not in the earlier stages), and you should be prepared to spend at least six months on the process. 


Becoming increasingly popular, crowdfunding is a good way to use your already existing network to raise business capital. There are several online platforms, like Indiegogo or Kickstarter, that give you the ability to collect small sums of money from grassroots support. Naturally, the sites take a percentage of that earned. There are also some platforms that let you raise money via equity crowdfunding, meaning that individuals can actually receive shares of your company in return for their donations. These platforms, however, vary by state. 

Bank Loans

Sometimes, you just need a good old-fashioned bank loan. There’s nothing wrong with using loans to finance your business, as long as you’ve got a plan to pay it back. You retain full ownership of your company (as long as you make the payments), and you can use it to build your credit and get better terms in the future. Bank loans can also give you larger sums of money, if needed, and can be tailored for exactly what you need, like equipment. The drawback is having to pay interest on what you borrow. 

You can also obtain a line of credit and just use it for what you need. There are also SBA loans, which are backed by the government and have better repayment terms. These are competitive, but the good news is there’s a lot of them.

Interested in obtaining business capital through a loan or line of credit? Or, just want to know more about obtaining business credit? FaaSfunds can help. Reach out to us today to sign up for our FREE platform.

Things are going pretty well, but does that mean you should expand your business? There are countless factors that go into building out your small business, so how are you supposed to know which of them is the right trigger for business expansion? Expanding isn’t rocket science, but it still has a pretty intricate formula if you want to make the right investments. Business expansion doesn’t always mean opening up a new location, it could also mean expanding your staff or offering new products or services. 

This isn’t a definitive list of requirements to expand your business, because economic factors vary, but think of this as guidelines. 

What You Should Have

  1. Regular Customers – if you want to expand your business, you should be bringing in business. Not only that, but they should be returning customers. If you’re thinking of opening up another bakery, you should see familiar faces every day, and if you’re a marketing agency, your clients shouldn’t be returning for multiple campaigns. The more customer retention you have, the better an indicator it is that you’ve really got something good going.
  2. Regularly Increasing Profits – You should be making a profit if you want to expand your business. Ideally, you should be making enough profit on your own to sustain the business expansion, because that’s what’s going to happen while you’re preparing it. Keep an eye on your business’s net income, and if it’s steadily increasing over a long period of time, then it might be time for expansion. 
  3. The Industry is Growing – you might be profitable and have a lot of customers, but if you’re in a stagnant industry, it might not be the best idea to open up another location or expand your operations. Some good things can’t last, and if it seems like your market sector isn’t projected to grow, a business expansion might not be a good investment. Check on industry trends and stocks in your sector regularly. 
  4. Too Much Business – ideally, you should be having so much business that one location can’t meet all the demand coming in. You either don’t have enough room, resources, or staff to handle it all. Intuit says that “an excessive workload isn’t just a sign that you should grow; it’s a sign that you must grow. Trying to press ahead without expanding your staff could cause quality, consistency, or deadlines to slip and send your business in the other direction.” 

What You Should Consider to Expand Your Business

Do customers want you to grow? Explore your market – check out your Yelp or Google reviews. Does it seem like your customers want you to expand your business? Do they spread the word about you? Is there a lot of traction and hype surrounding what you’re doing? If there’s a lot of talk around town about your business, that’s a good sign your customer base would quickly take to another location, or you’d gain more customers by doing so.

Forbes says, however, to be wary of sudden and inconsistent spikes in customers – “If you see a sudden surge, don’t take that as your cue to expand your business immediately. Your increase in customers might be due to business seasonality or another market fluctuation. Wait a bit to see if your increase in customers is consistent or temporary.”

Keep track of what your customers are asking for and requesting, this way you’ve got an idea of which investments to make.

Can income from one location support others? This is pretty important, because as mentioned, it’s probably what has to happen while you’re preparing to open another location or expand operations. Expanding, in a way, is like starting over again. You’re new location won’t be making a revenue for a while, and so you’ll have to prepared to support the entire cost of it. 

What’s your location like? If you want to open another location, where do you plan to open up? Have you looked into demographic data, and does it match that of your original location? Has there been talk in this area about a need for your business? There are all geographical factors to consider because let’s face it, it’s all about location these days. You need to make sure you lock down a location with enough in common with your original that it can sustain your vision or continue to bring people in.

Is there more work than you can handle? If you haven’t really considered business expansion, but have had trouble keeping up with demand, this might be a good time to start thinking about it. Saying “no” to business isn’t fun, and you know you’re losing out on money. In order to capitalize on those opportunities, it might be a good idea to look into expanding your operations or opening another location. This way, you can get the most out of what you do best, which is what you offer your customers. 

Is your staff ready to support other locations? Will you have to put other operations on hold? Chances are you’ll have to hire more staff once you expand, but if you have certain staff members dedicated to certain back-of-house operations, will they be able to take on a higher demand? Consider this before you ask your staff to take on new responsibilities.

Interested in learning about financing options to expand your business? Or if business expansion is right for you? Consider FaaSfunds – talk to one of our financing experts, or sign up for our business credit monitoring platform today.

Money rules the world. This is the unfortunate reality – and it’s especially vital when you run a small business. The health and longevity of your business depends on it, so naturally, it’s worrisome.

In a study of 3,000 small businesses, Intuit and Wakefield Research found that 69% of them had been “kept up at night by concerns about cash flow.” So, feeling stressed about money isn’t uncommon – in reality, it’s pretty normal.

Cash Flow – The Data

The Small Business Administration (SBA) regularly releases data pertaining to small businesses and their struggles. In 2018, it reported that the largest reason businesses close (25%) was because of low sales or not enough cash flow. This is down from 2007 (39.9%), but nevertheless, access to cash is the most important indicator of a business’s long-term success. 

The Intuit and Wakefield Research data also found out that 52% of U.S. small business owners have lost more than $10,000 by not pursuing a project or sale because of insufficient cash flow. This keeps businesses in a constant cycle of struggling for capital – if they don’t have the cash flow to invest in new opportunities, they miss out on a chance to create more. Even more, 42% of small business owners have experienced cash flow issues within the last year specifically. 

What about getting capital through financing? The same study found that many business owners aviod it (39%) because they’re deterred by the interest rates (29%), they don’t want to make payments (23%) or they fear they wouldn’t be approved anyways (19%). The Small Business Credit Survey (SBCS) also reports that, in order to address financial challenges, 69% of business owners use their personal funds. 45% took on additional debt, 32% cut operations, and 28% just didn’t pay (meaning there’s some crossover, that some did two or more of the options). And then, the SBA echoes the same thing – by far the largest option that business owners choose to handle cash-flow issues is using their own personal money. 

Not only does lack of cash flow create skepticism about business financing, but it also creates stress on employees. The Intuiet and Wakefield Research found that 43% of businesses had been at risk of not paying employees on time, and 32% actually had paid them late. Forbes says this can lead to employees having mistrust in their employers, and being swayed by other jobs. 

From all this data, it seems like the root cause of cash flow struggles is waiting for payment from customers. 53% of surveyed companies use invoices to bill their customers, and the average U.S. small business has about $53,399 in outstanding receivables. This creates a problem for owners because if they don’t have the money they’re owed, they can’t pay for other expenses. On top of that, they also can’t make further investments, keeping up the constant cycle of struggling for cash flow because they can’t pursue other projects. 66% of companies say that waiting for payments to process, even after it’s been received, is the biggest impact on their cash flow. 

What To Make of the Cash Flow Data? 

First of all, we have to say that if you’re vehemently concerned about your business’s financial health (as you probably should be), you should seek the advice of your business accountant, or you should get a business accountant if you don’t have one already. They’re financial specialists that know your business directly and can give the most accurate advice. 

Since you know all this data and research, though, it can help you be more informed and aware of the struggles that plague small businesses. Since this is all based on actual businesses and real people, the more prepared you are for these struggles, you can foresee them and combat them. Knowledge is power, right? Financial literacy is vital for new businesses, and the more research you do into your industry, the more prepared you’ll be.

If you’re interested in financing to combat cash flow problems, give FaaSfunds a try. We’ve got business credit consultants on call to help you with whatever you need to benefit your small business.

You might have heard of ROI. It stands for return on investment, and business owners use it as a method for decision making in trying to turn a profit. It’s a simple concept, in theory – it essentially means that in order to increase your business’s profitability, you should always shoot for a positive ROI – don’t make business decisions that give you a negative one.

But Wait, There’s More

Put simply, ROI is the result of the investment, but it has complex terms behind it. It’s a performance measure, and anything that measures performance involves some sort of math. The ROI formula takes the benefit of investment and divides it by the cost of the investment. The result is a percentage, and that represents your ROI. 

The benefit of an investment is calculated by subtracting the cost from the current value of the investment. So your ROI formula is represented like this:

Return on investment graphic

The current value of an investment is the proceeds from the sale of the investment in question. The result is always going to be a decimal, but it’s easily convertible to a percentage. This expression as a percentage makes it comparable, so it’s easy to see which investments are best for your company.

Why is ROI Important?

ROI matters because it gives you insight into future business decisions. If you know, to some extent, what your return will be from making a purchase, it’ll help grow your business. Especially when it comes to getting a loan or financing business purchases, ROI is an important tool. 

ROI for Financing?

If you’re trying to get a loan or finance anything within your business, it can be important to use your ROI to calculate if the loan will generate enough revenue to justify taking it out in the first place. Loans always end up costing more than the thing you’re getting a loan for – these are the unfortunate facts of finance. It’s always a matter of planning to make sure the investment in one is going to benefit you in the long run, even if it will end up costing more. 

The point of an ROI is to compare it to other investments in order to see which one(s) make the most logical sense to pursue. So, if you’re trying to figure out if you should finance a kitchen or a new point-of-sale system, knowing your ROI is recommended. You can prioritize the investments with the highest ROI, and then slowly make your way through your portfolio of investments. 

ROI Calculation Breakdown

So, for financing, ROI would take the cost of the total loan – say you’re taking out a total of $12,500 (with interest and fees) for a new photo booth – and subtract it from the total value of the purchase. How do you find that? Well, in the case of a photo booth, it’s likely you’re running a business that rents them out for events. If you expect to rent it out for four events a month at $500 each time, that’s a revenue of $2,000 per month. And If you’re financing the equipment over a two-year period, you’ll pay $522 toward the total loan per month, for 24 months. 

You can figure out the ROI for the term of the loan. At $2,000 monthly over the two-year period, you can expect to bring in around $48,000. That’s your total value. Subtract your loan cost from this total value and you get $35,500. Finally, you divide that by the loan cost, as exemplified by the formula, and you get 2.84, or 284%

Obviously, this shows a very positive ROI and would represent a good investment. If you were running a party rental business, you could use this method to compare different pieces of equipment and figure out which would be best to recieve financing for.

ROI Shortcomings?

As with any method of financial calculation, ROI isn’t fool-proof, and it does have its shortcomings. The Harvard Business Review (HBR) makes the case that the “single most important limitation in this category results from the fact that ROI oversimplifies a very complex decision-making process.” It claims that the measure can be simple and easy, but also unrealistic. Because the rate of return is objective, and there’s no real way to know what you’re going to gross in revenue, so it says that relying on ROI can be thin ice to tread.

HBR also states that ROI remains constant no matter the economic trade-offs. It’s the same no matter the assets, time or number of investments. This can be problematic because it can ignore economic factors that could inherently influence profit acquisition for your company.

In the End?

With all this being said, the best idea when using any predictive measure is to always predict for losses, and not rely too heavily on subjective calculations. ROI can be good, however, for understanding a general idea about your investments and if they’ll be profitable.

Want to know more about managing your finances and loans? FaaSfunds is a free, business credit monitoring and managing program, and we can help with whatever you need to put your business on the path to success. Check us out today.


Starting a business is stressful, not to mention if you want to register as a limited liability company (LLC). An LLC takes aspects of different business types and combines them into one big (and sometimes complicated) establishment. But no fear, we’re here to clear it up for you. 

How is an LLC Different?

LLCs differ from say, a sole proprietorship, in the sense that the business owners aren’t usually personally responsible for its debts or lawsuits. When it comes to the IRS, though, LLCs have this odd assortment of tax flexibility, which can cause varying degrees of confusion when tax season comes. 

LLCs can technically choose their tax status – they can pick if they want to be treated like a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation. If there’s only one owner (also known as a “member”) it’ll automatically be treated as a sole proprietorship. If there’s more than one owner, it’ll automatically be treated as a partnership. However, if you want your LLC to be taxed like a corporation, you can fill out a form with the IRS to change this tax status (here are all the hard details from the IRS if you’re looking to file your taxes as an LLC). 

So the real answer is, LLCs don’t differ in the eyes of the IRS because they’re filed the same way as other business types, and they’re usually filed on the owner(s) income taxes. They do, however, require more paperwork and higher fees. But the real reason an LLC is a common choice for business owners is that if for some reason your business must file for bankruptcy or gets sued, being an LLC would mean your personal assets are covered. In the eyes of the law, your business is separate from you. 

(Here’s a disclaimer, though – banking, trust and insurance industry-related businesses can’t be LLCs, and several states won’t let accountants, doctors, architects or healthcare workers be LLCs, either.)

Articles of Organization

If you want to start an LLC, you’ll have to file articles of organization in the state where you want to operate. They often only require basic information, nothing too complicated. Remember, the requirements and stipulations do vary by state, so you’ll definitely want to check specifically for what your state requires. However, most states will require these basic things before you file your articles of organization.

  1. A business name, and it has to end with “LLC.” It also has to be unique, and can’t be the same as another LLC in your state. They’ll also want it to not be confusing – such as including the word “bank” when you’re not a bank (Legal Zoom lets you search to see if your name is available).
  2. Location – where will your business be physically located? 
  3. Names and addresses of the owners (a.k.a. members). 
  4. A registered agent – this is the person or entity that accepts the legal papers of your LLC. It can be you or a co-owner. You can also appoint your business attorney as your registered agent, or you can get registered agent services from online legal services. 

It’s very important to make sure you’ve got all the local licensing requirements down. Counties and cities may have more specific requirements than the state does (FaaSfunds is in Charlotte, N.C., so we have a specific set of rules – the rules and applications for your city/county will be found on a similar local website). Certain industries are regulated more heavily than others as well, like food and beverage. Contact your secretary of state office to figure out these specific rules. 

You could also draft an LLC operating agreement, which isn’t required but is recommended. It simply outlines organization and structure for your LLC – like who will do what within the LLC, how much money has gone into it and who contributed it, along with other operating procedures. It’s a legal document, so once signed, it’s binding. By creating terms and having all active parties agree to them, it creates less confusion about everyday business. 

How To File Articles of Organization

First, you’ll file the articles online or by mail. These details vary by state – in North Carolina, the form is available to fill out online and has a $125 filing fee. Once you fill out the form, submit it and pay the fee, you’ll receive confirmation in the form of a certificate from the state, which can take a few weeks. 

What About After?

If you haven’t made an LLC operating agreement yet, now could be a good time. You should also apply for an employer identification number (EIN) if you have employees. This is essentially a social security number for businesses and is important in separating business finances from personal finances. This way, you can start to establish credit as a business and apply for loans and credit cards without intertwining your personal finances. 

If you want to know more about building business credit or getting a loan for your new LLC, let FaaSfunds help. We’ve got industry experts to provide you with credit advice and proven loan-matching software. Check us out today.

Crowdfunding is a term used for business funding meaning exactly what it sounds like: funding your business through a large number of people. The word has been adopted to mean different things, depending on the industry. To save confusion, however, we’ll stick to its meaning strictly for new businesses and startup funding.

Crowdfunding is mostly done online, makes this specific form of funding a newer development. We’ll start by going through models. 

Pledge-Type Crowdfunding

Kickstarter, perhaps the most well known, is a site that rewards people for “donating” to your business. If you’re selling a product, usually you’ll promise that product to your customers. If your selling something less-tangible – like a dating app or a service – companies will usually promise funders some sort of “swag” or benefits. Whether it be t-shirts or branded koozies, those who give you money often expect something in return, the same way an investor or venture capitalist would, but on a smaller scale. In order to raise funds on Kickstarter, you MUST deliver something to your funders, and you MUST meet your goal, or else you don’t get any of the cash you raise.

Other crowdfunding sites, like Indiegogo, don’t require you to give swag or meet your goal in order to cash out. This can be good for a content creator, but for an actual business, sometimes providing an incentive (like a product) motivates people to give you money. However, these options can be more convenient and cheaper than a Kickstarter campaign, and if you already have a grassroots supporting, they’re likely to get help with funding.

Equity Crowdfunding

The most recent development in crowdfunding is called equity crowdfunding, and it’s similar to an actual investment-model of funding. Through it, accredited and non-accredited individuals/investors can invest small amounts in your company in exchange for equity, or small bits of ownership. This is especially popular for hyper-local efforts, like breweries or coffee shops. It gives community members a way to invest in their community and its well-being. 

After the recession in 2008, the government realized the new businesses were being virtually wiped out by their inability to get credit and funding. So in 2012, they passed the JOBS Act, which allowed non-accredited investors to legally invest in private companies. Non-accredited investors are individuals who have a net worth of less than $ 1 million OR who earn less than $200,000 annually. That’s it. So now, pretty much anyone who wants to invest in a business through equity crowdfunding is able to.

In 2015, the government furthered equity crowdfunding de-regulation by allowing businesses to raise up to $1,070,000 per year and required that all transactions be done through an SEC-registered intermediary, either a broker-dealer or a funding portal (like a website). 

With equity crowdfunding, there are a few things you should be aware of. First, state laws regulate it. Depending on where you are in the country, the amount of money and types of investors could be significantly different. For example, in North Carolina, the 2017 PACES Act extends the amount of money that can be received from crowdfunding to $2 million and specifically allows for a non-accredited investor to give up to $5,000 per year via equity crowdfunding.

These regulations vary widely by state, so it’s important you be aware of the rules for your state before you decide to do an equity crowdfunding campaign. Like pledge crowdfunding, these are also done through online portals.

What Are the Risks of Crowdfunding?

Pledge-model crowdfunding runs a greater risk of failure than say, venture capital. Most sites often don’t require that the business have a solid business plan, and that can run the risk of fraud ruining the reputation of websites (like GoFundMe, for example).

There’s also no real advising available when you sign up for Kickstarter or Indiegogo, which doesn’t really set entrepreneurs up for success.  VCs and angel funds usually provide council. However, equity platforms authorized by the state you reside in often have more realistic models of setting up business owners for success. For a fee, you get counsel when you sign up for the platform. You also often have to provide a solid, fool-proof business plan. This way, there’s less room for error, and your company has a better chance of success.

With crowdfunding, there’s always going to be the chance you don’t get the money you need. Like rallying investors, it’s a hard process and can take ages. If you’re in need of more immediate, tangible funding, you might want to look into business loans or lines of credit. If that’s the case, FaaSfunds is here to help. Reach out to us today to get matched with the lender and loan that’s best for your business, and to receive professional financial advice.

That’s Business

Every business sector has its flaws, and finance is no exception. There’s always a catch when you’re dealing with money, and at FaaSfunds, we’re here to make sure it’s not a Catch-22. With so much to understand and be careful of dealing with business funding, we’ve made a guide to help you make smart financial decisions.

There will never be free money. Even if you apply for grants or seek investments from angel funds, there’s always going to be requirements and paybacks that not everyone can meet. Loans aren’t free money, either, and there are several things you should be aware of before you apply. Since money is a business itself, lenders are out to make a profit off of your debt, so it’s good to be aware of their practices.

According to Harvard Business School, small businesses are the driving force of American job creation. In the 15 years leading up to the 2010 census, small and new firms were responsible for creating two out of every three new jobs. Small businesses are obviously vital to the American economy, so why is having one so hard? In order to have a successful small business, it’s important to understand every aspect of your finances and maintain your debt. Here, we’ll explain the good and bad sides to maintaining business finances and getting funding.

Business Debt

Debt isn’t technically a bad thing, as long as you know how to use it. According to the Federal Reserves Small Busines Credit Report for 2018, 70% of businesses have outstanding debt. But the thing is, lenders are going to let you acquire new debt if they trust you to pay them back, and the only way to do that is to have a proven track record or repayment.  

The Bad News

According to Steve Goodrich, managing partner of North End Financial, in an article for Fundera, the single best predictor for paying off debt is the number of years a company has been in business. Roughly 50% of companies survive past the five-year mark, and if they can make it past that, it’s a pretty good indicator that they’ll succeed in the long run. After that five year mark, it’s significantly easier to get funding. 

But what about in the meantime? That’s the catch with getting a business loan – if you’re a new business and don’t have a track record yet, it’s a lot harder to get a loan. The odds are seemingly stacked because already established businesses that turn a profit are usually the only ones likely to get funding. Startups are hard to get business funding because there’s no way to evaluate them.

This is where personal credit comes in. Often, when a business is just starting, owners and founders have to get funding based on their personal credit score. This can be good and bad. If you’re just starting a business, it’s a good idea to try and build up your personal credit first.

The Good News

The good thing about trying to find business funding as a new business is that there are options, albeit they’re rarer. How does any business get started, then, if it’s so hard? The answer lies in raising capital. For more technology/online-based, scalable businesses, they’ll often go to venture capitalists and investment funds. For more concrete, community-based businesses, options can be more limited.

Grants are hard to acquire, but finding investors can be a little easier if you have a solid business plan. There are sites specific for pledge crowdfunding (Kickstarter, Indiegogo), and even newer sites popping up for something called equity crowdfunding – where accredited (and according to some state laws, non-accredited) investors can give money to companies and instead of receiving a product or swag, they receive a stake in the business.

There are also loans structured specifically for startups. The Small Business Administration has a microloan program, which gives small loan amounts to budding businesses at very reasonable rates.

If you’re looking for a traditional loan, or feel it would work best, people were the least dissatisfied in 2018 getting financing from a small bank, according to the Federal Reserve. Of those who got small bank loans last year, only 46% reported facing challenges, as opposed to 53% with large bank loans, and 63% with online lenders. 

Within those numbers, however, the reasons for being dissatisfied varied. The most cited issues with small banks were their waiting times for approval and funding, and the most cited issue with online lenders were their high-interest rates and unfavorable repayment terms. 

But then there’s the logistics of getting business funding, like how much of a credit risk your business is. Small banks only approve 47% of those considered “high credit risk,” as opposed to 76% for online lenders.

These are all the things you’ll have to take into account when trying to get business funding. If you have bad or little business credit, an online lender might be your best option, even though they have higher interest rates.

Do Lenders Want You To Succeed? 

The world of finance isn’t really structured to help small businesses succeed. It’s more or less structured to keep big businesses successful. Just remember, lending is a business too. If you can’t pay or keep up with their terms, they’ll do whatever they can to get money from you. If you’re starting a new business, there are some things you should keep in mind that will not only set you up for success but also help you make a case to get funded. 

Tech market intelligence platform CB Insights compiled a list of the top reasons that startup businesses don’t make it. At the top of the list was a lack of market need – of the failed businesses included in the research, 42% of them failed because they didn’t fill a market void, or there wasn’t a demand for their product. It’s important to analyze the market you’re looking to enter – whether it be a tech market or a retail market – to make sure that there’s an actual need for your product. You wouldn’t make a lemonade stand in the middle of the winter in Minnesota, would you?

The next most popular reason businesses fail, unsurprisingly, was running out of cash. 29% of failed startups cited this as the reason they didn’t make it. Next came not having the right team, getting outcompeted, and then finally, pricing and cost issues. Most businesses surveyed were within tech-related fields, but even if you’re not a tech startup, there are valuable lessons to be learned from the failure of other businesses.

So What Does All This Mean?

When you want to get your business funded, there are a lot of obstacles you’ll have to face. That’s the ugly side of business financing – it’s like a game of blackjack, and you have to play your cards right in order to guarantee you’ll come out of it successfully. Some of it is luck, and a lot of it is skill.

If you want help, though, that’s why FaaSfunds is here. If you’re starting a business and want to build your business credit, or you’re looking for funding options, or you’ve been around for a while and want to know what your next move should be – FaaSfunds is your go-to business finance tracker and funding advisor. We’ll match you up with the funding that best fits your business, no matter your credit score or financial history. If you want to know what FaaSfunds can do for you, click the button below to get started today.

We keep mentioning our “FaaSmatch” algorithm – it’s how we match your business to the best lending options out there. But how exactly does it work? Let’s break it down.

The “FaaS” in FaaSmatch stands for “Financing as a Service,” which is what FaaSfunds does. We’re taking the broker out of getting a loan, and making it easier for you and your business to find the lending options you need. We’re a business-to-business service, and our finance-matching is the service we offer.

FaaSmatch is an algorithm because it uses software analytics to automatically sort through your financial information and compare it to our lending marketplace. This way, based on data points, it can match you up with the lender that will give you the lowest rates and best terms, along with the best chance for approval. By using this automated process, you can instantly see how different lending options compare, and you can understand which one will work best for your business.

Let’s Break it Down

What is an algorithm? By definition, it’s a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations and other problem-solving operations. They’re created by constructing a set of directions, much like a map, that can be reduced to three logical operations – “and,” “or,” and “not.” You can use algorithms to solve a Rubix Cube, or you can use algorithms to run search engines.  Algorithms are everywhere. They’ve become a colloquialism. They determine what’s advertised to us and they determine what shows up in our news feeds. FaaSfund’s algorithm is different. We saw the need for an easier way to find lending options, so we spent countless hours dedicated to doing just that.

Our algorithm, called “FaaSmatch,” is a set of programmed commands that looks at financial information and compares it to data from lenders. It looks at credit and other financial factors and analyzes it alongside compiled information from our lenders to determine which loan and lending options make the most sense for each business’s financial situation.

The Goal of the Algorithm

Stefan Friend, head of product development at FaaSfunds, explains that the goal of the FaaSfunds algorithm is to help users make informed decisions.

“It’s a simple way to match a business’s credit profile holistically to the right financial products for them,”  said Friend. “Using a proprietary algorithm, we take a close look at a business credit profile and score and weigh them against the criteria for certain financial products.”

This makes the funding process quick and easy, and without the need for a broker or extensive paperwork. The FaaSfunds algorithm automates the funding process so the business owner is in charge of their own funding, but FaaSfunds lets them see what their best option is.

“Ultimately what this does is help them have a better view of the best product for their business,” said Friend, “and allows them to have a firmer grasp on their business’s financial future.”

Take a look at FaaSfunds today and see just how well the FaaSmatch algorithm works for you.

If you’re frustrated about your business being denied funding, you’re not the only one. According to the Federal Reserve, only 47% of small businesses received the amount of funding they applied for last year. Of the 53% that are denied funding, 32% received some of what they needed, and 22% received none.

Make no mistake, funds are not unlimited and lenders can only approve so many business loans. There are, however, fundamental reasons that businesses get declined. At FaaSfunds, we’re here to break down those reasons and help your business get approved.  Here are our top four reasons why businesses get denied funding.

Low Business Credit

According to the Federal Reserve, businesses considered a “high credit risk” had the most financing shortfalls. In 2018, 91% of companies with lower credit scores (usually, under 620) that applied for less than $250,000 did not get the full amount of financing they sought. Lenders are less-inclined to fund high credit risks because they don’t have the personal guarantee of repayment. Meaning that since your credit signifies your history with paying off debts, a lower score often means – to lenders – that your repayment history hasn’t been stellar.

If you have bad credit and have been denied funding, there are several alternative ways of getting funded – some online lenders cater to businesses with low credit, and options like merchant cash advances and invoice financing sometimes don’t look at business credit. The interest rates are often higher and the terms shorter, but if you can manage to prove with these alternative funding options that you’re capable of paying off debts, it can improve your credit and your chances of being approved in the future.

Not Turning Profit

In 2018, 67% of businesses that broke-even or weren’t profitable were denied funding. Being profitable can be a huge determinant for lenders – they want to see that you’re bringing in enough money to pay them back. Forbe’s calls this “quality of cash flow.” They describe that “having high-quality earnings means a company’s financial statements show stable, persistent and predictable earnings that are related to the core business.”

It’s not always possible to be a profitable business right-away, so it’s important to show that you’re capable of paying off debts. If you’re not making a profit, you might have to provide significant collateral or prove that you make enough revenue to cover the loan cost. It’s also an option to add a personal guarantor to the loan, saying that should you default, they’ll pick up payments.  


The same Federal Reserve study found that geography can also influence if a business gets funded or not. 56% of businesses located in urban areas did not receive the funding they asked for, as opposed to 45% in more rural areas. This fact might sound a little odd, considering that urban areas have more people, but actually, rural businesses out-perform urban ones.

The reason behind this is because urban businesses are met with more competition, higher operating costs and higher taxes. It costs significantly more for a business in New York City to find and pay labor than a business in Albemarle, N.C. For more perspective, the average rent in NYC is $3519/month, while the average rent in Albemarle is $564/month. These lower expenses for rural businesses easily translate to profits. Rural businesses also tend to be older and have predictable expenses, and well-established businesses are more likely to receive funding. Along with these aspects, the fact of the matter is that it’s a lot easier to get funding from a small, rural bank than it is from a national bank.

On a less statistically significant level, according to the same survey, the Federal Reserve found that companies in New England had the hardest time getting funded while those in the East South Central (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee) had the easiest time. This is on par with the rural vs. urban divided in business funding. New England is more developed and has a population density of about 210 people per square mile, while the East South Central has a population density of about 98 people per square mile.

Business Age

Most businesses younger than five years old haven’t really established credit, and that explains why according to Federal Reserve data, around 63% of them don’t get the funding they ask for. These businesses are considered startup firms and don’t often have enough established business credit to qualify for funding.

Fear not, though, because there are a lot of options for startups to get the financing they need. Certain crowdfunding opportunities can help raise money via small investments, while the SBA has a microloan program designed for startups. You can also receive grants from companies and investors.

The Big Picture

Often, one single factor isn’t going to determine if you’ll get denied funding Each lender has different parameters for approval, and if you get denied by one, it doesn’t mean you’ll get denied by all of them. Lenders look at a variety of aspects and take many things into account, so don’t get discouraged if you fit a few of the profiles mentioned above. There are hundreds of funding options out there, and FaaSfunds is here to help you understand why you got declined, and look at your business finances and help you figure out your path to approval. Check us out today.