At our second Boone EDC Brews & Biz, we heard from zWORKS member Ryan Blakley, Vice President and Business Banking Center Manager at the Zionsville branch of PNC Bank. Ryan discussed different small business funding mechanisms as well as advice for small business owners and entrepreneurs based on his experience.
Below are a few words of wisdom he shared with us:
- When you are meeting with a bank for different financing opportunities, bring your Personal Financial Statement (or your PFS in industry lingo). If you have questions on how to prepare this, contact me and we can help walk you through this.
- Family and friends are a huge asset, especially when small businesses are first starting out. When you are preparing to have these conversations, create a business plan and financial projections. Here is a guide when you are starting this process. You will utilize these documents when you visit other financial institutions for additional sources of funding.
- Put together a group of people who will be your support system. This group can be family and friends, accountants, business lawyers, bankers, other business service experts, and fellow industry peers. This group will help in many ways and provide great sources of honest advice which you will need as you are starting and growing your business.
- Understand the industry you are entering into, familiarizing yourself with the barriers of entry and the growing pains these industries have. This will help mitigate risks. Financers will also review these items and it will be part of any conversation with a lender.
- If the startup or existing business is having trouble gaining financing from traditional sources, check-out non-traditional options like the Boone EDC’s microloan or Bankable. Bankable is a nonprofit lender that seeks to create opportunities for all entrepreneurs in Indiana by providing access to capital, financial education, and economic resources to build healthy small businesses.
- Finally, business credit cards can be a useful tool, but only if you pay off your balance in order to not accrue interest. The accrued interest is not worth the heartache or headache for any small business owner.