Merchant Cash Advance Steps in During Recession to Save Small Businesses

The global credit crisis has seen banks struggling with cash deficit, barely managing to stay afloat. Small businesses have obviously been badly hit with the drastic drop in consumer disposable income. With no money coming in from consumers, and banks not approving loans, small businesses have been shutting down or on the verge of it.

The Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) industry has saved many small businesses from closing down during the economic downturn. MCA providers focus on the future performance of the business rather than its current financial situation. If the business has an acceptable credit history and shows good credit card sales, business owners can get a merchant advance within 2 weeks to support their business.

The survival of small businesses is integral to the economy

Small businesses contribute to the U.S. economy in a big way. According to the 2004 census, there were at least 25 million small businesses in the United States, with 600,000 new businesses adding to the count every year. These businesses account for at least 50% of the employments in the private sector.

Closure of small businesses leads to the loss of wealth and employment in the economy. Lack of funds is forces small businesses to lay off employees or shutdown service. It is vital that small businesses have the necessary funds to survive this lean time and continue to generate revenue and employment.

With this end in mind, the U.S. government in 2008 and 2009 facilitating funding of banks to prop them up and encourage business loans. However, getting loans from banks is still very tough, even with good credit scores. The approval process is stringent and time-consuming. A failing business cannot afford the time lost in waiting for a loan when it needs funds urgently.

MCA providers have an efficient system that allows businesses to get the business advance fairly quickly. The funds can be utilized immediately to keep the business going while it adapts to the new economic environment. MCA providers have played a key role in keeping many businesses on their feet.

MCA industry – a successful player in the new lending market

The new lending market is seeing the rise of the MCA industry. Traditional bank loans are still an option for business financing but need to rethink their loaning strategy to be useful to struggling businesses. The MCA falls more costly than a bank loan, but it places trust in the business’ capability to perform. The MCA provider gets a percentage of the credit card sales and is with the business in good times and slow times. As MCA does not require posting of collateral, the business owner is saved the worry of losing personal assets.

The MCA industry is regulating itself to shakeout disreputable providers looking to rip-off desperate small business owners. Top MCA providers are setting a benchmark for other providers to ensure the MCA industry stays in business.

Small business funding is a lucrative industry. With the change in the lending market, more players can be expected to enter the arena to fulfill this need. Small business owners will have the option to choose from various financing sources. In today’s unpredictable environment, the MCA industry stands out for its convenient, fast and flexible financing options.

Small Business Lead Generation: Know It to Grow It

The importance of small business lead generation just can’t be emphasized enough. An exponentially high number of startups are surfacing every day, and need the necessary impetus to make their mark in the industry. Needless to say, with the increasing numbers, the competition is also increasing. This basically means that companies need innovative means to market their products and services.

To satiate their need for fulfilling business objectives, businesses hire the services of small business lead generation agencies that specialize in the field. This is basically intended at getting more market exposure and grabbing eyeballs to get more business. However, the reason why so many enterprises still fail after paying exorbitant amounts is because they lack the understanding of which tactics work best in the market. Make no mistake about it – it’s important to have a basic understanding of lead generation techniques, so that one can judge the performance of a campaign. Of late, the best way to promote any business especially in its initial stages is via the internet. However, the details are very important.

Small business lead generation via the internet has relied heavily on online directories, and the trend continues even to this present day. Social media, a relatively new entrant in this domain, has slowly made its way towards being one of the top preferences for promoting a brand. Also, making an official website has been known to get a significantly high number of leads. So, the basic point is that the agency hired to execute the lead generation campaign should know the nitty-gritties of the online world to truly succeed in lead generation. Such campaigns need to have a holistic approach and can’t operate in water-tight compartments with regards to the business model. Only when this happens can the business be on the right track and achieve the kind of success it desires.

Knowing the business environment for small business lead generation entails getting an understanding of the audience, the competition that already exists and the recent deployments, among others. Getting a better understanding of these factors ensures that the business can devise aggressive as well as precautionary tactics to be employed in accordance with the demands of the prevailing situation. It also allows one to make better decisions and react appropriately in different scenarios. However, one also needs to ensure that leads automatically pour in, after a point in time, so that the business gets in auto mode.

Direct Response and Web Sites-Small Business Lead Generation

One of the most important elements to small business success is lead generation because without leads you can’t increase sales. So where do you concentrate your lead generation efforts?

Get Qualified Leads One at a Time with Direct Response

I’m going to make a bold statement: Direct response is the most effective and affordable ways to generate leads on a one-on-one basis. Let me qualify that statement. Direct response is the most effective and affordable way to reach clients one-to-one if you:

  • know your target market
  • attach benefits to your features
  • understand your competition
  • identify your competitive advantage
  • can write your direct response package in a clear and convincing way

Understanding all that means you can have an effective direct response campaign. No doubt, knowing a few tips about direct response copywriting will help by boosting your response rate. For instance, your heading makes or breaks your campaign. It’s the biggest predictor on whether your prospect ill read it or toss it in the garbage.

Forget about where you’re located or how many year’s you’ve been in business, or describing every detail about your product. Yes, your potential consumer clients want to know a little about the features, but for every feature your product or service has, they want to know far more about the benefit. They consistently and continuously ask themselves, “What’s in it for me?”

A specific call to action, and creating a sense of urgency helps too. It seems most of us are basic procrastinators. If you don’t tell us what to do, and you don’t make us believe we need to do it today (with specials, limited-time or quantity discounts, etc.) we probably won’t do anything at all.

And by the way, a P.S. increases response rates too. It’s the second most-read line in your direct response copy. It should restate your main benefits, call to action and special offer.

Generate Masses of Leads with a Small Business Web Site

But direct response isn’t the only effective way to reach clients affordably. It may be the best way to reach potential clients on a one-on-one basis, but did you know a small business web site is one of the best ways to reach masses of potential clients?

Affordable? That depends. Some small business owners I know personally have paid lots of $$ for their web site. It may be a mistake to pay big bucks for a small business web site when a simple 5 page static site will do. After all, it’s not the design that produces results but rather the copywriting.

Copy for your web site follows the same basic rules as direct response copywriting, but with a few important differences:

  • web site copy is shorter because internet readers are generally impatient
  • include lots of free information because readers are searching for information
  • avoid the hard sell–it doesn’t work online
  • write with your readers in mind, but take search engines into account as well
  • include a way to capture email addresses as lead generation

Effective? That depends too. A web site is only effective if it can be found. And to make sure it’s found you need to know a little about search engine marketing (SEM). A good discussion about SEM is beyond the scope of this short article. But, here’s a few tips:

  • write web site copy around keywords, including headings and titles
  • promote your web site online by publishing articles, joining forums, and listing in business directories
  • try Google AdWords
  • promote your web site offline
  • content, content and even more content
  • update content often

Increase Their Interest Level with Direct Response Pointing to Your Web Site

So, direct response generates leads one-to-one, and a web site reaches the masses. What if you combine them?

Direct response and web sites work very well together to generate leads and close sales. You could create your direct response with a call to action to visit your web site rather than asking directly for a purchase. Your web site includes copy that is different from, but related to your direct response package.

Your web site call to action could be any of a number of things. You could use it simply to generate more leads through capturing email addresses. Or you could be the “information guru” on some subject your direct mail recipients would be interested in. Or your web site call to action could be directly asking for sales.

The point is that the purpose of both is to generate leads and to have some way to convert those leads to sales. There are many different ways to close sales. Follow up brochures can be very effective for instance. But possibly using both direct response and your web site solely to generate leads is less effective than using one to supplement the other as a sales tool.

Small Business Lead Generation

Small business lead generation doesn’t have to be a daunting task. You have an excellent product, your service is unlike any that many people will find in your type of business, and many people have an interest in what you do, but they just aren’t making the buy. This is where small business lead generation can help you out in gaining the interest of the prospects and turning them into customers.

Sometimes small business lead generation involves giving a little in order to receive a lot. A good example of this is doing something like offering a free guide to a particular service your business specializes in order to get the attention of potential customers. Anytime the word ‘free’ is thrown out there, you get the attention of all sorts of people. In turn, you are gaining leads and from those leads you gain customers.

Your small business lead generation strategy may also be something like offering a free download on your website (games, software) if visitors register their name and contact information on your site. If you can’t do downloads, you can give free gifts and do a “while supplies last” type of promotion to deter freebie hunters who have no interest in your business at all and just want the free gift. That is something you must be careful of when using this as a small business lead generation strategy. It works, but don’t be surprised if some of your freebies are gobbled up by those who have made it a career to post your site on the net as being a ‘freebie’ site. It is true that you may generate leads since freebie hunters need certain products and services too, but be aware that this does occur and use your best judgment since giving away free stuff is a very good small business lead generation tactic.

Another great tool in small business lead generation is once you have the leads, create a print newsletter in your store or an e-mail newsletter for those who have registered on your site. Keeping your current and potential customers up-to-date on your products and services is a great way to keep the same customers coming back over and over and that means they will tell their friends. The best small business lead generation strategy is when your current or potential customers see something in your newsletter that prompts them to call their friends and say “You know that such and such you were looking for? Well, XYZ Company has it and they have a great price on it.”

Through small business lead generation you are building relationships, retaining relationships, and opening yourself up to a whole new world of marketing strategies. And don’t forget, you want to do these things so that people will tell their friends and keep the word of mouth domino effect going strong. That is going to be the best small business lead generation you will ever find, but you have to give the dominoes a little push in the right direction first.