Business planning and identification of funding sources

For many small business owners in Illinois, capital will be needed to help grow their companies. While traditional funding sources may be used, identifying alternative sources as a part of the planning process may also be a good idea.

One source of potential business funding for small businesses are national brands and stores. For example, such chains as Whole Foods offer loans to small businesses so they can produce goods that fit with the brand's offerings. The same is true for other national brands such as Martha Stewart and FedEX, among others.

One thing all of the major brands that offer such funding have in common is their requirement that applicants have a sound and well-thought out business plan. It is also important for small business owners to make certain that their product fits with the particular brand before applying for loans from them. Most of the major brand funding sources also want applicants to have a strong Internet presence, so it is a good idea for owners to plan how they will expand their presence online. Approaching the right national brand and having a strong business plan may allow the company to obtain the funding it needs to grow quickly.

Small business formation should involve the entrepreneur's careful planning for future growth. Part of this is identifying all potential funding sources. Another aspect is determining the most appropriate legal entity structure to select in order to minimize liability. Entrepreneurs may want to get help with the business planning and formation process from an attorney. Having a solid plan in place can make the difference in being able to obtain needed funding for the company's capital and growth needs. Both traditional funding sources as well as alternative ones will normally require business plans as part of the application process.

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