Businesses aren’t born overnight. When a new business finally opens its doors to the public, it is often after years of planning and hard work behind the scenes. The pre-development process is complex, especially if an innovative business plan breaks away from the ordinary to try something altogether new.
Building a new facility can require feasibility studies, environmental impact assessments, extensive design and planning work, and buy-in from local, state and possibly federal stakeholders – not to mention extensive funding and new business loans.
All this work and planning takes place long before a business can begin generating revenue. How do aspiring business owners finance the necessary pre-development work that is required BEFORE presenting a solid business plan to the bank?
Starting from Scratch – Bringing a Business from Idea to Reality
“The pre-development phase can be challenging to navigate,” said Mike Lattery, Director of Business Finance at the Entrepreneur Fund. “But when we meet with aspiring business owners with big visions and well-thought-out business plans, we find a way to get to ‘yes.’”
Over the past three decades, the Entrepreneur Fund has provided financing for many new business endeavors, helping strengthen our region by supporting local business.
Whether a project is large or small, ambitious entrepreneurs drive their own success when they are committed to their cause but flexible during the development process. Success often follows entrepreneurs who possess:
- A thorough business plan – A well-thought-out, thorough business plan is essential to the success of a project, but there must be room for flexibility if and when things do not go according to plan.
- A clear vision – Successful entrepreneurs know what they want to achieve and are willing to put in the hard work required to bring their vision to reality.
- A strong commitment to the process – Depending on the type of business, the development process could require many moving parts and a wide variety of stakeholders.
- Understanding of up-front costs – A new endeavor could require building plans, design, engineering, architecture, feasibility studies and more. These up-front costs can add up.
- Patience – Seeing a business idea through to opening is a long and exciting road. It can take years of commitment and hard work. They say patience is a virtue, and that is absolutely true when starting a new business.
Growing Our Community with Flexible Financing
The Entrepreneur Fund works side by side with traditional lenders to help local entrepreneurs access funding to start and expand businesses. Our flexible financing solutions create opportunities for business owners to complete the pre-development legwork required before accessing significant business funding from bank partners. The Entrepreneur Fund’s work complements bank loans to fuel business growth in the region.
We offer SBA 7a Financing up to $750,000, which can have a huge impact on our region’s businesses – especially when paired with a traditional bank loan. In 2018, we closed 38 SBA 7a loans, with a total amount of over $5.3 million.
Our Small Business Financing opportunities are available up to $750,000 and can include gap financing. In 2018, we exceeded our small business financing goals, closing over $12.6 million in loans to regional business owners.
SBA Microloans up to $50,000 are perfect for startups. We’ll help get you off the ground and ready to grow. We are extremely proud to have been named in the top 10 Microloan lenders in the U.S. for total dollar amount loaned – and we distributed 90 Microloans in 2018.
The Road from Empty Lot to Thriving Resort
When entrepreneur Sandy Hoff was preparing to bring a new resort experience to Duluth’s waterfront district, he knew he’d be navigating the road ahead for several years. Never one to shy away from a challenge, the property he had in mind required significant investment to strengthen and stabilize the slip walls long before construction on the new resort could commence.
With pre-development costs adding up fast, Hoff turned to a long-trusted financing partner, the Entrepreneur Fund. We were proud to help Hoff secure the pre-development funding he needed to get his plan for Pier B to the starting line.
With pre-development funding in hand and planning underway, Hoff was able to approach partners, stakeholders and additional funders for subsequent project phases. Hoff’s dedication, persistence and perseverance paid off, and he succeeded in creating a unique and exciting destination resort experience for locals and visitors alike.