Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at November 2nd, 2021
Did YOU know that even the way you set up your office space can make a difference? You could achieve maximum fundability™ for business financing. Or you might end up settling for little to no fundability™ and little or no financing.
The good news is that most variables surrounding your office space are well within your control.
Fundability™ is the ability of a business to get funding. This is everything from getting credit to business loans. Since every business needs money, it pays to enhance your fundability whenever and wherever you can. A great place to start is your office space.
Fundability™ matters in both the online and offline worlds. The way you set up your business will affect your ability to get money. We’ve all seen the consequences when business owners aren’t careful. Haphazard is not a good look in either of these two worlds. Let’s start with the online world.
These days, a lot of businesses start online. It may be a side hustle or a passion project. But there comes a time when you need an actual website. And it’s got to be an email address that doesn’t come from Gmail or Yahoo.
The better your fundability™ is, the better your chances for business financing. Let’s look at your online presence. That is, your email address and your website.
One place where lenders and vendors will be looking for your business is online. Even if they’re not checking out your online presence, they may still need to know how to order your product or service, or where to send praise or complaints. Your online presence is where they will find that information—or not.
What happens if your family member or a friend built your website? Maybe that person has talent. But business websites differ from personal ones. A business website must be easy to navigate. It must answer customers’ questions.
You need more than a listing on Yelp or a Facebook page. A business website can affect your ability to get funding. But a poorly put together website that appears unprofessional will not help you with customers or potential lenders. It can even be worse than not having a website at all. Spend the time and money necessary to ensure your website is professionally designed and works well.
Styles differ. Prom photographers and construction companies differ. They have dissimilar sites and design sensibilities. But they both have Contact and About pages. And they both have information about what they do.
Make sure you own your domain. It’s better than having just your domain at Wix or WordPress or the like. You can do this by buying hosting. This is through hosting companies like GoDaddy or HostGator.
With more lending decisions going on online these days, your email address is an opportunity for your business to puts its best foot forward. Don’t squander this easy and free opportunity! General email addresses like [email protected] tend to be best.
With a general email address, if someone leaves your employ, another employee can seamlessly take over that email address. A username like admin, webmaster, or even hello is far, far better than cutiepie or the like, even if you’re in a playful industry that caters to kids. After all, your bank and banker aren’t.
Always keep your records consistent! This includes your online records. Inconsistent records will lead to a denial due to fraud because that’s how lenders interpret inconsistencies. This is a cause of denials which is in the business owner’s hands. You have the ability to change and correct this.
This means your business name, address, phone number—everything!—must look the same in these places and more:
Copy/paste this information; don’t chance it with retyping.
There are some aspects of fundability™ where you should pay particular attention to what’s going on online. They include:
Records consistency matters here, too. Your website should show who owns your business. And that information must be consistent. So if you call an owner Susan Johnson on your website’s About page, then you can’t put Sue Johnson on your Contact page. If your business ownership changes, you must show that here.
Abbreviations can be your downfall here, as can punctuation like hyphens, commas, and colons. If your Contact page says your main office is on Main Street, then your About page can’t say it’s on Main St.
Decide if you want to use the word ‘and’ or an ampersand (&) or a plus sign (+). If you need something like that in your business name, then pick one and stick with it! Yes, even this will make a difference.
If your business moves, or you add subsidiaries and other locations, then you must update that information everywhere. This even means whether you use your 5-digit ZIP code, or a ZIP plus 4 code (9 digits).
If your business is over the road trucking, then it must have that kind of listing. Pro tip: when there are several different names for your industry, like long distance trucking, try to mention those other phrases on your website.
When your company domain matches your business name, it helps with fundability™. Pro tip: try to match what people will be searching for online. Here’s an example. If the word ‘brothers’ is in your company name, then determine if people will use ‘brothers’ or ‘bros’ when searching for your company online. Let’s move onto offline fundability.
Records consistency matters with setting up an office from scratch, too. So does a professional appearance. You and your location can exude fundability™, or not. Let’s start with your phone number.
The best home office setup makes your business a fundable entity separate from you, the owner. One early step is to ensure your business has its own phone number and address. That doesn’t mean you must get a separate phone line, or even a separate location. You can still run your business from your home or on your computer.
You can get a business phone number that will work over the internet instead of phone lines. So use a VoIP, AKA a voice over internet protocol. The phone number will forward to any phone you want it to. So you can use your personal cell phone or landline if you want. Whenever someone calls your business number, it will ring straight to you.
Lenders can see an 800 Number or toll-free phone number as a sign of business credibility. Even if you’re a single owner with a home-based business, a toll-free number provides the perception that you are a bigger company. It’s easy and inexpensive to set up a virtual local phone number or a toll free 800 number.
Your phone number must have a listing with 411. This is a prerequisite for most credit issuers and lenders to approve you. Check your record to see if you have a listing. Make sure your information is accurate. No record? Then use ListYourself.net to get a listing.
One way to exude more Fundability is with a separate site for your business, apart from your home. A UPS box or PO box will get your business flagged as unestablished. You need a brick and mortar address. But how do you get one for not too much money?
You can use a virtual office for a business address. A virtual office is a business that offers a physical address for a fee. They sometimes they even offer mail service and live receptionist services. There are some that offer meeting spaces for those times you may need to meet a client or customer in person. But keep in mind: not every vendor will accept a virtual address.
You can often get a great city address. There can be workspaces if you need them. And you might get access to conference rooms. Some plans include receptionists. A small business does not have to look small.
Our three favorite virtual office providers are:
You may need to improvise. Consider talking with local business owners. Find out what they do. Perhaps there are shared spaces. It might be fruitful to talk to local computer user groups too.
As they say in the real estate business, your top 3 concerns are location, location, location. For a business, you want to be where your customers are. And you want to match your location with your business, as well as possible.
Hence a luxury goods seller should be in the ritzy section of town. And the seller of athletic gear could do well with a store near a college. How does this relate to fundability™? If your location makes you more money, your business will be more fundable.
You can improve your business’s fundability™. Setting up your office space properly will go a long way. Pay attention to the details of your website, email address, phone number, and business address. And make sure your records get and stay consistent to prevent funding denials due to perceived fraud.