How to Start and Run Your Own Small Business #AskBellco – EP. 9

[Jack] Hello and welcome to Ask Bellco Today we'll be discussing what it takes to start-up and run your own small business

Joining us to talk about it is Aaron Kelly He's Senior Manager of Business Services at Bellco Aaron, thanks for coming on the show [Aaron] Thanks Jack, good to see you [Jack] So happy to have you here

I feel like there are a lot of opportunities, especially in Colorado for somebody who wants to start a small business, whether it's the active outdoor lifestyle we have here that opens up a lot of things Or, kind of that new tech boom that we're seeing around the Boulder area Lots of places to dive in If I want to start my own business, what do I need to get started? What are some of the first things I should be thinking about? [Aaron] The first thing to get started would be I always recommend that people go visit the SBA website [Jack] SBA

What's that? [Aaron] Small Business Administration So, it's a government organization and their focus is on growing businesses and helping businesses get started Within that you can find checklists for what do I need to actually open my business and it'll range from getting the business registered with the state of Colorado whether it be a LLC or S Corp and pretty much all of that you can do online So, it's pretty easy to get started

[Jack] Well, that's convenient Are there other online resources that people should know about? [Aaron] The SBA can cover a lot The state of Colorado has a couple of resources as well that just helps with a small business owner where they can get knowledge on getting the business started [Jack] Okay, great [Aaron] Then within another part of the SBA is an organization called SCORE and that's more They have an office in Denver and this is where a small business owner can go and meet with a mentor

There's a lot of workshops they can attend really just to get an idea of what they can do [Jack] So, it sounds like a lot of resources, helpful resources to give you some footing [Aaron] Yes [Jack] For example a mentor I fell like that would be huge, starting your own business to have somebody you can talk to who has done all of this stuff before

[Aaron] Right [Jack] Now, we're obviously on "Ask Bellco" so we're going to talk about some of the financial sides of starting your business So, I'm ready to start a business, I have registered on the SBA and I've taken a couple of classes and now I'm ready to look for a financial institution like a bank or credit union to partner with What am I looking for? [Aaron] Probably the first thing is you need a checking account [Jack] Oh yea

[Aaron] You shop around you'll find a lot of checking accounts that have fees for various reasons You look for ones with no fees For a small business you can usually find one that's not going to have fees so you save a few bucks there [Jack] Really? That's great [Aaron] At least it gets the small business once it gets bigger and there's more money then fees get involved

But, to at least get started you can find no fee checking accounts And then also the electronic services Whether it's a remote deposit or just the online banking [Jack] Yeah That Internet and mobile really adaptable banking would really be necessary for a 21st century business

[Aaron] Yeah, and it saves you a trip to the branch It'll save you time there too [Jack] That's true Yes absolutely A lot of trips to the bank without that

[Aaron] Right [Jack] So, let's say I've picked my bank I've found all of those services and everything Now, I need to ask for a loan For my small business

What kind of things is that For example Bellco What kind of things are Bellco going to ask me for when I come in and want a loan? [Aaron] At Bellco we're going to want a financial history, your background and so we'll start with the last two years of tax returns for the business, the last two years of financial statements for the business and then also anybody who's an owner of that business we would consider them a guarantor and so that means we'd want the guarantor's tax returns as well A guarantor is basically if the business stops paying the loan then the guarantor is going to

[Jack] Then this guy is going to pay it Right exactly So you'd want to see those finances too That makes sense But, I'm going to back up a little bit because you said two years of tax returns for the business

This is my new business I'm just starting and I don't have two years of tax returns What happen then? What are my options [Aaron] Well there are a couple of options you can go to A common one is an organization that's called the Colorado Enterprise Fund and they are a Colorado based organization

They've been around since the '70s and they specialize in making loans to newer small businesses [Jack] So they are focused right on these just starting out kind of places [Aaron] Right, that's their expertise [Jack] What are some other obstacles that people might run up against? [Aaron] Getting the business plan put together and having a plan set in stone that they can give to the bank Getting organized on the financial side

I think it's people might have a great idea but they may not have the expertise on the financial side [Jack] Well, I feel like that is some great tips to get your business running successfully So, in relation to getting a bank or credit union to help me start my business We talked a little bit about the loans What are some other things that I can do to be prepared with my bank? What are some things I can do? [Aaron] Have it organized

Have the financials organized That's a big thing [Jack] I shouldn't come in with a big like a garbage bag full of tax returns [Aaron] Exactly, drop it on and walk out No [laughing] If it's electronic that's even better E-mail, everybody likes e-mail now [Jack] Oh yea that's right all digital [Aaron] All of our loan files are digital so it's a big help

It's much more convenient [Jack] And much lighter because paper really adds up It gets pretty heavy pretty fast [Aaron] Right, save a tree right [Jack] Absolutely

We talked about that SBA website We talked about SCORE and remind me what the name of that third one was again because it seems like it's a real import one for people really starting out [Aaron] Colorado Enterprise Fund is the name [Jack] Colorado Enterprise Fund so check that out you can Google it I feel like I learned a lot

Any last tips you want to share with us? [Aaron] With banking and credit unions I always recommend that people shop around I think there's a lot of competition in Denver and so it's one of those situations I think if you go to one lender you may find yourself not necessarily on the same page when you are getting started Just go down the street and keep shopping around [Jack] So you would want to shop around [Aaron] Right

[Jack] And there's nothing wrong with walking away Right? [Aaron] Right, absolutely [Jack] If you can find a better partner down the street Aaron thanks so much for coming on the show [Aaron] Thanks for having me

[Jack] We'll have you back on sometime huh? [Aaron] Great I'll look forward to it [Jack] And thank you for tuning in Now remember if you have a question or a topic that you would like discussed here on the show just send them to us on social media using the hashtag #askbellco Next month we're going to be covering some tips on buying or selling in a hot real estate market

We'll see you then