At OnDeck, we think that small business owners have the best – and most difficult – job there is.

That’s why we’ve made this 4-part video series to talk about the tools available to help make your day a little easier.

And today, we’re going to talk about how you can simplify small business financing for yourself. So you can spend more time focused on doing what you love - which is running your business.

Small businesses in the United States create two out of every three net new jobs and hire almost half of the private workforce. But as a small business owner, you don’t have access to the same kinds of resources big businesses do. Accessing capital to fuel this kind of job growth and fund working capital is a lot tougher today than it used to be—and because of all the different options available, it requires a more savvy borrower than ever before. 

We get it – as a business owner, your day is never over. Ever. You’re dealing with growing your customer base, endless phone calls to vendors and suppliers, sometimes a broken truck, or even a clogged toilet every once in a while. And you’re expected to do all of that, plus understand how to navigate the lending landscape. So, where are small business owners like yourself supposed to turn to for help? Increasingly, less and less small business owners are turning to their bank for this information. We conducted a survey and found:

  • 80% of business owners don't think banks do a good job at explaining how to qualify for different business financing products
  • 75% of business owners are unaware of their financing options

We’ve heard time and time again that information about how and where to apply for financing is just plain confusing – and it’s much more difficult today to secure financing than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Banks are closing physical branches at a rate much faster than they open new branches, and aren’t as focused on providing small business owners financial education. So, what’s a business owner to do when they have limited time, but still need to be prepared for the lending process?

Today, I’m going to talk to you about 2 great – and free – places you can go to receive easy-to-understand information about how to access capital.

To start, visit BusinessLoans.com, a website dedicated to providing information about how the different types of financing work and who provides them. Here you’ll discover which financing options are right for different types of businesses – and how likely a business owner like you will get approved. Best part about it? No need to leave your place of business to visit your bank, no setting up a meeting with your accountant or banker – just free information you can access about financing whenever, wherever. 

Next, start taking advantage of free resources like the great mentorship program at SCORE. It’s a nonprofit organization comprised of 11,000 business executives who volunteer their time to provide free and confidential advice. In other words, these men and women know what they’re talking about and want to share their experience and expertise with you. Through a SCORE mentor, you get real, actionable advice about business credit and financing – all on your own time. You can set up in-person meetings, email, or phone if you prefer, with your mentor to receive advice about running a healthy, successful business from someone who’s been there.

Business owners: start making life a little easier on yourself. Visit www.BusinessLoans.com or check out SCORE.org/OnDeck to jump start your search for financing. You’ll be ahead of the game by the time you apply, which will leave you more time to focus on the things that matter – like running your business.