I would like to risk be blunt to the point, even on my first post. Generally, I`m a happy go lucky guy filled with excitement about my new venture and energized by the frightening challenges of new business ownership. However, after slogging my way through researching and launching my business (which was tough and gratifying) and developing my initial product (which is a wonderful challenge coming to fruition faster than anticipated) and paying for my first advertising (yes! My product in print!) ... I have hit an uncomfortable pot hole in the road. To this point I have managed to pay for every expense out of pocket; I have a very good job, very few expenses and very good credit ... but no real collateral.
The hunt for money (and, at only $30,000, it is a truly modest sum for a business) has been an uphill battle. I am doing well at the moment, but I am coming off of almost two years of unemployment after having been laid off at a law firm and then working a retail job that paid me $100 LESS a month than unemployment! I started looking for bank loans but, without collateral, there really wasn`t an option. Some banks would not speak to me unless I was seeking half a million at the least. (Have you seen those commercials with the small business owner being scraped off the banker`s shoe? Bingo.) But lately I`ve run into only three obstacles in the private organization sector:
1) I`m not a woman
2) I`m not a minority
3) I`m not flat broke
I have been turned aside 38 times in the past two months based on these factors alone. One time I was denied application because I`m 35 years old... (only 30 and under need apply).
I have done my due diligence in founding my business and seeking council at every step. I have put in my hours and my money. I am not seeking charity. All I want is an opportunity to take my shot. If my product falls flat, I can repay a loan at a rate of $1,500 a month. I understand there are many risks to the lender. I don`t want a loan shark. I don`t want to give away the rights to my fledgling company or my intellectual property.
I just want my chance.
I`ve heard of Prosper.com and I admit it looks intriguing, though I will need to come up with another $5,000 to make sure I have some breathing room.
I am open to any suggestions at this point... my advertising touts Spring `07. Can anyone here help me to keep my word?
Thank you very much for your time and expertise.
Gregory S. Hancock (on-tray-pan-oor)