The professional services sector—which includes accounting, architecture, advertising, technical consulting, engineering, and scientific research businesses—is a pillar of the U.S. economy.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 9 million Americans work in these fields. While professional services only account for 6 percent of all U.S. jobs, the industry was responsible for 10 percent of all new job growth from 2010 to 2012. The data suggest that the sector will continue to grow at a steady clip for the foreseeable future.
While the fact that the sector is thriving is a great sign for many in the professional services industry, the growth is not without its challenges. As more and more companies emerge, the competition becomes tougher.
Pundits predict that many companies in the professional services industry will double down on their content marketing efforts in an attempt to differentiate themselves from their competitors and attract more business. While marketing initiatives are critical to the growth of professional services businesses, they can be quite costly. Still, in an age where the internet makes it easier than ever for a business-to-business technology company, for example, to find a marketing agency, professional services companies can’t afford to neglect their marketing needs if they wish to continue growing.
As every owner of a professional services company knows, running a small business is not easy. Money is often tight to the point it can be hard enough to stay on top of your recurring expenses even when you budget meticulously. Once an unforeseen expense pops up or a customer takes longer than expected to settle an invoice, however, it can seem downright impossible to keep your doors open without turning to an outside source of financing for help.
When cash-flow problems rear their ugly head, many small-business owners look for loans to help them get their financial houses in order. In fact, 53 percent of small-business owners have applied for funding or a line of credit over the last five years, according to Entrepreneur magazine.
Are you a small-business owner in the professional services space who’s in the market for a small-business loan? If so, you’ll quickly find out you have a lot of options when it comes to the different kinds of financial vehicles that are available.
In the past, small-business owners used to be able to stroll into the nearest bank to find the money they needed to grow their companies. But times have changed. In the aftermath of the 2007–2008 financial collapse, traditional banking institutions are lending fewer and fewer dollars to small businesses. In fact, a recent report suggested that banks approve less than a quarter of small-business loan applications that come their way.
If you’re a small-business owner who either doesn’t have the best credit score in the world or doesn’t have the luxury to invest a lot of time in applying for a bank loan that you’re unlikely to receive in the first place, you’re not completely out of luck. You can still qualify for simple loans from non-bank lenders.
Non-bank lenders offer small-business owners in the professional services industry a number of benefits, including:
- A simple application. You should be able to complete your entire application in 15 minutes or less. Unlike banks—which require you to submit mountains of financial information and paperwork—non-bank lenders only require you to hand over basic business information and a few months of bank statements.
- Fast money. Once you’ve completed your application, you should know within 24 hours if you’ve been approved. Once approved, money can be deposited in your business’s bank account in as little as one business day.
- Flexibility. Whereas banks require you to invest your loan in a very specific way, non-bank lenders are much more flexible with the cash they give out. You can put your money to use however you see fit.
And the best part? Non-bank lenders offer unsecured loans, which means you won’t have to put up any collateral to obtain capital.
Like what you hear? Continue learning about unsecured business loans to see if they’re right for you.