Talk small business finance to most business owners and they will tell you that it's a fantasy unless you have substantial assets.
That could be about to change with an industry-first Business Funding Guide to help small business owners and their accountants to crack credit crunch.
It's no 'silver bullet' through the financial fantasyland bubble, but it should greatly help business to be more strategic in assessing what they need and the best ways of achieving it.
The guide, launched earlier this week, was developed by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) in partnership with Scottish Pacific Business Finance.
It has two components.
The first is the 30-page Business Funding Guide primarily written for accountants, bookkeepers, brokers and other financial advisers, to help their small business clients find the right funding and increase their likelihood of having funding applications approved.
The second component, the FitsME- Essential Guide to Business Funding, is a six-page companion guide for business owners that provides the most important information they need to know to become ‘finance fit’.
Ombudsman Kate Carnell (pictured right) said the biggest barrier to small business growth was access to finance.
“This independent guide provides comprehensive, up-to-date information about a range of funding options available to them, along with a step-by-step pathway to becoming ‘finance fit’ to give small business operators their best chance at securing funding," she said.
“We know that about a third of small business owners have had their applications for bank loans rejected. Many more have not bothered to even apply as they’ve been told that unless they have significant equity in real estate, their application will fail.
“That’s why it is essential that small businesses understand the range of financial providers and products on the market – the big four banks are not the only game in town!”
Scottish Pacific CEO Peter Langham said it was understood that business owners work long hours and carry a lot of responsibility.
“We feel very strongly that their key to success is understanding where to get assistance, including ways they can finance their enterprises, so they can find funding that fits their needs," he said.
“Business operators looking to grow, employ and stimulate the economy, need to consider all of the funding options, including options that are not linked to their personal property, to make the best choice for their business," Mr Langham said.