How does a new small business owner build credit? What are their options for accessing capital, and how do they build it all into a solid business plan?
The WSFS Bank Small Business and SBA teams were joined by members of the African American Chamber of Commerce at the Philadelphia Union’s home, Subaru Park, for a recent small business workshop to tackle these key questions and more.
AACC President, Regina Hairston, and WSFS Bank SVP, Chief Consumer Lending Officer, Candice Caruso, kicked off the event with welcome remarks followed by an overview of the Philadelphia Union’s brand story and a glimpse at where the organization is headed, with the Union’s Michelle Rosar, VP of Partnership Marketing, and Amanda Young Courtis, VP, Marketing & Communications.
Caruso then kicked off the workshop presentation, focusing on business planning, followed by Jeremy Shackleford, SVP, Director of Small Business Sales, and Gladys Parrilla, VP, Small Business Relationship Manager walking attendees through the key steps to take to develop a business plan and structure that puts owners in the best position to drive revenue and obtain financing. Some key tips include understanding what counts as assets, liabilities and capital expenditures, key metrics banks look at when weighing loan risk.
Shackleford and Katrina Brown, AVP, Small Business Assistant Credit Manager, spoke about the importance and best practices to build business credit, how owners’ personal credit should be managed alongside personal credit, and offered tips for the audience members who are in startup phases to establish business credit using business credit cards and knowing how and when to separate business and personal expenses.
“It was really great to see everyone so engaged, asking questions and really diving in to learn how they can best position their business for success,” said Shackleford. “These areas of focus are critical for small businesses to manage for long-term success, so we are happy to help in any way we can.”
Next up was a top-of-mind topic for all small businesses, accessing capital. WSFS Bank’s Da’Rius Lemon, Small Business Customer Care Representative, discussed the types of small business financing options available and what each is best used for, from financing equipment to buying property, all based on where the business is in its life cycle and financial position.
Lemon then turned the presentation over to Jennifer Murphy, VP, Small Business Relationship Manager, who mapped out best practices for managing cash flow, another key factor for a small business’ success. Some ways small businesses can manage their cash flow effectively include getting paid for products or services up front, optimizing accounts payable processes, and choosing a merchant service provider that provides quick access to funds from credit card payments.
Shackleford and Solange Witty, VP, Retail Office Manager, then wrapped up the presentation with an interactive exercise featuring WSFS-branded prizes, followed by a great Q&A and exchanges of ideas among the presenters and audience members! One lucky raffle winner went home with four game tickets and a Union jersey, too!
Caruso added, “Workshops like these are a great opportunity for small businesses to learn more about the resources available to them, share ideas and success stories with one another, and for our Associates to interact with them in a fun, engaging environment. We’re thrilled to meet everyone and look forward to our continued partnerships with the African American Chamber of Commerce and Philadelphia Union.”
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