Grey Financial Group – Part 2

May 10th, 2009 by | Print

grey-financial-group-logo1Here we are, back again with part 2 of 2 in an interview with Marian White, the solopreneur behind Grey Financial Group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TSG: Marian, why did you decide to go solo?

 

MW: I decided to go solo after working for others in the corporate arena for 20+ years because I really wanted to have more control over my schedule and eventually how much money I would make. During my corporate career, I also managed people and honestly didn’t always enjoy having to deal with people who had very different work ethics and standards than my own.

 

 

TSG: Have you ever outsourced any aspects of your business?

 

MW: I have considered outsourcing small aspects like administrative duties. I do not run my own website, I do have a company that hosts and manages the content updates for me.

 

 

TSG: Have you ever engage in any joint ventures?

 

MW: Yes, I have engaged in joint ventures with a capital venture company and other independent brokers for sub-broker transaction arrangements.

 

 

TSG: Do you have any plans to take on partners or employees in the future or do you prefer to remain a solopreneur?

 

MW: I would consider having no more than 2 other employees, but I do prefer to remain solo.

 

 

TSG: What marketing do you do to draw in business?

 

MW: We do a lot of online/Internet marketing with programs such as Google Ads and advertising with Yahoo and Facebook. We have email blasts and direct mail campaigns. I’m also starting a blog, The Grey Principle, and network through my local Chamber of Commerce, Twitter and LinkedIn and other professional associations such as the NAELB. I do write articles for online magazines as well.

 

 

TSG: I notice that you use the terms “us” and “we” when describing Grey Financial Group – plus “group” is in the name. Are you truly a solopreneur?

 

MW: I do use the term “we” and ” us”  a lot, I noticed it in my responses to you. Yes, I am truly a solopreneur. I answer the phones, do the marketing, follow-up on accounts, etc.

 

 

TSG: I’ve noticed many other solopreneurs use these same terms, too. Why don’t solopreneurs play to the strengths that a single person operation provides?

 

MW: Depending on the nature of your business, I believe certain customers feel more comfortable dealing with entities that aren’t too small. Although they love personal attention, they don’t want the risks that may come with dealing with a one (wo)man operation.  Since I work with a nationwide network of lenders, I want my customers to know that we offer many resources, many options to get them the best financing for their situation. One person operations are definitely considered a higher risk. Ironically, it can be very difficult for me to arrange financing for a business such as mine.

 

 

TSG: So what can a solo entrepreneur do to better their odds of getting approved?

 

MW: To increase the chances of getting approved for financing, first and foremost they should have strong credit (750+). They should also have a separate business location (provide a copy of your business lease) and operate a business that’s other than strictly an online presence. Home-based businesses are more difficult to finance. Single owner operated trucking companies are also difficult. If the solo biz owner accepts credit cards and has decent monthly receipts ($5,000+), has decent monthly receivables from other business customers, owns real estate with equity that can be used as collateral, and has other large ticket equipment that can be used as collateral, approval rates increase.

 

 

TSG: With the change in the economy over the last year, have you seen any significant change in the percentage of demand for the different types of financing that you offer?

 

MW: The biggest change has been how quickly people need the money. Everyone needs the money immediately, so where it may have been acceptable for 2 months or more to process a loan, most folks are under pressure to make payroll and keep their doors open, so they are looking for products that can put cash in their hands quickly. This naturally leads to our cash advance or accounts receivables factoring products. More businesses are considering factoring and cash advances than in the past because they have quick turnaround times and don’t focus as much on personal credit scores as other financial products.

 

 

TSG: In part one of this two part interview, you mentioned that an ideal customer is an educated customer. Here you mention that you see an increase in clients seeking money now. What should a solopreneur come prepared with in order to get funding as quickly as possible?

 

MW: That’s a great question. Solopreneurs should know where they are with their credit and have a recent copy of their report that includes their FICO scores. Too many business owners make the mistake of not knowing what’s on their reports and then allow multiple lenders to pull their credit history and this lowers their scores, whether or not they receive funding. Be prepared with your personal and business tax returns for the last 2 years, as well as copies of your business bank statements.  Start-up businesses should also have a business plan detailing your business, target market, marketing plans and financial model with projections for 1-3 years. All requests should include an explanation of how the funds will be used. Depending on the amount of funding you’re requesting, you should also be prepared to provide a personal financial statement that lists your assets, liabilities and net worth. Having this information ahead of time makes the entire process less stressful for everyone involved. Lenders look favorably on well-prepared applicants.  

 

 

TSG: Who inspires you?

 

MW: This is a difficult question to answer. I can look at many women who have started their own businesses and done very well for themselves and they all inspire me. Overall, my daughter is my main inspiration to keep at it every day. I want her to see that she has options and that if she wants, she can run her own business and successfully work for herself. There are great benefits in the hard work that goes into owning your company.

 

 

I would like to thank Marian again for her participation in this series. Great information there not only about the inspiration and process behind setting up a solopreneur enterprise, but also the very helpful tips for securing funding in today’s tighter market.

 

Here again is the contact information for Grey Financial Group. And remember, she specializing in serving you, the solopreneur, with securing funding.

 

Grey Financial Group LLC
Marian White

P.O. Box 1234
Owings Mills, MD 21117
Phone: 410-654-6555

Toll Free: 866-977-GREY
Fax: 410-654-6755

Web: http://www.greyfinancialgroup.com/home.html

 

All The Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide

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2 Responses to “Grey Financial Group – Part 2”

  1. Paul Says:

    I’m hoping not to need financing by starting small, but it is comforting to know that there are good resources out there.

  2. Daniel Says:

    great post, thanks for sharing

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