A Real SBA

Media 1’s new mantra relieves the stresses of securing a Small Business Administration loan and success itself.
Cars line up for wraps at Media 1/Wrap This!

“WooSaaaaa… Just breathe.” I’ve been saying that phrase to myself a lot lately. Or have I been chanting it? Yeah, chanting sounds more like what Rick and I have been doing. 

Can I also just say this? BUSINESS IS @$%#^ HARD! And today, I want to rant about it. I’m not in a cheery mood, so this column might be slanted a little to the Dark Side.

ODDS ARE AGAINST

According to the latest small business statistics, there are 28.8 million small businesses in the US. (That’s all businesses with fewer than 500 employees.) Damn! Could you imagine having 500 employees? That’s insane! 

Alright, back to those statistics. (Ooh, exciting!) Out of all those small businesses, 33% fail in the first year. Only half will make it to five years, and by 10 years, only one-third are still standing. Do you know why?

‘Cause BUSINESS IS @$%#^ HARD!

The daily challenges are sometimes overwhelming. And I’m talking about the regular, typical things we need to do to stay in business. The things people “see,” but what about your plans to expand your company? That’s all the Brain Power stuff. All the dreaming, imagining and coming up with new ideas that will make you a bigger, stronger company? That’s the emotional hard stuff that nobody sees. But that’s exactly what keeps us moving forward, avoiding stagnation. 

Now, back on the Media 1/Wrap This! front, we are straight-up living on the razor’s edge. We are still going through financing with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the bank, and so far, there is no 100% guarantee that we will actually close the loan for our relocation. And while we pride ourselves on having spotless financial records, the additional information the SBA requires is formidable. 

MORE BODY BLOWS

Dale hands over the deposit for his long sought-after new building
Dale hands over the deposit for his long sought-after new building

There are several advantages to choosing an SBA-backed loan. One of the biggest is that you only need 10% for a down payment. That’s huge when you are buying a $3 million building! (I also kinda dig the fact that we are finally successful and credit-worthy enough that the government would loan us that kind of money.) But the downside? The SBA requires wayyy more documentation than a conventional loan, and takes a hell of a lot more time to close. After writing an 11-page “Past, Present, and Future” narrative of Media 1 – fully outlining every step in our 35-year history and our future plans, including how many employees we will be hiring –I was exhausted. 

But then the next day they asked for full financial projections for those expansion plans… How many employees, and when will we hire, how much expenses will increase, how much in net earnings will there be, all given to them in month-over-month P&L’s and balance sheets, projected for the next 24 months. Somebody kill me.

Then our original banker, with our deal from the very beginning, literally quits his job of 10 years to go to another bank. In the middle of our deal! So now, there’re all new people, brand new to us and the deal, and we float in limbo while our contracted closing date ticks ever closer…. AAAAGGGHHHH!!!

Other issues swirling in my cranium: I am overwhelmed. The amount of time Rick and I have wasted over the past two years trying to buy a building may finally be culminating in a purchase. Now, if I can loosen myself of the probes the SBA conveniently installed in my office – apparently so they can make sure they are doing a thorough investigation of our company – I should feel a little less stressed.

Meanwhile, we deal with all the other issues of building a business: hiring new employees, keeping the existing employees happy and focused on our company goals, building a new website, oh, and don’t forget, taping episodes for our new YouTube channel, debuting before you read this! 

The good news is, sales are booming and our clients and employees are happy, but sometimes, even though that is great news, success, as well, carries its own stresses and demands on our limited time. But you know, honestly, I have no right to complain about any of it. After all, this is exactly what I asked for. Till next time, folks.