Town Haul Podcast | Episode 4

  • Host: Amy Koonin (Rubicon)
  • Guest: Christophe Choquart (Vice President of Development, IOU Financial)

Running a small business is tough – we know that! Rubicon is continuously partnering with other services to help lighten the load of the small business owner.

One of those partners is Atlanta’s own IOU Financial, a trusted lender with a lightning-fast approval process. Our host, Amy Koonin, sat down in the studio with IOU’s Vice President of Development, Christophe Choquart to talk tips and tricks when it comes to such a quick turn-around of capital and what that could mean for your business!

On how IOU Financial simplifies the loan process:

CHRISTOPHE: “Most owners are often pressed for time and looking for capital. The whole process of looking for financing can be overwhelming given the day-to-day routine of those merchants. So, we allow the merchants to go through a loan application with very limited documentation, and we also help them understand how and when to use it. So with IOU the process it is really like not supposed to take more than five minutes to apply. Small business owners simply upload their documents and wait for approval. Our process is 100% paperless, so it saves a lot of time in getting all the papers ready.

What sets our simplification process apart is when the merchant needs the money they can have it on their bank accounts on the next day after they apply.”

On advice for planning your annual small business budget:

CHRISTOPHE:  “Generally speaking, small businesses are often frustrated with finding growth. And it’s most often due to the lack of capital. Budget planning and timing is the last thing anyone wants to do, but it’s best to do it at the beginning of the year. When you work with IOU, we can look forward and really see how the business uses cash. I would also recommend looking at the seasonality of your spending, so you know when there might be a cash crunch or a slower month.

If you want to invest in your business and come up with an amount to budget, look at the last 12 months, look at the cash balances on average and ask yourself: what did I have? When was the month when I didn’t have as much cash? When was the month I had more cash? It’s wonderful to be able to accurately project for that.”

On the pressure for small businesses to reinvent themselves:

CHRISTOPHE: “Retail is definitely under pressure to reinvent itself due to the advances of competitors like Amazon. Consumers are expecting new products, innovation, the convenience of delivery and free returns/ They want to buy in the comfort of their home, so you can see the trend where just selling a product within a brick and mortar location is not enough to survive. There needs to be some kind of service. The way for the stores to try to reach out merchants through some online presence where they can really promote their products and respond to the consumer needs. For a consumer to come to the shop there has to be some value added that’s not available anywhere else.

 Retail has really started to change this; it’s neat I think, from selling the product to adding services or value-added services, being in a place where people can come and shop and relax because of the service and the warm atmosphere of the people, which is usually the owner.

I think retail is here to stay. Going to a physical shop location is good for all of us because it fosters communication. The owner can really get to know the consumer’s needs.”

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