I began by drawing up a list of all the banks in the country, and all the financial institutions that provided any kind of financing for small businesses. I began to research every single one; I wanted to know everything about them:
* How much money did they have?
* How do they make money, as a business?
* Who managed them?
* What was their lending practice?
* Which one is considered accessible, and why?
It was a research project that I developed at a time when there was no Internet, and very little public information. I was painstaking and thorough, and it took me months. I did not rely on hearsay because I am always professional about what I do, I always check out facts.
I completely changed my circle of friends; hanging out with other young business people, and always asking about how they raised money. If I heard there was a business meeting, I always tried to get in, and I was always taking notes. I spent hours every night at the local university library. I had become a student again! Oh how I wish there had been the Internet in those days!
I bought books and read articles about financing of small businesses. I soon had a whole bookshelf on the subject. I bought books on how to prepare business plans, and how to make presentations. I had to wait for months for some of these books to arrive. This is how I approach most things: I do my research.
I had determined in my heart that if only $1 was going to be made available from the whole banking system, it would have to be to mine! There would be no “hit and miss”.
…. In the next post, I will tell you, my next step: how I got the first loan.