Though Small Business Owners of America was only established in March 2011, the organization’s founder and CEO, James Moore, has been developing its products and services for years.
As a business owner himself, Moore was all too familiar with how hard it can be for entrepreneurs to obtain funding.
“It is nearly impossible to get startup financing unless you know the exact process of what the lenders and banks are looking for, and know how to jump through all of the hurdles placed in front of you,” he says. “Most business owners are great at what they do, which is why they started their business, but they do not know how to write a business plan, or a private placement memorandum, or file articles of organization. They simply know how to run their business.”
Moore was also aware that the majority of business owners do not have the collateral or credit score to qualify for a traditional loan.
SBOOA’s Business Builder Program seeks to address that issue by helping business owners build their business credit score, so they can get trade lines and credit lines without having to use personal credit.
“It is a great feeling to know that we were able to help a business get its feet on the ground and make somebody’s dream of becoming their own boss a reality,” Moore says.
To learn more about Columbus-based SBOOA, which has nearly 8,000 members to date, keep reading.
The Metropreneur: There are lots of organizations dedicated to helping small business owners. What makes yours different?
James Moore: The biggest difference is that all of our business consultants who work one-on-one with our clients have been directly involved with the startup of successful businesses themselves. They can relate to our clients and understand just how difficult it can be to start a business without the proper guidance and support.
We have all been in our client’s shoes before and can relate. Our business consultants are genuinely passionate about small business and how important small businesses are to our economy.
[M]: What kinds of issues do your business consultants address?
JM: The main issue that we deal with, and the main focus of our organization, is helping the businesses prepare for financing. With that being said our staff has pretty much experienced anything, good or bad, that a business can go through and is more than qualified to address any issues excluding legal advice.
[M]: How much is membership to SBOOA?
JM: A Basic SBOOA membership is free. You can join by liking our Facebook page, and are given access to our online experts and free business advice through our Facebook page.
A Premier SBOOA Membership is $9.99 per month. For that, we offer a large database of downloadable legal documents that typically would cost thousands of dollars if a business were to pay an attorney to complete the forms for them.
In addition to the large database of legal documents, our members are also granted phone access to our business experts for any business-related questions or concerns that they may have.
Lastly, with a Premier Membership our members are able to book hotels, and rental cars at discounted rates.
[M]: Do you have to be a member to take advantage of the financing and counseling SBOOA offers?
JM: No, you do not have to be a member in order to get financing. For the counseling and business advice, we never turn anybody away, but for in-depth phone consultations we will ask the business owner to join as a Premier Member at $9.99 per month. Also, with any of our paid products or services a one year Premier SBOOA Membership is included.
[M]: How much do you charge for your services?
JM: We offer services ranging anywhere from $99 to $2,999. The services we offer vary from small tasks, like writing the articles of incorporation for a business− $99, to much larger projects, like writing and developing a private placement memorandum− $2,999, and pretty much anything in between.
Our most popular service is our Business Plan Service, which ranges anywhere from $999 to $1,999 depending on whether the plan will be presented to a bank/lender for traditional financing, or to an investor.
[M]: Since SBOOA is based in Columbus, is it primarily focused on helping entrepreneurs in Central Ohio?
JM: At SBOOA, we work with entrepreneurs and business owners all across the U.S. and North America, and actually have a few overseas members as well. With that being said, we are very active in the Central Ohio community. We are big believers in buying locally, and to help stimulate the local economy we offer a 30 percent discount on all of our products and services for local businesses, excluding monthly membership fees.
[M]: Is there anything else you think we should know?
JM: SBOOA was created to meet the needs of small business owners everywhere, whether an early stage startup or existing business. Our staff is hardworking, patient, and compassionate.
We take pride in providing a quality service for our clients and we are dedicated to helping people achieve their business goals. We welcome and encourage business owners to contact us online for a brief consultation so that we can assess their needs and determine if any of our services can help them get to the next level in their business.
To learn more about Small Business Owners of America, visit SBOOA.org.