Growing a business in today’s market is all about survival of the fittest. Surviving through the uphill battles of being an entrepreneur is critical. Surviving through the growth stages of the business is just as vital as when your business is in a negative cash flow period or downhill mode. How you survive through these stages will determine whether your business will be around or close for good. It is important to define ways to deal with the ups and downs in business. You must defining key strategies to stay afloat through.

Here are five (5) things to consider when faced with either survival or growth periods and you need access to capital to finance for your business:

1. Who are your clients?

It is important that your client base is clearly defined. If you have clients in all three sectors—business-to-business (B2B), business-to-government (B2G) contracting opportunities, and business-to-consumer (B2C)—you must understand the dynamics of each sector and the significance of how these dynamics affect your access to capital, especially in the non-traditional lending arena of alternative financing.

2. Who is guaranteeing payment?

It is important to understand the payment methods your clients might use to pay you. Whether you receive payments from the government, a business, or a consumer, this information will dictate the type of financing your small business can use for future growth or for the survival of your business.

3. How do you receive payments for goods and/or services?

Each business owner determines what methods of payment are acceptable for their business. Payment methods could include cash, checks, direct deposits, credit card payments, and online credit card payments using sites such as PayPal or AlertPay. You may also invoice your clients and allow them terms, such as 30 days, to pay. These payment methods will dictate how your small business can access working capital and what financing source is best suited for your business.

4. What are your payment terms?

Business owners often give their clients specific terms to pay their invoices. This method is primarily used when invoicing clients against services they have used or products they have received. The average payment term is 30 days but this does not mean your clients will pay during this time period. When your clients cannot pay your invoice within the terms you have agreed upon, you are holding a paper that is not worth much. In this situation, you will need to revise your payment terms or obtain financing to help your business stay afloat until your clients pay the money they owe you.

5. Why have traditional bank lenders turned you down?

It is important to understand why your bank turned you down for a business loan or line of credit. Being a bankable customer is always the goal, but you might not always be considered as one. To regain the status of being bankable, you will need to fix a number of things first. In the interim, you will have to select non-traditional (alternative) financing options. These financing options should be used to get you back on track, and alternative financing sources will work with you and your bank if you are a good fit.

Remember, it is about staying in business, providing great goods and/or services, and employing individuals who will give your business an outstanding reputation. Do not be afraid to diversify your business, if that is what you need to do to survive. Sometimes staying on the same path is not the best approach. You might have to adjust the route you are taking to achieve the business success you desire.

Author's Bio: 

Karlene Sinclair-Robinson, dubbed "The Queen of Business Financing" is an entrepreneur, small business consultant, speaker, motivator, and author. She is considered the "Alternative Financing Expert" in the area of small business financing. She coaches start ups and small business owners who want to get their business moving forward.

Learn more about her by visiting or you can follow her on Twitter @karlenesinrob or Facebook Fan Page at Be sure to check out her blog at