Unveiling Integrated Business Financing: Empowering Small Businesses Nationwide

by | Jun 27, 2024 | Finance

1. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located, and if you have offices in multiple locations/cities.

Integrated Business Financing, formerly known as Sprout Lending, is a small business lending marketplace based in Tampa, Florida. We serve clients nationwide and have been operational for the past five years. Our platform offers a comprehensive range of financial solutions, including SBA loans, term loans, equipment financing, and more. Our approach is centered on education, guidance, and providing a variety of financing options tailored to each client’s needs. Our tagline, “We’re not a bank. We’re better,” encapsulates our mission to support small businesses more effectively than traditional banks.

2. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

My journey began in New York, where I studied economics and subsequently worked on Wall Street. However, my desire to make a tangible impact led me to pivot from Wall Street to small business lending. I founded Integrated Business Financing to fill a gap I noticed in the market: the lack of comprehensive and educational financial services for small business owners. Over the past five years, we’ve built a platform that not only provides financial solutions but also educates and guides our clients, helping them achieve their business goals.

3. What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

The inspiration for Integrated Business Financing came from my consulting work with major finance companies in the fintech world. I saw a significant gap in the market where small business owners were not receiving the comprehensive support and education they needed. I wanted to create a one-stop shop for all their financing needs, coupled with strategic consultations and guidance. This vision led to the founding of Integrated Business Financing, a platform dedicated to supporting small businesses with tailored financial solutions and educational resources.

Advice and Skills

4. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

  1. Mindset and Determination: Building a business requires a strong mindset and determination. Understand that it will take more time and effort than you might anticipate, and be prepared to persist through challenges.
  2. Start Right: Ensure you have sufficient capital and start building business credit from day one. Properly setting up your business and financial foundation is crucial for long-term success.
  3. Focus and Execution: Avoid distractions and focus on mastering your core business before expanding. Consistent, focused effort is essential, especially in the first two years. Fully commit to your venture and give it your all.

5. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

  1. Influence: The ability to influence others is crucial for leadership, sales, and marketing. Whether it’s leading your team or persuading clients, influence is key.
  2. Networking: Building a strong network of entrepreneurs and potential partners is invaluable. Effective networking can lead to new opportunities and word-of-mouth referrals.
  3. Determination: The entrepreneurial journey is filled with ups and downs. Maintaining determination and staying committed to your goals is essential for overcoming challenges and achieving success.

Work and Success

6. How many hours do you work a day on average?

I work around 12-16 hours a day. Building and running a successful business requires a significant investment of time and effort.

7. To what do you most attribute your success?

I attribute my success to the culture and core values instilled in my team. Our values of winning for all parties involved, over-delivering, and maintaining excellence guide our operations. Additionally, my upbringing taught me the importance of hard work and dedication. Building a cohesive, high-performing team has also been crucial, as great employees who understand and commit to our mission have been fundamental to our achievements.

8. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Our most successful marketing strategy is word-of-mouth from satisfied clients. By consistently over-delivering and creating positive experiences, we generate raving fans who refer others to us. We also use partnerships, ads, and valuable content to attract clients. Educating business owners through content marketing helps build trust and positions us as a helpful resource, leading them to reach out when they need financing solutions.

9. Where did your organization’s funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

We financed our startup internally without seeking external financing. I invested my own money into the business, supplemented by a small investment from a partner who brought valuable skills to the table. We later secured a line of credit to provide flexibility for opportunities and emergencies, a strategy I recommend for all businesses.

10. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Consistency in planning and execution is the key to long-term success. Taking consistent daily actions, even if small, leads to significant accomplishments over time. Ensuring client success and maintaining high standards in service delivery are also critical. In today’s interconnected world, every client interaction can impact your business positively or negatively, so consistently over-delivering is essential.

11. Where do you see yourself and your business in 5-10 years?

In ten years, I envision Integrated Business Financing as the leading marketplace for small business financing in the country. Our mission is to support the growth of small businesses, and we discuss this goal daily. By continuing to deliver exceptional service and expanding our offerings, we aim to make a significant impact on small businesses and their communities nationwide.

12. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

I greatly admire Tesla and SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, for their innovation and impact across different industries. Musk’s ability to operate and grow multiple companies while tackling massive global challenges is inspiring. Another company I admire is Nike, particularly for the story of its founder Phil Knight, whose determination and resilience in building a global brand are incredibly motivating.

Team and Culture

13. How important have good employees been to your success?

Good employees are the cornerstone of our success. Building an amazing team that understands and executes our mission is crucial. The collective effort of a dedicated and skilled team enables us to achieve our goals and provide exceptional service to our clients. Hiring the right people and fostering a collaborative, motivated work environment are essential for building a strong, sustainable company.

14. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

Deciding when to move on from an idea requires careful evaluation. For marketing campaigns, if they don’t show results quickly, we make adjustments or try different approaches. In terms of employees, we hire slow and fire fast to ensure we have the right fit. For business ideas, if there’s no growth or positive outcome after a substantial period (six to twelve months), it might be time to pivot. However, it’s important to analyze why something didn’t work and make informed adjustments before giving up entirely.

15. What motivates you?

My primary motivator is my family. I aim to provide them with a better life than I had, which drives me to succeed. It’s not just about resources but also imparting valuable knowledge and values. Ensuring that my family experiences the best possible life and learns important life lessons is a significant driving force behind my efforts.

Ideals and Success

16. What are your core values?

Our core values include over-delivering for our clients, maintaining excellence in all we do, and creating win-win situations for all parties involved. These values guide our daily operations and strategic decisions, ensuring we consistently provide exceptional service and build long-lasting relationships with our clients.

17. How do you generate new ideas?

New ideas are generated through constant learning, staying updated with industry trends, and listening to client feedback. We also encourage a collaborative environment where team members can share their insights and suggestions. By fostering a culture of innovation and open communication, we continuously improve and adapt our services to meet the evolving needs of our clients.

18. How do you define success?

I define success by whether I accomplish what I set out to achieve. It’s about meeting daily goals and executing plans effectively. Success is not just measured by financial gain but by the positive impact we make on our clients and the growth we facilitate in their businesses. Consistent achievement of set goals and maintaining high standards are my benchmarks for success.

19. How do you build a successful customer base?

Building a successful customer base involves consistently delivering exceptional service, educating clients, and fostering trust. By over-delivering and creating positive experiences, we generate word-of-mouth referrals and build long-term relationships with our clients. Providing valuable content and resources also helps establish us as a trusted advisor in the small business financing space.

20. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

My favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is the ability to make a tangible impact on small businesses and their communities. Helping business owners achieve their goals and seeing the positive ripple effects on their employees and families is incredibly rewarding. I also enjoy the constant learning and growth that come with running a business.

21. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

The most satisfying moment in business is when a client achieves significant growth or overcomes a major challenge with our help. Seeing the direct impact of our services on their success and knowing that we played a part in their journey is immensely gratifying.

22. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

The major difference is the level of responsibility and risk. Entrepreneurs are responsible for every aspect of their business and must navigate uncertainty and challenges. They need to have a strong vision and the determination to execute it. In contrast, employees typically have more defined roles and responsibilities with less personal risk involved.

Culture and Reflection

23. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?

Our organizational culture is built on the values of excellence, over-delivering, and creating win-win situations. We established this tone by leading by example and consistently reinforcing these values in our daily operations and interactions. This culture ensures that we maintain high standards, foster a collaborative environment, and prioritize our clients’ success.

24. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.


25. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

If I had the chance to start my career over again, I would focus on building a strong network and seeking mentors earlier. Building relationships with experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts can provide valuable guidance and open up new opportunities.

26. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

Being an entrepreneur has required significant time and effort, which can impact family life. However, I make it a priority to balance work and family time, ensuring that I am present for important moments and maintaining open communication with my loved ones. The drive to provide a better life for my family also motivates me to succeed.

27. What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?

My greatest fear is failure, especially considering the impact it could have on my family and team. I manage fear by staying focused on my goals, continuously learning, and adapting to new challenges. Maintaining a positive mindset and seeking support from my network also help me navigate uncertainties.

28. How did you decide on the location for your business?

The decision to base our business in Tampa, Florida, was influenced by the city’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem and its strategic location. Tampa provides a supportive environment for small businesses and offers access to a diverse market, making it an ideal location for our operations.

29. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

While there is no one-size-fits-all formula, successful entrepreneurs often share certain traits and practices. These include a strong vision, determination, the ability to adapt to challenges, effective networking, and a focus on delivering value to clients. Consistency in planning and execution also plays a significant role in achieving long-term success.

Inspirations and Mistakes

30. If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?

I would choose to talk to Elon Musk because of his incredible ability to innovate and disrupt multiple industries. His vision, resilience, and approach to tackling massive challenges are inspiring, and I would love to learn from his experiences and insights.

31. Who has been your greatest inspiration?

My greatest inspiration has been my family. Their support and the desire to provide them with a better life have been my primary motivators. Additionally, successful entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Phil Knight have inspired me with their stories of innovation, perseverance, and impact.

32. What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)

One of the books that has inspired me the most is “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight. The story of how he built Nike from the ground up, facing numerous challenges and setbacks, is incredibly motivating. It highlights the importance of resilience, determination, and vision in achieving entrepreneurial success.

33. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

Some of the biggest mistakes I’ve made include not building a strong network early on and initially trying to do everything myself instead of delegating effectively. These mistakes taught me the importance of seeking guidance from others and building a supportive team.

34. How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?

To prevent mistakes, it’s crucial to plan carefully, stay informed, and seek feedback from trusted advisors and team members. When mistakes do happen, addressing them quickly and transparently, learning from them, and making necessary adjustments can help minimize their impact and prevent recurrence.

Personal Insights

35. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?

In my non-work time, I enjoy spending quality time with my family, reading, and staying active through sports and fitness activities. These hobbies help me relax and recharge, maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

36. What makes you happy?

Seeing the positive impact of our work on clients and their businesses makes me happy. Additionally, spending time with my family and achieving personal and professional milestones bring me great joy and satisfaction.

37. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

To be a successful entrepreneur, I’ve had to sacrifice personal time, including leisure activities and vacations, to focus on building and growing the business. Balancing work and family life has also been challenging, but these sacrifices are necessary to achieve long-term success and provide for my family.

38. If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?

If I were conducting this interview, I would ask: “What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your entrepreneurial journey?” This question can provide valuable insights and reflections that can help aspiring entrepreneurs navigate their own paths.

RAW TRANSCRIPT:  Hello, my name is Jonathan Federa and I’m the founder of Integrated Business Financing. We are a small business lending marketplace located in Tampa, but we serve the entire country and we’ve been up and operational for the last five years. Prior to being integrated, we were Sprout Lending and we rebranded to Integrated because it fits our core values better.

All right, and so give you a little bit of background on me I grew up in New York I used to work on wall street and I went to college for economics. I realized I hated working on wall street And I really wanted to impact I wanted to find a avenue or an industry that I could really impact and make a difference and I landed on lending because when you support a business owner.

You’re not just supporting that business owner. You’re supporting their family, all their employees, all their families. And when that business owner gets the help he needs, he can hire more people. He can make a bigger impact in his community. And ultimately that employs small businesses employ more of our citizens more of our fellow Americans than any other.

anyone else. Also, small businesses make up the majority, okay, over 50 percent of our national GDP. And so by helping businesses, I can impact the communities they serve. And that’s why I chose to get into business lending. And what actually got me into the space. Was I was in the fintech world and I was consulting for a lot of the major finance companies And what I realized was they didn’t have everything a small business owner needed they lacked multiple programs Everyone in the organization lacked the education to give guidance to their clients And really nobody had what would be what I would call ideal for a small business owner.

And that is where you can go in to one place and get any type of financing program you need to grow your business. And so when I created integrated business financing, I reverse engineered it thinking that if I was a business owner, who would I want to work with? What would be important to me? And those things were education, guidance, and options.

All right, and so that’s why our tagline is We’re not a bank. We’re better Okay, and we are better because we have all of those options. It’s not just a loan or a line of credit All right. We have sba loans. We have term loans We have equipment financing equipment leasing we have Invoice factoring we have purchase order financing.

We have lines of credit. We have working capital lines. We have project financing So we made sure we partnered with the best companies in the space, and we, this is how we bring this offering to our clients. And so what’s different about us is that when someone applies, we use all the same software as a bank would use.

We put it together in a cash flow analysis, and then we have a strategy session. And in that strategy session, we do a soft credit pull. And what we do from there is, We analyze it and we walk hand in hand with our clients through this strategy session. We review their cash flow, their business credit, their personal credit, their time in business, their profitability.

And then we actually make suggestions or we consult and tell them, Hey, to qualify for this type of program, this is what you have to do. And then we give them the resources to do it. And that is so unique and so different. When someone comes in, they’re actually getting education, they’re getting consulting, and we don’t charge for that.

And then we will help them get the best program they qualify for. And why? Because all we want to do is support small business, and see small business win on a major level. The last few years, especially in the U. S., it feels like small business is under attack. And I say that because our government keeps sending it to other countries overseas.

They shut down our country for a good amount of time and that has really hurt entrepreneurs across our country. And so becoming a resource was our number one goal. Becoming the go to for entrepreneurs and business operators to help them grow their business, expand and stay in business was our top priority.

And so that’s why I founded Integrated Business Financing. What advice would I give to people looking to start their business? And it really boils down to three things. The first, understanding that it’s going to take a lot more time and a lot more work than you think it is today, all right? That is a complete mindset.

If you want to see Some of the differences between entrepreneurs and I see it because we see I’ve seen so many people I’ve been in small business lending for 15 years so i’ve seen And spoken to enough entrepreneurs where I understand the mindset of the guys that can build a seven eight nine figure business It’s just different and here it’s different because they have the drive.

They have the determination They can handle stress And they just don’t give up they keep moving forward no matter what And I think In terms of mindset for an entrepreneur, that is one of the most important things. Another thing I would, another piece of advice I would give entrepreneurs looking to start a business is make sure you start it the right way.

Make sure you start it with enough cash. Make sure day one, once you get your legal entity established, you start building business credit. And then, you have to be able to put out enough content to drive business back to you. All right. It’s not enough to just have ads or just have content. We’re in an increasingly competitive environment and to win in that type of environment, you have to use all the tools at your disposal.

And so my last piece of advice is when you do decide to open a business and you get everything set up the right way, burn the boats. There’s so many people that will tell you other pieces of advice, but really, if you’re going to start your business, you need to burn the boats and you need the biggest thing that you need to have as an entrepreneur, especially in the first two years, besides incredible amounts of determination is focus.

All right. The number one thing I see. trip entrepreneurs up today is lack of focus or they focus on the wrong things. They’re focusing on shiny object syndrome or another bouncy ball where they think it’s going to be a great vertical, a great add on. You need to master your business first. And then if you’re going to expand, you should look to expand with things that your client base, your current customer base could also use.

All right. If you’re going after two different markets, or two different avatars, it gets much more challenging. Keep it simple, keep it easy, at least the first two years. Prove concept and scale and have laser sharp focus.

Okay, so top three skills entrepreneurs need today. I really feel strongly about this. One is the ability to influence. You need to be able to influence everybody in your life. And I say that because influence is part of leadership, right? You have to be able to lead your team influences sales. You have to be able to sell to your clients.

Influence is also marketing. Okay? So your ability to influence people through written copy or through video matters. So the first skill is absolutely. Absolutely influence. Okay. The second skill I would say is networking. Your ability to network with other entrepreneurs and potential partners is massive.

Most of our business today actually comes from word of mouth referrals. And that happened because I’ve networked with enough people over the years and I have helped them grow their business. that when the topic comes up about growing your business or getting financing or a line of credit or a new piece of equipment or anything their business needs to grow, they usually recommend us.

And that has been a massive driver of our business. So influence, networking, the last skill is going to be just determination, okay, because we’re in a challenging environment running a business. You have ups and downs. You have wild and crazy swings. And you always have to remember when you’re in the midst of those swings, why you started. Okay, if you can remember why you started and what’s on the line, you will help yourself get the determination enough to stay with it and power through.

And that is not an easy thing to do sometimes. Sometimes there’s gonna, it’s just easier to pack it in. And running a business, you have people counting on you. You have a community counting on you. Don’t forget that.

Okay here’s a question I get all the time. How many hours do I work in a typical week? Or in a typical day? And I would tell you, I’m usually there. I get in around 8 o’clock. I usually don’t leave until about 7 o’clock. And the reality is, running your own business, you’re always on the clock. Anything that goes wrong, you’re the, you’re where the buck stops, so you have to fix it.

It doesn’t matter if it’s one in the morning, five in the morning, needs to get fixed, needs to get done, it’s going to be on the owner. And really when you talk about how often I work, I’m always on, okay? Even if I’m on vacation, my team has to be able to reach me. And being an entrepreneur, you get used to that.

It just comes with the job. It comes with the territory. Another question I’m asked all the time is what do I attribute my success to? And I attribute my success to the culture, the core values that I have instilled in my team and my team. That’s really what I attribute my success to. The ability to get so many great people in one spot train them, have everybody understand what our core values are, and that is our operating guidelines for our business.

And that has been a great driver. And I owe a lot of my success to that. And I also owe a lot of my success to how I grew up. I had a very hardworking mom and dad, and I was taught at an early age that you always have to give everything you have to any venture that you’re going to. actually try to achieve.

And so that’s always how I’ve been wired. And thank God because that has really made it a smoother and easier transition into entrepreneurship. Because prior to this, there weren’t really too many entrepreneurs in my family and had there been and seeing the day in day out life and what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, especially in that first two years.

It would give somebody a lot of pause, and make you second guess it. And so sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes it’s a bad thing. For me, it just happened that it worked out.

Okay, here’s a great question I’m asked all the time. How do we market and what marketing works the best for our business? And I’m here to tell you, it’s actually our clients. So we get amazing word of mouth from our clients and we do that because one of our core values is over deliver. So we want to under promise and over deliver at all times.

Most people that have gone and applied for financing, tried to get a loan, worked with a bank, they’ve had challenging experiences. And if you can do something different in that type of environment and that market, which we’ve done. With our strategy sessions and our consulting and having all the programs in one roof when you come and you have your clients have a different experience than what they’re used to or what they expect and it’s a Massive positive because we over delivered We generate a lot of Brand fans or raving fans and they have spread a lot of positive word of mouth for us and Typically, that’s how we get most of our clients.

We’ve done it that way and we have a lot of clients through partnerships we do run ads and we get some clients from ads and Then the other way we get a lot of our clients is through content. We want to help educate business owners on what they need to grow their business, how they can grow their business, what are some cutting edge tactics that they can use and implement.

And so by constantly putting out content that our clients find valuable and can actually use and implement to grow their business, they usually come back if they need anything. So if somebody read our article or somebody watched one of our videos where we explain something in great detail, and then they realize they can save some money if they change their payment processing, or they can make more money by getting a new piece of equipment.

They typically reach out to us, and then it’s like working with a friend. It’s, we’re not trying to sell anyone, we’re just trying to help them. They feel that way in the process, and so do we, and it just makes it easier, and it makes it much more enjoyable. So I would say if you can make your clients your biggest fans, okay, and have them spread positive word of mouth for you, that is truly when you know you can grow your business and scale your business up to eight and nine figures.

You really have to deliver results for your clients and if you can, you’re going to be one of the few companies, less than 1 percent of companies that. Hit that seven figure mark and then grow from there and really that’s the secret to success and there’s no secret behind it You just have to get the results.

You’re going to say and you have to do it in a way that you deliver Above and beyond what any client would expect and if you can have all of your or the majority of your clients go through that, guess what? You’re going to build a great business that’s going to stand the test of time and will probably be here after you are long gone.

If you’ve had the right core values, you’ve had the right training and everyone understands the mission.

All right. Another question is where we got our startup financing. Okay. How did we get startup financing? And the reality is we didn’t. I financed everything myself. I had a good base. I had a good team already. And when we did the rebrand, all I did was I put my own money into the business and I had a little bit of money come in from a partner and that’s all the money we’ve ever actually used.

to start up the business. So we’ve, we haven’t had to take a loan to get started. We did take a line of credit along the way because every business should have a line of credit. It allows you to have flexibilities flexibilities in your business to take advantage of opportunities, emergencies, and short term needs.

And so that’s exactly what we’ve done. And I can tell you it’s worked out very well for us. Again, how did we obtain a, did we get any inve investors in the business? I took on a very small investment from a partner early on, and I didn’t take on the investment from the partner for the money.

I actually took it on for. The partner, because that partner brought a different set of skill sets, a different set of skills to the business than I had. And that’s really the only time you should bring on a partner is if they bring a unique and different set of skills that you do not already have.

A question I’m asked all the time is What does it take and what are, what’s the best way to achieve long term results? And the best way to achieve long term results is through consistency day in and day out. If you are consistent in your approach with your planning and then executing on that plan, over the long term you will always be able to accomplish much more than you think is possible.

Typically over a shorter period of time. You can’t accomplish as much as you think because it’s just way more work, but over a long period of time where you’re taking consistent daily action and steps, that is when you’re going to see the most long term results. And to have long term success, your clients have to have success.

All right. Gone are the days where you can have a gimmick or, you can have shoddy service. The internet made the world so small and now social media made it even smaller. to the point where you need to realize that every single conversation, every single client, anyone that comes in your door could change your business in an instant, positively or negatively.

And you have to over deliver on a consistent basis to really build a group of clients that are going to spread positive word of mouth through your business. And the quicker and faster that you can do that, the quicker and faster you’ll be able to grow. I see myself and my company in 10 years being the leading marketplace for small businesses to get financing and growth.

That is our goal. That is our mission and we discuss it and we talk about it every single day. That is always in the forefront of our mind. We want to be the number one business lending marketplace in the country. And so because we talk about it every day, it’s fresh in everybody’s mind and every single person on my team will continue to execute until we reach that goal.

So that’s where I see myself in five years. And then from there. I don’t know. My goal though is to make the biggest impact on small businesses in this country again. And that’s how I’m gonna do it, is by delivering amazing service, always going above and beyond for our clients, and making sure that this country’s small businesses are in growth mode.

And so that’s where I see myself in five years.

One of the companies that I admire the most is Tesla. Not so much for the company, but for what Elon Musk or Elon Musk has been able to accomplish. He has taken a lot of different companies in different industries and different verticals and has grown them substantially. He knows how to operate businesses.

He’s probably the best. Operator on the planet. And if you look at some of the challenges that he and his companies have tackled, they are massive Challenges that will help impact All of humanity for years and years. And so I think that I look up to him as an operator the most, if I had to pick one.

I also like Phil Knight of Nike. I read Reading Shoe Dog. It’s an incredible story about determination and drive and never giving up. And as a fellow entrepreneur, those are some of the stories that I look up to and that I’m inspired by. Okay.

Having great employees. is one of the biggest, if not the biggest asset that you can have in your company. All right. Building an amazing team that is all bought in, that works together, that understands the mission and has the ability to execute the plan to achieve success in that mission has been crucial to our success.

And it is very hard to build. a great team and to hire a great team. And it takes a lot of experience. It takes a lot of trial and error. And I think that having amazing employees is the only way you’re going to get to or build a very strong team and strong company. There’s, there’s not a person out there that can actually build.

run and manage a company as a solopreneur that is going to achieve massive results. I’m sure you could probably build a seven figure business and I’m sure there’s a few people that are skilled enough to build an eight figure business. Although that would be pretty tough without having somebody to operate or do customer service.

So one of the secrets to success or running a successful business is how quickly And cohesively, you can build an amazing team.

Now, another great question I get all the time is, How quickly should you move on from an idea, right? Or how long do you give an idea to pan out? And that is a very nuanced question, right? Because you have to measure what you’re trying to accomplish. And If you are trying something, maybe it’s a new marketing campaign and you’re not seeing results, right away on a marketing campaign.

If you’re not getting the clicks, the likes, the engagements that you like, you’re just going to shut it and rebuild it or try something else. Maybe try a different creative, a different cut, a different copy. And so on something like marketing, and trying to test out ideas and campaigns. That’s something we would cut quick.

Employees, that’s another thing. If you have an idea to hire an employee and you’re not working, you want to get rid of that employee quick. So fire fast, hire slow. But the idea of giving a business time, right? If you’re somebody who’s thinking, Hey, I have an idea for this business. I want to get it up and go, and I’m willing to commit to it.

How long should I give it? Depends on how committed you are. If you start to see results and you’re seeing growth, you want to stick that out, right? If it’s, if the concept isn’t working and you’ve been at it for six months or 12 months, and there’s some, and it doesn’t have to do with you building something and you’re just not seeing results, then I would pull the plug.

So to answer how long you should push on an idea or push for an idea, it depends on what that idea is. There are some things that you’re going to cut right away. But there are other things that you’re gonna stick out until it’s accomplished or it doesn’t work and here’s the trick if You find ways it doesn’t work you that’s a lesson You need to stack those lessons.

You need to remember those lessons and then also try to analyze why it didn’t work There’s so many people that just go off of a pass or fail if it failed that way try to figure out why and then make a small adjustment You might have been really close to getting what you needed to get out of it And you might have been a few adjustments away.

That question is very nuanced. And the more experience you have, the easier it will be to realize when you should cut from an idea, or when you need to stick it through.

The biggest motivator I have is my family. And that’s just a fact. Everything I do for my family. I want them to experience all life. I grew up. And my parents did the best they could and I grew up in a in a great home. And I think it’s the responsibility of every single parent to try to give their their kids a better life than they had.

And so that’s what motivates me. And I think it’s even more important, not just to give them the resources because resources without knowledge. can end up in a disaster. So I always try to give them the knowledge that I wish I was taught. And I was taught a lot of great things growing up. So I want to take those things and pass them on to my children.

And so that’s what motivates me, is my family. That is my major driver. in everything I do. And my ideals are part of our core values. So when people talk about ideals, I hate that word because ideals are, hey, if everything is aligned and everything is the best, this is what it’s going to look like.

And in reality, there’s very few times that everything aligns perfectly. There’s very few times that there aren’t challenges or, an obstacle that gets in the way. And so I really try to focus more on my standards. So if I know my standards are high, I’ll at least get my standards. And if I can go over that, I will.

And so I’ll share with you guys some of our core values because I do think they’re very important. One is win. A win for our clients, a win for our partners, and a win for us. Nobody likes to. do business with people that it’s a one sided affair. It’s got to work for everybody. Another core value is over deliver.

Okay. Under promise and over deliver because we want to make sure our clients have that amazing experience. Another core value of ours is excellence. Excellence in everything that we do. We want to make sure that when people see anyone from our company. They know that we operate a certain way, and if we’re excellent in everything that we do, that sends the right message and the right idea to our clients, to other companies, to our partners, and so that’s really important for us.

Another question or another core value, not a question we have, is do it for the story. And that has everything to do with over delivering. And doing it for the story is essentially making the client experience so strong and so positive that they really don’t have any other choice but to go and tell their friends about it.

Because it’s very rare these days where people have a positive experience Consistently with one company, and if you can be one of those companies that can constantly or consistently have people have a great experience and get results, you’re going to grow much faster than other companies that don’t.

How do we generate new ideas? We generate new ideas, at least I do. Where ideas really come to me is on podcasts, is through networking, and it’s usually any type of personal time I have by myself, whether I’m at the gym working out, I usually have some great ideas there. And then, and believe it or not, probably just like you in the shower for whatever reason, it, ideas just flow.

And so if I am stuck, if I’m looking for something, I’ll listen to a bunch of podcasts, I’ll have a great workout. And typically. When you’re relaxed and you’re focused on something else, that’s when some of your best ideas do come to you. Because you’re not straining and stressing over the same obstacle.

You’re around, you have variety, you’re thinking of different things. And so by working out, listening to a podcast, a lot of times, I get some pretty good ideas when I’m doing that. So I highly recommend, if you feel stuck, you need to get need to have a period of creativity. Listen to a podcast.

Put yourself through a really hard workout. That should help, a ton. Now, how do I define success? I define success by, did I accomplish what I set out to accomplish or not? Alright, so if I have a task and I try to do this daily, alright, what is my goal for the day? And it’s pretty easy. Did I get it accomplished or is it going to be held over to the next day?

And so if I go in and I execute at the highest level and I take care of all the major things I had to do that day, I consider that successful. I consider that a win. Now, some days that might just lead to a build up of a project. Other days that could be a financial win. However, as long as I know I’m executing and I’m managing and taking care of the critical tasks for that day I need to, I know I have a win.

And then to build a successful customer base, you need marketing, you need fulfillment, and you need to over deliver. Okay? I know I’ve talked about this through this interview a ton. But it’s really that important. You cannot out market a bad reputation. And you can’t out market a great reputation.

What do I mean by you can’t out market a great reputation? When you have clients that have amazing experiences and they go out and they tell other people, the person that’s coming in after they just spoke to their friend or their buddy and would describe what a great experience they have, they want to work with you.

They are reaching out to you. Okay. And because they’re seeking you out, there’s already a level of trust and it’s just an easier way to do business. And I can tell you that because people that come to us directly from word of mouth versus people that might have seen an ad, those are two different client tracks.

Okay. And in reality, the one that’s coming from a referral, a testimonial is much easier to work with and has already a level of built in trust. And so because of that’s really how I feel that you really need to build your client base. Because without building a client base that people have positive experiences, it’s too challenging.

It is too challenging. in this day and age to try to out market a bad reputation. So the best marketing you could do is just doing the right thing and making sure the people that trust you, the people that are trying to work with you, you do everything you can to make sure they have a great experience and get great results.

So what do I like most about being an entrepreneur? I like freedom and I like the impact we make. All right, there’s a lot of stress when it comes to being an entrepreneur and I can tell you that the benefits if you stick with it long enough are worth it. And so the benefit of knowing like I could leave the office right now, I could go pick up my kids from school, I could go take them somewhere and just working for myself, giving me and allowing me and my family, that type of freedom has been a blessing.

And then the other thing is seeing the people that we work with and our clients get results. When you see a client grow their business or you help them get the right type of financing and save their business, typically those are the most rewarding types of financing that we do. Having somebody reach out and say, Hey, you saved my business or Hey, you helped us grow 30%.

And now. I was able to put my daughter in a better college. Those are really some of the best rewards that we get. And so that’s really why we do it. Seeing people change their lives, change their businesses, hire more people, that is very rewarding for us.

So the most satisfying moment I’ve had in business. was I had a friend and I didn’t realize that their business was struggling at the time. Looking at it on paper it looked like it was a very healthy business and when they called me they were a little bit of a panic a little bit of a rush and I calmed them down and I told them hey trust me I’m gonna take care of this for you this is what I’m gonna Long story short We got, we were able to help them and get an SBA loan.

And I didn’t know this and I couldn’t see it through the financial statements, but about six months after we helped them get the money my friend called me up and said, Hey, John, you actually saved our business. I said, what do you mean? And he said if we didn’t get that loan, we would be under right now.

And I would be in bankruptcy. And that, those types of moments. That’s the most satisfying. Those are the most rewarding. Knowing that you saved somebody else or you helped somebody else and those have always been the most rewarding for us. Now back to this mindset of an entrepreneur because I think it’s that important.

What are some of the differences between entrepreneurs and those that work for entrepreneurs? It is their mindset. I can tell you that a hundred percent entrepreneurs. Crave freedom. They can handle the ups and the downs of being a business owner. They can deal with the chaos and they can keep pushing forward.

It’s like that scene in Rocky where Rocky and his son are having a conversation and Rocky basically says life isn’t about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can keep getting hit. And keep getting up and pushing forward and being an entrepreneur is exactly like how Rocky described it. How many hits can you take, get up, learn from, and keep moving forward.

And so being an entrepreneur statistically is definitely not for the majority of people. It takes a special skill set to be able to handle those ups and downs. And Another question I ask is just what is our culture at Integrated Business Financing? And our culture is simple. We want to work hard for our clients and for each other.

Okay. We want to hold each other accountable and we want to make sure that we are always educating ourselves. That’s one of our core values. We want to educate our clients and we constantly want to be improving. And that’s the type of culture that we’ve built. And I can tell you that type of culture is amazing.

And I’ll give you a great example. A bunch of my team members have seen me go through 75 hard and 75 hard is a mental toughness challenge. And it is not an easy program. And so once they saw that I could do it, they went through it themselves and they got massive results and they’ve changed their lives.

So that was very exciting for me. For more information visit us at https://www.integratedbusinessfinancing.com/

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