A small business will need help. Be it financial planning or access to skilled labor, a small business’ ability to leverage this help is critical to maintain the integrity of their business and scale effectively. We spent time with Prospect Cleaning Service to learn more about their experience with Excelsior Growth Fund, one of CNote’s CDFI partners.
When faced with unfamiliar business challenges and exciting opportunities, access to a team of knowledgeable advisors ready to lend a hand is an invaluable resource. Ingrid Murray, owner of Prospect Cleaning Service, Inc., has learned this lesson time and again.
Prospect Cleaning Service provides commercial cleaning services in the metro-New York region. In 2011, when she acquired the business from her husband she already had excellent experience as its bookkeeper and office manager. What she needed, though, was guidance around business management, financial planning, and growth.
When Ingrid needed funding, online lenders offered easy applications and access to cash. Unfortunately, easy access came at the price of high interest rates and unreasonable terms. Soon, she was buried in debt responsible for 4,000 dollars a month in debt repayment – a huge burden for any small business.
Fortunately, Ingrid turned to Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) and got much more than she expected. EGF offered Ingrid a refinance deal that allowed her to reduce monthly payments to 451 dollars. This became critical in future business growth plans!
Shortly after receiving the loan Ingrid won consecutive contracts for snow removal with the City of New York and a major national drugstore chain. Despite her experience, Ingrid was having trouble working out her growth plan and she needed to hire additional staff. EGF team worked with her one-on-one to analyze the contracts and build out cash flow projections that would ensure Prospect Cleaning remained in good financial standing throughout the major growth period.
“EGF team taught me to look for funding to plan for growth. If I did that before, I would have been in a better financial position and not felt pressured to work with a predatory lender,” says Ingrid.
Through the business assessment conducted for Ingrid, EGF team identified another significant opportunity to drive business growth – creating a new brand and digital marketing plan. As a result, EGF secured a consultant through the EGF Consulting Corps—at no cost to Ingrid—to improve Prospect Cleaning Service’s website and launch a digital marketing strategy. With an eye to the future, Ingrid is well positioned to maintain her growth momentum!