January is a slow month in the mall. After a busy holiday season, foot traffic slows to a trickle; and so do sales. Bilal Bhatti, owner of the Auntie Anne's Pretzel franchise in the Virginia Commons Mall in Glen Allen, Virginia, found this out the hard way. He acquired the franchise location in October 2013 and enjoyed robust sales through his first two months of operations. He wasn't expecting such a dramatic decrease in sales in January and found himself feeling the financial effects by mid-month.
"It sort of snuck up on me," says Bhatti, "I didn't think about having a slow month or that I'd be caught so short so quickly."
While the franchisor had provided support in arranging financing of start-up costs, they had not advised him to maintain a large cash reserve to cover slower months. Short on working capital, and not wishing to rely on personal credit cards to bridge the gap, Mr. Bhatti began to think about other business credit options.
While waiting on hold with payroll company, PayChex, Mr. Bhatti heard an advertisement for Biz2Credit.
"I decided to give them a call, and I was amazed at how easy the whole process was," continues Bhatti. Biz2Credit case manager Kamal Minhas walked Bhatti through the loan process, completed the application, and coordinated the information Bhatti supplied. Within two weeks, Bhatti obtained a $10,000, 7-month bridge loan through a non-profit business development program dedicated to providing funding to the ethnic, minority-owned business sector.
"I will be able to plan better now, and I hope I won't need them again," says Bhatti, "but if I do, I won't wait to call. Biz2Credit definitely helped me through a tough spot."
The owner received a line of credit of $300,000 within 21 days
He's recommended Biz2Credit to other entrepreneurs and considers the company "a great partner in my expansion."
"Biz2Credit was the biggest, biggest part of my success here. Biz2Credit came in like a lifesaver," she said
"I'd give Biz2Credit a 15 out of 10. Joe, my funding specialist, does a great job. He's always on point and really understands my business. Every time I've worked with him he's come through for me in a big way