Ancient Roman wisdom for business financing

Roman Empire Wisdom for the Business-Lender Relationship

“Beware the Ides of March!”

The Ides of March, famously marking the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, serves as a potent reminder of the dynamics of power, trust, and fate within the Roman Empire. This historical milestone, alongside the broader narrative of Rome’s rise and fall, offers relevant insights for today’s entrepreneurs building a strong business-lender relationship and seeking business financing. Here’s how ancient Roman wisdom can apply in the modern financial landscape.

1. Understand the Power Dynamics

Julius Caesar’s fall was partly due to his misunderstanding of the power dynamics within the Senate. Similarly, in business financing, it’s crucial for borrowers to understand the power dynamics between themselves and their lenders. Recognize the lender’s position as it relates to the value and leverage you bring to the table as an entrepreneur. Put yourself in the strongest negotiating position and improve the perceived strength of your business before applying for financing. Lenders want good borrowing partners, so make your business as attractive as possible.

2. Cultivate Trust and Loyalty

Trust and loyalty were central to Roman political life, yet Caesar’s assassination underscored how fragile these bonds could be. For borrowers, building a solid relationship with lenders based on transparency and integrity is vital. Regular communication, honesty about your business’s performance, and adherence to agreed terms help cultivate a trusting relationship that can withstand challenges and uncertainties. The best time to start building and strengthening your relationship with lending partners is before you need the money.

3. Prepare for Unforeseen Changes

The Ides of March was a sudden and dramatic turn in Roman history, highlighting the importance of being prepared for unexpected events. Businesses seeking financing should similarly plan for unforeseeable market shifts or financial challenges. This might involve securing flexible financing terms, building emergency funds, or diversifying revenue streams to ensure resilience in the face of change.

4. Leadership and Vision Are Paramount

Caesar’s ambition and vision for Rome were undeniable driving forces in his rise to power. He also knew how to sell the story of his conquests to strengthen his position. Business Insider says, “The best leaders don’t just do amazing things — they know how to present a compelling story.” For entrepreneurs, having a clearly articulated vision for your business and demonstrating strong leadership are crucial when seeking financing. Lenders are more likely to support a business with a strong direction and a leader who can navigate adversity toward that vision.

5. The Importance of Strategic Alliances

Rome’s history is replete with alliances that shifted the balance of power. In the business world, forming strategic partnerships can enhance your company’s appeal to lenders. These alliances might provide financial stability, expand your market presence, or offer technological advantages that strengthen your business model and, by extension, your financing proposals.

6. Adaptability and Innovation

The Roman Empire endured for centuries due to its ability to adapt and innovate, from military tactics to administrative systems. For modern businesses, adaptability and innovation are just as critical, especially in a rapidly changing economic landscape. Demonstrating to lenders that your business can pivot and innovate in response to market demands will make your financing application more compelling.

7. Legacy and Long-Term Planning

Finally, the Roman Empire’s legacy, in terms of culture, law, and governance, is a testament to the power of long-term planning and vision. Businesses should approach financing not just as a means to an immediate end but as part of a broader strategy for strengthening a business-lender relationship to support long-term growth and legacy building. This perspective can help in selecting the right financing options that align with your company’s long-term goals and values.

In essence, the Ides of March and the broader sweep of Roman history offer timeless lessons for today’s entrepreneurs navigating the complex world of business financing. By understanding power dynamics, cultivating trust, preparing for change, demonstrating visionary leadership, forming strategic alliances, embracing adaptability, and planning for the long term, borrowers can secure the financing they need to build their own enduring empires.

Bridging Financing Challenges for Black Business Owners

During Black History Month, it’s important to recognize the contributions of Black entrepreneurs and business owners to our economy and society. Securing business financing is a factor in nurturing and expanding a business. However, Black business owners often encounter obstacles when seeking capital to fuel their growth.

The Obstacles Faced in Accessing Capital

Having access to capital is vital for any business’s survival. Unfortunately, Black-owned businesses can face steeper challenges in obtaining bank loans compared to their counterparts. This disparity can be attributed to factors including conscious or unconscious systemic biases, wealth disparities, and differences in credit scores. As a result, many entrepreneurs face limitations in their ability to expand, innovate, and compete.

Efforts are underway to address these challenges. There are organizations and programs specifically tailored to supporting Black entrepreneurs. For example, the National African American Small Business Loan Fund offers affordable loans designed to support the growth and expansion of Black-owned businesses. Investment platforms like WeFunder actively encourage investments in startups led by entrepreneurs fostering an inclusive ecosystem for business financing.

Innovations Transform Access to Financing

Developments in financing technology and innovation have also opened up opportunities for Black business owners.

Crowdfunding platforms, venture capital firms that focus on supporting startups owned by minority individuals and digital lending solutions are creating new, modern opportunities. These platforms not provide the financial resources but can also offer valuable mentorship networking opportunities and support systems that can propel long term success.

One standout example is the initiative by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to enhance its outreach and programs for minority-owned businesses. The SBA offers resources, loan information, and grants specifically aimed at supporting minority entrepreneurs. Additionally, the expansion of fintech company financing innovations focused on serving underrepresented business owners has also made it easier to access capital quickly and without the need for traditional credit requirements.

Supporting Black Business Owners Beyond Financing

While securing financing is key for many businesses, success also depends on networking, mentorship, and community support. Black business owners can access resources through organizations like the National Black Chamber of Commerce for networking opportunities, business advice, and advocacy. Participating in local and regional business organizations can provide new insights and open doors to new possibilities and cusotmers.


It’s important for the business community in general prioritize our support for Black-owned businesses and their access to financing opportunities not during February but throughout the year. By contributing to an equitable business environment we can create opportunities for growth and success for all. Lets take this moment to celebrate the achievements of business owners and the rich diversity they bring to the business world. We can show our support by investing in Black owned startups, advocating for equitable lending practices, and making an effort to patronize Black-owned businesses in our everyday lives.


Find out more about financing opportunities

slow periods in busienss

Slow Periods in Business Create Cash Flow Challenges

Cash flow management during slow periods can be challenging for a business owner. However, understanding how to manage your cash flow during these times is critical to long-term success. In this post, let’s explore some strategies for managing cash flow during slow periods.

  1. Create a cash flow forecast. The first step in managing cash flow during slow periods in business is to create a cash flow forecast. This forecast should include your projected cash inflows and outflows for the upcoming period. It should also include any expected changes in revenue or expenses. A cash flow forecast will help you identify potential shortfalls so that you can take action to address them before they become a problem. If you project running short of cash during the slow period, consider looking into invoice factoring. Turn the invoices into cash now to cover shortfalls during the slow period.
  2. Minimize expenses. It’s important to minimize expenses as much as possible during slow periods. This may mean cutting back on non-essential expenses, renegotiating contracts with suppliers, and reducing employee hours. Consider outsourcing select business operations. One of the benefits of invoice factoring is that you can turn your accounts receivables function over to your factoring company. Reducing the labor needed to manage and collect outstanding invoices can help offset the factoring costs.
  3. Offer incentives for customers. Do you have creative ways to incentivize customers to shop with your business now? Offering discounts is one method; however, rather than cutting your costs, consider adding value to your product or service. For example, if your company offers commercial cleaning services, add an upgrade service such as window washing now or during a future visit if the client books during your slow period. The value of adding cash flow today could offset the marginal labor expense to provide the incentive service.
  4. Increase marketing efforts. One of the first expenses many business owners cut is marketing. But that’s comparable to turning off the water faucet when you’re thirsty. It can be critical to increase or laser-focus your marketing efforts for slow periods to reach new customers and encourage existing customers to continue shopping with your business. This may mean using social media and email marketing, hosting events to attract new customers, or partnering with other businesses to host sales or promotions.
  5. Review payment and credit terms. During slow periods, reviewing payment and credit terms with your suppliers and customers can improve your cash position. This may mean negotiating more favorable terms with your suppliers or offering incentives to customers who pay early or in full. Work with a factoring company that doesn’t require you to sell all invoices. You can offer customers who pay within ten business days a lower rate and then factor the invoices for the slower-paying customers with the increased rate offsetting the factoring fee while you net the same amount regardless of payment timing.

In summary, managing cash flow during slow periods requires thoughtful planning and management. But you have tools available, and depending on your circumstances, you can weather the downturn and be prepared for future growth.


How to Solve the High Sales - Low Cash Flow Dilemma

Solving the High Sales – Low Cash Flow Dilemma

For entrepreneurs, startups and small business, simply generating more sales might not be the answer. Successful businesses can still fail! Find out how to improve low cash flow to make your organization more sustainable.

Why low cash flow – not low sales – is the common lament of entrepreneurs

An article titled The Irony of Successful Sales Growth describes one of the challenges faced most often by small business owners and entrepreneurs as low cash flow. When an organization experiences low cash flow along with limited reserves and lack of resources (such as lack of investors or inability to obtain a bank loan), the seriousness of the situation can quickly become acute.

Many businesses that are successful – in that they are growing and increasing sales – can even create their own unique recipe for low cash flow when the need to purchase additional inventory, hire staff, or increasing operating expenses outpace incoming cash flow. This can be especially difficult for B2B sellers who often extend especially favorable terms to customers as a competitive advantage.

The entrepreneur’s lament is one of the great ironies of the marketplace;

a small business in danger of failure as a result of extreme success.”

(Jim Blasingame, The Irony of Successful Sales Growth)

But the challenges presented by low cash flow are not only limited to organizations like (B2B) business-to-business companies that sell to customers on terms. Retailers and service organizations also face the challenge of making hefty investments in inventories before offsetting sales occur. If a retail organization’s projections about consumer demand do not match up with actual sales, they too may find themselves in a cash crunch.

Perhaps the best news for business owners trying to solve the challenge of low cash flow is that it is a common challenge, and there are many ways for a business to improve its cash flow. We previously shared an article with ten ways to maximize business cash flow that might also interest you further.

Here are some of the solutions for managing the challenge of low cash (or slow cash flow):

1. Plan for growth so that you know where the money and resources needed for fast reinvestment will come from.

2. Avoid use of operating cash for non-operating expenses (such as purchasing capital equipment).

3. Closely monitor accounts payable and accounts receivable

4. Understand the relationship between Accounts Receivable Days (how many days it takes customers to pay) and Accounts Payable Days (how long you have to pay vendors).

Ideally, you will have the option to work with vendors who will extend terms that make it possible for customer payments to come in before supplier invoices become due; however, that is not always going to be the case.

You may be able to speed up customer payments by offering discounts to customers who pay on delivery or who pay very quickly, require customers to make partial payments or deposits up front and conduct more thorough due diligence checks before extending customer credit. Plus, you can spend more time and money on collections efforts rather than taking a more passive approach to unpaid invoices.

You might also like: Top 10 Reasons B2B Startups Might Fail

Stop chasing customer payments – factor receivables for fast access to working capital

B2B organizations that invoice customers upon delivery of goods or completion of services may be able to immediately improve cash flow and better manage receivables by factoring – or selling – customer invoices to a factoring company.

When a client factors (or sells) an accounts receivable invoice to us, they receive funding for up to 95 percent of the face amount of the invoice for a small fee, called a factoring fee, within 1-2 business days. In this way they can get access to the working capital they need to run and grow their operations long before their customer is required to pay.

Since factoring clients do not have to wait for customers to pay, they can reinvest in growing their business more quickly. They can also extend generous payment terms to their customers, which could create a competitive advantage.

Get a free, no obligation quote for invoice factoring or request more information about the invoice factoring process.

5 Places to Find Creative Startup Ideas

Creative startup ideas abound, if you know where to look for them. If you are an entrepreneur in search of your next creative startup idea, here are five places you might find the next big thing.

Creative startup ideas can help you beat the startup failure odds.

90 percent of 2019 business startups didn’t make the one year mark. But that didn’t quell the enthusiasm of U.S. entrepreneurs! More than 800,000 startups had opened their doors as of March 2020, up over 30,000 from the year before ( With COVID-19 changing the way people work in the United States and around the world, the number of individuals dipping their toes into the startup business waters could be even higher going forward.

how many business startups launched in 2020


Among businesses that did not survive the first year, reasons for failure included money running out (inadequate financing), being in the wrong market, a lack of research, bad partnerships, ineffective marketing, and not being an expert in the industry.  So where can you find the type of startup business idea that can overcome the odds?

You might also like: Top 10 Reasons B2B Startups Might Fail

5 Places to Look for Creative Startup Ideas

Up or Down the Chain

If you already own one business or were part of a startup, you probably have a lot of expertise in the industry. It might make sense to consider a startup business that would be a natural customer or your last venture or which would be a supplier, vendor or service provider within the same industry. In either case, you will probably come to the table with an idea of how to “do it better” because of your experience.

Emerging Technologies

Keep your eye out for emerging technologies, especially those that have the ability to disrupt business for companies that aren’t able to respond quickly or refuse to recognize that their marketplace is changing.

Abandoned Ideas

Just because someone else failed at something does not mean that the idea does not have merit; plus, you can learn from their mistakes. Think about some of the new products or services that competitors put into play to determine which deserve a second look, and perhaps a second chance.

Under-served Markets

It’s simply not possible for an organization to completely serve multiple market segments; usually one or two will get the most attention in product or service development as well as marketing. When you see a market that is under-served by a particular industry, you are seeing opportunity for someone willing to startup a niche business tailored to their needs and demographics.


Did you ever say, “I wish there was a solution for this problem?” You probably aren’t the only one. When you spot an industry, field or community with a gap between a consumer need or want and a business solution, you may be seeing the perfect opportunity for a startup business to fill the opening.

Entrepreneurial Addiction? Solid Planning Turns Startup Ideas into Reality

Since one out of every four startups fail in year one, the right startup ideas could make or break your chances of success. In many cases, clients come to us in the early years of their business when they come up against a need common to many startups and young businesses, that of a need to access working capital more quickly in order to grow. One of the things that gives us the most satisfaction is knowing that we were able to put financial tools into place to help a client with great startup ideas grow to the next level.

While we do not provide true start-up financing, we can help an organization access working capital almost immediately. Companies that sell B2B (business to business) can factor invoices in order to speed up cash flow, instead of waiting on customer or third party payments.

We hear from individuals startup ideas on a pretty regular basis. Hey – we’re entrepreneurs too! We thought that it might be helpful to talk about the types of startups that may do well in the coming years as well as directions that entrepreneurs might look for startup inspiration as they ponder what their next new venture will be.

Several of the reasons startups fail (inadequate funding, poor research, lack of market demand, etc.) can be addressed at least in part through business planning. No matter how excited you are to launch your startup idea, take the time to write a business plan that includes solid projections, a marketing plan, realistic costs, and market research.


infographic - startup ideas business plans