How Ben and Jerry Stayed in Business
Over the weekend my daughters found a little stock-pile in our freezer of mini Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream containers.
If you know Ben & Jerry’s… you know the ice-cream comes in small containers, but these containers are even smaller.
My daughter, Marissa said… “These are so cute!” She ate like four of them over the weekend!
It’s OK… she’s more active in two days, than most kids are in a week.
Anyway… Ben & Jerry’s is a big deal.
In their early days they scared the big companies like Häagen-Dazs and then became just as large.
Ben & Jerry’s started as an ice-cream shop selling single scoops in Burlington, VT.
Their first year in business, things were looking bleak in the dead of winter.
If it weren’t for two things they would have shut down and my daughter would not have had Ben & Jerry’s this past weekend…
- They had a business line of credit. Known as an LOC… these lines are like credit cards but better. For one, LOCs are not tied to your person credit (like many small business credit cards).Sure, LOC’s are backed by your personal credit, but they do not show up on your report as personal debt. They are tied to your business, and they are secured with business collateral and sometimes they are collateral free. These lines can be used to supplement cash-flow during downturns.
- The other thing Ben & Jerry used to survive is the power of asking. Things were so tough, they had to ask their local bank to allow them to defer payments until the busier season came.
The rest is history.
What I’m amazed at is how many businesses do not utilize the real business credit that is available to them. I guess, many business owners do not know where to begin.
The best idea is to begin with your bank.
And…a little secret….
A nice clean, tax return makes the application process simple.