Success Story: The Fit Small Business Site is Ready to Ramp Up
If you’ve spent time online looking for information to help run your small business, you’ve probably come across Fit Small Business (FSB). With the motto “We do the research so you don’t have to“, FSB delivers the goods. Without hype or jargon, the in-house writing staff delivers well-researched articles, in-depth reviews and how-to guides on just about every topic related to small enterprises.
We recently caught up with FSB co-founder Marc Prosser who shared his own small business success story.
Prosser and a business partner founded the online publishing site in 2013 bringing with them a combined 25 years of experience in small business management and marketing. In just three short years, FSB monthly readership has grown to over 450,000 users with more visiting the site each day. “The site was originally launched with just the two of us writing all of the original articles. We actually take great pride in this but we’re looking forward to the day when you can’t find our name on articles on the site.”
Before founding FSB, Prosser was frustrated that small business content wasn’t focused enough to provide real value. “Our articles give small business owners very specific information about how to do certain things,” says Prosser. “Other publications don’t give enough actionable items to be helpful. We don’t leave small business owners wondering what to do next.”
FSB has partnerships with a lot of different companies but Marc is adamant that his site provides honest unbiased reviews. “Who we recommend is not based at all on monetization. Our biggest asset is our reputation.”
One area covered frequently by FSB is small business lending. In 2014, Prosser interviewed SmartBiz President Evan Singer about how SBA loans can be fast and easy. “I fell in love with SmartBiz,” Prosser says. “We started recommending them.”
When Prosser was ready to take out a small business loan, he knew exactly where to go. “When we recommend something, we almost always use the product,” he says. “We put our money where our mouth is.” Prosser secured a SmartBiz SBA loan for $350,000 to help grow FSB quickly.
“We have to put up a ton of money before we see an audience,” says Prosser. “These funds will allow us to expand, covering lag time between our audience-building efforts and revenue generation.” He also plans to beef up his staff, expanding to 20 employees by the end of the year. “We’re hiring great people with real hands-on small business experience,” he says.
The entire process from prequalification to funding took only a month. Prosser says that the process moved quickly because he had the required documentation in order. “Additionally, we appointed someone on our team to be the point person. We were lucky in that respect. For many small business owners it’s hard to drop revenue generating tasks to respond in a timely manner.” Another big factor in the speedy loan process was Prosser’s SmartBiz Relationship Manager. “Doug was super responsive and we were really happy to be working with him.”
This is the first loan for Fit Small Business, however, Prosser knew that the process could be tedious. “Every bank has different requirements – you can go to a bank and spend two months on paperwork to ultimately get rejected. I knew SmartBiz would find the right bank to fund our loan.”
Another important loan feature for Prosser was the 10-year term. “An SBA loan is the only 10-year loan I came across unless you have commercial real estate backing. The long term means that monthly payments are very reasonable,” says Prosser.
What’s next for Fit Small Business? “We want to grow into the most trusted place for small business product reviews,” says Marc. “Kind of the “CNET” in the small business space. We’re moving in that direction and these funds will help.”
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