Credit crunch: Small businesses wary of bank loans

Akiva Szental and Noam Korbl want to be "masters of their own destiny" — which is one reason the Melbourne entrepreneurs have so far stayed clear of bank loans.

"You should never rely on outside funding, because you just don't know what will happen," Szental says.

The duo co-founded hearing aid consultant business Hearing Choices, which matches clients to affordable hearing aids online, as a side hustle in 2015.

The company kicked off when the founders invested more than $50,000 of their personal savings.

But when they went full-time on the venture in 2018, the founders were reluctant to seek investment or external funding because there were so many unknowns on the table.

"You'd have expectations from investors that you don’t have if you’re bootstrapped," Szental says.

One option early on was for the company, which turned over more than $1 million last year, to take out a loan from a bank.

Borrowing up to $200,000 could allow the co-founders to bulk-buy hearing aid products and get a discount for doing so.

But Szental says in the current climate, discussions with bankers show it isn't feasible to get an appropriate loan deal. Read more

Emma Koehn - Brisbane Times - 9 Jan 2019

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