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La Mancha Sims is the co-founder of Triton Business Solutions, the premiere “Alternative Funding Solution” for small business owners, which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. La Mancha has over 15 years of experience in commercial finance with a specialization in assisting small businesses with their growth, expansion & development. La Mancha is a former Naval Officer who is now an investor as well as an Entrepreneur and holds degrees in Economics and Finance. His work with start-ups and established companies throughout the United States and Canada has provided small business owners with solutions for profitability.
MO: What inspired you to launch Triton Financial Solutions? How has your background and experience helped contribute to the vision and success of the company so far?
La Mancha: My partner and I saw a need in the market for alternative funding solutions for small businesses whose needs were not being met by traditional lenders. With that insight, we decided to step in and provide solutions that would not only help business owners, but allow them payback options that were favorable to their long-term growth and development.
As a former Naval Offer, the opportunity to further develop my leadership style and focus was compelling. After completing my duties in the Navy, I got my start in Corporate America at Penske Trucking, a subsidiary of General Electric (GE), as a Six Sigma Process and Business Development Specialist in Finance. After working at Penske for a number of years, I noticed how GE used its internal financial Business Specialists to gain a competitive advantage through the use of improving their processes and enhancing current business operations. With the experience obtained from working with different business units within the GE family, I saw that smaller companies could use this approach and these financial tools in order to gain the same advantages and become more profitable. My partner and I put together a group of investors and started working with smaller companies to assist with the principal issue of the day for them – raising capital & growth.
MO: What are your “three pillars of success” and how do you use them to promote business growth for your clients?
La Mancha: I learned years ago that every successful business or investor that I met had very similar qualities. They all had in some way coalesced three things that I later began to refer to as my “three pillars of success” – Preparation, Determination and Focus (Follow One Course Until Successful). When working with a prospective client or speaking to a group of business owners about entrepreneurship, I look for these qualities in the way people talk about their business, what they are trying to get done, how their Business Plan was written and what they are willing to endure in order to succeed. Many may fail, but successful people prepare and are determined to succeed against all odds.
MO: What advice would you give to a start-up in need of financing but unable to secure a loan from the bank? What alternatives are available?
La Mancha: Work on your Business Plan and business model with a focus on the financial projections, making sure the Business Plan delivers exactly the right story to prospective lenders and/or investors. You want to make sure the numbers in the Plan are fully understood; do not allow just anyone to put the numbers together. Be prepared to answer any and all questions and make sure that all of the forecasted numbers work and make sense in the financial model. Companies like Triton work with start-ups and existing companies to provide the resources necessary to raise the capital needed to support these business aspirations.
MO: What are some mistakes that you see your clients make that our readers could learn from?
La Mancha: Many of our clients, although they operate good solid companies, do not fully control their cash flow position and do not have an adequate accounting or reporting system in place to help them with this issue. Business owners have to spend the money necessary to get their accounting system set-up and learn to incorporate it into the normal course of business operations to be successful in the short and long term. Lastly, having the accounting system in place and not using the reports or fully understanding how powerful accurate reports are in driving not only revenue, but also in controlling expenses, one of the major causes some small business close their doors when they did not need to.
MO: Do you have any recent success stories that you’d like to share with our readers?
La Mancha: Earlier this year we worked with a small computer company located outside of Atlanta in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The owners came to us after being turned down by several banks. They were also disappointed because they had received very little useful support from the Small Business Administration (SBA). They were looking for $75,000 to increase their inventory levels and expand their operations. They had a solid financial plan and the business outlook and upside potential in the area where they were located lead my team to believe that a solid loan would not only help, but be in order. We assisted them with raising $130K at a very competitive rate with a 5-year payback period. Our data showed that based on their growth curve, their long-term success would be almost guaranteed with this capital infusion. Not to our surprise, within 18 months of closing the loan, the company’s growth had exceeded even our expectations and they fully repaid the loan over 3 years early. To see this company (with Triton’s assistance) grow at such an exceptional rate was satisfying in so many ways. Left to traditional lenders, this company would never have seen this level of success, which is exactly why Triton is here!
MO: Can you talk about how Triton is moving into the crowd funding space the first quarter of 2013 and what this means to the growth of the company?
La Mancha: With the JOBS ACT that was signed in late April of 2012, a new opportunity is now available for Triton to bring its smaller investors together to lend to business owners in need. Our platform, once it is fully in place, will allow our smaller investors an opportunity to invest in businesses that they would not have had access to in the past and allow some of our small business owners to reach out to these investors directly and pitch to a bigger pool of investors and lenders. Cutting a lot of red tape and allowing smaller investors a place to be able to make high returns while investing in pre-qualified companies that they could not in the past is a very exciting prospect for Triton to enter into early in 2013. We expect to see a 23% increase in our ability to service our smaller investors as well as the business owners who sign on to this program.
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