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4 Ways SBA Lenders Can Cultivate More Efficient Processes




For many years, SBA lending has looked the same. Despite significant technological innovation and cloud transformation, many of the steps and processes involved in originating small business loans have remained stuck in the past. Unfortunately, this has prevented the majority of lenders from growing their client bases and bottom lines. Sound familiar?

4 Ways to Improve Efficiency

Historically, lending hasn’t been the most efficient or modern process. Admittedly, there’s a lot that goes into the underwriting and due diligence processes, but slow is the only way to describe it. 

Thankfully, the tides are changing. Thanks to new technology and shifting perspectives, there are now ample opportunities to improve efficiency and smooth over rigid processes. Here are a few ways SBA lenders can follow the lead:


  • Recruit the Right People


When it comes to building any business, people are the gasoline to the engine. Without the right people on your team, even the best processes will come to an abrupt halt. However, if you look at most small business lenders, you’ll discover that they don’t have any formal process for consistently recruiting, training, developing, and retaining skilled loan officers and other team members. This is problematic.

Your business might be fine right now, but there are no guarantees that your best people will still be here in 12 months, two years, or five years. You must constantly recruit top talent into the fold so that you can improve over time. 

A good recruitment strategy starts with your brand. While factors like competitive pay and benefits certainly matter, you need a clearly defined value proposition and online web presence that people connect with. Because as soon as a talented loan officer sees that you’re hiring, they’re going to start by vetting your company online. If you don’t meet the smell test – meaning they could see themselves being a part of your team – you’ll never consistently recruit top talent.

As you collect applications and conduct interviews, analyze applicants based on their soft skills. You can teach hard, technical skills, but it’s much more challenging to teach someone how to be disciplined or show attention to detail. Hire for the right natural skills and then train them to master the technical aspects.


  • Invest in Loan Origination Software


If you’re still using manual lending processes, then you’re probably experiencing a lot of friction. This might include wasting time on manual/duplicate tasks, rekeying information, double-checking for accuracy, inputting inaccurate data, and switching between multiple platforms. In other words, you’re spending all of your time and energy addressing backend challenges when you should be out there developing relationships with clients.

The good news is that there are solutions designed to address each of these problems. More specifically, there’s something called loan origination software.

Loan origination software comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, but SPARK is quickly becoming known as the industry leader. The platform’s entire goal is to end complex and outdated lending processes and replace them with smooth, automated activities. They do this by unifying every aspect of the loan origination process, including lead capture, screening, and underwriting, which results in a 30 percent reduction in loan origination time.


  • Adopt a Forward-Looking Perspective


Traditionally, small business lending decisions have been made by looking at the past and letting that data influence outcomes. And while there’s still something to be said for keying in on past data, efficient lenders are beginning to adopt a more forward-looking perspective. Understanding that 2020 was a tough fiscal year for even some of the healthiest businesses (for factors outside of their control), it may be wise to cast a broader net when underwriting.


  • Get the Little Things Right


At the end of the day, it pays to get the little things right. In fact, efficiency is usually the byproduct of doing hundreds of small things right.

For example, do you really need all of your loan officers to come into one centralized office five days per week? Would your team be able to get more done if they worked from home?

Are there ways to eliminate useless meetings? Can you cut down on back-and-forth email conversations by picking up the phone and making a call?

Success is found in the details. Get the little things right and efficiency will follow.

Take a Step Forward

Every SBA lender has its own unique approach and process. However, if you’re willing to recruit the right people, invest in loan origination software, adopt a forward-looking perspective, and get the little things right, good things will happen for your business. It won’t always be easy, but it will be much faster, smoother, and more efficient. 

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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SamBoat Makes Waves in the US




The sharing economy’s massive popularity has led to the creation of blockbuster companies like Airbnb, VRBO, eBay, Uber, and Lyft, to name just a few. According to a report by Proficient Market Insights, the size of the sharing economy was $113 billion in 2021 and is predicted to reach $600 billion by 2027.

One of the newest companies to enter this space, SamBoat, now enables the owners of sailboats and motorboats to offer their vessels for rent. Because yachts are expensive to buyand maintain — in many cases, more expensive than purchasing and maintaining a home — yacht owners can offset some of their costs by listing their craft on the platform.

Those who may not be able to afford their own boat can still experience life on the water, however. No knowledge of boating is required, as many charters include the possibility of hiring a skipper.

The inspiration for SamBoat

When young French entrepreneurs Laurent Calando and Nicolas Cargou met, a friendship, as well as a new venture, was born. Cargou was an avid Airbnb user, and Calando had grown up sailing with his family. Throughout the course of their conversation, they realized that the sharing economy covered a lot of bases, but it didn’t include boating, which they were both passionate about.

The pair sensed an opportunity, which quickly led to action. In April 2014, they officially launched SamBoat in the Bordeaux region of France.

“SamBoat’s marketplace exploded in Europe over the next few years,” explains Robert Harrington, SamBoat’s US Country Manager. The company offers yachts throughout the Mediterranean, Aegean, and other popular travel destinations.

As evidence of the popularity of the boat-sharing model, SamBoat grew by over 70 percent in 2022. Since its founding, the company has enabled more than a million people to take to the seas. Now, the platform is rapidly expanding its listings throughout the US.

Where SamBoat operates in the US

SamBoat has already — albeit indirectly — served its American customers for quite some time, as American vacationers have often rented boats in Greece, France, Italy, or Spain through its platform. But now, the company is beginning to serve Americans on the other side of the Atlantic, right here at home.

SamBoat rentals are currently available in many American ports. The marketplace currently offers hundreds of boats just in the state of Florida, where the fleet extends up the Keys to West Palm Beach, and throughout the west coast, including Tampa, Clearwater, Naples, and Ft. Myers. SamBoat also has many boats in Chicago and Seattle, as well as throughout New England.

In the near future, the company will expand its offerings in San Diego and Los Angeles. SamBoat also plans to open in Lake Tahoe, Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Havasu, and Lake Champlain by mid-summer 2023. It also aims to have fleets available in Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket by the same time.

“Our goal is to offer thousands of boats to rent throughout the United States by the end of the year,” Harrington says.

How SamBoat expands

SamBoat operates anywhere boat owners choose to list their craft for rent. “Just because the marketplace might not already have a whole regatta in a given port doesn’t mean it can’t or doesn’t operate there,” Harrington says. “Listings grow organically, cropping up wherever opportunity calls boat owners to take advantage of existing demand.”

For instance, while SamBoat only officially launched in the United States this past year, the platform was open to US-based boat owners and renters last year. From January 2022 compared to January 2023, the platform experienced a 500% increase in US-based business.

This means that, if you own a boat, you can bring SamBoat to your home port. All you have to do is go to SamBoat’s website, follow a few simple steps, upload photos of your boat along with its relevant details, and respond to rental inquiries.

“Now is the right time for boat owners to get in early and beat the rush,” Harrington says.

The secret to SamBoat’s success

American consumers have responded enthusiastically to SamBoat’s arrival for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the platform offers the very same boats as other companies, yet their prices are on average 10 percent cheaper.

The reason for this is simple: unlike most other yacht and boat rental services, SamBoat doesn’t charge its customers inflated “junk” fees.

In addition, SamBoat makes renting a yacht simple and easy. Generally speaking, other boat-sharing websites outsource customer service to the owners of the listed yachts. They will only answer the phone or attend to you if you are booking something of a high dollar amount, while the average boat rental costs under $1,000. This can lead to a very frustrating process for someone who has questions but can’t seem to get a response from a boat’s owner.

At SamBoat, however, a real human being answers every inquiry. “Sometimes, that person is me,” Harrington says. This makes it much easier for people to rent the perfect boat that will meet their individual needs.

SamBoat fulfills a long-awaited need for sailing and boating enthusiasts worldwide. With the arrival of SamBoat in the US, it’s an even more exciting time for Americans to participate in the sharing economy.

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