What started as a part-time passion for Scott Hanson became full time after he was downsized at his IT job in December 2017.
Hanson, the owner of Prime Start Capital, a veteran-owned independent loan brokerage, was suddenly faced with leaving his long-time job to step into the competitive world of closing loan deals. But more than a year after that fateful day, Hanson has worked to build his business and tell more potential customers about what he has to offer.
“I truly want to help them get the right solution, not just a solution that may come back to bite them later,” Hanson said.
Prime Start Capital helps broker various loans for its clients that range from federal government-backed Small Business Administration loans to equipment leasing deals. In return for his valuable services, Hanson receives a commission at the close of the deal, costing his clients nothing until the hard work of orchestrating the deal completes.
Hanson says unlike other loan brokers who push their clients hard to close a deal, he is looking to provide the best solution for each individual’s needs. That means being patient and seeking multiple options that don’t put clients in a difficult financial situation.
Prime Start Capital began in April 2017, when Hanson attended a training seminar in Albany, New York. Similar to a franchise agreement, Prime Start Capital began as a “business opportunity,” with Hanson taking all the profits on his work in return for a one-time payment for training and start up.
Between April and November of that year, Hanson completed one large deal that covered his initial fee, but was still looking for a push to turn his passion full time. Two things swung his decision. First, his wife told him to quit his full-time IT job, stepping out on his own. Second, Hanson was downsized a month later.
Both of those events helped push him toward pursuing his passion.
Now with multiple deals under his belt and more planned for 2019, Hanson admits there are things he would have done differently if he started again. First, he wished he had started full time at the outset, dedicating more time to networking and finding solid leads.
The hardest part of Hanson’s job, he says, is finding quality leads and referrals that can actually be closed. Hanson said he has had multiple potential clients walk on deals close to closing.
Another difficult task is reaching out to clients, some of whom have never heard of independent loan brokers but are still looking for help in dire straits.
What has helped Hanson in the interim is networking, both in person and online. Hanson has joined a number of small business groups in Facebook to help reach potential customers and see what his clients need.
In addition, Hanson has found gold in making personal connections to banks, lenders and anyone else in between. Hanson touts those connections as crucial to deals he has signed. A pending deal with a small business in Buffalo was the result of a connection he made at an impromptu networking meeting, he says.
Hanson said making those connections is increasingly difficult due to the number of competitors in his space. That’s why he is working to boost his online presence to attract more clients. Until recently, Prime Start Capital’s social media presence was solely controlled by a Marketing company. Recently, Hanson received access to his professional Facebook and LinkedIn accounts and hopes to start making connections potential clients.
But despite his pivot to the digital space, Hanson has had some hiccups in the last couple years. One of those problems was using online marketing tools like Google Adwords, which he said cost a fortune and returned few results.
As a small business owner in the earliest stages, Hanson said he is working to maximize his capital while attracting high-quality leads and referrals.
Looking ahead to 2019, Hanson said his goal is create a “pipeline” of referrals and leads that will enable him to close between two and three deals a month. While a steep task, Hanson said he plans to become more active in marketing himself and his business.
To do that, Hanson continues to scour the internet and local vendors for possible clients who are looking for an honest broker who has their best interests in mind.
“A lot of brokers are out there generating leads and closing deals, but are they really building any kind of relationship?” Hanson said. “I don’t want to be that guy. “
To learn more about Scott and the value he can bring to your business, check out his website: www.primestartcapital.com