Small Business Loan Information Overload

In today’s world, we literally have access to an ocean of information. With very little restrictions, people can freely swim in the open sea of the Internet, just as you are reading this article on your laptop or mobile device. The amount and variety of information available to us is appreciably infinite and the search cost has become much lower. Although this has greatly improved our ability to make a more educated choice, it has also created a band of low quality, often inaccurate and misleading information.

Take healthcare for example, a study has shown that over 80% of all Americans look online for health information. More and more patients are going to their doctors having already researched their symptoms on the Internet, and already convinced of their own diagnosis. What is more, doctors are also increasingly turning to the Internet, with nearly half of doctors reporting using the notoriously inaccurate Wikipedia as a source of medical information.   

If you Google “information overload” you will be inundated with information: more than 7 million hits in 0.05 seconds. Some of it is mere noise; obscure companies promoting their services and even more obscure bloggers sounding off. The overall impression is at once overwhelming and confusing. “information overload” is one of the biggest irritations in modern life and it's getting worse every day.  

Amazon has filed lawsuits against users who wrote fake reviews on products for pay but admit that the activity is still prevalent, not only on Amazon but Google and other review websites.  Furthermore, countless web pages and affiliate blogs selling everything from merchant cash advances to vitamins, sex pills to dietary supplements; all boasting bogus results and misleading cues.  The Internet has made it possible for us to buy virtually anything we can imagine, regardless of how ludicrous it may be. Returning to the ocean analogy, we’re now playing in much deeper waters, where the waves are high and winds are strong. To make the most of the current environment, especially as it relates to small business owners whose success often depends on obtaining realistic and truthful information, business owners must filter through the nonsense and search through an ideal set of information to maintain a competitive edge. Are you educating yourself on truthful information, or fake offers, teaser rates and false promises?   

One of the larger financial blogs on the internet boasts about making it simple to find the best deals on all types of financial products, from: credit cards, insurance, small business loans to mortgage rates, etc. However, this site is nothing more than a large affiliate marketing platform and much of their content is written only for keywords and placement on Google. No question about it, they have SEO down to a science but their content is misleading and inaccurate. So we decided to dig deeper and finally found a little link that led to a page titled, "how we make money." Here are the highlights: "We make money when you get the funding you need. Some of the loan providers on our site pay us a referral fee when customers like you get approved for a loan. Some of the financial institutions with products on our site may pay us a referral fee when customers get approved for certain products. When you click to apply for those products through our site, we may receive compensation from the company that issues that product. While we try to feature as many financial products on our site. We recognize that our site does not feature every product available on the market." How unbiased can they be, if they are only steering you to a few sites that pay them referral fees?

While education and research is imperative for success, too much information can shroud sensible decision making. Especially, when most of the the information you are absorbing is false. People are getting bombarded with information from all angles, and instead of becoming more educated and knowledgeable, often times they only wind up getting frustrated and extremely confused. The Internet has been proven to be a double edge sword; one blade allows you to efficiently work through business matters and obtain information that otherwise may not had access to, while the other can hurt your effectiveness, as you have to constantly decipher what is right or wrong, authentic or apocryphal. Just as fire is a wonderful servant but a terrible master, information on the Internet, especially as it pertains to finances, need to be carefully digested.

Small business loan and merchant cash advance marketplaces have been flourishing in the last few years, and so has the number of specious lenders increased. The old adage of what seems too good to be true, probably is. Yet, so many people forgo the legitimate and obtainable funding offers to grow their business, while wasting their time searching out unfounded loan options that simply don’t exist. Chasing butterflies we like to call it. Thousands of consumer reports indicate fake, fraud, or misleading instances of online small business loan offers, which not only waste time for consumers but result in negative outcomes. Every day, seemingly smart business owners get locked into small business loans that they don’t understand and may very well put their business in jeopardy, all because they heard what they wanted to hear and refused to listen to reason.

Many of the propositions discussed here have been supported through recent research and suggest that too much information may hurt consumer decision making. Through a series of established economic models and numerical analyses, the researchers find that an intermediate amount of information is better than too much, or unlimited information.

Whether you like it or not, the tide of the Information era is looming larger by the day, and it is up to your prudence to navigate through these waters in finding the best small business financing options for your particular business. Especially for an important decision as getting a small business loan to fuel your growth initiatives or simply meet payroll; you should avoid listening to the song of sirens and steer toward a reliable and knowledgeable loan provider and resource such as LVRG.