Do you want to take the reins of your life and become a business owner but stop short because you do not have the funds? Our guest in this episode might just be the person who can help! Julie Houston interviews the founder and CEO of Fund&Grow, Ari Page. Fund&Grow is a company dedicated to meet the funding needs of small business owners, entrepreneurs, and real estate developers who cannot achieve their funding needs through traditional means. Ari shares with us how they are able to do that and explains the benefits that come with funding your business. He discusses how they utilize credit and why it is important to focus on your moneymaker. Plus, Ari then shares some great advice to small businesses as well as stories from his clients about how Fund&Grow has changed their businesses and lives. So tune in to this conversation and hear more of Ari’s tips on how you can grow funding for your business and the safe way to do it!
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Benefits Of Funding Your Business With Ari Page
I am excited to be here with Ari Page. Ari, welcome.
Thank you so much for having me.
Ari has been in a company called Fund&Grow for quite a while.
It’s been since about 2006.
We’re going to be talking with Ari about Fund&Grow and how it’s been an incredible value and assistance for investors and entrepreneurs and business owners, especially in our current economy. Ari, can you tell us a little bit about Fund&Grow and how you even came about starting the company?
Fund&Grow was born out of the crisis of 2006 and 2007 which crashed and what was 2008. At that time, we were a mortgage company. We were putting out millions of dollars monthly in mortgages but then we saw the writing on the wall. We saw the way that the economy was going, and we retooled. At that time, we went from doing full-time mortgages to doing this type of funding the business credit but doing it on a piecemeal basis. We were charging $1,500 an hour and it was a lot of fun.
We were getting a lot of credit but then we were working with a lot of folks like you guys who told us, “You guys got to put this into a package. You can help out so many small businesses. Why don’t you make it more affordable for them?” Instead of charging $1,500 an hour, create a package, make it something that you can put a lot of people in, you can get them to funding, and then they can invest into small businesses and get out.”
That’s how Fund&Grow was born. It was out of the mortgage crisis which started in 2006 and crashed in 2008. Here we are now. We’ve generated over $1.3 billion in funding for small businesses. That’s for over 30,000 small businesses so far. We’re generating over $23 million a month in this type of funding. We’ve had $24 million. Our goal is to hit $25 million monthly and keep on growing that. We have over 65 team members here in our building here in Florida that are churning out monthly.The least expensive and safest form of funding is funding provided by the big banks. Click To Tweet
You have a big staff.
We got people doing all kinds of stuff from our marketing people to our account managers that are negotiating. Our negotiators are one of our secret sauces. That’s what’s churning out to the point where we bring people in that don’t even fully qualify yet until they’ve gone through the program. We’re sending that with not only great business and personal credit scores but all the funding that they need to launch their business.
What did you do before you were in the mortgage business initially? Did you do something prior that led you in this direction? Is this something you’ve always been in?
I had a completely different life before then. I worked at the shipyard. I was a welder, a shipfitter working with blueprints on Navy ships. I learned about something called the Law of Attraction and it completely changed my life. I changed the industries I was working in. One thing led me to another and I ended up working with a gentleman called David Kendall and Daniel Ehni. That’s when I got involved in doing mortgages and I worked with them for some period of time until we created what is Fund&Grow.
What is the financing method that you choose for your business? How does that affect your profit margins and your client’s profit margins?
That’s huge. There are so many different types of funding out there. There are hard money loans, private equity, all these different venture capitals, and crowdfunding. What we’ve found is the least expensive and safest form of funding is funding provided by the big banks. it sounds bad at first because people don’t like the big banks.
If you don’t like paying 30% interest and the merchant factoring which a lot of small businesses are doing or hard money lending, which could be costly. It could be dangerous. It can also be helpful. I’ve personally used hard money loans. I’ve used various types of loans. but some of them were more dangerous than others. Some of them cost me a lot more than others.
The type of funding that Fund&Grow does is unsecured. It will never take away your personal assets from you. It’s unsecured and it doesn’t show up on the business owner’s personal credit, which is important. It’s bonafide business credit. We help our clients with what’s called corporate credit. We educate on the difference between the two.
I was talking to one of our producers here and he was telling me, “Many other businesses out there are doing what we do. They don’t delineate between the two. They’re not telling people that corporate credit is only after your company’s grown. Business credit is to help you get there.” Here in our world, we have a million-dollar building that we’re sitting in. We have over 65 employees that come every day.
We have another building with other employees in it for another business that we run. All of that is based off of corporate credit. That corporate credit is something that allows us to get access to be able to buy real estate or company vehicles. All of that was possible by us starting with getting access to business credit. The business credit gave us an immediate infusion of cash. We were able to spend on what we needed to and we were able to make our business grow.
We’re sharing how we grew Fund&Grow into doing millions of dollars a month in sales, into doing $23 million, $24 million, or $25 million a month in funding. We’re teaching people how to do that in our monthly coaching. We have our magazine that comes out every month and we also help people. We teach them not only through funding, but how is it that we got Fund&Grow to where it is now? What type of customer service, what type of retention, what type of sales, the pay-per-click, how do we pay for our pay-per-click? Where does the funding come into all of this? What’s a safe way of doing all of that? We’re passionate about helping businesses grow. That’s the growing part of Fund&Grow.
You’re growing even now at a pretty rapid pace.
We’re getting ready to build another building on our location here in Spring Hill, Florida.
Are you seeing any changes in how much funding the banks are willing to give to businesses, especially nowadays’ market? Are you seeing that?
That’s a great question because the way that the pandemic depressed a lot of the lending that was occurring at the time. We go to lenders that do not report the credit to the personal credit report of the business. We are only going after actual business vendors. These vendors are lending out more than what was being lent out at pre-pandemic levels. Before the pandemic, the highest amount we had ever gotten in one month in terms of funding was $18 million.
Remember every month, we’re getting that amount. We’re getting more and more funding for our client pool. Now we’ve well surpassed that. The pandemic also encouraged a lot of people to leave the corporate world and put themselves in the driver’s seat of their life. Being a business owner is one of the best ways of doing that. A lot of other people could have also entered the small business market, but the banks are churning out more funding than we’ve seen in a long time. Our stats are going up and up.Using credit cards gives you a form of asset protection that you wouldn't have otherwise as a small business. Click To Tweet
For somebody new in investing and comes across your services, how do you utilize the credit for Fund&Grow with your real estate investments, if you don’t mind sharing a little on that?
We have so many clients that are involved in real estate. We have clients that are involved in eCommerce or they have a brick and mortar, but the plurality of our clients is involved in real estate. The cool thing is you can take your business credit card and you can do a wire transfer directly from the business credit card to the title agency that you’re working with to your closing to your escrow attorney.
You can simply buy by using a series of credit cards or one credit card or by having their credit card be a supplement. They don’t care where the money’s coming from. You can transfer money from multiple places. The credit card becomes one of many places where you’re bringing money into your escrow account. It’s as simple as that.
There are many things that business owners do with the funding when they have a real estate business. They might be purchasing a roof. They might be doing rehab. There’s a variety of things. We had this one situation where we had a client that was purchasing a roof for rehab, and they went to a roofing company that didn’t accept credit cards.
They’re talking to them and they’re like, “I can get you paid. I work with Fund&Grow because Fund&Grow has a way of doing that.” Through working with us, they were able to determine that this roofing company wasn’t even a legitimate company. They wouldn’t have known that these guys are running people’s cards, they’re taking money, and they wouldn’t even know.
The cool thing is that when you put it onto a credit card, you can always call and do a chargeback. Whether you’re getting a water heater installed, doing a roof, or working with a contractor, when you purchase it on a credit card, you as a business owner have a limit of liability. Let’s say that you’re purchasing a roof from me and you put it on your credit card because it’s an investment into this rehab that you’re doing. I don’t provide the roof. You call your credit card company. Money’s right back in your account.
All these business owners need that level of protection. Sometimes paying the 1% fee or whatever for purchasing the roof on a credit card is that’s your protection, knowing that it’s going to get done on time. If it’s not, you call. I’ve, I’ve had this happen in a variety of different situations where I had a solar water heater installed. The solar water heater company did not get the permit passed properly. They were trying to act like it was my problem to get the final sign-off on the permit. That’s ridiculous.
I was like, “That’s fine.” I went and called my credit card company to charge back. The next day, they were calling me. When $36,000 is sucked out of their account, they’re calling you the next day. Suddenly, they had a renewed interest in wanting to get my permit closed out because they wanted to be able to prove to the credit card company that they in fact finished the job. Using credit cards gives you a form of asset protection that you wouldn’t have otherwise as a small business.
I’ve been familiar with your company for quite some time. I’ve talked to investors that I know in my area. They’re borrowing private money at 8% to 10% and using that on their rehabs. I was like, “Why aren’t you using Fund&Grow on zero-interest credit cards when you’re doing these rehabs?” They revamped how they were doing their remodel method by using Fund&Grow. It changed. Look at all the money that they saved. You’re borrowing 8% to 10% on terms when you’re rehabbing in a much lower cost-effective way through your services.
As crazy as it sounds, you can get cash back on all the spending that you’re doing. This first quarter of 2022, we received $13,000 back for our first quarter of the year because they don’t pay it out right away. We received $13,000 back with all of the credit cards together that Fund&Grow uses for our pay-per-click, for our facilities, for our phone company, and for everything that we’re paying for, which is a lot of stuff. Put it on the credit card and then you’re getting cash back. Every year, we’re getting somewhere between $30,000 to $40,000 cash back on normal spending that we’re doing.
I had financials with my CFO and looking at it adds up. We try to find the value in it. That’s a great value that you mentioned right there, for sure. You have a lot of real estate investors. Could it work in any business?
Yes. We have brick and mortars from restaurants to hair salons. We even have bars. We have medical marijuana places. There’s a variety of non-real estate things. One of the main non-real estate things is eCommerce, like Amazon resellers. People buying inventory is a big thing for the resellers.
What would you say to somebody new, starting out maybe in their business or on their entrepreneurial road about Fund&Grow and how it could benefit them and their company starting out?
Funding is an important component, but it’s not the only component. It’s not the only thing that’s needed. For a small business starting out, having a successful model is going to be your number one thing. By the way, this is some of the stuff that we go over in our Prosperity Pulse Coaching Package. That is how to grow a business. What are the metrics and the pain points that you want to look at?
Fund&Grow is nothing more than a service. We are a service that provides something. That’s what so many of the businesses that we work with out there are. They’re a service. They’re someone who does something. Even a rehab if you think about it, you sell real estate, but you’re providing a service that other people can’t do in order to get that house to where it needs to be in order to sell it.
My recommendation for a small business is to look at their entire process at how they’re making their money and focus on their main money makers. You focus on quantity until you can focus on quality. It sounds crazy, but until you have a big stream of things going, you’re not ever going to be able to focus on quantity. The quality that we had in the beginning is not near the quality that we have now. The quality that we have now is because of our quantity.The quality that we have today is because of our quantity because we focused on our moneymaker. Click To Tweet
We focused on our money maker. We didn’t do all these different, crazy things. They’re like, “You’re leaving money on the table with this and that.” We’re going to focus on getting people business credit. That’s what we do. It’s our bread and butter. We do it all day long. We’re getting $23 million, $24 million in one month. That’s what we did. We grew our main money maker, our bread and butter.
For small businesses out there, focus on your main money maker so that you can grow it. When you get bigger and you have a lot of quantity going, then you’re going to be able to focus on your other things where you’re leaving money on the table. You’re not trying to make a business out of all that. Your business is out of your main money maker. You can create other departments and other things based on that.
For a small business out there, the number one thing is to do something, move forward, and make a move. Many people are paralyzed by the idea that they might not be successful. Even if many times you could start a business, and let’s say you’re only making $100,000 a year. That’s failing from a business standpoint, but from an employee standpoint, that might be more money than they ever made before. Why not get started? Next year, you’ll make $150,000.
I have a friend who does pavers, who a few years ago was going to go up, move back to New York City to get a municipal job. They were going to start them out at something like $140,000 for the New York City municipal job. It was that’s pretty impressive. It was high enough to the point where he was going to close his paver business and move his wife and his child to New York City. Being my friend, we ended up conversating. I was thinking $140,000. That’s nothing. I wouldn’t move to New York City for that.
You’re going to cost that much to live there.
In 2021, he did $800,000. In 2022, he’s on track to do well over $1 million. When you first are getting out of the corporate world, we have so many clients that have told us this, to go from the salary they were making to surpassing that. Your business grossing $100,000 doesn’t mean you’re netting $100,000. You have to build, but it takes many years.
When Fund&Grow first started, I was working out of my home. I had people that were working out of my home. Now we have million-dollar buildings between all the companies with over 75 employees. It takes time, but you have to have that perseverance. You have to focus on your main money makers, bread and butter. Don’t get greedy and get off into the weeds on all these other things.
I have a question because you have a strong entrepreneurial background. If there were 2 to 3 things that you would recommend to any entrepreneur starting out, what do you think that would be? What are 2 to 3 focus points that you think would change the game for any entrepreneur starting out, even a seasoned entrepreneur?
Being a funding guy, one of the things to me is to have good credit. Work on your credit and make sure that you have leverage ability. Any business needs to be able to leverage. It all starts with your personal credit because your business credit’s predicated on your personal credit. Leverage ability is huge. I would say being able to be leveraged. Number two is networking. Connecting with other businesses and networking is huge. I couldn’t understate how important it’s been. How we met was through networking. Those are my two biggest ones right there, leveragability and networking.
Networking can change the trajectory of your business.
Marketing comes a close third.
Networking is something that could change the line or direction of your business by surrounding yourself with the right people and people that know what’s going on and that has done this for several years like you. It’s an advantage. Have you found any changes with your clientele during this economy and market and wherever the direction is going in it? Are you finding newer people? Are you steady in sales or growth? What are you seeing in your own personal business during this time?
One of the things that pop in my mind right away is that from the pandemic and even during the pandemic, we had so many new entrepreneurs reach out to us, people that were getting out of the corporate world, people that were not in the workforce that were looking at creating their own businesses. That’s one of the things that we’ve seen over the last few years.
There is almost a resurgence of people wanting to be in the driver’s seat of their own lives and run their own businesses. Being a business owner, being someone who helps and mentors other business owners that’s something beautiful for us to see. One of the positive things has been that the banking industry, the banks, has stepped up. They have been lending because there was a period of time during the pandemic when they weren’t lending.
It makes sense during shutdowns and so on. If a state is shut down, how are people going to be earning money to be able to pay that? That makes sense, but since things have reopened, so has the business lending. That’s been a good thing so far. The interesting thing is that the banks have indicated that more and more, they are looking to move to this micro-lending model of lending out smaller loans and mitigating the risk between multiple banks rather than doing one major, big loan from one bank for a consumer or for a business.
This micro-lending model, which is exemplified by business credit cards, is something that they’re expanding on. If you look at the Beige Book, you can see that banks are lending out more and more. The Beige Book is the Federal Reserve’s quarterly statement that they put out. They indicate and show that this type of lending is preferred. The default rate on it is low as opposed to consumer lending. It’s something that they’re ramping up and doing more of. We’ve noticed that from an industry standpoint and from a clientele standpoint of clients coming in. We’ve been able to serve them and get them hundreds of thousands of dollars of funding.When you have a sound model, and then you plug in funding, of course, you can expand. Click To Tweet
Is there a cap on how much funding they can get or a range for funding?
It’s more of a range and we find that to $200,000 to 300,000. We advertise $250,000 but we’ve gotten clients up to $500,000 before. There were clients that came to us with short credit and they were happy to get $50,000 or $100,000. It depends on where the consumer is coming to us from and how much we need to build. We have many clients that, in their first year with us, might buy their first membership and help build their profile and get them access to funding.
It might be $250,000. In their 2nd and 3rd years, they might get end up getting a lot more. We have a lot of clients that will sign up year after year and we can help maintain the credit at the 0% rate. That’s another thing that we can do, as well as add more credit. When the 0% expires, we’re going to want to get that back down to a low-interest rate. That’s one of the things that we help our business clients with year to year.
I have a question. When they apply for the business credits, does it affect their personal credit score initially when they apply? Did their credit score play a little bit of a role in that?
A part. When someone first starts getting access to business credit, it’s like when you’re at high school, you didn’t have any credit, and you go to apply. They’re like, “How are we going to give you credit if you don’t have any credit?” What the business banks do is they say, “Let’s look at your personal credit so that we know where you might be with your business.
If you, as an individual, pay all of your personal bills, that’s a good indication that you, as a business owner, will pay all your business bills. When we first apply for business credit, they want to look at the personal credit report of the individual. That’s why it’s important that we help our clients have A-plus the highest credit that we could possibly help them get. When a client starts with us, the first thing we do is boost their credit scores so that when we apply for business credit, we get them as much as possible. It doesn’t show up on the credit report, but they want to look at the personal credit first. Otherwise, they have nothing to go off of.
That’s a lot of money. That could change somebody’s business. I’ve seen no brainer either.
We’ve seen major transformations. we have a client who’s also an affiliate of ours called Nick Perry. In his own words, he talked about how the $400,000 that he got from us helped him go from $40,000 to $50,000 a month up to $400,000 to $500,000 a month in sales. He credits it specifically to being able to get access to funding and to be able to boost all of what he was doing. He already had a sound model. When you have a sound model and then you plug in funding, you can expand.
Are there any other clients that stick out to you? I’m curious. They have used your services and it’s changed the game for them. I’m sure there’s a lot because I know so many personally.
We have so many. We have plenty that has given us testimonials, which is pretty much our permission to talk about it. Many of the industry players out there are using our service. Even if they’re not promoting it, they’re personally using it. I could name off people, but I don’t have permission to say that they’re even in our program.
We have clients that are coming in where they have a hard time getting access to any funding, personal or business and then they’re walking out the door with hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding. If you go online, you’ll see that we have over 4,000 4.9-star reviews. Many of those are on the Better Business Bureau.
We work so hard at making our clients happy because we’re telling them, “We want you to go online and talk about how much funding we got you, who referred you, what you’re using the funding for, how other people that are looking for funding, and why they should trust us because we helped you. Our clients are constantly sharing their stories and primarily because we asked them.
“We’re getting you this funding. Will you tell others about what we’re doing? We want you to help us to spread the word so that other people can grow their small businesses as you’ve grown yours. We don’t ever mean to be braggadocious with our clients but sometimes when you’re applying for a job like what we’re doing, we’re applying with these clients. We’re telling them, “We want you to hire us to get you funding.”
Sometimes we do have to be a little braggadocious, talk about the $1.3 billion and the 30,000 clients we’ve helped, all of our testimonials, and our A-plus, B rating. not because we’re trying to be braggadocious but because we realize, most of the time, we’re applying for a job. We’re applying for a job with all of our viewers and all the people that are interested in getting access to funding. We hope that they, like you, hire us to get them that funding because it’s something that we can do.
I don’t even know any other company out there that is even our competition in terms of doing what we do in getting funding. There are plenty of other types of business credit businesses out there but none that do what we do in terms of getting unsecured funding that doesn’t show up on a client’s credit report. There’s no one doing what we’re doing that I know of.
There are some small companies that remind me of where we were many years ago. It’s pretty exciting. I know a lot of those smaller companies. I see ads out there. I get targeted because it’s similar to my model of other people out there that are teaching this. This model hasn’t taken off the way that it should because there is so much potential. There are so many people out there that need access. If they had access to $200,000, their business would take off. Why haven’t they used this? It’s because it’s not well-known. That’s the bottom line. People don’t realize that this type of product exists for businesses.Start to live your passion and dreams, which is putting yourself into the driver's seat of your own life. There's nothing like being a business owner in America to exemplify that. Click To Tweet
I speak to a lot of investors and I’m like, “Have you tried Fund&Grow? Why are you paying 8% to 10% on this rehab?” or whatever they’re working on. I’ve even recommended it myself to several people because I see the benefits of it. it’s a no-brainer. For our viewers, we’re going to have some information that they can go to at UndergroundWealthSecrets.net/funding. Ari, if you don’t mind going over some of the things that they’re going to be able to see there, what are some of the things that you’re going to be covering?
At UndergroundWealthSecrets.net/funding, we have a landing page set up for people to register for the webinar. We’re going to have a live webinar upcoming soon where we’re going to discuss all the way down to the granular level of people’s credit reports, their business credit profile, credit inquiries, and how to get access to this type of funding. We’re going to teach all of your viewers how they can do this on their own. Some of them are going to hire us to do it, but many of them are going to want to go and try to get some credit on their own.
They’re going to get some credit and be able to invest in their businesses. Maybe if they want to get the hundreds of thousands of dollars of credit, they’ll come back and have us do it for them. We’re going to teach them how this process works, how to get access to funding, what are all the links in the chain, how to have your entity structured properly, and what you need in order to get funding at the level of $200,000 to $300,000? It’s about a 30 to 40-minute call total. We’re not getting you to commit to something that’s not going to all day event or anything. It’s a 30-minute call. We recommend that you go to UndergroundWealthSecrets.net/funding.
Do you have any other things you’d want to say to our audience before we close, anything on your mind?
What’s all in my mind like usual is small businesses in America and growing them. To anyone out there that’s thinking about starting a small business, I recommend doing it because I quit my job and I wasn’t even in the corporate world. I wasn’t a white-collar worker. I was a blue-collar worker. I quit my job and I’ve found that there is so much more opportunity in the white-collar world than in the blue-collar world.
I highly recommend whether or not you’re in the corporate world, whether or not you’re a blue-collar working job, that you start to live your passion and your dreams, which is putting yourself into the driver’s seat of your own life. There’s nothing like being a business owner in America to exemplify that. My advice for anyone reading is to take some action. Maybe in this upcoming webinar, learn how to get access to funding. Maybe that will help you. Maybe it’s taking action on something else. Either way, do something that’s going to move your life forward.
I don’t only mean that in the sense of being an employee. if you think about it, hundreds of years ago in America, many of the people that lived here were all, in one way or another, business owners. They were farmers and traders and directly represented their own wares in one way or another. Fast forward hundreds of years, it’s completely the opposite way around. Ninety-nine percent of the population works for someone instead of working for themself.
We’re on a mission to try to help people be in the driver’s seat of their own lives and move themselves forward. By doing so, they’re helping not only themselves. They’re helping their families and their communities. There’s nothing more that we could do that’s better for America than doing that, especially now when we need real leaders out there showing people. Trade and commerce are our way of peacefully interacting with each other.
We need people that are going to be out there talking about that and doing those types of things. I don’t mean to get too political, but it seems that we have two different directions going in our country, one of taking things and then one of creating things. We’re on the side of wealth creation. There’s not enough money to feed enough people that we can take from others, but if we all work to create and we all create more, then there will be plenty. That’s the whole idea of capitalism, being a business owner, and creating in order to give
Ari, I want to thank you so much for being here with me, sharing all about Fund&Grow, and your history and background. For our viewers. For more information on everything that we discussed with Ari, go to UndergroundWealthSecrets.net/funding. You can sign up for a free webinar and learn exactly what we discussed on our call. Thank you so much Ari for joining me. It’s been a pleasure and an honor having you.
Thank you so much for having me on. I appreciate it. I’m thankful to Bob as well.
Thank you. I’m sure they’re going to appreciate that as well. It was a pleasure having you.
About Ari Page
ARI PAGE is the Founder and CEO of Fund & Grow, a company that specializes in helping Real Estate investors and small business owners rapidly acquire Up to $250k in mostly all 0% interest Business Credit. Since 2007, he’s slingshot the team from 0 to over 65 team members, helped tens of thousands of clients, acquired them over $1.3 Billion in Business Credit, landed the Inc. 5000 List 6 years in a row, transforming countless lives in the process. He’s most proud of obtaining over 2400 4.9 Star Client Reviews, as well as maintaining an A+ Rating & Accreditation from the BBB over 8 years.
After mastering his funding process, he decided to write the book “Fund & Grow: Easy & Affordable Ways To Get Money For Your Business” where he shares powerful funding strategies, breakthrough business advice, and how to put your newly acquired funding to use. Ari has shared his strategies with fans and followers of industry legends such as Kevin Harrington, Les Brown, and most of the top Real Estate Investing experts.