Q&A With Ali Habib Mayar on Acquiring Business Financing

Ali Habib Mayar is the founder and CEO of Platinum Rapid Funding Group, a Long Island-based Merchant Cash Advance company that helps small business owners gain access to much-needed capital.

As one of the leaders in the alternative finance industry, Ali Habib Mayar has found a way to combine his passion for helping small businesses grow with his vast knowledge of the lending sphere. He recently took the time to chat with us about his work in the merchant cash advance industry.

Ali Habib Mayar and ET

Q: First things first: for those who may not fully know, what is a merchant cash advance?

A: That’s a great question! It’s a funding source that bypasses the lengthy approval process that banks typically take, and helps businesses that really need financial assistance in a snap. Once a funding group like mine establishes that a business has the means to handle repayment, usually by reviewing previous transactions or credit card payments, a cash advance is deposited almost immediately.

Q: And what kinds of businesses would benefit from a model like this?

A: Most any business in the service industry or in a customer-oriented industry. Lots of restaurants and retail shops will frequently rely on cash advances to get started, restock locations, and upgrade equipment. Merchant cash advances can even help with hiring and staffing needs if necessary because adding someone to payroll can be a really daunting prospect, especially in an industry like food service which can have higher than average turnover.

Q: What’s the best part about operating Platinum Rapid Funding Group?

A: It’s really great to see an advance that we provided to a small business really help them grow. We have a lot of success stories that we’ve seen over the years. Also, consulting with someone who really has a vision and a great concept, their excitement really grows on you and you start really wanting to see them succeed. So when we have a client that really knocks it out of the park, we can sit back and say “Yeah, we helped do that.”

Business meeting

Q: What’s the most important thing for a startup founder?

A: I always, always stress that when you’re starting any kind of business, you will win or lose based on the people you surround yourself with. And it always starts with you. If you aren’t setting a great example for your team, you’re going to end up working with unmotivated individuals who aren’t going to give them all.

It’s not just about being a business owner. Even though that’s a really exciting milestone, you also have to think of yourself as a leader. Once you have a hardworking team in place, you have to continue inspiring and leading them down the path to success.

Q: To add to that, how do you feel you lead your team?

A: It goes back to what I mentioned about excitement and leadership. I’m excited about every day of work and it’s not just because Platinum Rapid Funding Group was my brainchild. It’s because I get to work with some incredibly talented, hardworking clients who inspire me to do my best and push even harder each day. I think my energy and enthusiasm really translates well to my team. I could also say the same about them. In the ways that I help my team succeed, they help me right back. It’s a great kind of feedback loop that has really helped us grow.

Q: Finally, what’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to an aspiring business owner?

A: Especially if you’re seeking funding, come prepared, come with a plan, and most importantly, come with enthusiasm. A lot of people are often looking for a quick fix or an easy way to get started but they lack the passion. Starting a business is incredibly hard work, with or without financial assistance, and if you don’t have the passion for what you’re doing, you’re probably not going to make it. So start a business that excites you and keep sight of why you’re starting it. It’ll make the long hours feel shorter and the successes feel richer.