Spank the Bank:  THE Guide to Alternative Business Financing

Karlene Sinclair-Robinson
Outskirts Press (2013)
ISBN 9781432794613

Reviewed by Vicki Liston for Reader Views (6/13)

While small and home-based businesses are the rage right now, the presently failing economy coupled with society’s general lack of personal financial responsibility make for an overly-cautious attitude among banking institutions.  So what’s a new entrepreneur to do? Want to know? Enter into author Karlene Sinclair-Robinson’s first book, “Spank the Bank: THE Guide to Alternative Business Financing.”

“Spank the Bank” is an introduction to the concept of obtaining business financing from non-traditional sources.  Banks have customarily been the deciding factor in whether a would-be business owner could get started or not.  Fair or not, many potential companies never get to see their opening day.  Now more than ever, entrepreneurs are becoming more proactive and creative in their search for startup money.  And the best part is that they’re succeeding.  

While definitely catchy, I thought the title was a bit of a misnomer.  Sinclair-Robinson’s alternatives didn’t even begin until page 75.  The first 74 pages contained general information about business (business plans, the Small Business Administration, etc.) and the traditional financing process through banks.  Although these chapters had some great information, in general I think that readers are looking for alternative financial options and already well aware of the traditional route and how it works…and doesn’t work.  I expected the book to jump right in to what the title promised and instead, I became frustrated while reading through information I wasn’t interested in learning.   The alternatives weren’t all ‘bank-free’ either; some involved bank lending but weren’t the ‘conventional business loan.’

However, Sinclair-Robinson did introduce several potential avenues for the would-be borrower to explore which I found to be insightful, creative, and downright brilliant.  I could certainly envision how utilizing a combination of these alternatives coupled with the appropriate business type and a motivated small business owner could produce promising results. 

“Spank the Bank:  THE Guide to Alternative Business Financing” is very well organized, making it a fantastic resource to read and refer back to over and over.  Sinclair-Robinson’s ideas and advice flowed seamlessly from one point to the next, making it an easily-understandable read.  The exceptional level of editing is one of the best I’ve seen come out of Outskirts Press.  I believe I found two missing periods.  Otherwise, it appeared to be flawless.

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