Getting a small business loan for the first time can be a stressful experience, especially during these hard times. Getting a loan from the bank, especially now has also fallen into hard times. So here are plans A and B to help you start your own small business. Plan A is for acquiring a small business loan from the bank, and plan B is your contingency plan, so take notes,
Know yourself. Before approaching a bank or any other lender, be sure you know your own history in terms of personal credit. Is your credit history good or bad? Due to the current recession, you can be sure to see that banks have become more strict in reviewing records before making any decision for business loans. You can obtain your credit history from companies like TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax via fax, mail or online. Also, be sure to check if the records are right. Companies with credit card services sometimes make errors in logging cancellations or adjustments to your credit limit. These misreported transactions in the past may appear as available credit to the bank.
Prepare a competitive business presentation. A good presentation should initially be able to make the bank understand what you plan to do with the money and not simply WHY you need the money. Remain objective in your explanations and try not to attach too much personal reasons in your answer. The bank’s concern is not with you, but with the money they will give you. A cash flow projection will be of good help during your presentation because the bank can quickly assess the benefits and risks for them. However, a cash flow projection is different with a cash flow statement. The projection is an expectation on how money will come in and out, while a statement shows how money arrives and leaves the business. You can make a projection on a monthly basis over one year for a better outlook of your expectations for the business.
Prepare other documents. You may need to present other documents like a credit rating report. Though this is not an actual requirement, it will still be useful for the bank to know your loan payment history and other dealings with other credit card services. After all, most banks only approve businesses that are able to accept credit cards.
Get to know the bank. It is also important to do a little research on your lender’s point of view. Again, the first question in the bank’s mind is, “what are you going to do with our money?” The second question would be, “Why should we risk our money for your business?” Providing the bank with the right answer boosts your chances of getting that business loan by more than 50% of the time.
Bear important facts. You need to be honest to the bank on certain areas like, how much money are you willing to put in to the business, the collateral you currently have, and how much do you really know about the industry you’re planning to venture in. Enduring the bank that you’re not completely in the dark on your planned business will somehow put their minds at ease with regards to the loan they will be giving you.
If all else fails with the bank, do not despair. There are other means of acquiring small business loans for yourself. Many business cash advance companies are now available to serve you. Borrowing money from these companies are relatively easier than getting one from a bank. They will review your credit record but they are less strict in terms of seeing a few bad records on your history. With a business cash advance, you will be able to start your own small business, expand, pay off debt or taxes, and get emergency funding. However, make sure that the company you will be applying to is legitimate with negotiable terms with payment.