A small business loan provides the fuel your business needs for success. A loan provides you with the foundation to open your doors, make improvements, pay employees, and more. Many aspiring business owners are ready to make a significant investment in their business. The sweat equity, personal financial contributions, and promotion of your business all take hard work. A loan will help you to make your dream business and hard work pay off.
What’s required to apply?
Coming up with a practical and well-written business plan is the first step. A business plan explains on paper and through visual representations, the way your business will look, operate and succeed. If you’re inexperienced in the business or in writing business plans, help is available. If you wish to make it a DIY project, you can read a book, watch videos, take a course, and more. Much information is available for free online as are real-life examples. If you prefer, you can hire an assistant to help. Consultants and freelance authors are often experienced in writing business plans. They can be an invaluable resource that will craft a winning plan at your discretion. Staying engaged in the process is incredibly important as is proofreading. It’s also helpful to have someone without any knowledge in the business to read over the plan as well. This is often times how the plan will read to a lender. Taking constructive feedback and applying it into the plan will give you the greatest chances of success.
Credit is often an important factor in small business loan approval:
Your personal credit may have a significant impact on the decision-making process. This is especially true with conventional small business loans. Pulling your credit report from all three credit bureaus is the first step. You may also want to order a credit report that consolidates all three reports into one. This is most often the type of report your lender will be reviewing. More information on ordering these reports can be found on the credit bureau websites. Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union are the three major reporting bureaus. Free reports online will often not include your FICO score. It’ll be well worth the money to purchase a report that also gives this score. It’s the scoring model that most lending institutions will give the most weight to.
Fixing credit issues of the past:
Many people experience credit difficulties at one point or another in their lives. One must remember that something that happened years ago may still be showing on your credit report. If you find inaccuracies, it’s best to dispute these things right away. If you’ve been unable to clear up delinquencies, you may want to take care of these items prior to applying. If this is an overwhelming proposition, you may benefit from a credit repair company handling things for you. They’ll dispute anything that you find objectionable by challenging it and requiring proof of the debt. Although they are often successful in having negative items removed, some companies may object and the items will remain. If you feel the service is worthwhile, a monthly fee is charged for as long as you wish to continue.
Now that you’re in the clear to apply:
After you’ve made sure everything is in its best shape possible, you’ll be ready to start applying. It’s important to remember that sometimes you’ll have to apply for more than one type of loan. Business loans can be among some of the most complex financings around. Also, remember that you’re asking a company to invest largely in an idea and the hopes that you’ll be successful in its execution. For those who have strong credit, a great or proven business model, collateral, and assets, you’ll most likely qualify for a bank loan. These loans are usually government backed by the Small Business Administration. They also offer grant programs and special loans for those who are considered to be disadvantaged. The benefit to SBA loans is that they offer among the best interest rates and terms.
Alternative options to an SBA loan:
If you have an existing business that’s succeeding but needs to grow, a private equity or venture capital firm may be a better option. This is also a great option for those who are seeking a little advice and may have had credit troubles. For a portion of equity in the business, they’ll provide the funds you need. Keep in mind that having equity in the business also means that they’ll have a specified level of control and decision-making power. For new business owners, this is often a welcomed proposition. Since the contracts are almost always complex in their language, attorney review is critical. Also, if you feel that a better deal can be made, an attorney can help negotiate on your behalf. An incredibly strong business plan and financials for existing businesses are an absolute must.
A business line of credit can be highly beneficial:
A line of credit for your business is a great alternative to taking out an additional traditional loan. You only repay the principle that you actually use. The interest, however, must always be paid on the full loan amount. The benefit of having a line of credit is that you can have nearly immediate access to funds. Since the underwriting is done in the beginning, you also won’t have to worry about being approved or applying for a loan. For businesses that occasionally experience cash flow issues, this can be a godsend.
After you’ve found your perfect small business loan:
During the processing of your loan, it’s important to stay in touch with the lender. Those who are negligent to the lender’s requests are often denied. After you’ve been fully approved and funded, you’ll be ready to grow your business. The American dream is yours for the asking with a small business loan.