Learning everything you need to know about a Restaurant small business loan before applying for one is the best way to get prepared. There’s no doubt that your business is reaching a significant milestone when the day comes to get a small business loan. Regardless of whether you need to make improvements or renovations at your company, you want to buy new equipment or inventory, or your marketing department could benefit from a capital infusion, a small business loan can help you grow.
The more you understand the Restaurant small business loan process and what lenders expect from you when applying, the better you are stacked up to get approved for your small business loan request.
Consider all financing options.
These days, small business owners aren’t limited to just using Restaurant small business loans to finance their growth. Other ways to get funding in today’s modern world of finance include working with angel investors, taking on funding partners, crowdfunding, or using a Merchant Cash Advance or invoice factoring company, or using existing credit lines. Each type of financial service has advantages and disadvantages that must get investigated to decide if it is the right solution for your company.
Know what restaurant business loan lenders want from you
Lenders have different requirements, based on the loan product you are considering. Traditional lenders, such as local, regional, and national banks rely heavily on the credit scores of their potential borrowers to make their decision whether or not to lend. Additionally, the borrower’s credit score will also get used to determine the rates and terms of the loan. Generally, a business and borrower with higher credit scores will gain access to better rates and terms than a less qualified borrower.
To reduce complications, it is always a sound idea to separate business transactions from personal expenditures. In other words, keep your business checking, and savings account strictly for company use. Maintain your regular bank accounts for everyday spending. Credit factoring companies that specialize in business credit assessments use data based on your company profile to assign a business credit score. This credit score also gets evaluated to determine creditworthiness for the company. On-time payments are critical to securing a good to excellent credit score.
Banks and lending institutions also take into account the credit score of the individual who is seeking a loan. Personal credit scores over 700 points are considered ‘good’ scores. Individuals who have a credit score over 800 points fall into the ‘excellent’ category.
There are many factors have a positive or negative impact on your credit score. Let’s look at them:
Payment History Matters When You Get a Restaurant Business Loan
Positive: All creditors paid on time, as per the credit agreement.
Negative: Missed or late payments.
Lenders are providing a service that helps their customer get financing for whatever they need to purchase. For this service, they expect the borrower to pay them back on the terms they agreed. Missed or late payments break the contract. Further, late or missed payments often change the terms of the agreement with higher interest fees and penalties. Late payments take a significant toll on your credit score. However, the good thing is that time always passes. Every payment that you make on time going forward is going to take some of the stings away from late payments from a year ago. Even if you missed payments before, you could still make up for them by being more responsible today. It is also worth noting that in some legitimate cases, creditors may be willing to remove a late payment report on your credit profile. You’ll have a better chance of getting it removed if the missed payment is out of the ordinary for your account or a simple mistake or oversight and not so
Total Number of Accounts Matter When Applying for a Restaurant Business Loan
Positive: A variety of credit accounts
Negative: Issues with credit utilization
Generally, lenders like to see that potential borrowers are already managing their credit responsibly. Having a variety of credit accounts including installment (mortgage/vehicle) loans, revolving credit cards, and department store credit lines help show you manage your credit sensibly. Avoid keeping high balances on your credit accounts to assure that your credit score remains firm. By showing a long record of payments over an extended period, you’re showing lenders your capacity to repay and respect the terms of your original lending agreement. This history signals to other potential lenders that you are a safe bet to lend additional funds.
Credit Report Accuracy Impacts Restaurant Business Loan Offers
Positive: Assure accurate reporting
Negative: Spending time cleaning up mistakes or errors
Since many lenders are insistent on borrowers having an acceptable credit score, borrowers need to be diligent that everything listed on their credit report is correct and up to date. If you notice incorrect data, contact the credit reporting agency and ask them to verify the account information. If they are unable to verify the disputed account, the entry has to get removed from your file. Collection accounts and liens are particularly damaging to your credit profile, so it is in your best interest to get in contact with the creditor to ask about making arrangements (if you owe the debt.) If you don’t recognize the creditor, you can request the credit reporting agency investigate the entry. If the creditor is unable to prove that you owe the debt, this can also get removed from your credit report file.
Get ready to apply for your Restaurant small business loan.
Once you’ve taken steps to divide your company finances from your personal accounts, as well as reviewed all of the entries on your credit report to make sure everything is correct and up to speed, you can take the next steps to securing a small business loan. If you are unable to qualify for conventional bank loans due to various reasons, you can consider an alternative financial product such as a merchant cash advance or invoice factoring to help seal your funding gap.
How to use a small business restaurant loan
Now that you have successfully gotten that small business loan that you have been chasing for quite a while, it’s time to put it into use. Your primary purpose for obtaining the loan was to grow your restaurant business, but how do you go about it? First, you have to realize that what you have is a small loan and there is not very much growing that you can do with it. Therefore, you have to keep your goals realistic. This will help you avoid situations where the loan is all used up, and there is nothing significant your restaurant has benefited with. Here is how you can use a small loan to grow your restaurant business.
Modernize your restaurant
There are different growth approaches that you can take to modernize your business with a small loan. Modernizing your restaurant will help you stand out among your competitors and draw more customers through your doors. Here are some of the most notable approaches to modernize your restaurant business.
Taking advantage of online platforms
Today, the online space is opening up a lot of opportunities for businesses and your restaurant shouldn’t be left out. With your small business loan, you can take advantage of online platforms to grow your restaurant. First and foremost, if your business did not previously have an active social media presence, this is the time that that should change. You don’t even have to be tech savvy to understand the kinks of using social media to grow your restaurant. Just pick one of your employees who is social media savvy and let them handle the task for a small addition to their pay. They will be glad to. Through social media, your business can be able to reach new clients and even do targeted advertising that will increase the number of customers you have.
You can also go ahead and open a website for your business. Here you can share all you need to about your restaurant. Make your website reflect the best that your restaurant has to offer. This means that whoever visits your site must get curious about coming to your restaurant. Through your site, you can allow for things like booking reservations which adds convenience on top of everything else you offer.
Consider delivering orders to your clients
Today, convenience is the name of the restaurant game. Some customers, actually quite a significant number prefer ordering deliveries rather than going to the restaurant. This is one area that you can tap into with your small loan to grow your restaurant business. By doing deliveries, you will be significantly increasing your sales which means more income.
You might be hiring that deliveries are a good thing for your business and once you start considering it, you get discouraged by the logistics. There are no two ways about this; your logistics have to be on point if the deliveries side of your restaurant is to succeed. This doesn’t mean it’s difficult because it fits perfectly into growing your business with a small loan. And now that you have a strong online presence you can leverage this together with deliveries to massively expand your business despite the small capital investment. A client can easily go to your website or social media pages, get impressed by what your restaurant offers, make an order and you can deliver it to them quite easily.
Improve your customer experience
Customer experience in the restaurant business is very crucial. You can use your small loan to improve the customer experience at your restaurant and grow it. If the customers have a good, satisfying experience at your restaurant, they are likely to come again to your restaurant and even become loyal clients. Even better, the customers can get to bring their friends when they come next time or also recommend it to friends. This is all thanks to the excellent customer experience they have gotten in your restaurant.
In improving the customer experience, make sure that the customer experience at your restaurant is top notch. Don’t just make your business about providing food to your customers, make it more of a homely experience. You want the customer to see the art in your service as that is what will make them remember your restaurant next time they want to eat out.
How Restaurant Business Loans Can Ensure Success of New Items
Anyone running a restaurant must embrace innovation as a way of operating a well-established business. The hospitality industry has seen the entrance of too many players a factor that led to stiff competition in the industry. In the past, a restaurant would get customers just for the simple reason that they had an impressive menu. Today, there is a restaurant at every corner making it hard for one restaurant to stand out just based on the menu they offer. Many businesses have opted to find mechanisms of standing out among the rest instead of concentrating on serving the larger demographics. For a business to stand out, owners must engage in ongoing processes that will build a business reputation over a lengthy period.
An owner of a restaurant business should be innovative at all times. Whatever was a great idea last year is be a great idea this year since it is most likely competitors will have copied it. Once you create one solution, competitors will take your solution and even design it in such a way that they will outdo you. In such a highly competitive industry, it is common for businesses that have sufficient capital to invest in new items regularly as opposed to their weaker counterparts. If you run a restaurant but do not have sufficient funds to keep innovating the items offered, you don’t need to fret since there are alternative business financing companies such as Delancey Street that are ready to provide restaurant business loans that will help you achieve your goals.
When running a business enterprise, your ability to come up with new items and strategies to beat your competitors is limited to your financial capacity. If you are going through financial constraints, it means that you will not manage to come out and implement even great ideas. It is common that the greater the idea, the more capital demanded to implement. What this means is that if you are operating under a tight budget, you will face a huge problem implementing your new items and strategies. You will find many restaurant owners come up with very brilliant ideas but will never implement them since they are worried about the overhead costs and the time it will take to generate sufficient ROI.
Delancey Street is a business lender that is interested in helping other businesses to grow. They can offer financing that will help you meet your bills and those of your employees as you engage in implementing new strategies. These business loans are not designed like traditional bank loans since they do not involve fixed payments or fixed due dates and other generic lending terms.
Merchant Cash Advance
Delancey Street aims to help businesses that are likely not to meet their financial expectations in the short term, to continue offering products and services just like any other well-financed business.Delancey Street urges businesses in the hospitality industry to embrace the merchant cash advance which is a method of processing loans through the credit card. It is common for restaurants to process most of the sales through credit cards and this method works perfectly for such businesses are only charged a fixed percentage of credit card sales. So, what this means is that while you concentrate on implementing new items and ideas, the cash flow of your business will not be affected.
The main advantage of working with Delancey Street is that after you have completed paying one restaurant loan, you will automatically be eligible for a second one, and which could be of a higher amount depending on your credit score and the funding program. Delancey Street offers restaurant owners the chance to grow their businesses in the way they would love to without worrying about their current financial capacity. The company strives to create the perfect financing programs for restaurants so that he can borrow and pay off the debt easily without experiencing financial problems. By working with Delancey Street, restaurants owners should be worried about the new item they need to add to their restaurants and not how much money is available to add new items. The restaurant loans facilitated through merchant cash advance are here to make a difference in the hospitality industry.
Running a restaurant is demanding
Running a restaurant can be quite demanding for the owner. They have to make sure that vendors deliver food items on time. A restaurant owner also has to keep track of the chefs, waiters, cashier, and other personnel to guarantee coordination and operational smoothness. These are some of the main activities involved in running a restaurant. Since these tasks can be quite demanding, it is not surprising that the restaurant management can forget about marketing. Some don’t focus on it because they don’t have the cash to do so and are not aware of the options. Luckily, you can take a small business loan to pay for your restaurant’s marketing.
Why Marketing is important for a Restaurant Business
When you first open your restaurant, it takes some time before you get constant customers in large numbers. Even as you advertise extensively, it can take some time for the business to peak. The mistake that most restaurant owners make is that they stop advertising once their joint becomes popular. This can be a costly move because new restaurants are always opening up eager to get a piece of the market. To do so, these new establishments advertise aggressively. Since customers’ tastes also change, they may be enticed to try something new from recent establishments and forget your restaurant. Therefore, you need to advertise to remain relevant.
In this case, you require a small business loan to market your services and make consumers aware of your latest recipes. You may also need that loan to hire more staff to handle the expected influx of people into your restaurant after hearing about the new delicacy.
Some of the ways that you can use to get that small business loan for restaurant marketing include seeking a business line of credit, short term business loans, SBA microloan, accounts receivable financing, and merchant cash advance. The good thing about these loan options is that they are offered according to your earning capability. For example, for accounts receivable financing, the firm uses its unpaid debt records to get credit equal to the accounts receivable amount.
These credit options are also advantageous if your restaurant is fairly new in the market. They allow you to access credit when most lenders wouldn’t dare extend a loan to a new unknown business.
For the SBA loan, you can get favorable terms if you have a good credit history. In fact, the SBA can give you a loan for marketing purposes only. Furthermore, the loans can be huge with little costs.
After you have secured the small business loan for marketing, you can hire a professional photographer to take photos of your yummy delicacies and then post them online on your social media pages and website. That way, you can entice the hungry customer to come to your restaurant and have a taste.
Alternatively, you can use the money to hire attorneys to come up with good partnership contracts and approach popular eatery apps for collaboration. The app developers can recommend your restaurant to their users. You can go the extra mile and provide loyalty points for those that visit your web page to make a reservation.
Make Smart Moves
Even as you seek out a small business loan for your restaurant’s marketing needs, you have to think of ways to improve how you spend your money. You need to be smarter and increase your working capital. You can negotiate repayment periods with your vendors so that you always have cash for dealing with operational expenses. You can also repay any outstanding debts. When you come up with strategies to improve the working capital, you can have more cash for your marketing endeavors.