Nassau County Small Business Loans
Many small business concepts never make it out of the garages and home offices they start in due to a lack of funding. This is because the process in which you acquire a business loan is a long and strenuous. There are three primary steps:
- Deciding you will seek a small business loan
- Seeking financing
- Arranging everything needed to complete the loan application
While it seems pretty straightforward, it takes wisdom and foresight to understand how to approach each of these three steps.
1. Do Your Homework Before Applying
Before you fill out an application, it’s important to create a solid foundation to your small business financing endeavor. There are a few tips to follow that can improve your chances of getting the financing you need with terms that won’t break the bank.
2. Analyze Your Options
One of the best things about the Internet is that it makes it easier than ever to browse your options in both products and services. All it takes is a quick search, and you’ll soon be bombarded with a variety of options. Some of these include:
- Term loans
- Business credit cards
- Small business loans
- Invoice financing
- Angel investments
As you consider each option, familiarize yourself with the potential pitfalls. Yes, there are pros and cons to just about any offer, but some are simply better suited for you and your unique circumstances.
3. Evaluate Your Credit Score
Your credit score is about to become incredibly important if you’re seeking a small business loan. Potential lenders need to get a feel for your financial background, and they’ll look at both your personal and business credit scores to evaluate the likelihood you’ll be capable of repaying your loan.
What Impacts Credit?
If your credit isn’t looking its best, it’s critical you pinpoint the problems before you move forward with your small business loan application. There are two big areas of concern that commonly contribute to a low credit score:
- Utilization: This concept measures the amount of your available credit you are currently using. You can figure up your utilization by simply dividing your balance by credit limit and multiplying by 100. A utilization under 10% is what you really want to strive for.
- High outstanding balance: While it’s great to make at least your minimum monthly payment on time, sustained high balances make a large negative impact on your credit score. When at all possible, it’s wise to pay more than the minimum and work on getting those balances paid down.
What to Do Before You Apply
The great news is that a low credit score isn’t the end of the world, but it’ll be in your best interest to put your business on hold while you focus on raising your score. The difference in financing terms can make this well worth your time. Just a few steps you should definitely take before you proceed with your application include:
- Request a copy of your credit report. You don’t know where to go if you don’t know where you are.
- Scour your report for potential errors. You’d be surprised at how often inaccurate data is reflected in your credit report. You may find something you already paid off is still showing up or even discover someone’s been using your identity.
- Make a list of all your past-due bills. Take an afternoon to contact each creditor to see what accommodations can be made to help you pay down the balance. Sometimes, they’ll allow goodwill adjustments that’ll remove your late payment from your credit report.
- Correct any tax liens you may have. It’s best to pay off the entire debt at once.
Future Credit Habits to Pick Up
You want to not only improve your credit score but also keep it high. After all, you’re going to run a business, and this can be hard to do when you’re haunted by massive debts and high interest rates. Just a few great habits to pick up that will help you achieve long-term credit success include:
- Try to keep your debt to credit availability ratio under 30%. This shows creditors that you don’t rely on credit as a means to keep you afloat.
- Over time, add to your credit mix. A new card here and installment loan there can improve your score.
- Invest in a credit monitoring service. Issues like identity theft and credit reporting mistakes can cost you thousands over a lifetime.
4. Know What You Want
Your creditor isn’t there to help you understand what you need. Unlike a personal loan, your business involves very specific aspects, and it’s impossible for a loan officer to consider unique facets of your business model that will impact your financing.
A great way not only to prove to creditors that you have a well-developed plan but also to walk yourself through your plan is to build out your budget. Map out exactly where you anticipate the funding going. Keep in mind that they will be asking questions. After all, you’re likely going to be requesting a sizable amount of money. Make sure you’re ready for anything they throw your way when it comes to funds allocation.
5. Final Considerations
Once you’ve reached this step, you’re ready to face the financiers. When you go in to apply, be prepared with:
- Copies of financial statements including income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement
- Detailed information regarding where you’re making money, what your primary costs are, and your profits
- Tax returns for at least the past year, preferably the past two years
- Accounts Payable and Receivable to provide a complete breakdown of what your business owes as well as what you are owed