With the economy struggling, it has become increasingly difficult to get a loan to finance a small or large business. Having poor credit increases an individual’s chances of being denied financing, particularly if he is applying for a large amount of money, and can make starting a new business challenging.
Put together a business plan that is well organized and will catch the attention of the lending officer. If you’re unsure of where to start in putting together a good business plan, seek advice from the Small Business Administration website or by speaking with a representative from its local office. The SBA website offers tutorials and information about how to put together a good business plan, so read the information thoroughly and follow the SBA recommendations. Include a detailed description of the business, marketing ideas and plans, any finances that are currently available to you for the business, and a management plan. Include a cover sheet and a statement of purpose.
Consider some type of business insurance if you are serious about starting your own business. Get a quote for this insurance ahead of time so that it can be included in your business plan and to show that you are not only serious but have planned everything out. In the business plan, break down how you plan on making money from your business idea and show the lender how you will pay back the borrowed money. If you have any start-up money of your own, you’ll need to include this in the plan. Sometimes lenders want to see an entrepreneur put up 10 to 15 percent of the total amount needed so that they can see the borrower is serious. Many lenders will not make a loan to someone who can’t put forth the financial effort initially to start a business.
Complete a loan application in advance before going to see the loan officer. Provide copies of current cash flow as well as backup cash flow in case the business doesn’t do well at first. Before visiting the loan officer, figure out exactly how much money you will need to borrow. Plan on not making enough money to make a profit and pay your regular monthly bills for at least two to three years. Some experts say five years, but most people cannot borrow enough money to sustain lifestyle and business needs for five years. Create a backup plan for if you do not get the loan and be sure to have that available to show the loan officer. Once everything is prepared, set up an appointment to apply for the loan.
- Check your credit score before making an appointment with the lender and find out what the lender’s criteria are for a business loan. That way, you will know if your credit and history will stand up to the loan approval process.
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