Starting a new business requires ambition, motivation, and tenacity. Congratulations if you have managed to open a new business and are now considering expansion. If you are contemplating growth, you may need financial assistance. Whether your not you have borrowed money in the past, applying for a capital loan can be a bit tricky. Here are some ways to ensure your business qualifies for a capital loan.
Prepare a Solid Business Plan
Your business plan is not simply an outline of what you offer and who works with you. Instead, this should be a fluid, living document. You may need to brush up and improve your business plan before approaching a lender for a capital loan. You must include a five or ten-year growth and income summary. A comprehensive synopsis of your marketing plan will convince lenders that you have the long term capacity to reach new customers and convert prospects. Production maintenance and improvement plans further assure lenders that you are prepared to handle the growth you are expecting. Commit to a vision or mission statement to help brand your business and integrate company culture throughout the growing organization.
Establish Personal and Business Payment History
This important step may seem obvious, but many business owners fail to realize the connection between their personal credit and their business entity. Business or corporate credit is closely linked with the character and reputation of the business owner. Even during financial straits, you must resist the temptation to overextend personal loans or credit cards to keep the business afloat. Similarly, business credit cards and lines of credit should never be used for personal expenses. Not only is this a poor financial decision, it could potentially lead to devastating obstacles for the business. In fact, mixing personal and business finances could lead to legal complications.
Develop and Maintain Credit References
Lenders are generally very thorough in their research when considering applications. Working capital loans are very specific and may require unique underwriting methods. As a business owner, you should consider all forms of creditworthiness that work in your favor. Lenders are particularly interested in credit references that your business has established with vendors and other businesses. If another business or vendor has completed a credit application for your company and has extended credit terms, such as net 30, bring this to the attention of a potential lender. Some business funding institutions will also consider letters of reference from personal and professional contacts. Any combination of these references will be used in conjunction more traditional methods for loan approval.
Consider Offering Collateral
In addition to personal and professional credit references, your business loan application may require additional consideration for approval. Real property and other collateral may be used to secure a capital loan application. Property or inventory that has no mortgage or other lien can help sway lenders to extend favorable loan terms. Borrowers should be aware of potential restrictions with this type of secured loan. Collateral that is used to secure funding for working capital, heavy equipment, or other business needs may be unavailable for normal business use during the term of the loan. While collateral options may create room for lending approval, they could also result in obstacles for daily operations.
Explore Lending Options
There are multiple loan options available for small businesses. Choosing the best type of loan for your particular needs will require diligent research and comparison. You can shop for your local bank, national lending institutions, and small business loan specialists to determine what options are available. Refrain from having multiple companies pull your consumer or business credit reports prior to making a decision. Determine the amount of working capital you will need to meet your current and short term future needs. Use custom loan calculators to estimate loan payment amounts. Be honest about what your business can comfortably afford to repay each month without creating financial strain on the current budget.
Small business funding options make it easy to review terms and conditions for business loans. Online applications offer nearly instant results and quick turnaround times for business loans and cash advances. Having done your research before applying for capital funding loans helps you protect your business and successfully prepare for growth.
Author bio: Tarah Mills has always had a passion for writing. Her philosophy is that not only can writing be educational, but it can change the world. While she is dedicated to her work, she still enjoys a good game of basketball, curling up to a good book, and all things Star Wars. She currently resides in the Richmond, Virginia area with her family.