How to Get a Small Business Loan

It may sound strange, but banks actually make money by lending money. This is really good news for all those who are wondering “How do I obtain a small business loan?” Many small business owners and entrepreneurs experience some amount of difficulty in getting a small business loan, but it is sometimes due to a lack of adequate preparation. Banks and lending agencies need the assurance that their money will be repaid within the specified time. They also need to know that the small business is viable, and will generate enough funds to repay them. Loans can also be obtained from other sources, including private lenders, credit unions, and small business investment firms. Another factor that may also affect your chances of getting a small business loan is whether your business is a new business, or already in operation.  It is easier for already existing businesses to provide information proving the small risk associated with approving a loan to them.

Be Organized and Prepared

All small business loan applicants must be organized and prepared, in order to increase their chances of success. They should know how much money they need, what they need it for, and definitely how they will repay it. The lenders will also need information such as tax returns, cash flow statements and insurance records outlining the applicant’s assets.

Prove that you are a Good Credit Risk

Lending money is always a risk, so small business owners need to convince the lenders that they are good credit risks. A solid business plan and a loan proposal will help in accomplishing this. It is important that the cash flow projections are clearly outlined, because banks and other lenders are extremely concerned with how their money, plus interest, will be returned to them. Low-risk loan applicants receive better interest rates, and are sometimes required to have less collateral in order to receive a loan.

Have Proper Documentation

Additionally, things like a good credit score and a clean legal and debt record will make it easier for you to obtain a small business loan. The documentation is important, and being able to point to charts and graphs during the interview will project a professional image. Lenders prefer to know that you are willing to risk your own money, so it is important to have documentation showing the money you have injected, and plan to inject, into your small business.

Be Prepared to Talk About Yourself

In the end, remember that you are the one applying for the loan. Questions about your background and your business experience and skills will definitely be asked. This will also come down to preparation and efficient documentation. The loan application process can be thought of as a presentation to a very important business client. It is absolutely necessary to be ready with the relevant documents, which will go a long way towards alleviating any doubts about allowing you to obtain a small business loan.

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