7 Tips for Getting a Business Loan


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Business Loan

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Obtaining a business loan can be the difference between launching a business and never getting off the ground. There are many avenues to getting a business loan, but no matter how you do it, there are a few tips you should follow in order to find success. Check out the tips below for a better understanding of how to get a loan for your business. 

Prepare a Strong Business Plan

A well-thought-out business plan allows any business owner or entrepreneur to have a clear message and pitch to a lender. Without a strong business plan, lenders may not take your needs seriously or reject your application completely. A good business plan should have a detailed summary of the business, an analysis of the market and reasons why the proposed business would fill a hole in the market, an organizational structure, examples of products or services, a plan for a marketing strategy, and financial forecasts. 

Understand the Type of Loan You Need

One business loan does not fill the needs of all businesses, so there are several different kinds of loans for different types of businesses. From term loans like flexible installment loans to lines of credit, there are many ways in which a business can be loaned money. For term loans, a business is given a lump sum upfront that it then has to pay off in installments over a fixed term. This kind of loan allows a business to do big jobs like renovations or opening a new location. Once the project is done, the business can use its new earnings to pay back the loan. 

When a business is offered a line of credit through a business card, the business owner can use that credit up to a certain limit and only be charged interest for the amount of money that they end up using. This offers a safety net for businesses that are just starting out and need to make small, initial purchases of things like appliances and office supplies for employees.

A small business can also try to go for a small business loan from the small business association as they normally offer low interest rates and are very helpful because the lenders want to see the small business succeed. The drawback is that the business owner has to be very detailed in their business plan and prove that their business is worth investing in.

Review Your Credit Score

Having a good credit score as a business owner is an essential part of getting a good loan or any loan at all. Having good credit shows that you are responsible with your money and always pay off your debts on time. To make sure that you maintain good credit, you should build a credit history while also not using too much credit at once. You should also always pay off your credit card at the end of every month so that you do not accumulate a history of late payments. Using a credit card is like a trial run for receiving a loan, so if you have done well with building credit, lenders will see that as a good sign.

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Gather Necessary Documentation

When applying for a loan, the lender will likely provide a list of required documents like financial statements, tax returns, legal documents, and more. Make sure to have all of those printed and ready to show when you meet with your lender to apply for your loan. Depending on the lender, you may need an extensive credit history, business plans, and other proof that you plan on running a successful business.

Be Prepared to Demonstrate Financial Health

Part of showing documentation to a lender is to prove that you as a business owner have good financial health. To prove this you will have to show credit reports and history as well as proof from other businesses or personal matters that shows you are good with your money. Good financial health also includes your current standing and future plans. If you are already running your business, you will need to show proof of cash flow, profitability of your business, and growth projections. 

Network and Build Relationships with Local Lenders

As a business owner, you can work side by side with different credit unions, banks, and other types of lenders at public events and by joining business associations. This will help you to build a rapport with local lenders so that if you need a business loan down the line, they know you personally and know that you are a reputable member of the community. If you have already taken a business loan out in the past, make sure to make on-time payments and stay in touch with your lender. This will help you keep a good relationship with them and will make it more likely that they will approve you for loans in the future.

Research Different Types of Funding Sources

When most people think of business loans, they think of big, intimidating banks. But corporate banks are not the only place where you can get a loan. If you have found no success with big banks, consider researching different funding sources as they could provide you with more opportunities to get a loan to start or grow your business. 

Depending on your business and if you are well-loved by the community, you can try to do some crowdfunding as a source of income to achieve your goals. For example, if a local, beloved restaurant wants to renovate its kitchen but won’t qualify for a traditional loan, the business owner can start a crowdfunding initiative where members of the community can donate money. This is a great way for a community to show up for its small businesses and it means that the business will not have to pay back a lender as the money was a gift from the locals.

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As a business owner trying to get a loan, following these seven tips can help you on your way to getting that extra financial backing you need to reach your business goals. Every case is different, but if you can prove that you are financially responsible and have a sound plan for your business, lenders will be happy to work with you.


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