With the current state of the economy it is more difficult to get a business loan. First tier lenders have nearly ceased all lending and second tier lenders are much more cautious about who they lend to. Still, as a small business owner or entrepreneur you know that there will be obstacles. Getting the money to start a small business is the first and perhaps one of the toughest obstacles that you will have to face. But it can be done.
If you really want to enhance your chances of qualifying for a small business loan you must be well prepared when you go in for interviews with lending companies. This means that you must consider what it is that they are looking for, show them documentation proving (as well as possible) that your business will be profitable, and preparing yourself to answer their questions. Yes, it is much like a job interview–even down to the fact that you must dress to impress!
What Lenders Examine Most
To begin, let’s take a look at the things that small business lenders consider most when determining whether or not they will loan money to an individual.
* Business Plan
* Business Feasibility
* Credit History
Questions To Anticipate
Next, you must prepare yourself to answer questions. Lucky for you, there are a few very common questions that lenders ask, so you can begin preparing yourself in much the same way that you would prepare yourself for a job interview.
* How much money do you need?
* What will you spend the money on?
* How long will you need the money?
* When will you pay the money back?
* What will you do it your denied a loan?
When answering these questions it is important to be as clear, concise, and accurate as possible. Sugar coating, stretching the truth, and speaking in broad terms is not advisable. You must make a case to your lender using your business plan. Show them financial documents which show the current state of your business. Show them how their money will help you build your business and make it more profitable. Your financial documents should be able to show exactly where you will spend the money they are giving you. Your business plan should also include financial projections for at least the next three years.
Considering The Risks
It is also important to realistically consider the risks involved. There are always obstacles and risks involved with starting a business and lenders want to know that you have considered the potential risks for your specific business. You should be able to show that you have assessed the risks and that you have a plan for managing any problems that come up.