Sunday, August 15, 2010

Applying for Small Business Loans Successfully

Applying for Small Business Loans Successfully

Most start ups soon feel the need for extra money to expand, advertise, and generally reach a size where the return on investment is good. Once the initial investment corpus earmarked by the entrepreneur is used up, they turn their thoughts to small business loans. However, successfully applying for a small business loan is no easy task. Bankers and lenders look for certain qualities in the entrepreneur and their business before they decide to grant the loan. If the borrower is aware of what the lender expects, then the borrower can prepare their application accordingly.



When asking for small business financing, it is up to the borrower to sell their idea to the banker. As bankers consider small business loans risky, they are not usually willing to grant such loans. However, if the entrepreneur persists with a well prepared business plan that clearly outlines the strategies for taking the business forward and shows how the repayment will be made, bankers are much more willing to give a fair hearing.

When applying for small business credit, you need to ensure that you are putting in at least 25 to 50 per cent of the money needed. This will convince the creditor that you are serious about your business. The papers you prepare for your potential creditors should clearly show that you have invested your personal funds in the business.

Small merchants and those running restaurants can also apply for a merchant cash advance. One advantage of this kind of financing is that you can use the funds at your discretion. You need not tell the bank how you are going to spend the money or on what heads. You can use the funds to pay staff or redo the premises. Of course, you need to establish a clear method of repayment and a strict schedule to repay the loan. Small business loans of this kind are relatively easier to obtain.

One way of obtaining a lower rate of interest from small business lending institutions is to approach the Small Business Administration for help. If this institution underwrites your loan, the risk to your lender is reduced. You will then be in a position to ask for a lower rate of interest on your loan. By reducing your interest outgo, you will be able to garner better profits from your business.

Yet another way of ensuring that you get the loan is to offer collateral. In the event that you need a business credit line to expand your business or spend on advertising and marketing, you should offer the lender some collateral. If your business owns property or machinery, use it as collateral, that is, pledge it to raise the cash you need. Again, this reduces the risk to the lender, helping you to ask for a lower rate of interest as well.

When bankers look at an application for small business loans, they will primarily be looking at the business viability, the business assets, and the personal credit rating of the entrepreneur. If you want to obtain the loan, your presentation to the banker should cover these points. You need to show that the business plan is sound and will generate sufficient revenues to repay the loan on time. You also need to show that your credit rating is good, as the banker is ultimately lending the money on your word.

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