Launching a new business venture or expanding an existing one takes serious capital.
While you probably have some savings set aside or assets to leverage, that likely won’t be enough to fully fund your business plans.
Entrepreneurs need access to business funding loans to turn their dreams into reality.
But can just anyone get approved for the business funding they need? The short answer is no. Lenders want to mitigate their risk, so they establish requirements and qualifications for borrowers. With some smart planning and preparation, you can position yourself as an attractive candidate for a business loan.
Understand How Business Loans Work and Their Requirements
Before applying, take time to understand what factors lenders evaluate:
Personal credit history – They want to see responsible management of past debts. Anything below 620 will hurt your chances.
Time in business – Existing companies with several years of operations fare better. Startups face more scrutiny.
Annual revenue and profits – Steady sales and profits reduce risk levels. Insufficient or inconsistent numbers raise red flags.
Collateral – Hard assets like real estate and equipment reassure lenders and provide recourse if one defaults.
Business plan – A thoughtful plan demonstrates your preparation and know-how to succeed.
It’s good to note that in general, different business loans suit different needs like equipment purchases, commercial real estate, or operating capital.
Strengthen Your Qualifications
Once you understand what lenders look for, take strategic steps to improve your chances. Here are a few you could follow:
Pay Down Personal Debt
Lenders worry about borrowers juggling too many obligations. Pay off credit cards, auto loans, and other consumer debts to improve your debt-to-income ratio before applying.
Fund a Down Payment
For large loans, a 10-20% down payment proves your commitment. Come up with those funds from your own savings or equity in existing assets.
Establish a Track Record
Lenders feel more confident lending to established businesses. If your company is young, build a performance history over 12-24 months first.
Organize Financial Records
Thoroughly document your revenues, costs, profits/losses, and cash flow. Financial transparency reassures any lender.
Draft a Convincing Business Plan
Working with an advisor, craft a comprehensive business plan explaining how you will use the capital to grow the company.
Developing relationships with bankers and advisors over time helps create familiarity and trust when you apply for a business loan.
How Secured Loans Improve Your Chances
For applicants with riskier profiles, secured business loans offer better odds. Secured loans require borrowers to pledge hard assets like equipment, accounts receivable, real estate, or even vehicles as collateral. If the borrower defaults, the lender claims their collateral. This lowers their risk substantially.
Businesses short on credit or operational history should pursue secured loan options to improve the likelihood of loan approval. Just be sure you fully understand the terms and are comfortable with the collateral requirements before signing anything.
Business Funding Loans Are Accessible with Proper Planning
Access to capital provides the fuel for business growth. Ambitious entrepreneurs shouldn’t let a lack of experience or resources deter them from pursuing funding. There are business funding loans available for those who thoughtfully strengthen their qualifications and position their company for success. With practical preparation, nearly any driven person can obtain the financing their venture needs. Just approach funding strategically and patiently to set your business up for growth.
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