Getting a small business loan is a big deal to a small business. It can mean the difference between being able to continue operations or have to shut down, or it can provide the necessary funding for a successful small business to grow or expand to the next level. A small business loan can also help a business overcome temporary market conditions and help it weather the storm until calmer conditions come back again.
A few important things that every small business owner should know about a small business loan. First of all it is not normally possible to get a small business loan from a bank or credit union in the first two years of operation. That’s because the failure rate for small businesses is greatest during this period and unless a business can provide security guarantees in the form of cash or property a small business loan may not be the best place to seek financing for the blossoming enterprise.
Secondly the bank or lending institution is much more vigilant about granting a small business loan than it is with other forms of credit like car loans or mortgages. That’s because they have little to seize if there is a default on a small business loan since almost all of its capital resources have already been allocated to make the business survive. They have a double set of criteria that a small business must meet in order to get a small loan, the ability to pay or repay and the creditworthiness of the business itself.
Thirdly, the bank wants to not only know that the business is or can be successful before they hand over a small business loan. They also examine the personal financial situation of the principals or owners of the enterprise to ensure that their credit record is both established and free from any unfortunate circumstances like previous bankruptcies or defaults on previous loans, personal or professional.
Once theses hurdles have been overcome, the banks, credit unions and other financial institutions are more than happy to offer assistance to their small business neighbors in the form of a small business loan or business line of credit. They also realize that successful businesses generate revenues and they want to ensure that the small business continue to take advantage of their services as their businesses grow and prosper.
Applying for a small business loan can be a nerve racking experience for even the best small business owner, but if you do your homework and make a solid business case then there’s nothing really to be afraid of. You simply do your best and follow the process and then like a hundred of other aspects of small business life you wait and hope for a positive solution to just another small business problem.