As an interior designer, your skills are sharp when it comes to envisioning how beautiful the future can be. But, running your own business takes small business capital to pay suppliers, upfront costs of materials, contractors and your daily operation expenses. Designing a solution that fits your business takes a different set of skills.
Whether you are starting out or looking to grow, an interior design business typically requires more capital than its owner has. Knowing the various options for business loans can help you find the best small business lender to meet your needs. Each small business loan has benefits and drawbacks and they can vary with each lender.
Small Business Loan Options for Interior Designers to Consider
- Alternative Lenders
- A Bank
- The Small Business Administration (SBA), where they connect you to a partner financial institution for the loan
- Credit Unions
Loans for Interior Designers: Design Your Future with Alternative Lenders
There are lenders out there that are more creative thinkers than those at the typical bank. These alternative lenders think outside of the institutional box to custom-design products that fit a borrower’s business needs. Alternative lenders also offer several funding options, including small business loans, and often with more flexibility and ease than banks, credit unions or the SBA.
- Alternative lenders tend to look more at your business potential and what you may have built so far, not your past credit history. This is important if your credit score is less than stellar.
- Alternative lenders offer small business loans with less stringent requirements and a faster application process. Interest rates may be slightly higher than a bank, but you stand a greater chance of approval.
- Small business loans provided by alternative lenders will take less time and their application and approval process requires much less in terms of financial documentation.
- Since alternative lenders tend to take on greater risk with less stringent credit requirements than a bank, the interest rate is typically a little higher.
Banking on a Bank Loan
According to Bloomberg.com, getting a small business loan from your bank has never been quick or easy, but since the credit crisis of 2008, banks have tightened their loan requirements making qualifying nearly impossible for some small business owners, which may include interior designers. For many, the challenge may not be worth it, even if it leads to eventual loan approval.
- If you can meet the bank’s requirements for credit history and a strong business plan, their small business loans typically provide one of the lowest interest rates of all the funding options.
- The loan will further establish your credit history, so the next time you need money, you may qualify for a larger amount.
- Banks require a lengthy application that takes at least 30 days to process.
- You typically need an excellent credit score and a strong credit history.
- You must provide an extremely detailed business plan outlining your business, tax returns and all your bank records. According to forbes.com, your ability to articulate in exquisite detail your entire business plan, and how the funding will benefit your business, is vital to gaining approval.
- You will need to provide collateral in case you default on the loan.
- If your business is new, or a startup, you face extreme obstacles. Banks turn away requests for start-up loans regularly because they require three years of business financial data to even consider the application.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans for Interior Designers
The SBA is a government agency that offers several loan products, each with different costs and requirements. There are loans for opening a business, expanding a business or keeping a business running smoothly. The SBA does not issue the loans themselves, but connects borrowers up with lending partners and then guarantee part of the loans, so banks will consider the borrowers more viable.
- Since the loans provided through private-sector lenders are guaranteed by the SBA, the lenders have greater trust in the borrower. The financial criteria is easier to meet and you stand a better chance at loan approval than if you just approached the bank yourself.
- If you can meet the SBA requirements, a small business loan typically provides a low interest rate.
- The flip-side of it being backed by the SBA is that this is a government agency, so the application process is actually lengthier than the banks.
- Your credit, resume, business plan and even your skills and ability to manage your business are scrutinized in the decision process for the loan. They are backing the loan, so even more documentation is typically required.
- It can take a long time to go through that intense application process. Approval can take as much as 90 days.
Creating with Credit Unions for Your Interior Design Business
There are many credit unions out there, similar to a bank, except for the fact that they are actually owned by their customers not shareholders. These non-profits offer small business loan products comparable to a bank.
- Meet the credit union’s requirements, and they typically provide lower interest rates than a bank or other types of lenders.
- A credit union is owned by its members, so the terms are usually more borrower friendly.
- Criteria may be easier to meet. There is often a bit more flexibility in meeting the credit requirements compared to a bank.
- Though there is some flexibility in your must-have credit score, you are still required to prove your credit worthiness with personal and business credit history and tax records.
- You will need to provide a very detailed business plan outlining your business, product or service, competition and all of your marketing plans.
- You have to become a member of the credit union, which means opening a savings and checking account with them.
- You must be eligible for membership, usually based on place of employment or where you live.
When seeking the perfect small business loan for your interior design business, it is important to know and understand each product available to you. To learn more about loans for interior designers and other creative funding solutions, contact Credibly today!