Meeting Small Business Financial Needs
Your small business financial needs can seem endless. Along with all the hard work you put in, everything also requires capital. But when it comes to finding funding solutions for your small business, it can be tricky knowing just the right path to take.
There are several options out there, but they are not a one size fits all solution, so research is required. As you look into each lender and their funding, it is vital to understand all your lending options, the challenges, benefits offered, and all of the risks.
According to smallbiztrends.com, you must look closely at the guidelines and requirements of each lending company as well as their products, because you will see that they are not all created equal.
It Takes Money to Make Money
They say that you must have money in order to make money, and that saying could not be truer than for the small business owner. Everything seems to demand funding from you as well as your skills and a big chunk of your time.
Typical business demands include:
Daily operations: Making payroll, or paying for utilities and rent all can add up to more than your savings allow. You need funds for the day-to-day expenses of running a business.
Equipment and supplies: Depending on what your small business requires, be it stock for your shelves or materials to produce a product, you need the funds to make the required purchase.
Marketing and advertising: Sometimes you need to give your business a push and get the word out to your potential customers. That advertising and marketing is important for the business to succeed, but it costs money.
Repairs, renovation of business space and unexpected demands: Whether it is fixing a broken piece of equipment, buying more supplies to meet increased customer demands, or renovating your business space to make it more efficient or customer friendly, there are sometimes extra costs to running and growing your small business that perhaps you did not account for.
Where Do You Apply?
It probably took innovative, creative thinking and research before you decided to start your small business. The most successful entrepreneurs often get ahead simply because they seek better solutions. It often requires looking at everything much closer than you normally would.
Choosing a funding solution is no different. You should be prepared to get out the magnifying glass and read the small print. You need to know exactly what you are getting, and agreeing to, with each funding option.
Banks: The traditional small business loan path is out there, but not easy to obtain. According to about.com, banks have tightened their lending guidelines following the recession of 2008, and their qualification guidelines excludes many small businesses. Expect a very lengthy application process that takes at least 30 days or more to process and that your business may be denied the loan at the conclusion.
Banks will look for:
- A well-articulated, extremely detailed business plan that outlines your business from its inception to the present and future. It should include details about your product or service, research into your target demographic, who your competitors are, and a marketing plan
- An excellent credit score and lengthy business history
- All your tax records, bank records and all financial records for you personally as well as the business
- Collateral you can offer in case you cannot repay the loan
- Your interest rate will be probably be one of the lowest available.
- You could be agreeing to a balloon payment either at the half way point of the loan term or at the end. This can cause you to have to refinance if you do not have the funds.
- If you need a funding solution quickly, this is not the way. The lengthy application that takes at least 30 days to process.
- You could go through endless paperwork only to be turned down because you don’t meet their strict criteria.
- The bank’s small business loan will lock you into a set monthly payment with no flexibility.
Credit Unions: These institutions are similar to a bank, except that they are nonprofits owned by their customers.
Credit Unions will look for:
- You to be a member of the credit union, which typically means having a checking and savings account with them
- You to prove your credit worthiness with a great credit score, solid credit history, a business plan, financial records and tax documents
- Interest rates may be lower than other lenders.
- Loan requirements may be slightly easier to meet than at the bank.
- Approval time varies, but it can take 30 days or longer for approval.
- You will still need collateral and a solid business plan.
- Your credit score and history will be part of the loan decision.
Small Business Administration: Designed to help small businesses, this is a government backed organization that connects you to banks within their network. The SBA provides a guarantee that enables the bank to extend credit it normally would not.
The SBA will look for:
Everything the bank would for with a loan, with perhaps even more documentation.
- According to Businessnewsdaily.com, SBA loans give businesses more time to pay than other loan options, with terms of 10 years to 20 years.
- Your interest rate will be good, since it is a government backed program and they work with these lenders.
- Because it is a government backed loan, the application process is more intense than a bank or other lending institution.
- You must provide all the application documents you would be required by a bank, plus your resume, your projected financial outlook for the business, and detailed information about suppliers or vendors you will do business with.
- Approval for the loan can take much longer, as much as 90 days.
- Both the SBA and the associated lender evaluates your application, your collateral, management skills to run your business successfully.
Alternative Lenders: According to entrepreneur.com, about 75 percent of funding sought by small business owners is found through alternative funding options such as a Working Capital Loan, which offers short-term funding with automatic daily payments.
Alternative Lenders will look for:
- An application filled out online
- A couple of months worth of bank statements
- The application is easy and simple to complete.
- Having an excellent credit score and lengthy business history is not required for approval.
- It does not require you to provide a detailed business plan, or your resume.
- Approval for a Working Capital Loan is determined within two days and you can have money in hand within 72 hours.
- The interest rate may be slightly higher than a long-term loan.
No matter what your situation may be, with numerous solutions available, meeting small business financial needs is possible. Consider all of the small business funding options available before you decide which is right for you. For all your working capital needs, contact Credibly today!