Perhaps the biggest problem facing small businesses and/or startups is finding operating capital. Where some small business owners might be fortunate enough or prudent enough to have saved enough to self-fund, a large number of small businesses will depend on small business loans to get started, expand, or to make key purchases. Despite the prevalence of small business loans, there are many common misconceptions and misinformation floating around.
Today, we will review the basics of business loans, some requirements that small businesses must meet to be approved for small business loans, and some resources available for business owners such as the US SBA and alternative fundraising methods.
The Basics of Choosing a Small Business Loan
Small businesses answer an important question before they even open their doors: where exactly am I going to get the money for this business? There are many options including debt financing, equity financing, self-financing, and even borrowing from family and friends. One common option is seeking a business loan.
Business loans may be common, but they are certainly not simple. For starters, there are a variety of small business loan types. These can range from standard small business loans to microloans to CDC/504 loans.
When seeking a loan, it is important to first identify the dollar amount you require and what that money will be going towards. This will help to determine the type of small business loan which will best suit your individual needs.
How to Qualify for a Small Business Loans
Of course, applying for a small business loan is only the beginning. You may choose to work with a bank, another financial institution, or even with the U.S. Small Business Administration (more on this below), but you will always need to meet some baseline requirements for approval. Here are some of the most common requirements/considerations which businesses must meet to qualify for a loan:
How long have you been open? This might be where most first time applicants get tripped up. If you just opened this Spring, that doesn’t sit well with lenders. Granted, you may be able to overcome a short business life with other factors, but this is a big one.
What is your credit score? Yes, personal credit scores matter when applying for a small business loan.
What are your revenues, assets, and liabilities? The brass tacks of your business health is also a huge factor. Proving profitability goes a long way.
How are you positioned in the marketplace? Many lenders will view businesses differently based on their industry, market share, and other metrics.
Working with the U.S. Small Business Administration
The United States Small Business Administration is a government tool to help small businesses seek lenders to fund their small business. They offer a number of programs including lender match, disaster assurance, and even government grants. Many small businesses go this route because the U.S. SBA is a safe bet.
However, even small business owners who are not interested in going through the SBA may find their public information helpful. For example, there are a number of purely informational guides on how to prepare for a loan application and more. You may also opt to contact a local U.S. SBA Resource Center to learn more.
Alternatives to Traditional Loans to Raise Business Capital
There are a number of reasons why traditional loans are so popular. Unfortunately, the vast majority of small business loan applications are also rejected. So what then? If your small business has been rejected (or is likely to be rejected), you have options.
Many small businesses can benefit from a merchant cash advance. Merchant cash advances are similar, but not exactly like small business loans. The key differences are:
More businesses are likely to qualify for merchant cash advances.
You do not need to put up collateral like you would for a small business loan.
The methods of paying back funds puts the onus on the business and not the individual.
The cash advance is paid back through taking a small portion of electronic transactions for ease of use!
Merchant cash advances are perfect for raising business capital quickly and with relative ease. Your business may receive funds within just a few days, which is much faster than traditional business loans.
True Merchant Offers Loans and Merchant Cash Advances for Businesses!
Whether you are looking for a small business loan or a merchant cash advance, True Merchant is here to help! Speak with one of our representatives for a transparent explanation of how a loan or merchant cash advance could work for your business.
We will walk you through the application process, and even get you set up with a repayment program that works for you. At the end of the day, our job is to serve the needs of our clients. We are proud to offer funding which can help your business grow!