A clothing startup may need production financing to fulfill a large production order from a thriving boutique.
A construction company may need equipment leasing to pay for a new excavator, bulldozer or boom lift for a massive city contract.
A corner restaurant may need a merchant cash advance to survive a winter rut.
Small businesses need loans for different reasons. But before considering the different products available, ask yourself these questions first.
STEP 1: SELF ASSESSMENT
1. “Would I lend my own money to my business?”
2. “Do my customers recommend my business to their friends and family?”
3. “Do my employees feel engaged, valued and good about coming to work?”
4. “Do I have a mentor or experienced entrepreneur at my side?”
5. “Are my financials current?”
STEP 2: CONQUER CASH-FLOW & FINANCIALS FIRST
Once you’ve finished your assessment, get your paperwork in order.
To obtain a traditional bank loan, it’s important to understand what lenders are looking for. You’ll be evaluated on business profitability, cash flow, credit history and collateral.
Inaccurate and incomplete financial records are the leading setbacks for small-business owners in the lending process, according to Ami Kassar of MultiFunding, a loan advisory and brokerage in Pennsylvania that works with small businesses across the country.
It’s important to reconcile books and ensure that all money is accounted for by staying current on your payments, invoices, receipts, and tax financials, Kassar says. He adds that it’s best to disclose any concerns to the lender up front.
To make sure your financials are current, take time at the end of each week or month to review and update your balance sheets, accounts receivables, current liabilities, and profit and loss statements. As a small business owner, you should be able to discuss these financials, especially when seeking a loan.
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