When you finally make up your mind to pursue your small business dreams, you’re going to need a few things. First, you’ll need a business plan that maps out your path to short and long-term success. A business plan is necessary and one of the first steps you need to make. It shows people, yourself included, that you’re serious about the opportunity you’re preparing to embark on. If you’re like most people, the next thing you’ll need is working capital. This is especially true for small businesses that are looking to secure funds from a bank. Banks search high and low and do mounds of research on borrowers as they cycle them through the application process, looking to find the right borrower. Research is important for lenders looking to find the right borrower, and it’s also important for borrowers looking to find the right lender.
The Truth About Small Business Financing from Large Banks
Chances are when you turn on your television or radio or open an email, there’s a grand advertisement from one of the big national banks we all know so well. Here’s a secret: Big banks like to spend that much on that type of advertising because their lending policies are far stricter than the smaller ones that dot the lending landscape. These big banks turn down a higher percentage of applicants which means they must advertise more to keep a stream of qualified leads coming through their doors. These are great lenders and cornerstones of the finance and banking industry, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right one for you and your business.
Take time to look beyond the advertisements and find out what those banks really have to offer. Do they have a history of lending to small businesses? What are their lending policies and how will the terms they typically propose impact your operation both now and well into the future? All of these things should be taken into consideration when making this all-important decision.
Partnering with Local Banks Might Be a Better Option for Small Business Financing
When you’ve finished doing your research on the big banks, turn your attention to some of the smaller ones around town. They might not have the advertising budget as their larger counterparts, but chances are they’re just as viable an option. Do your homework and be prepared to ask the tough questions.
One of the most common misconceptions is that this exercise is all about money. While money is important, when you break it down, there’s so much more at play. True, you need money or else you wouldn’t be in their offices, waiting for that meeting. But while you’re there looking to secure funds, what you’re really looking for is a partner. You’re looking for a partner because there might come a time in the future when you need another infusion of capital. When that time arrives, you don’t want to have to go out and re-create the wheel or start this entire process over.
A better scenario sees you approaching your lending partner and delivering the good news that says you’re growing. That’s the kind of news any lender, small or large, likes to hear. They like to hear it because when you grow, they do too and when this happens, lucrative, long-term partnerships are formed.
The Coley Group has the Expertise to Get Your Small Business on the Path Toward Funding Success
If you’re in the market for an SBA loan, visit your local SBA office as they have an updated list of lenders in your area with a history of loaning to small businesses. Part of the loan process will be presenting your idea in a professional business plan and when the time comes, The Coley Group can help. Our team of MBA business plan writers is adept at creating winning business plans that position our clients to receive funding and win in the marketplace. Contact us today for more information or for a free quote today.