Every business requires funding to grow. Whether it is a startup looking for funds to launch their pilot project or an established business looking to expand its operations, finance is necessary for growth.
Despite being aware of the benefits of receiving additional finance, business owners often refrain from applying for business loans. Their hesitation can be attributed to several factors, such as a fear of the loan application being turned down or lack of clarity regarding the procedure to acquire funding.
If you belong to the latter group of businesses, this article can provide you with information ranging from how to get a business loan, to which loan type would be most suitable for your individual business.
How to get a Business Loan
There is no pre-defined approach that a business can follow in order to get a business loan. But there are certain measures that a business can take in order to maximise their chances of being approved.
A Strong Business Plan
If your business is at an early stage or is a startup, then you are unlikely to have the required financial information, bank statements and filed accounts that are required for most business loan applications. A business plan not only gives direction to a business, but it also instils confidence in the mind of a lender that they are investing in the right venture and that the directors are capable and committed. The vision of the business must be clearly defined in the business plan as it is an important requirement when expecting a finance provider to lend your business money.
Your business plan must be comprehensive and well-detailed. It is also important to outline answers to questions such as what the funding will be used for, and how you plan to increase your profits with the aid of added capital. If your business is a startup then having a strong business plan and cash flow forecasts could mean that you are eligible for a secured business loan. Sharing projections for future expectations is important to instil confidence in the lender. If your business is in a difficult or adverse situation, providing a plan showing how you will turn it around, will be essential to convince any lender to support you. Along with details of your company’s current finances, which may not show your business in the best light, a solid plan may increase the possibility of your business acquiring finance. It will also help to provide details of how you intend to repay the loan.
Most lenders will make their decision based on financial statements which can give a clear overview of the business’ financial health. These can include bank statements, management accounts and credit ratings of the directors. Besides being important to the lender, these financial statements can help you to set realistic goals and also get you acquainted with how much funding your business actually needs.
By taking a look at these statements, lenders can get a better understanding of how you manage the finances of your business. It also gives them an understanding of how you will manage the additional funds, should they decide to go ahead and approve your business loan application and helps them to calculate the affordability of the loan.
Review your Online Presence
How your customers or clients perceive your business can play an influential role in determining whether you will receive a business loan or not. Not having a website, or not having a very good website is an alarm bell for a lot of underwriters assessing your application.
The online presence, both of the business as well as the owner, is one of the most convenient sources of understanding your credibility as a borrow, it is advisable to regularly check in with your reviews and make sure that both those and your website work in your favour.
There are several ways in which a business can raise the standards of its online presence, such as having a well-developed website and having positive customer reviews. If you do not currently have good customer testimonials available, consider giving your customers an incentive to willingly provide positive feedback about your business.
As a business owner, you must first decide whether you are willing to offer an asset as collateral when seeking a business loan. Most types of lending, even so-called ‘unsecured loans’ will require security of some king. If you are prepared to provide collateral, you can secure the business loan against an asset, which may include property, equipment, invoices or inventory or a personal guarantee
Having an asset to secure the loan against certainly increases the likelihood of receiving finance. However, there are several types of credit which are now available to businesses that do not require collateral of any type. One of these is Business Cash Advance, a relatively new product on the market that allows business owners to receive an advance, based on their monthly card takings.
Type of Credit
A business should always seek a financial product which is perfectly aligned with its requirements. There are several types of secured and unsecured loans which are now available to SMEs, such as cash flow finance, invoice finance, property finance, asset based lending and business cash advance.
As a business owner, you must first ascertain which type of credit would be the best fit for your business. If you need guidance on which type of funding is best suited to your business or want to know more about how to get a business loan, get in touch with our team so that your business can access the capital it needs to succeed.
I think we shouldn’t mention Nucleus in an FAQ – It feels like a bit of a hard sell tactic – and they’ll be on our website reading it anyway so perhaps no need?
Lenders are unlikely to ask for this unless the business is at a very early stage/start-up so without financials to use or in a turnaround situation, where the financials paint the business in a negative light ie the directors need to prove that they have a plan to fix the issues with the business.