Preparing For A Business Loan Application

A small business loan can go toward the numerous expenses that arise as your company looks to increase its presence in the marketplace. From new business to existing operations, cash flow is always at the heart of an operation. While the application process for a business loan can look overly complex, with careful planning you can get access to proper financial assistance you need.

Small business owners are often juggling multiple tasks at once and they can often be time poor. It takes considerable effort for you to succeed in running your own business, but any business needs financial investment to grow and sourcing capital becomes an important part of overall business strategy. 

Of course there are there banks to turn to for business loans along with a whole world of online providers, and this is often a source of confusion for small business owners, it can make the process seem daunting. Websites such as can help you narrow down potential lending options.

Proper Preparation For A Small Business Loan

Review Your Financial Records

The profits, expenses, associated costs, and business trends your business encounters need to be carefully reviewed before you consider applying for small business loans. Reviewing these figures is often the first step as they are the basis of not only your loan needs but also your business plan. Important financial factors to consider are your cash flow (expenses versus earnings), your history in the industry or overall job history if you are new to owning your own business, and any collateral you might have as you may need collateral to be approved for certain business loans.  

Review Credit Scores And Possible Collateral

Before considering a small business loan your credit history and available collateral are important factors that a lender will check before agreeing to any final loan agreements. Your credit history is composed of several factors that show your overall financial health these factors are, do you make payments on time, how high are your current balances, how old are your credit accounts, and finally credit history inquiries. You should regularly review your credit history to not only check your score but also look for any errors that may need correcting.

Collateral is required for some loans and covers a wide range of items that have a tangible financial value to back up the loan in case your business fails. Collateral can be items such as a car, equipment, a home, or owned business assets such as specialized equipment, property, or stock.  

Evaluate Your Current And Future Business Plans

A financial institution will want to see what your plans are for your business and how you intend to achieve them before they consider giving you a business loan. A good business plan will show your strategy not just for the upcoming year but also the future. It shows a lender how you intend to use the loan and a well-defined plan shows your business is a good investment opportunity.

A business plan is also important to you as a business owner because it gives you solid figures to work off of. The more detailed your plan is the more exact you can be when deciding on how much you need to borrow and where this investment will be used. Factors such as your supply chain, production, SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), industry review, and your marketing strategy all go into your business’s overall plan.   

Make Sure Your Paperwork Is In Order

A part of the process not to overlook is making sure your business documents and associated paperwork are in order. The most common documents most lenders look for are cash flow statements, your overall business plan, and financial statements. When collecting documents it is advisable to have both current and future projections represented as the more information you can provide a lender the better your odds are for approval.  

Research Lenders

Once you have the information organized your final step is to start researching lenders to apply with. Not every lender is the same each has its qualifications, requirements, interest rates, loan limits, and areas of expertise. When getting a business loan there are banks both large and small who can assist and some even specialize in specific business categories. The most important factors to consider are banks that have qualifications you can meet and offer loan rates you consider acceptable both in terms of cost and overall business needs.  

ConclusionProper financial management skills are key in not only turning a profit but also keeping your business healthy and furthering its growth. A small business loan can help your business grow, expand into new markets, and further product and service innovations. Like any financial discussion, preparation is key and by properly organizing your strategies, business financials, and documentation you increase your chances of loan approval. In addition to increasing approval rates careful planning also assures the funds, you receive go towards achieving your business goals.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.