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There are many loan options for small businesses, from equipment loans to loans for working capital. As a small business owner, you are likely to decide among some lenders: the Small Business Administration (SBA), conventional banks and alternative lenders. Each offers its own benefits and disadvantages.
“While there are numerous options to choose from, not all of them provide the same benefits,” said Kate Alex. “Make a small list of potential lenders buying to compare offers. As you progress through the process, keep in mind that bigger is not always better, or more secure.”
Depending on your needs as a company, you “I want to understand all of your options before you reach a lender. Here you will find everything you need to know about getting a loan.
Other types of loans
There are many types of lenders and loans to choose from. These are some of your options.
Traditional Bank Commercial Loans
According to Jay Hanz, head of commercial specialty segments for SEf banks, traditional bank loans usually have low-interest rates, a detailed payment schedule and the ability to retain total business ownership.
“Banks also offer loans for many different purposes: real estate, working capital, credit lines, and equipment, among others,” he said. “A line of credit would be used more frequently for short-term financing needs, while a term loan or commercial real estate mortgage offers multi-year financing for expansions or for buying a property.”
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These loans to small businesses backed by the government are safe and attainable for companies that other lenders might have declined. They offer some of the lowest interest rates available and usually have lower monthly payments, DesMarteau said.
“SBA loans allow approvals in some cases, such as when a company’s down payment or cash flow is too low, due to the government guarantee,” said DesMarteau. “There is a misconception that SBA loans are an initial loan and that the government betrays them, but it is true that they have different credit subscription standards, terms, and other factors than a traditional small business loan.”
Secured loans are easier to acquire than unsecured loans because they require a guarantee from you. This type of loan is often suitable for new businesses with initial costs: loans of $ 50,000 to $ 100,000.
If you have good credit, you can get up to $ 50,000 of unsecured loans. However, startups with business owners who have little credit are often rejected. If you can purchase an unsecured loan, you do not need to offer any collateral, which is an important advantage for business owners.
Long-term commercial loans
Long-term loans are more geared towards expanding your business than starting it, offering up to $ 100,000. You can pay for years and at lower monthly rates. However, they are not usually suitable for startups, but for more established companies.
Points to consider
Be sure to classify the following factors before looking for a lender.
Before choosing a loan, you must describe your objectives for your business in a business plan. This should give you a good idea of the type of loan you need.
“Before meeting with a banker or lender, it is important to have a business plan, preferably one that has been reviewed by a certified public accountant,” Alex said. “The plan must include short and long-term articulated financial objectives.”
Ask yourself what you need to reach your goals and what you need. From there, find a banker who can anticipate the growth of your business and develop a credit solution, Alex added.
Cash flow cycle
Your cash flow cycle directly impacts the type of loan needed for your business. Consider your payment cycle, cash inflow and outflow, and the best way to maintain a steady income.
“Make sure you have a solid knowledge of your accounts receivable and that your banker understands your mix of payments,” Alex said. “For example, many large corporations, health insurance companies, and government entities have long pay cycles, even up to 90 or 120 days. Talk to your banker about how these factors affect your cash flow so he or she can design a solution. adequate. ”
Calculate your expenses to get an idea of how much money and what exactly you will need from your potential lender.
“Do you have a realistic understanding of current and potential expenses?” Alex said. “Take a look at the size of your business and its growth potential.”
For example, he said, if you have an office, you may not need to hire a human resources professional immediately. But this could change later if you decide to grow your business.
There are always risks related to financing, especially when you are looking for the right loan for your business. That is why it is important to discuss concerns immediately and be transparent with your intentions.
“Conversations about risk should take place in advance,” Alex said. “Banks carefully observe debt levels, cash flow, and liquidity. It is important to understand your bank’s guidelines in these areas.”
The higher your debt/equity ratio, the riskier it seems to bankers and the harder it will be to get a loan. If you have any weaknesses in your business model or financial history, report it in advance and solve these problems with the help of your banker, Alex said.