Working with a bank to obtain a small business loan can be an easy or difficult process, depending on how prepared you are to meet with the lender and discuss your business' situation and needs.
One of the leading causes of business failure is insufficient start-up capital. Ironically, though, lenders rarely approve loan requests for the businesses that have the highest need for a small business loan. Instead, lenders tend to prefer to offer small business loans to those businesses that have been in operation for two or more years.
According to All Business, it is estimated that 95 percent of all entrepreneurs opened their businesses with capital from their own pockets, or from money they borrowed from relatives, friends, or another person in their community. Lenders want to see business owners risk their own funds in the business venture, and often require that the business owner or owners provide a minimum of 25 percent of the capital needed to start a business, and at least that much equity in the business if the business is already in existence. Simply stated, lenders aren't as willing to take a risk when a business owner doesn't even risk their own money in the investment. Businesses with a history demonstrating success in paying their bills for two and a half to three years will have the easiest time obtaining a small business loan because they've proven their ability to meet financial obligations.
Preparing a Small Business Loan Proposal
When preparing to apply for a small business loan, be prepared to face the facts that are against you, and use them in your favor. Persistency is necessary if you want to land a small business loan. Lenders follow certain criteria to determine if the small business loan is a wise investment for the bank. Most importantly, the bank will determine if the small business loan is likely to be repaid. As with other businesses, banks and other lenders must answer to their investors and stockholders, and unpaid loans show instability in the bank or financial institution.