Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, making up 99.9% of all businesses and creating 1.9 million new jobs in 2018, alone. Growing a small business is not without challenges and finding the right financing is important. In my 20-year experience in the commercial finance industry, I’ve seen how funding can accelerate the growth of small and medium size businesses (SMBs), and it all starts with being able to secure the funding they need without paying premium interest rates for it.
In honor of National Small Business Week this year, I wanted to share a few easy steps that small businesses can take to get the most financing at the lowest price.
No matter what type of financing you are looking at, lenders will require financial documentation about your business before making a decision. The amount of funding made available to you and the rate you will be charged is affected by the financial statements you present or lack of them. In a recent survey by BFS, business owners and directors stated “not being able to demonstrate viable business projections” as the number one reason for being turned down for funding.
Here is my insider #TuesdayTip or rather three steps that SMBs can take to ensure they have the best chance of getting funded:
- Update the financial statements and ensure the information is accurate. The information should be within the last 30-60 days, and the figures on the balance sheet must match the amounts on the subsidiary accounts (accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory, etc.). You can also take this opportunity to do a bit of housekeeping and write off any old, uncollectable invoices.
- Put a complete financing package together to accompany your funding application. Call the lender ahead of time and understand the type of documentation that is required. Being proactive and submitting a full document package shows that you are serious about your business and it will help fast-track your application.
- Prepare a set of business growth projections over 2-3 years – a simple outline will suffice. Being able to articulate what is generating the business growth, why you need the funding and how you will use it, as well as how revenue and profit will grow shows the lender that you are in control of the business and it will go a long way in securing the funding.
Full disclosure is important when dealing with a lender. On top of presenting up-to-date financial statements and projections, be ready to address any weaknesses of the business up front with the financer. It can be more costly if the lender discovers a major issue on their own.
To avoid surprises, ask the funder for a complete breakdown of the types of services and fees associated with the funding line and how often these get revised.
Finally, don’t base your decision of which funder to go with purely on the interest rate. Look for a partnership with a funder that allows for flexibility to adapt to your business’s ever changing needs.
BFS has representatives throughout the US ready to learn more about your business, discuss your unique needs and quickly customize an alternative funding solution to help with your cash flow challenges. Contact us today at email@example.com or 877.882.4229 to learn more.