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EXPERT ADVICE: Bucket List for Obtaining a Business Loan

January 13, 2012 / Carolina Small Business / Small Business

Every other week our lending staff will be providing tips and helpful advice on a range of issues. This week, our Vice President of Business Services and Operations, Roberta McCullough, has a ‘bucket list’ for those of you thinking about getting a business loan.

1. Have a plan—a real one.  You must have a written business plan for what it is you want to do. It should include the market you plan to serve, a projection of demand with facts to back it up, projections on how much money you plan to make, how much it will cost you to run your business (at least annually), and lastly, but most importantly, what you want the money for!

2. Determine how much money you need to get started, and be prepared with some of your own cash.  Lenders will not give you 100% of what you need.

3. If you are going to set up your business outside the home, have an idea of where you want your business to be, but please don’t sign a lease until you know you can get a business loan.

4. Be willing to be flexible.  You might not get exactly what you ask for.  Have a plan B.

5. Have a secondary method for paying the lender back.  If you have a job, don’t quit it!  At least until you see your business can make it.

6. Make sure you complete the application in its entirety.  A lender will quickly deny you if s/he is buried in paperwork and your application is submitted incompletely.  And guess what— it’s legal!  Lenders can legally deny you just for an incomplete application, regardless of your qualifications.

Good luck!