Get Approved for a Small Business Loan

Launching a business requires capital. Even when a business is already up and running cash flow is important to keep things running smoothly and to allow expansion. Many businesses find there are enormous benefits from getting a small business loan.

There are a variety of financing programs that give emerging businesses the boost they need to expand and grow into a “bankable” enterprise that generates new jobs and strengthens the economy. Normally you have to have two to three years of solid financials before a money lender like a bank will even consider lending you money. Often you need to have a strong personal credit record to be eligible for a decent business loan from start-up.

There are other lenders that offer business loans specifically for start-ups so the process is easier now than it was a decade ago.

Such lenders can furnish you with a loan of the capital you require in order to get your business start-up running or to take your existing business to the next level. Getting approved for a business loan from a bank with a credit score of 650 or less can be extremely difficult. Before a lender approves your small business loan application, they will want to be certain that your business is capable of repaying the loan. This is why it’s so difficult for startups with unproven operating histories to obtain loans. In order for you to stand a chance in getting approved there are some steps you will need to take.

1. Check Your Credit History
It’s a good idea for business owners to check their credit histories before trying to get a loan. Correcting erroneous data or resolving any inconsistencies before applying for a loan will increase a business’s chances of getting one.

2. Research Potential Lending Institutions

Before you start applying for loans, you should gather some basic documentation about you and your business – such as a demonstrably good income record. The most important measure banks use in determining whether to loan money is the company’s ability to repay. Always try to approach a bank that is familiar with your industry and target market.

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3. Create a Cash Flow Statement

A cash flow statement is a familiar financial statement to the banker and provides the banker with an understanding for the current assets and liabilities of the company. Banks prefer more assets than liabilities. In order to create the projected cash flow statements, you will need a detailed business plan. This is also something a bank will want to see before they approve your loan. The plan should be part of your loan application. You should focus on the details within the plan that explain how you will use the loan proceeds.

4. Invest in the Business
Invest your own funds. Lenders like to see personal investment. It is a sign of commitment. Wait until you can afford to invest your own funds before requesting the help of a lender. In general, a lender will help you to subsidize your total funding need, but will be reluctant to provide you with the entire amount.

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Virtual offices are used by people and companies who need to present themselves from a high quality business location but don’t actually need to physically work from that location. This primarily applies to home workers, freelancers, business start-ups, small businesses and companies expanding into new markets. Sometimes you want to start your own business and need to save cash. Or maybe you want to test the waters of the business world before you sign a lease for an office space. Those are some of the reasons a virtual office is used.

When you apply for a loan there are certain things lenders look for to determine your business fundability. Many times lenders will check your address to make sure you are in a commercial location.

When you rent a virtual office you don’t have to worry about buying furniture or setting up the office. You will have your own mailbox so that people don’t believe someone is just forwarding your mail somewhere. No long term contracts. Your clients need never know that you are really working out of a home office…and may not even live in the prestigious Van Nuys area, or the United States. Contact us for a customized quote to see how using a Van Nuys Virtual Office can allow you to work virtually and improve your business.

Steps to Start Your Small Business

The desire to own a small business hasn’t faded away, even in today’s economy. About 600,000 businesses are formed every year; roughly half will fail within their first five years. But that reality hasn’t prevented new entrepreneurs from following their dreams. With can-do attitudes, hordes of potential business owners want to work for themselves, according to USA Today.

Starting your own business is not just about having a dream. There are real steps to ensure your business a successful start. However, be aware that a high percentage of new businesses fail in their first 3 years of operation due to poor planning and management.

Step 1: Get InspiredIf you are looking for a new small business opportunity, you are in the right place. Learn how to think like an entrepreneur, take advantage of ideas and opportunity, and explore whether owning your own business is for you. Let your daily life lead the way to inspiration. Problems you have or see are a tremendous source for inspiration and innovation. We live in a world where many services can be instantly contracted or automated, and most products can be fabricated on demand. If you think it, you can create it. So, do it!

Step 2: Research Your Idea

In order for a small business to be successful, it must solve a problem, fulfill a need or offer something the market wants. There are a number of ways you can identify this need, including research, focus groups, and even trial and error.

Step 3: Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan is important for three reasons. First, it serves as an operational road map; second, it lists goals to aim for; and third, it is a requirement of lenders if you should approach them for start-up capital. The SBA has an online tutorial to help you write a business plan. Small-business advisors like the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) can also provide assistance.

Step 4: Do you have enough money to start a small business?

It depends on your type of business and how quickly you plan to expand. You should sit down and write out how much your expected expenses will be for at least the next 24 months and how much you project to bring in as far as income on a monthly basis. There are several companies that can help you get started with funding your business.

Step 5: Start-up Expenses

Every business requires start-up expenses, which may be low or high depending on the business. For instance, the start-up expenses for a home-based business may require less capital than the expenses for the purchase or lease of a commercial structure. In general, most start-up expenses include utilities, office space, communication systems and office equipment. In addition, some businesses require licenses, permits and business insurance.

Step 6: Licenses and Permits

Federal or state licenses and permits are required to legally operate some businesses. The Small Business Administration (sba.gov) provides information regarding the prerequisite government licenses and permits for businesses. Other sources for local business regulation information can be found at the state and local level. Additionally, local government offices offer information on zoning laws and other restrictions for certain businesses and their locations. Van Nuys Offices

Money to Start a Small Business

Finding money to start a small business takes a lot of work. To start with you will need a good business plan and several leads for small business loans and grants. There are a number of available programs to assist startups, micro businesses, and underserved or disadvantaged groups.

Start your capital search with a good business plan that shows investors and lenders your company’s potential. Follow that up with a thorough knowledge of the resources available and a determination to make your business a reality, and you should be on your way to uncovering a source that fits your new business’s cash needs.

There are several sources to consider when looking for financing. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the only place you can find the money you need is through the bank or finance company. Explore all of your options before making a decision.

The first place to look for financing is right at home and personal savings and assets are the easiest source of capital. If you have money set aside, you use it instead of borrowing or rounding up investors.

Next, turn to members of your family or close friends who have faith in you and want to see you succeed. Borrowing from a friend or relative is generally the most readily available source, especially when the capital requirement is smaller. Relatives and people you know need fewer assurances and are more open to your ideas than professional investors.

Angels are private investors interested in making more on their capital than they can make through traditional markets such as mutual funds or publicly traded stocks. These “angels” can be your accountant, attorney, doctors or other individuals who seek out new businesses to invest in return for equity ownership. Usually providing additional capital in the range of $25,000 to $500,000, expect angel investors to demand high returns for their investments.

Either way, there are risks and gains; what you take will depend on your tolerance for risk and your personal objectives. Van Nuys Offices

Marketing your New Business at Low Cost

Are you looking for ways to market your new small business? Looking for ways to let people know you have open a new business. Whether it’s with established sites such as Google and Facebook, or newer outlets like Pinterest, there are plenty of options available to promote your site.

Create a marketing strategy. Lay out goals for how many consumers you want to reach, define your key audiences and decide how you will time each phase of the promotion. It’s also wise to use a variety of methods.

One of the many great things about marketing a small business is that there are plenty of options to fit any size budget. You can begin by obtaining a domain name for your new brand. On Godaddy.com. you can buy domains for less than $10. If your domain name is not available as a.com, come up with another name. Now that you have your domain. Develop a website using your domain name. This will help people find out information about you and your products / services if they do a search online.
Begin Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to get ever higher rankings for your website. It does you little good to have a website if no one can find it. Hire an economical SEO firm or do it yourself. Google’s Guide to SEO is free, online, and a great starter.

Use social media including a blog, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter several times a week. If possible use your own name, not your business name, because social media are personal. Constantly reach out to potential customers or referral sources by following them or asking them to connect.

Tell your family, friends and other associates about your new business and ask them to spread the word to drum up sales. Word of mouth referrals are still the No. 1 marketing medium in the world, and for good reason — people trust their friends’ recommendations.

There are many other ways to market your business and generate new business leads. However, the marketing strategies I mention in this article are effective low- or no-cost options. Use them consistently and watch your sales grow.

Starting a new business is a bold and exciting process! It takes a lot of courage to jump out on one’s own. Sometimes you’re forced by layoff and difficulty finding another job. Or maybe you just decided to make the jump and make your dream come true.  Van Nuys Offices

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