Being an entrepreneur is a daunting calling. While the thought of being your own boss and running a company fueled by your own interests and passions is an incredibly exciting one, it can also be equally worrying to figure out how to get to that point. With all the hoops you need to jump through and paperwork to sign, opening a small business can seem like an overly tedious exercise, one that could be seriously discouraged if your hopes for a loan that will bring it all to life end up getting rejected.
While you can't always control whether or not your small business loans are approved, there are certainly steps you can take to improve your chances.
While you can't always control whether or not your small business loans are approved, there are certainly steps you can take to improve your chances. Here are three tips from the lenders themselves about how to make your loan application more likely to get the approval stamp:
- Go the local route: "Talk to your community bank first! They want local small businesses to succeed and will support you and work on your behalf," suggests Jill Castilla, President and CEO for Citizens Bank of Edmond. "With a community bank, you have the opportunity to build a relationship with your banker, up to and including the CEO. That relationship will translate into trust and a more comprehensive understanding of your goals, your needs and the local market."
- Make sure your credit report is in order: Your credit history and score are used as a financial reference point when you take out a loan for a home or a car, and a small business is no different. Stephen Sheinbaum, founder of Merchant Cash and Capital's Bizfi platform, recommends requesting a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax) every year so that you can look over your record for any errors or fraudulent charges that may be hurting your credit score. In the event you do find a mistake, make sure to report it to the credit bureau right away to have it fixed.
- Tell your story: As Nancy Hayes, co-founder of MoolaHoop, notes, when you go into a bank to sell them on your business, make sure you've narrowed down who you are and what your company is into a succinct, compelling story. This should include an easy-to-understand outline of your target audience, the size of that market, how you plan to cater to it with your services and, perhaps most importantly, what makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd. Remember that this sales pitch isn't just about putting together a business plan, it's about communicating your passion for your company.
If you're a local entrepreneur looking for affordable, long-term Ohio small business loans to expand your company, reach out to Growth Capital Corp. today!