Raise Small-Business Capital with Bank Financing - dummies

Raise Small-Business Capital with Bank Financing

By Steven D. Peterson, Peter E. Jaret, Barbara Findlay Schenck

If a primary purpose of your business plan is to obtain bank financing, bankers are your primary audience, and the bank where you have established relationships is likely your best starting point.

Bankers need to see your complete business plan, for sure, but be aware that your executive summary — the part they’ll flip to first — is where they expect to find a good, comprehensive, and succinct overview of your business purpose, situation, finances, goals, and the strategies you’ll follow to achieve success.

Plus, bankers want to see the specifics of your loan request, such as:

  • How much do you want to borrow? Naturally, potential lenders want to make sure that the amount you hope to secure is reasonable in light of your business’s bottom line.

  • How will you use the loan funding? In reviewing a loan request from an established company, a banker will want to see how the funds will be used to contribute to business growth and profitability, and thus to the certainty of loan repayment. Will you use the funds to hire new employees, fund a marketing effort, purchase equipment or a business building, or pay off debts? Be specific.

  • What positive impact do you expect the loan funding to have on your business? What goals or objectives will it help you achieve? Lenders are more confident forking out money if you give them reason to believe the loan will improve your business and boost its profits.

  • What repayment terms are you requesting? Business loans come in many shapes and sizes, from short-term bridge loans to long-term loans, each with its own terms.

  • How can you demonstrate your ability to meet the payment terms? Show financial statements, forecasts, and cash-flow projections to prove that you’ll be able to repay the loan on the schedule that you’re proposing.

  • What collateral or assets will you pledge to secure the loan? As you seek loans, visit the Small Business Administration website for information on government-backed loan programs.