Most entrepreneurs start their businesses by reaching into their own wallets and personal savings. Even if that capital is enough to get a business started, it may not be enough to keep the business going. Your business might need extra funding for inventory and equipment, sometimes on short notice. While your business may be covering its day-to-day needs, it might still need a boost to help it expand.
Whatever your need, you want to be thoroughly prepared before you apply for funding. Preparation will make the application process easier, whether you apply in-person, on paper or online, preparation will also go a long way toward making sure that your application is approved.
So what measures can small businesses take—before even beginning the application process—that will help them secure the necessary funds to help them succeed? These are some of the key steps to keep in mind:
Review your business plan
Every application for funding should be made with your business plan in mind, so start by reviewing yours. Many banks and online funders will want to talk to you about your business—including how it operates and how the funding you are seeking will help your business grow—because they want ensure they’ll be repaid.
This is particularly true if you are seeking a larger, long-term loan, such as those guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Most SBA lenders will ask to see a copy of your business plan as part of your application. Don’t have a business plan or don’t think your current plan adequately captures your business and its growth prospects? Read Bizfi’s “4 Secrets to Drafting a Great Business Plan”.