September 10, 2009

Getting a Loan for Your Business


Hostway Team

By Winmark Business Solutions

New small businesses that need a loan to get started are in a classic catch-22: lenders will want to see a proven track record before they lend you any money, but you can't establish the track record until you get the loan. As a result, a lot of new owners have to turn to alternate sources of financing, such as selling personal assets, borrowing from friends and relatives, or taking on partners or investors.

Work Smart!

If the alternate sources of financing are not available to you, don't give up on getting a loan from a bank or other traditional lending source just because you're told that it's difficult to do. Be persistent.

If you already have a good credit relationship with a bank, you may have built the track record you need without even realizing it. Here are two suggestions for succeeding where others have failed:

1. Develop a first-rate business plan. If your business plan is well thought out and well put together, you've just improved your chances of getting a loan.For more on how to put together a first-rate business plan, see planning your business.

2. Go to banks with a good small business lending record. For a list of the top eight banks in your state, see the best banks for small business.

As part of any effort to raise money for your business, you should develop financial data on your business that you should be prepared to give to a lender. Here's a list of information you should compile:

  • A personal expense budget for one year (see making a family budget)
  • A personal financial statement
  • Estimated startup costs of your business (see costs - setting up the business)
  • Estimated first-year business expenses
  • Estimated total cash requirements
  • The amount of money you can invest and the amount of money you need to borrow
  • Estimated break-even point (see analyzing your break-even point)
  • A business plan (see building a successful business plan)
  • For more information on bank documentation, see bank loan documentation. For a more detailed discussion of how to obtain financing for your business, see getting financing for your business.

    About the Author

    Winmark Business Solutions (WBS) is a free Web site for small businesses and entrepreneurs containing over 6,000 pages of business-critical information and downloadable tools at WBS is a division of Winmark Corporation, a multi-brand franchisor with nearly 900 franchise locations in North America. With over 25 years working with small businesses, WBS draws upon years of experience to bring important small business articles, information, tools, forms, checklists, calculators and downloadable forms to the small business owner to help their business grow. WBS contains over 6000 pages of business-critical information all available at

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