When you're looking to raise funds to start or grow your small business, the usual place to start is the bank. Bank financing is a tried and true source of capital for many small businesses. Traditional financing will generally provide the most affordable, if not the easiest, access to the funding your business needs.
With credit tight and traditional bank loans difficult to obtain, many small business owners are turning to the alternative financing industry to get the funding their business needs. "Alternative" financing can include a wide variety of options, some better suited to certain businesses than others. You should investigate each option to determine which is best for your business.
There are certain businesses mainstream lenders do not want to be associated with—and some of those industries would surprise you. Being in one of these “forbidden industries” can add another challenge to finding funding, and make some forms of funding impossible.
Finding funding for your business is a long, involved process, but there are common “red flags” that underwriters monitor that impact your search. Here are some of the most common red flags underwriters will be looking for.
Your business’s credit score is based on the same principles as your personal score. But there are scenarios where your credit score may not accurately reflect your business’s financial stability. If you feel that is the case, here are some steps you can take to improve your score.
If you conclude that your business needs more capital to sustain operations and fuel future growth, you have a wide range of options. There are traditional bank loans, but there are also many alternatives with different costs, terms, impacts on your credit rating, and application processes.
When you’re applying for a loan, it helps to think like a lender. That will make the application process simpler, give you a realistic view of your own chances of getting the funding you want, and help you identify steps that will make your business more lender-friendly.
How do you know if the potential lender you’ve found is a credible opportunity? Finding the right lender is a great boon to a business, but a bad lender is the fast path to a very painful learning experience. There are some simple warning signs to look for to identify a bad lender.