There’s an old Chinese proverb that goes like this: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
The same reasoning applies to new business startup loans, but with one big exception: “Now” is often not the “second best time.” Now may be too late. I say this because I’ve seen so many small business entrepreneurs get rejected when they wait too long to apply for a loan, and they make this mistake because procrastination seems to be a fundamental element of human nature for many of us.
I remember a print shop that had an old, tattered poster on the wall that showed an overly irate cartoon figure yelling at a print shop worker, “IF I WANTED IT TOMORROW, I WOULD BRING IT TO YOU TOMORROW!” (The poster was in all caps, of course.)
Let me paint a common startup picture:
You’ve spent much of your professional life in the corporate world and have done very well for yourself, but there’s always been a part of you that has wanted to be an owner. You have an idea that you’ve been kicking around and maybe even know a few other professionals you’re close with who have the same vision.
Line of credit for your business startup loan
Here’s my advice: Apply for a line of credit before you quit your day job and have any other partners in your startup do the same thing. Once you have your line of credit, you can quit your job, the bank won’t care, and you can use the line of credit—or not use it—as you see fit. Further, when you’re applying from the strong position of holding down a nice corporate job, you’ll probably get the best interest rate.
Loans for a small business startup aren’t easy to come by, all the statistics show us that. However, a personal line of credit for a very credit-worthy professional is a different story.
Backing boosts confidence
Let me add one more thing to this discussion of small business startup loans. If you are that individual who has been considering starting your own business, getting approved for a line of credit at a local bank may give you the boost in confidence and enthusiasm you need to take the leap of faith and actually start your company.
In other words, with funding available to back you up, you’ll be able to take Nike’s advice and “Just do it!”