Since 1963, the President has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week each year. This week puts the spotlight on America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners and their essential contributions to our economy and society. Comprising nearly two out of every three new jobs in the United States, more than half of our population works for a small business. Mobex provides telecommunication solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes and we genuinely value our partnerships with small business owners. Because of this, and in honor of National Small Business Week, we are kicking off a series dedicated to tips and tricks for entrepreneurs and anyone considering launching his or her own small business. Today, we will explore tips on finding a small business bank loan.
Don’t go into a bank with a “hat in hand” attitude or some form of sob story. Be strong. Be confident. Remember that the banks need loans and accounts in order to make their business model work. Look at the bank as a new partnership. They need you just as much as you need them.
Unless you already know the banker with whom you are working, this relationship is brand new. They do not know you, what type of person you are, or how dedicated to your business you are. Should you qualify for a loan on the first visit, don’t expect it to be the amount you want (or need). Get to know them – your loan officer, the tellers, everyone – while you put their money to good use. Foster the partnership well and you can expect your credit line to increase as needed.
Know your bottom line.
A strategic working relationship is great, however, the boss’s boss at the bank only cares about your past, present, and potential revenue. Know your numbers upside down and backwards when you schedule that first meeting.
Even if you’re six months away from asking for a loan, start shopping banks early. Research online and get recommendations from friends or owners of similar-size businesses; you’ll want someone familiar with dealing with and lending to startups. Then take time to meet with potential banks; get to know the loan officers and a feel for the environment. Ideally, you want a long-term relationship and you don’t want it just anywhere.