9 things you must do to maximize your chances of obtaining a small business loan

9 things you must do to maximize your chances of obtaining a small business loan
by: Neil Best
To get approval for your small business loan application, you must be able to meet the lending criteria set down. Some organisations are more risk averse than others, and will therefore have more stringent criteria.

To vastly increase your chances of a successful funding application, you will need to present the following information:

1. The reason for the loan. The lender will be looking for something that fits within the normal range and expertise of your business. The amount may cover a number of items, so you will need to cover each.

2. The amount required, and the repayment term of the small business loan you want. (e.g. $10,000 term 5 years, payable quarterly).

3. Details of how you will repay the amount borrowed. For example, “From the increase in profits of reduced running costs of the Whizzbang Go4It”

4. Details of security you will be able to offer to the lender. This will act as reassurance for the lender. If you’re not prepared to put up some aspect of security, then why should they?

5. You will need to include your business plan which will serve to answer essential questions relating to management capabilities, information about the market you operate in. What kind of business you are in etc.

6. 3 Years financial statements. You will need to present quality financial information from your accounting software, preferably signed off by your accountant or tax advisor.

7. Latest Set of Management accounts. Again produced from your accounting software.

8. Accounts receivables (debtors) and payables (creditors) ageing reports.

9. Principals financial statements. – Particularly required if some form of security is necessary.

If you are a new company, the emphasis is going to be on your business plan , and the security (also called collateral) you or your business can provide against the loan.

You must take the time to practice presenting your case to the bank or lender to iron out any glitches. Practice on your colleagues and family (you never know, they might be so impressed, they'll invest or lend!). It may help to role play the lender and come up with as many pointy questions as possible. The more time you take the better your chances will be. (But remember, don’t fall into the analysis paralysis trap!)

Good luck!

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About the author:
Neil Best is an accountant with over 15 years experience in business finance. This article and other useful business finance information such as making effective business plans and sourcing and applying for business grants can be found at

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