Anyone who decides to start a business should consider money as crucial factor. Most of the time, a huge part of your savings will have to pooled into towards capital investment. Those who are getting into business for the first time can make use of a business loan to accumulate sufficient capital investment and also for working capital purpose. While there are many banks ready to offer business loan for start-ups and new businesses, it is left up to you to understand what your requirements are. Based on the requirements and ability to repay the pay amount, loan should be taken from bank.
Why Businesses Owners Struggle to Get First-Time Business Loans
It is that much difficult for a business owner to get a business loan for his/her new businesses. Well, it because the new small businesses are very riskier to lend to. Lenders can’t judge the potential to grow or to make a profit just by knowing the business plan. For existing businesses, it is easy to do so on the basis of their profit and loss statement and by checking the other credit reports. Hence it becomes risky for the lenders also to lend money to a new business.
If you’ve just started your business, lenders won’t have much confidence that your business will earn profit and hence, they reject most of the loan application by the new business owners. As a result of this, unfortunately: 50% of small businesses fail in their first 5 years of business due to lack of funds or some other thing.
So, What Should You be Considering Before Applying for a First-Time Business Loan?
Here are some of the important factors to be considered before applying for a business loan in India:
Have Clarity on Your Business
Not just for the purpose of loan, but in general you should have good clarity of your business and its turnaround. Before deciding whether to start a business or not and before applying for a business loan, make sure you have answers for the below questions with regard to your business. Answers to these questions will help you to be precise on what you need and what you do not need to take the business initiative to the next level. Every bank will look into the capacity of the borrower to repay the loan. Banks will not be ready to offer loan to someone who is not confident about his/her business.
- What does your business do?
- What’s your industry?
- Who are the clients?
- How and when do you get paid?
- How have you previously managed credit?
- What are the margins?
- Do you have a track record of success?
- What are you using this loan for?
- What makes your business unique?
- Where do you see your business is growing towards?
Banks have High Expectations
Though there are many banks that are ready to offer loan to customers, they are very cautions. Anything that could lead to the risk of default will be reconsidered by the bank. This is the very reason why banks ask for collateral and additional papers and documents before approving loan. Those borrowers who are looking to take a business loan should be able to offer collateral for the purpose of loan or should be able to prove as a worthy candidate to repay the business loan.
Talk to an Accountant
At times, even though you are very clear about your business, knowing how much business loan to take is always a question. Banks will let you know what can be the maximum eligibility for business loan based on your credentials but it is important to understand how much loan is actually required. Just because bank is ready to offer a huge amount, you should not accumulate debts. With the help of an accountant you will be able to judge how much loan should be taken for your business purpose.
If you are planning to start a business is next 2 years, then it is important to start building your credit and contacts. An applicant with good creditworthiness will get loan quicker with low documentations and interest rates. Irrespective of what type of business you are looking to start, a good credit and having good contacts will definitely come to help during the course of your business. In order to have high score in your credit rating card, start paying you bills on time, stay away from the defaulters list when it comes to credit card payments and most importantly don’t apply for more loans. Your lender will analyse your credit scoring to a large extent before approving the business loan.
Good Relationship with Your Lender
Getting a loan from the lender is not the end of the relationship, there will be lot of future scenarios where in you will be required to contact them for information, instruction and support. Thus it is very important to maintain a very good relationship with the lender at all stages of the business loan. Having a positive relationship might help you to get better offers and add-on facilities. To a great extent every bank manager has a say on your loan and it is up to the manager’s discretion to offer a loan or not. Anytime there is a need for cash management, credit-card acceptance, payment solutions, and equipment financing or consumer solutions these relationships will come to help.
Apart from what are mentioned above, the other main factor when it comes to business loan is providing right documentation to the lender. If the applicant produces all necessary documents at the first go, then the chances of getting business loan approved within 7-15 days is 75% high. Documents essential for applying a business loan in India are: Checklist of Documents Required for a Business Loan
This is to prove to the bank that being the owner of the bank you are eligible for profit of the business and the same being credited to your bank account from time-to-time. Having regular and consistent income is an advantage while applying for business loan. Banks will judge your repayment capacity based on this income and accordingly loan amount will be sanctioned.
Business balance sheet will help the bank to get a clear picture of your business. Based on the balance sheet analysis, banks will determine the profit earning capacity of the business. It is always good to get an accountant to manage your business balance sheet to ensure accuracy and reliability.
Profit and Loss Account
Along with business balance sheets, lender will scrutinize the Profit and Loss Statement as well. These two are the main documents used by banks to determine to worth of your business. This statement is also commonly known as P&L account statement.
Personal Credit Score
Just like all other types of loans, even for business loan personal credit score is considered by the lender along with the creditworthiness of your business. Personal credit score above 650 is considered good from banks perspective and with this score or above if you apply for a business loan, there is less chance of being rejected due to low-credit.
Business Tax and Personal Tax Returns Paid
If you are a citizen who files taxes regularly, then it is an added advantage. Whether it is about paying personal tax or filing business tax, it is important to make these payments on-time. Tax filed receipts has to be furnished to the lender in case if they request for it during business loan approval.
Documents proving the tenure of the business should be furnished. The commencement date, incorporation certificate has to be furnished to the banks upon request. The tenure of the business and the return is calculated by the banks to understand the profitability of the business and loan repayment capacity.
Need for Loan
It is crucial to showcase a valid reason for applying a loan. For what business purpose loan is being used should be furnished by the applicant and if bank finds its justifying and reasonable, loan will be approved. Unless and until there is actual need for loan, banks will not sanction loan. They might even conduct inspection on financial records of the business to determine how much funding assistance is required for the ongoing of the business.
Getting a business loan is not very easy but having the right information and documents will help you to get your loan approved quicker. Consider all the crucial factors for a business loan have ready answers and papers for the same, thus as and when bank approaches you for additional information regarding loan request, the same can be cascaded without any delay.
Any financial goals such as profits, income, future sales, and cash flow are dependent on the business plan. Thus get the basic right before moving towards applying for a business. There is no doubt that banks will scrutinize the loan application stringently and once they have established the request is valid and applicant has the income capacity to repay loan amount, loan will be approved.
Some of the other tips while applying for a business loan are:
- Make timely payments.
- Have accurate planning, forecasting and book keeping.
- Monitor business’s financial health in regular intervals.
- Have a positive attitude.
- Analyze if you have the capacity take on new debts.
- Have long term and short term goals.
- Keep this organized and managed.
- Maintain good relationship with lenders and customers.
- Do not use your resident house and such huge personal assets as collateral for business loan.
- Have cash flow forecast.
Each business is different and thus the requirements and approach will change. Always find what is right for your business and take actions. Analyze your business industry and market before making any move whether it is big or small. Irrespective of how good the business is growing; make sure to personally monitor it at regular intervals. Employers and customers should be kept happy to find success in every business. And be innovative and creative with your business consistently. Trust your instincts but always verify!