By Evan Vitale
Securing a bank loan for your business can be a difficult chore and, unfortunately, it’s like you almost know you’re going to get rejected the minute you walk in the door.
Don’t feel bad. Most small businesses can’t get a traditional loan from a traditional lending institution.
However, the answer to your bank loan request is always going to be “no” until you ask.
If rejection comes, dust yourself off and ask the bank for feedback on why your loan application was rejected. Usually, they will be forthcoming on the reason(s) for rejection and you can use this information to improve your chances the next time you approach your bank.
However, there are many reasons why your loan request was rejected. Here are some of them:
- For a start-up business, the business idea wasn’t credible and too risky for the lender.
- For an established business, applying for business expansion sometimes raises concerns that you will not be able to handle the extra strain on your business debts (even if you are turning a profit). This usually means you didn’t do a good job of presenting a plan on how you were going to be able to afford to pay back the loan.
- Not enough collateral if things go bad.
- Lack of personal commitment by you. In other words, how much of your own money have you invested into your business. Sweat equity doesn’t work.
- Lack of a credible business plan and financial projections.
- Not understanding a “good” loan purpose. The purpose of the loan request should be very specific and not general.
- Not being able to talk the talk. You should be confident in asking for the loan and in your ability to pay it back. If you’re unsure, then the bank is going to be unsure as well.
Get your ducks in a row before you present your loan request to the bank. And, as always, you’ll be able to gain great advice by talking to your accountant, lawyer and, yes, even with your banker before you apply for a business loan.