As the owner of a startup, you will be facing a number of serious challenges before you make it good. Among the most important issues, that you will need to grapple with is funding. While it is fairly normal for entrepreneurs to start off by using their own savings and credit cards, the requirement of the business for its equipment purchases, raw materials, operational expenses, marketing, advertising, and distribution, etc. far outstrip the modest amount of funds that they can make available from their personal resources.
It is at this point in time, that the continued success of the venture and indeed its survival depends on the amount of fund that can be infused into the business. Typically, since the valuation of the business is still very difficult to establish, a business loan is often the most popular option for the required investment. However, taking on debt is not without its risks, and, you should carefully consider all aspects before taking the final decision.
According to Forbes at https://www.forbes.com, ‘The U.S. is experiencing a dangerous corporate debt bubble. While the ever-climbing U.S. stock market (and the bubble forming in it) has been stealing most of the investing public’s attention, a dangerous bubble has been forming under-the-radar in the corporate bond market. Interestingly, this corporate bond bubble is one of the main reasons why the stock market has been consistently pushing to new highs, and it will also eventually prove to be its undoing.’
Asking the right questions about the ramifications of taking on business debt is the best way of getting to know the risks and rewards. Some of the most important questions discussed:
Do You Really Need the Business Loan?
As far as debt is concerned, this is perhaps the mother of all questions because by answering this truthfully, you can steer the course of your business like nothing else. Since debt is accompanied by an obligation to repay as per the terms of the contract, you should never take on debt because the money may be there for the taking. You should verify the need for taking on external debt and how much incremental return it will bring. It is only when the benefits of taking the debt outweigh the costs that the loan should be considered at all. It may often be possible to increase or reallocate the cash flow to make the loan redundant. It is only when you find that you have no other options should you take out a loan to invest in your business. A business loan sometimes may make sense even if the ROI is low if you want to take advantage of a market opportunity but cannot wait for other sources of funds to be tapped. When you are neck-deep in debts and have no clue how to manage your ever-mounting debts, you must at once contact Nationaldebtrelief.com for perfect debt management solutions.
Why Do You Need the Loan and What Is the Amount?
It is simply not sufficient to approach a lender and request funds of an amount that you have arrived at by guesswork. If you have arrived at a conclusion that you do need a loan, you should not sit down and make a proper estimate of the amount that is required. Typically, to arrive at the amount, you will need to analyze the requirement threadbare and establish the reasons why you need the loan. After you have arrived at the quantum of expense, you should establish what part of it needs to be funded by the loan and what can be met from internal accruals and other sources. It is important to be neither too conservative or optimistic while calculating the fund requirement as borrowing too little is as hazardous as borrowing too much. Making a loan application is more productive when you have all the data, including cash flow projections after the fund infusion in a written document or presentation.
What Type of a Business Loans Should You Take?
While business loans from conventional lenders like banks and credit unions are still popular the lending landscape has diversified much beyond the conventional term loans and today, you have access to a plethora of options from different lenders like some online lenders who offer lines of credit, term loans, invoice financing etc. Moreover, a business credit card would be able to cater to what you are looking for instead of taking out a long-term loan.
Will I Be Eligible for SBA Loans?
The Small Business Administration loans actually are regarded as the real gold standard among small business loans. These loans are provided by intermediary lenders but guaranteed partially by the SBA and they offer long repayment terms and low interest rates. The major question here is, are you eligible for such a loan? Most business people, who get an SBA loan approval generally, have a credit score of 680 or above, and annual revenue of minimum $180,000. Moreover, other qualifications would include that you are in business for minimum last four years, and you are prepared to submit a whole lot of financial documents including bank statements, and tax returns, profit & loss statements, business debt schedules etc. You must scrutinize your financial history meticulously and think it over seriously before you apply for SBA loans.
What Is the Actual Cost of the Loan?
The small business lending landscape is flooded with lenders and each one of them comes up with different enticing offers. Do not get unnecessarily lured. Some may deliberately not tell you about APR and simply tell you about the interest rate. It is imperative on your part to understand clearly the exact amount you are actually borrowing and the actual cost of the loan that must cover all expenses right from the origination charges to prepayment penalties.
Now that you have got answers to some of the fundamental questions associated with business loans, if you think that you are getting a loan at an affordable and fair price, you may explore your options. Go for it.