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Small Business Financing

Fri, Jul 30, 2010

Finance

How do you get started with your small business financing plan? Finding a loan you will be able to qualify for is one of the first steps of small business financing, according to Entrepreneur. There are four types of potential loans, according to the business Web site:

  • SBA loan- this type is a ‘small business loan made through banks and agencies.’ Check out www.sba.gov for more information on these loans.
  • Line-of-credit loan- ‘these short term loans let you access a specified amount of money that’s deposited into your business checking account on an as-needed basis,’ and you would be paying interest on the loan amount.
  • Revolving line- this is ‘when a lender offers a certain amount of money to a borrower and allows the same amount to be borrowed again upon repayment.’
  • Loans from friends and family- if your family is willing to help you out, you may be able to save money and save paying interest by getting a loan from them.

At this stage, you are just finding out about these loans, not necessarily applying for them. More research and analysis may be required before you feel comfortable signing your name on the final papers.

Crunch the numbers

Finding out how much money you will really need is the next step. This amount is dependent on what type of business you are trying to start up and how fast you will be able to generate revenue.

Loans and grants

Many loans and grants are available for getting your business off the ground. You must remember that you will have to be able to sustain your business regardless of the grant money.

‘Any entrepreneur seeking out these sources must also focus on how well her business survives independent of these programs’”after all, a successful minority business will have to mature itself out of the program eventually,’ Entrepreneur said.

‘Make sure you have some sort of maturation plan in place that allows you to succeed without minority set-asides within three to five years, for instance; otherwise, you may find yourself simply building a business to be bought out or putting yourself at too great a risk,’ Entrepreneur said.

Sources for grants

  1. Small Business Financial Assistance
  2. Business.gov grants
  3. Applying for federal grants
  4. Business grants for women

Basic credit factors to keep in mind

When you are asking for a business loan, keep in mind that there are a few factors when asking for any loan.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, the five factors a lender will review include:

  • Equity investment
  • Earnings requirements
  • Working capital
  • Collateral
  • Resource Management

The Bottom Line

Your search for small business financing doesn’t have to be one you have to do alone. There are many resources, like the Web sites listed above, that can help you with your search. Two of the most common sites, the U.S. Small Business Administration and Business.gov can tell you about loans, grants, venture capital and everything under the sun you need to get your business up and running.

By Kelly McLendon. Kelly is studying Environmental Policy and Journalism. She can be reached at mclendon.kelly@gmail.com.

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