According to Freeholder Heather Simmons, liaison to economic development for Gloucester County, even in this tight economy securing a small business loan is possible for start-ups and expansions if you follow these five steps.
1. Take advantage of free and low-cost technical help: There is a myriad of assistance for small business owners and start-up businesses. Make appointments with your small business administration representatives, your county economic development office, local colleges and universities, and local not-for-profit agencies that specialize in finding loan funding for small business.
2. Have a business plan: Potential lenders and investors need assurance you have a business plan and have mapped out every aspect of your business. From payroll to product, insurance and inventory, you need to illustrate you have a strong and viable potential business that will succeed. Many small business owners know their business but may need help in the planning.
3. Be prepared: Have all of your financial statements, legal documents, tax returns and applications completed and organized.
4. Learn from past mistakes: Yours or someone else’s. If you have been denied a loan in the past, find out what you need to do to address the issue. If this is your first go, talk to other entrepreneurs and find out what they did right and wrong.
5. Be Creative: Maybe you can’t get all of the funding from a bank or government agency, but there are always other avenues available and sometimes getting financing from one source can help leverage financing from others.
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 4, Issue 10 (October, 2014).
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