Getting a business loan requires planning

A recent article in the New York Times underscores that getting business loans requires thought and planning. http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/16/when-looking-for-a-loan-you-cant-fight-gravity/. More times than I can count, business people have come to me because they put their homes and future income up to obtain a loan for a business that later began failing. Sometimes the loans are used to pay the owners salaries, so that they are in effect borrowing to pay themselves!

Before getting any loan for a business, the owners need to have a plan how the loan is going to be paid back. If the loan is being used to keep the doors open instead of expanding or investing in making the business better, this is a big red flag.

One banker recently confided to me that banks are competing to sign up customers, but the customers they are chasing are the cream of the crop. Otherwise they are not interested. To get the best terms, you the business owner need to make your business model attractive. This requires  well-thought-out planning supported by realistic projections and solid data.

In these tough times, the businesses that survive will be the ones that thrive. Make yours one of the success stories.

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