A brilliant idea is not enough to start a business; you will also need money to make it a reality. For a smooth business operation, securing funding is necessary. Then again, finding capital or even just understanding your available options can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
When it comes to selecting a small business financing option, you must consider how each alternative will affect you and your company in various aspects. The best practice is to create a checklist before applying for a funding loan to help you avoid unfavorable lending conditions.
4 Characteristics of Credible Small Business Financing Companies
Here are some traits you should look for when shopping for the best financing partner for your small business.
1. Low-interest rates
A vast majority of small enterprises consider the interest rate the most crucial factor in selecting a financing company. Here, you must take the time to compare each potential lender’s interest rate.
Continue looking around and exploring your options until you find the lowest pricing rates you can afford to pay. Remember, a high-interest rate can significantly increase your company’s expenditures.
2. Fixed interest rates
Instead of offering floating interest rates that change over time, high-quality loan organizations are known for providing applicants with fixed interest rates. With this, you will be able to plan ahead of time if you have a set interest rate.
With a fixed interest rate, you are not bound to a repayment plan and you can rest assured that your interest rates will not skyrocket all of a sudden. Also, stay away from lending firms that charge a compounding interest, as this will significantly raise the amount you’ll have to repay over time.
3. Flexible repayment terms
Some lending companies offer fixed repayment terms, in which you pay a specific sum each month until the loan is paid off. These are also ideal as they often come with repayment schedules that are agreed upon in advance. As a bonus, there would be no interest rates or hidden charges.
Higher-end loan agencies can provide revenue-based loan repayment, which means there is no set repayment schedule. Instead, you pay back the loan with a certain percentage of your monthly revenue. This significantly reduces the risk of loan default and makes loan repayment quick and seamless.
4. Positive customer feedback
Customer reviews are an excellent way to gauge how good a lending firm is. Make it a habit to study the reviews made by past borrowers to help you obtain a far better understanding of the company’s processes and policies.
In addition, customer reviews can provide you with reliable information about the organization’s business ethics, whether they have a strong relationship with their clientele, and whether the applicants found the procedure to be simple and successful.
Determining the Right Small Business Funding Option for Your Needs
Here, you must decide how costly it will be for you to get business financing, and that will depend on how easy or difficult it is to secure funding for your small business. In general, the easier getting the money is, the higher its repayment will be, and vice-versa.
You can be a good candidate for a low-intensity financing option such as a bank loan, crowdfunding, or borrowing from your network of contacts like family and friends if you can justify that you’re a low-risk borrower with good financial records or collateral. This option is ideal for small to medium-scale businesses.
For example, you’re the owner of a smoothie shop. As the proprietor, you may require some storefront renovations, a couple of staff or baristas, and essential equipment like blenders and ice machines. You could argue that by having these features, your business will grow and you will soon recoup the money you borrowed.
This option may be easier to obtain, but you’ll have to pay higher interest in exchange for that convenience. Alternatively, you can explore offering the investors ownership or equity in your company so that they can support your efforts while you develop a product or service that they can count on.
The prospect of profitability for businesses like tech startups can be hard to predict. When borrowers can’t present a history of cash flow or a clear picture of how they’ll earn money, lenders might have difficulty working with them. You may need to explore high-intensity financing options such as a credit card or a lending app in these circumstances.
Do Your Homework
When choosing the most suitable source of funding for your small business, make an effort to find out as much as you can about what your options are. Join groups with people who are in the same situation.
Attend events where you can learn about prudent financing options and get credible advice to help you make the best decision for your company. Ask your most pressing financial questions and carefully examine the information you have before making that crucial decision.