What's the Best Way to Secure Small Business Loans Today?

Small business loans are critical to the long-term success of virtually all new companies. You may be planning to secure a loan now to start your company or you may be fortunate enough to be able to finance it from your savings. Perhaps you will use money from a personal line of credit--such as a home equity line of credit. In any event, you still need to nurture, cultivate and firmly establish business credit for the long-term health and viability of your business.

If you are in your own business long enough, there will come a time when your very survival--the life or death of your business--will depend on ready access to cash. We heard about it happening in the Great Depression and we all witnessed it personally in the Melt Down of 2008! So whether or not you need the extra bucks right now, take the steps to to set up a loan and lines of credit.

In this section, our editors take to the streets to find out what real life entrepreneurs are doing to survive and what newbies, about to start a business, should be doing in the realm of business credit and finance.

Interestingly, an interview we did several years ago on business finance and credit applies today more than ever. It involved a wise and successful business person in his 70s who started a company in 1955. He detailed for us the importance of having readily available cash for emergency situations and to take advantage of incredible product and materials buys.

He said that new businesses have to go that extra step, as difficult as it might be, to set up business lines of credit, arrange for loans, get business credit cards and the like. Then he told us that businesses should not rely completely on the credit markets for emergencies. He told us that all businesses should keep at least two-and-a-half years of operating expenses at the ready in short-term, liquid investments. He said that amassing this sum is not something you can do overnight but you can achieve it over time. He said that in ordinary slowdowns and recessions, you won't need this kind of money but when a big one hits, you will. We think the Big One hit and you do!

After the Melt Down of 2008, we followed up with him about his strategy. He told us that he--like other businesses in his industry--had had their credit reduced or eliminated. Nothing personal, the bankers told him. He said that this is the first time since he started his business that he will have to dip into this reserve. He said that he got these words of advice from his businessman father who had to use his own cash reserve once in his business career...in the Great Depression. His advice for new entrepreneurs starting in business today is this: develop relationships with banks and lending institutions and create lines of credit to get you over serious economic downturns. But he also advised saving money and building up cash reserves to tide you over the rough spots in business. We also suggest that you talk with your accountant or CPA about this.

Frequently Asked Questions on Small Business Finance

Here are a list of frequently asked questions you need to ask and answer to your own satisfaction.

  • What about SBA loans?
  • When it comes to business and finance, how much in loans do you need to get started?
  • What are the best business finance alternatives to get start up business loans? The private market? A government loan program?
  • How do you establish business credit to get a business start up loan?
  • How do you get a small business credit card?
  • Is there a best business credit card?
  • How does a secured business credit card work?
  • How do you get a fast business loan?
  • How do you apply for a Small Business Administration or an SBA loan?
  • Besides an SBA business loan, is there any other government business loans available?
  • What is considered "a small business" to qualify for an SBA loan?
  • Are there any restrictions on the type of business that can receive an SBA loan?
  • Where to do you begin to search for a new business loan?
  • What is a guaranteed small business loan?
  • How does a new business furnish a business credit report?
  • How do you finance the start up or home-based business?
  • Is there such a thing as a bad credit business loan?
  • Should you borrow money or merely establish a business line of credit for possible future use?
  • What is the difference between a secured business loan and an unsecured business loan?
  • What type of bank is most likely to okay a start up loan?
  • What about small business loans specifically for women?
  • What about minority business loans?
  • How do you establish a small business line of credit with the local bank?
  • Can you get a small business loan with bad or less-than-perfect credit?
  • As a veteran, can the Veteran's Administration or VA help you get a small business loan?
  • Can a new business secure loans on line?
  • Can you get an SBA loan to refinance current debt?
  • Does the SBDC provide financing?
  • What type of collateral do you need for a loan?
  • What are the various alternatives in financing a business?
  • What loan programs are available from the SBA?

Use These Value Links and Popular Search Terms for Additional Information:

  • If you are a veteran who will go into business or is in business, check with the VA on its financing programs. You may just find the help you need! Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) -- The OSDBU was established in the VA to assist and support the interests of small business. There is a Small Business Program, Women-Owned Business Program, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Program, Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Program, B(a) Program, Subcontracting Program, and other programs. Additional popular search terms for information on the VA and its loan programs include: administration business loan small veteran, business cash advance loan, business disabled loan small veteran, business loan small va, business loan small veteran, business loan va, business loans for veterans, private business loans, savannah business loans, small business loan for veteran, small business loan for veterans, small business loans for veterans, small business va loan, va business loan, va business loans, va small business loan, va small business loans, variable rate business loan, veteran business loan, veteran business loans, veteran small business loan, veterans administration small business loans, veterans business loans, veterans small business loans.

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