Apply For a Small Business Loan Online

Apply small business loan refers to business owners applying for funding via an online application. Many lenders, including commercial banks, credit unions, and non-traditional financial companies, now provide online applications to speed up the approval process for loans. While the amount funded, interest rates, and repayment options vary by lender and by type of loan, most online applications are very similar. It’s important to note that the Small Business Administration does not offer electronically submitted applications. However, they do provide applications that may be downloaded and printed out for the applicant’s benefit.

In order to apply for a small business loan online, applicants must first make sure they meet the criteria required by the lender and by the loan type. Most commercial banks and credit unions require personal and business financial statements, credit checks, and a working business plan from applicants. While a business may fill out and submit an electronic application, it may be asked to fax, mail, or otherwise present the necessary documents to the lender before the application is considered for approval. Non-traditional loan companies, however, usually do not require as much documentation as traditional lenders; therefore the only item required for loan consideration is a completed application. Be aware that because these lenders do not require credit checks or other financial information, their interest rates may be much higher than other loans.

The next step needed to apply for a small business loan online is to complete the online application. Most applications ask for basic information: name, address, date of birth, contact numbers, social security numbers, and others. It’s best to make sure that all information is correct before submitting the application.

Applying small business loan usually refers to business owners applying for a loan. Commercial banks, credit unions, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and independent financial companies offer loans to small businesses. The loan amounts, interest rates, and terms of repayment vary from lender to lender, but all of them usually have the same loan requirements.

When applying for a small business loan, business owners must first research the type of loan they want to make sure they qualify for it. Some loans are made specifically for start-up expenses, while others may require a business to have been in operation for a certain period of time. Still others are general-purpose loans available to any business that meets certain requirements.

The next step in applying for a small business loan is to make sure a business has all of the necessary financial documents needed to apply. Most traditional lenders require businesses to submit business and personal financial documents, credit reports, and a detailed business plan. Lenders use this information to determine if an applicant presents a high-risk, in which case he or she will most likely have to pay a higher interest rate with stricter loan terms. A low-risk business proves its ability to profit and, therefore, repay the loaned funds.

Once all documents are gathered, a business must apply for the small business loan. Applications can be accessed at a lender’s place of business or through the lender’s website.

Essential Skills for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners

Research studies into the failure of small businesses in Australia, have identified that in over 90% of small business failures, a lack of appropriate management skills have been cited as the key cause of that failure. One way to offset a lack of management skills is to outsource them to experts. For most small businesses this is beyond the reach of their limited budgets. A more viable option is to develop the skills you need to manage your business operation. Let’s examine the key competencies you will need.

Strategy Development

You need to develop skills in undertaking appropriate business research, including how to identify and locate relevant business information, analyse the data in order to determine an appropriate strategy. You then need to develop skills to effectively communicate that strategy in both a formal way, such as a business planning document, or to informally articulate it to your staff or other stakeholders when required.

Sales and Marketing Management

Strong sales and marketing skills are vital in the promotion of your small business and its products and services. You need to be able to undertake market research which will help you to identify where your markets are, the total market size and the size of each of its key segments. You should also be able to profile your customers, identify their needs, wants, behaviours and ambitions and parlay the information into powerful and effective marketing campaigns and sales techniques which will help to drive sales revenue.

You need to be able to keep your finger on the pulse of your customers ever-changing demands and the business environment in which you operate and to identify the threats and opportunities that may impact on your small business. Inability to adjust to changes in the market place was identified by market research as one of the key skills lacking in small business operators.

Financial Management

Many entrepreneurs abdicate responsibility for the financial management of their business to their accountants.This is a rookie mistake. As the business owner you must take responsibility for the management of your finances.

The first core requirement is the ability to maintain an accounting system that is compliant with current taxation requirements, such as MYOB or Quickbooks. These systems provide a raft of automated processes including the delivery of key financial documents such as Balance Sheets, Income and Expense Statements and Cash Flow forecasts.

You need to develop the core skills that keep your business liquid as more businesses fail due to a lack of cash rather than a lack of profit. You also need to ensure that your business has sufficient capital to continue operating. Financial planning and management skills are also vital to your businesses survival and you need to develop working relationships with your accountant and your taxation specialists

Legal

It is essential that you develop an awareness of your legal rights and obligations. You need a thorough understanding of the Acts, Regulations, Codes of Practice and licensing requirements with which your business needs to comply. Taxation is just one of the complex legal elements you will need to come to grips with.

Which ownership structure you choose for your business will also carry with it further legal rights and responsibilities. Being able to fully understand and manage the impacts on your business is important.

Operational Management

You need to build operational management skills in order to develop the systems and processes by which you deliver your products and services. The more efficient and effective they are the more ‘productive’ your business will be. Core operational skills include planning, management, communication as well as effective systems design.

Resource Management

Your staff can be your most valuable business asset – or your most expensive, depending on your ability to hire right. Developing appropriate policies and procedures as well as the development of induction, coaching and mentoring programmes can assist in the development of a productive workforce.

Self-Management SKills

Your personal organisation skills may be the key to the success or failure of your small business. You need to be organised, productive, able to communicate and manage your time. You need to be able to negotiate effectively, motivate staff and be able to handle sustained levels of stress.

Technology Management

Technology is the great enabler. It can increase your capacity to deliver with less staff. It can also be a key competitive differentiator. You need to understand and manage technology and be able to identify and take advantage of the multitude of opportunities is offers to small business.

It is important to remember that each of the required skills are not discrete skill sets. To be truly effective as a small business manager, you need be able to integrate each of the core management skills.

You should set yourself the task of developing your abilities in these key management areas on a continuous basis as the skills and knowledge required is forever evolving. Master these core management skills and the chances of your small business being a huge success will improve dramatically.

Government Hands Out Billions In Corporate Welfare and Then Gives Loans to Small Business

I always think it is funny when our politicians tell us that they are working to help small businesses. Whenever I hear a politician in one of the districts where I am tell me such things, I challenge them right away and ask; “exactly what have you done to help small businesses in this district.” They talk about such things as putting together small business loans, about collaboration projects with businesses to create jobs. I just shake my head and laugh – it’s as if they don’t get it.

You see, funneling taxpayer money into special pet projects with small business owners who happen to be friends with politicians and also duly support their campaign war chest for reelection does not appear to me to be helping local entrepreneurs much, rather it is helping the politician himself or herself feed at the trough. Secondly, offering more business loans to little companies at the bottom or top of the business cycle only puts local business people in debt. All the while our politicians are giving out lucrative contracts to large companies and corporations; corporate welfare.

There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal on March 20, 2014 titled; Loans Are Flowing Again, But Not In All Sectors,” by Julie Bennett which was featured in the Focus on Franchising section. One franchisor was said to have stated; “You can’t grow a franchise company without the SBA,” and whereas, this may be somewhat reality based it begs the question of why?

Now then, as a former franchisor or I’d like to say; “the hell you can’t.” You see, I have franchised my company and I can remember only a few SBA loans of all the franchises we ever sold. Those SBA loans were difficult to get, they were time consuming, they had too many stipulations, and the paperwork was a nightmare. When I went into new territory or region I wanted to sell the franchises quickly to dominate the area and increase our market share as rapidly as possible and get our brand name out there. I didn’t have time to wait to do the paperwork or help a franchise buyer get SBA secured financing which might take 60 to 90 days.

I wanted those businesses up and running within 60 to 90 days, but we could not even sign the franchise agreement until they had the money in hand but the SBA made that process come to a complete halt. Worse, the small business administration wanted all sorts of paperwork, business plans, and other information which I was not willing to divulge to a new franchise buyer until I was sure he was qualified, but they aren’t qualified until they have the money, but they can’t get the money unless I divulge information to the SBA.

To add insult to injury, if I did divulge the information to the SBA, they wanted to put those business plans online, on their website for other future franchise buyers, unfortunately that information would also be available for my competition.

Therefore, I conclude that the SBA never helped me in my business, and yes, “I did build my business, and I didn’t get much help from the government thank you very much.” Please consider all this and think on it.