Dare to Dream – Small Business Loans Available in 2009

The recent economy has been difficult for many, but one pleasant effect of the downturn is the new opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Large companies with big budgets and fixed expenses are becoming obsolete, and small business owners in niche markets are sliding in to benefit from the situation.

Nevertheless, it is still tough for a small business owner to obtain the loans they need to capitalize on these opportunities.

I have been a finance specialist  for twenty years, and, while they may not be easy to find, I can assure you that loan opportunities for entrepreneurs are available. However, an entrepreneur will have difficulty navigating the market because in the current environment loan opportunities change rapidly and often.

The first step to your financing success will be to research the non-bank financing alternatives available to small business owners as traditional bank options are becoming much less available. You may prefer to find an advisor who has the contacts and the expertise in the small business financing arena. That expert can act as your advocate with the lenders and work on your behalf in obtaining the financing you need.

There are several attractive options for equipment financing and other small business loans that might be great for your company.

1. New Small Business Administration Programs. There has been a lot of promotion by the Small Business Administration for some new programs they have established for the small business owner. While these loans sound great and often are, the government requirements and paperwork often results in the borrower throwing up their hands in surrender.

SBA regulations can be very annoying and even corrode your company’s effectiveness if you don’t have the know-how or capacity to satisfy them. My recommendation is that if you find an SBA Loan would help your company, find a qualified small business finance advisor who knows the SBA requirements to minimize the administrative details for you and ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

2. Great resources are available for leasing or purchasing equipment for very little (if any) down-payment. You can often be approved and funded in less than a week. Unfortunately, these programs aren’t promoted well, and the underwriting process can be difficult. As I mentioned before, a good financial advisor can help to bridge these difficult roadblocks so you can obtain your equipment financing in no time at all.

3. There are more private equity and non-bank lending options available now that the stock market performance has required high net worth individuals to seek alternate investments for their funds. Good financial advisors have an active Rolodex of these types of investors and know what they are looking for from the companies they invest in.

The standards used by Lenders when reviewing potential small business lending opportunities are different than they once were. Your job is to make sure that your small business shines in the best possible way in the particular areas that lenders are concerned with.

Under the best possible circumstances you will be able to show your lender great credit scores and outstanding financial statements. A prime underwriting concern today is cash flow, and the ability to repay your loan, with past records to support it will be closely reviewed. The most cautious lenders will also be looking for a second way to be repaid, such as a guarantor or some form of collateral.

If you don’t fit the lender mold of an ideal borrower, it is even more important to engage an experienced small business financial advisor to be your representative as soon as possible. He will guide you through the difficult process of creating a loan presentation explaining your unique situation in a way that will encourage lenders to approve your loan.

You may find that private financing is the right option for your business, and a trained financial advisor will be able to connect you with the right investor. By no means, dont give up on your dreams for your business now. Opportunity abounds for the small business owner in this changing economy and the right financial advisor will be just what you need to achieve your goals.