If there’s a worse feeling as a small business owner than that of desperately needing financing and being unable to get it…well, it probably involves a tornado. At least.
Hyperbole aside, it’s extremely unpleasant to come up short on your financing quest. If your equipment has broken down and you need equipment financing, or you’re trying to get a seasonal marketing effort off the ground with working capital*, the last words you want to hear are no. Yet if you’re heading to a bank, that’s still a likely outcome.
There’s one easy way to improve your odds that won’t cost you a dime more, and it’ll save you a lot of Excedrin money in the long run.
Get Started Early
The best way to do this is to forge a partnership with a trusted finance company, bank or credit union before you need anything. Scout them out, get them involved in a deal and see how it goes. If you have a trusted partner, you can stop reading this. You’ve already won.
If you don’t know where you’re going to go if you need thousands of dollars for your business, then here’s a simple three step process to finding a trusted finance partner.
- Scout. Talk to fellow business owners, read online reviews, look at the company’s website, and so on. Know a lot about them before you even set foot in the door.
- Go in and talk. Give them a sense of what you might be looking—even if you’re not in the market right now, feign it—and get a sense of their pricing and their customer service. It will help you later.
- Establish a trusted contact. Once you decide you’ll return to the financing partner when you have a need—or you just decide to get financing—choose someone there you like and trust and get a direct line and e-mail for them. You’ll need it again.
It all comes down to doing your homework. If you know everything there is to know about a company before you use them, you’re in better shape than most.
At Direct Capital, we offer working capital and equipment financing programs for small businesses, and that isn’t changing. If you’re struggling to get financing from a bank, check us out!
*Working capital not available in the following states: AK, DE, ND, VT