Top Tips for Applying for a Business Loan - Fleximize

Top Tips for Applying for a Business Loan

Get the lowdown before completing your application

By Caz Blaxcell

Tip 1: Know your business inside out

When applying for a business loan, be prepared to answer straightforward questions about your business. From a lender’s point of view, it is a red flag if a business owner is not able to answer simple questions or provide a basic level of information. It’s like trying to sell someone a package holiday abroad without any flight details.

Similarly, you’re not just trying to sell us your product or service. Convincing a lender to invest in your business over a period of time is a harder task than an immediate purchase. You should feel comfortable to share information relating to your business including past performance, present challenges and future plans. Be prepared, be engaging and be yourself.

Tip 2: Keep your records up to date

When a lender assesses your business, you will expect to receive your latest records, such as bank statements, statutory and management accounts, proof of revenues, contracts, etc. Therefore, it’s essential that these can be provided quickly.

The best advice is to make sure your finances are in order so keep all your records current and readily available. That way, you don't have to compile everything at the last moment. Set strict deadlines on reporting, either weekly or monthly and stick to them – there’s nothing worse than trying to consolidate figures that aren't fresh in your mind. If you can’t keep up with your reporting, our best advice would be to hire a professional accountant to check your business accounts and credit report.

Tip 3: Have a plan and know the purpose

One of the most common purposes we hear for a business loan is to bridge a cash flow gap. So, as long as you know why your current cash flow is short, we can help you. It might be because you’ve had to pay out for some extra stock to get you through an increased sales period or pay overheads while waiting for a third party to settle an invoice.

Therefore, knowing and being able to present the details behind the purpose of the loan is important. Plan how much you want to borrow and what for, as having a clear plan will support your success in applying for a business loan.

Tip 4: Communicate honestly and openly

With our top tips above, your chances of success are greatly improved. So once you have submitted your application and are successful, treat ongoing communication with the Fleximize team as a top priority. We only say this because responding in a timely manner gives us confidence in your business and shows us a good impression of what to expect when managing your repayments.

But more importantly, be honest and always assume the person on the other end is trained to look for inconsistencies in your stories and numbers because that is true. No lender is likely to fund a business with questions floating around, so how you handle your application process shows us a lot about you, so make a good impression.

Tip 5: Don’t over-commit yourself

Many businesses tend to over-commit themselves financially very early on. This may cause problems later when trying to obtain further credit. Your chances of raising money aren't great when you’ve over-borrowed early on and can't keep up with the payments or if you've given away all the security in your business.

Our advice is to pace yourself and align your credit commitments with your business's long-term goals. Every time you take out finance, think about the long-term impact of the terms you agree to on your company and its assets and ensure they work with your future plans for developing and growing your business.