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Financial Fitness: Don't Pass Up the Opportunity to Expand Your Business

Owning and operating a business of any size can be a daunting task; in many cases an all-consuming commitment of time, energy and financial resources. Whether the business is a start-up or an established, successful venture, most business owners will agree a substantial degree of personal sacrifice was required to get "to this point”. It’s a fact; business owners have too much invested to let great opportunities pass by solely because of a lack of cash.
 
Depending upon what sort of business you run, opportunities and needs may vary. When you land the next big customer, the resources needed to exceed your customer’s expectations and successfully handle the extra business are as varied and unique as your business itself. A new customer could mean it’s time for a bigger boat, or more office space, increased inventory, a new delivery vehicle, or a larger pizza oven. Agricultural businesses may need cash for new equipment or crops. Ranchers might need capital for livestock purchases. Manufacturing concerns may need expensive tools and equipment, or perhaps a new production facility. Whatever your needs, sometimes the new business represents a large challenge – if you already had the contract, you could afford the facilities, the equipment, the inventory. But how do you agree to a contract if you don’t have the resources to do the work, and you don’t have the needed cash readily available to purchase the resources?
 
Many banks have commercial departments that offer loans (as well as business accounts, credit cards and other financial services) to their business customers. Just as personal loans come in all shapes and sizes, from loans for college tuition, real estate or a new car, there are also a wide variety of business loans available. Although credit requirements must be met to qualify for any loan, business or personal, keep in mind that your local banker wants you to succeed so that you will continue to be a valued customer. Many offer flexible payment schedules and other loan features designed help local businesses make the most of their opportunities for expansion and success.
 
Just a few of the many business loan types that may be available from your local bank include:
  • Equipment Loans
  • Working Capital Lines of Credit
  • Real Estate Construction Loans
  • Agricultural Loans
  • Inventory Loans
As mentioned, qualifying for the business loan will be contingent upon your business’s ability to pay it back according to the specified terms. So be prepared when you apply; be sure to bring your business financial statements, tax returns and company documents (tax ID number, articles and bylaws). If you will be personally guaranteeing the loan (which might be required depending upon your business standing) then your personal financial statements and identification will also be required. It would be beneficial to review a typical list of required business loan documentation before visiting your banker so you know what will be expected.
 
Understand before you arrive that not all business loans are created equally; your banker is there to help determine your options and what sort of loan is right for your current needs. Don’t let that great opportunity pass you by because of a cash shortage!
 
 
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