Increase your chances of approval by applying everywhere
Multiple loan applications are an instant red flag for many lenders and can have a negative impact on your credit. Whilst some business owners see submitting multiple applications as an opportunity to cover all their bases and increase their range of options, it can actually be damaging to your chances of approval. To lenders this may appear as though you are struggling to access funds and getting declined from multiple financiers, suggesting that you may not be an ideal applicant.
Rather, you should examine the funding options available to your business and pick the one which is the best fit for your current situation. In deciding this, you may choose to consult with a broker or business advisor. Then apply with one lender, and ensure that your application is comprehensive and complete, this reduces the need for back-and-forth and speeds up the assessment process. If you are unsuccessful then re-examine your options, but avoid casting your net too wide in the early stages.
Anyone aside from the Big Banks is a last resort
While historically people turned to the big banks for both their personal and business finance, the Australian lending landscape is making a move away from traditional lenders as the first choice. Of course, strong applicants may find success in obtaining business funding through the big banks, but many small business owners find that the limited funding options available through traditional lenders just do not fit their needs. Further, the requirements of these traditional lenders are becoming stricter and approval processes are becoming more involved and lengthier.
There is a wealth of non-bank lenders available that specialize in certain industries and niches and offer tailored funding solutions to fit business operating within these spaces. These lenders often operate under more flexible terms and are less risk-adverse than the banks, meaning they are more open to funding SME’s in a unique position. For many business owners, these alternative lenders are becoming the preferred option because of their ability to offer specialized solutions that take their needs into considerations.
Reduce your debt and utilize your working capital
There is no doubt that minimizing the level of debt against your small business is a good thing, however it is important to find a balance that ensures you have enough working capital to sustain your operations. Draining all your cash reserves during the start up phase of your SME or when undertaking a refurbishment or expansion project can place your business is a risky position.
Having a pool of working capital available for when opportunities or emergencies arise is vital, further these funds can be used on other facets of your business such as marketing and promotion. Strategically utilizing financing for tangible items such as equipment, fitout and vehicles often means you can use the assets themselves as security, whereas when financing soft costs such as legal fees some form of external collateral if generally required. This approach means that you are not putting your home or personal assets up for collateral, and are still able to preserve some of your working capital through the use of financing.