Business planning and strategy

Before you can seek an outside loan, you need a strategy. A business plan shows potential lenders where you see your business is going and how funds could help you grow. Luckily for you, great tools to help you plan abound—and we’ve compiled them to help you find what you need now. Learn how to craft a road-map for your business with these business planning tools. 

As a small business owner, you put more than your sweat and tears into your business—you also put in your own savings and risk your personal credit to get your business off the ground.

A business plan is a vital tool for your business. You know this, but writing one still sounds daunting. Don’t let it. You already have a plan for your business in your head. All you’re doing when you write a business plan is taking the information from your head and putting it on paper.

As a general rule of thumb, banks will require a borrower to put up collateral for a loan. The only exception to this rule is for clients who have a long-term relationship with banks and whose business has proven to be profitable over a multi-year period.

Collateral is important for banks to reduce their risk. If the business is not able to pay back the loan, a bank may decide to take ownership of the collateral that has been pledged to them in the documents you sign when you got the loan. Usually a bank will not take ownership of collateral if you miss an interest payment, or one or two repayment installments, but will if they feel that their loan is at risk.

Starting a small business is hard work. The list of things you have to do in order to turn your dream into reality may seem overwhelming at first. When faced with such a formidable to-do list, it is easy to think of a formal business plan as something to table for later.

You know that writing a business plan is critical tool for planning your business and for getting a loan, but it’s hard to know where to start. Like everything else, it’s easier to begin when you have a template to follow.

You’re working on your business plan, great! Here are a few tips as you work.  

Bank loans are usually the least expensive way to finance a small business. However, it is not easy to get a bank loan, as banks have strict standards for lending. As a general rule of thumb, banks will require a borrower to put up collateral for a loan.