How do I get a small business loan to open my own nail salon? I keep getting turned down; how do I get someone to take that chance and believe in me?
Steve Gomez, professional development manager, Milady: In this market and economy, banks have changed the process by which they provide loans. They have become much more selective and stringent with regard to business loans. Do not be surprised if you do not initially qualify. It can be a long process and you will need to be patient. Here are a few tips you can use to help yourself:
• Take the time to create a detailed and comprehensive business plan. Do your research, learn how to create cash flow projections and understand the market you are moving into. A solid business plan with realistic cash flow projections will make a difference. When you show a bank or lender that you have done your homework and you know what you are getting yourself into they will be more open to working with you.
• Review your credit score and report. Clean up anything outstanding that may take away from your score or ability to qualify.
• Make a list of "angel" investors. These are people of influence in your circle that you could approach outside of banks and lenders. Once you create this list be sure to consult a contract attorney so that they can support you with how you can legally set up a personal loan agreement with someone in your private world. This will create integrity in the future relationship as well as show the investor that you mean business and are prepared. If you use this approach your business plan will still need to be complete and furnished to the potential investor along with the plan on how you intend to pay them back.