• Never Sell Yourself Short to Lenders

    Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen implored, "Love yourself. Respect yourself. Never sell yourself short. Believe in yourself regardless of what people think. You can accomplish anything, absolutely anything, if you set your mind to it." The same advice can be applied to your business.

    Too often, business owners approach lenders with an indifferent attitude about their company. When applying for any business loan, you should present your best qualities to lenders. In other words, you should sell lenders on the idea that your business is a great candidate for a loan. After all, no one knows your business better than you do!

    Applying for an SBA loan is similar to applying for a job, in this regard. Usually, job interviews include the invitation to "tell us about yourself." Too often, business owners respond with an indifferent attitude about their company. When discussing a loan with lenders, use this opportunity to illustrate exactly why both you and your company are the perfect partners for a loan.

    Be Positive

    Being positive means focusing on your assets and business strengths. Be sure to include how the loan proceeds will positively impact your company.

    AOL co-founder, Steve Case sums it up, "You shouldn't focus on why you can't do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions."

    Show Passion

    Lenders want to know that an owner is personally, as well as financially, invested in the company. Banks believe that if you have a significant personal investment in your company, you are more likely to do everything in your power to make the business successful, and thus are more likely to repay the loan. Be sure to discuss your business passionately with enthusiasm for the future.

    Talk About Yourself

    J.P. Morgan said about lending, "The first thing is character." In fact, character is one of the 5 C's of Credit that most lenders use to evaluate the risk of a loan. As a borrower's character is difficult to quantify with numbers, a lender's decision in this area is subjective. It is usually discovered through a personal interview and gathering information regarding how you have managed your business and responded to adversity. Therefore, selling yourself (and not just the business) is key to a successful loan application.

    Be a Realistic Optimist

    Finally, while showing enthusiasm and focusing on the positive is important, it is equally important to be realistic. Financial projections should be evidence-based, rather than wishful thinking. Overestimating your revenues can be devastating in the long run. It is important to both lenders and your business that you cultivate a rosy-but-realistic outlook with a strong plan of action if any trouble arises. As Winston Churchill said, "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

    Are you prepared to sell yourself to lenders? Community Business Finance can help you put your best foot forward to achieve your business dream. Fill out a short online form to Get Started and a loan expert will contact you to discuss making your dream a reality.

    You can also contact our offices:

    In Texas call Bill Ebersole at 713-457-1650, ext. 201, or email him at bill@communitybusinessfinance.com.

    In Louisiana, call Jeanne Bergeron at 1-800-462-1017 or email her at jeanne@communitybusinessfinance.com.



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