Looking for financing for your business is usually a multi-step process that will take significant time and effort. We recommend the following:
- Write your business plan first. Most programs and lenders, even those sponsored by the federal or state government, require a detailed business plan that spells out why they should risk their money by investing in your business.
- Determine what your own resources are. This includes cash, home equity, and other personal assets. Also consider family and friends. Contact your county or city economic development agency. Many offer funding programs to foster business within a certain geographic area.
- Go to your bank first. Then, if needed, call on other community banks in your area. These smaller banks pride themselves on helping small business owners. Ask about any revolving loan fund (RLF) program for which you might qualify. RLFs provide “gap financing” that your bank won’t or can’t offer. You can also ask your local bank about SBA guaranteed loans, which can reduce the risk for a bank providing a business loan to a business with limited assets.