- Business and Employment
Small Business Loan Help
Help for Obtaining and Refinancing Small Business Loans
Despite bank reports to the contrary, small business loans have become even more difficult to obtain. This discussion is designed to provide practical small business loan help.
Business owners should not be surprised to discover that they will probably need specialized help when dealing with the current difficult environment for working capital loans and commercial mortgages. But practical and effective help can prove to be hard to find.
Here is some help to get you started.
Free and Online Advice
Using a wider array of business finance resources has become an increasingly prudent tactic for business owners because of recent complications in obtaining financing. It can be a daunting task to find the most effective resources. To help jump-start the process, I have provided several suggested internet search phrases below. With this approach to researching issues with business loans, there are also some precautions to observe.
First, there is really no substitute for individualized discussions between a commercial borrower and a knowledgeable business finance adviser because of the complex nature of business loan underwriting. (And online applications should be avoided.)
Second, there will usually be specific variations from one business to another that require more detail than an internet summary identifying general commercial loan issues can realistically provide.This point is especially relevant for specialized commercial property financing. But the recent banking crisis has increased the need to evaluate each business financing scenario on a case-by-case basis.
Third, a distinction needs to be made between lenders and advisers. As a result of a banking environment that has become chaotic, it is increasingly advisable to have independent expert business loan help to evaluate which banks should be avoided.
Fourth, the algorithms and "rules" that guide search engines are constantly being changed by Google and others. This means that some effective sources of small business loans will not always appear in an online search.
Fifth, remember that many search engine companies such as Bing and Google earn a very good living via paid ads that magically appear when you search with a given phrase. Don't forget that these are "paid sponsors" and often not the "best" answer to your search question.
Most banks are still not providing normal levels of small business financing
Suggested Search Phrases
- "commercial lender negotiations"
- "working capital guide"
- Try including terms like "avoiding problems" together with other descriptions such as "problem banks" and "zombie banks."
For example, by searching for "avoiding problems with problem banks and zombie banks"
- "business finance communications"
- "zombie banks and problem banks"
Opinion Poll - Agree or Disagree?
On the one hand, banks have repeatedly said that they are (and have been) making a "normal" amount of small business loans. On the other hand, small business owners have their own experiences and stories to share and the viewpoint from many small businesses suggests that business financing is very difficult to obtain.
Do you agree or disagree with the statement below?
Routine commercial financing such as commercial mortgages and working capital are currently extremely difficult for small businesses to obtain from banks.
Small Business Communications Help
Most small businesses need help with both commercial financing and business communications. Two areas of particular importance are commercial lender communications and business lender negotiating.
Finding a Small Business Expert
As noted above, some very effective help is available at no cost. Due to the complexity of commercial loans combined with a confusing climate for commercial lending, the next step for commercial borrowers will often involve obtaining individualized assistance from a small business finance expert.
This article is realistically just a starting point for commercial borrowers. I have attempted to present several perspectives that should help fill in some of the blanks for small business owners. But each commercial loan situation is so unique that it is not feasible for any treatment such as this to adequately address something as complex as small business financing.
Limitations of "Free" Online Advice About Commercial Loans
While some business loan help is available at no cost, such "free" resources are not without their limitations. The costs and problems that may result without specialized expert business loan advice need to be taken into account. "Cost effective" is usually a better standard than "free."
Warren Buffett's Advice
Keep in mind that commercial financing was already complicated before the recent banking crisis. Now small business owners are faced with a shrinking number of banks and other commercial lenders that are realistically providing any commercial loans whatsoever.
This book will be especially helpful for anyone thinking about starting their own business or wanting to help someone about to do this. This is an excellent reference book for small businesses, and you can pick and choose which sections are most relevant. Highly recommended.
While I would like to be a beacon of optimism and report how easy it is today for commercial borrowers to obtain small business loans, realistically that is not the case. One of the biggest changes that is making it more difficult rather than easier for small business owners to get commercial financing is the increasing failure of banks to provide even routine and modest small business financing. Much like looking for the proverbial "needle in a haystack," it is simply getting harder to find the "good banks." For small businesses, the hardest challenge of all is finding reliable sources of commercial real estate loans and working capital financing.
This practical book should be on the desk of every small business owner.
Is Change Good or Just Necessary?
Changing Weather Is a Metaphor for Life
For many years it seems like most of us have accepted how unpredictable the weather is. But for some reason, haven't we all been a lot less tolerant and understanding about change in most other things?
Some have been shocked about the drastic changes in the automobile and banking industries. Both had been apparently viewed by some as beacons of stability that were unlikely to change much except for new car models and changing check designs. Now that we have seen firsthand how much two traditional sectors of the economy can change almost overnight, shouldn't we be ready for more of the same in years to come?
A standing joke about the weather in many places is a variation of "If you don't like the weather today, just wait until tomorrow because it is sure to change." I think that this would be a healthy mentality to adopt when it comes to banking and many other financial problems. However, at the same time it would also be prudent to develop a contingency financing plan for dealing with at least some of the possible changes. What if my bank says no? When should I fire my bank? Can I reduce my business debt instead of increasing it?
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.— Aristotle
© 2009 Stephen Bush