From “How to Grow a Great Business and Power Network,” by Melissa Giovagnoli and David Stover.
Strategies for Securing a Business Loan
For those who think their business would be successful if only they had an infusion of capital, here are the strategies that can boost your chances for success:
Create an Excellent Business Plan
All funding sources will want to see a comprehensive, concise, and realistic business plan. Your plan will be the primary key for getting funding and, if used as a basis for daily business decisions, will help you reach your goals and give you continued opportunities for funding.
Create a File on Contacts
Whether you have a computerized data base or keep a notebook of the many contacts you make with potential investors, itâ€™s important to keep track. Once youâ€™ve completed your business plan, mail it with a cover letter to the investors you have prescreened. Prescreening is important because you shouldnâ€™t waste money copying or mailing to unscreened individuals. Take the time to make the phone calls, and see if at this time (because things change constantly with every business), the bank, angel network, venture capital firm, etc., is accepting applications for your type of investment request. Time taken to target market is the best time you can spend.
Continue to Periodically Follow Up on Your Contacts
â€œIf at first you donâ€™t succeed, try, try again,â€ is an excellent motto when applying for funding. Just as you must constantly sell your product or service, you must also sell the opportunity to others to invest in your company. Make regular phone follow-ups (monthly or every other month) even to contacts who were noncommittal or negative.
Your initial negative contact with a representative of a bank or investment firm might have involved just a bad day for the person with whom you had spoken. As long as there was an initial interest in your company, keepÂ trying. Ask for suggestions on how to improve your plan. The advice you get could mean the difference between wishing for an opportunity and making one happen.
For more strategies, visit melissagwilson.com and download the free e-book!