OnBoard Winter 2016 - page 30

By Geordan Robertson
Director, Small Business at Meridian Credit Union
Show Me the Money
5 Tips for Financing Your Small Business
The old adage, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work
a day in your life” is the mantra many small business
owners use to justify the seemingly endless time and
energy needed to successfully start a small business.
While their passion and energy may be limitless, however,
most would-be small business owners’ resources are not.
Many people looking to start their own business find that
they need start-up capital, whether it’s for purchasing
space, equipment or just to establish a healthy cash flow.
Securing sufficient credit is crucial when establishing
your small business, and many people find this process
to be an uphill battle.
The following five tips can help when you are looking to
secure financing for your small business:
Create a business plan
. A well-crafted business plan
is vital for securing financing. It’s essential that your
business plan outline how much financing you require,
what the funds would be used for and when you plan
to repay the loan. Your business plan should clearly
outline your business idea and how it fits in the current
market landscape, along with your start-up budget and
how you plan to achieve a profit.
Look for a variety of financing sources
. Funding
sources are not just limited to financial institutions.
There are a variety of government grants and programs
that can help a small business get off the ground. A
listing of government grants and loans can be found via
the federal government’s Canada Business Network at
Get organized
. Be prepared to bring a lot of financial
paperwork with you when meeting with a financial
institution to discuss potential lending options for
your small business. In addition to your business plan,
you should also bring copies of your personal banking
records and statements to help the financial institution
determine your ability to pay back the loan.
Determine your lending needs
. A wide range of
lending products is available to small businesses,
from operating lines of credits and credit cards to
commercial mortgages. A small business advisor can
help you navigate your options to ensure you pick the
right lending product suited to your needs.
Don’t lose hope if you’re declined
. Work with your
small business advisor to fully understand why your
proposal was declined. He or she can advise you on
how to strengthen your proposal. In some cases, the
financial institution may simply require you to request
a smaller loan amount or invest more of your own
capital into the business.
More advice and resources for small business owners
are available online through Meridian’s Small Business
Resource Centre. Visit us at
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