Welcome to Ask An Expert Business Series with Misty Lambrecht, the owner of
Webfoot Marketing and Design. When contemplating a business loan, it is essential to carefully assess your business's financial solvency. If your monthly expenses consistently exceed your revenue, obtaining a loan is not a recommended solution. Additionally, relying on credit cards to cover payroll is often a red flag that indicates your
business may be failing. Loans tend to exacerbate such problems rather than solve
them. However, there are scenarios where loans can be successful and worth
One situation that may warrant a loan is when an investment in your business would
generate increased profits. For instance, if expanding your freezer capacity would allow
you to stock more inventory and meet high demand, a loan to purchase a larger freezer
could be a prudent investment. On the other hand, if you need a loan to pay off past
debts owed to suppliers, it is unlikely to address the underlying issue. Lending organizations typically require a comprehensive business plan before approving a loan. This plan evaluates various aspects, including target customers, market demand, pricing structure, and the projected increase in sales to cover loan payments.
For smaller loans, options like lines of credit from banks or suppliers could
be explored. Larger loans, such as SBA loans or USDA loans for agricultural businesses,
may require additional processes. Crowdfunding platforms like Kiva, as well as local
programs like Cascade West Council of Government and Community Lending Works,
provide alternative loan opportunities.
Writing a business plan is your next step in obtaining funding, and there are resources
available to assist you. SCORE offers downloadable business plan templates, while
SBDC (Small Business Development Center) provides one-on-one advising through their
business plan program, Life Plan. Reinventing Rural utilizes a business plan platform
called Ideal Buddy in both English and Spanish, which is the first step in using them as a
trustee for Kiva loans.
Whether considering a large or small loan, taking the time to thoroughly assess your
business and develop a comprehensive written business plan is highly recommended.
This process will provide a clearer understanding of whether obtaining a loan is the right
choice for your specific circumstances.