The U.S. Small Business Administration(SBA) is committed to assisting small business owners get the finances and mentorship they need to grow their small businesses. This federal agency works with different lending partners and has developed financial programs that deal with specific needs of small businesses, offering counseling, business grants for women, funding for inventions, business development, HUB Zone, disaster loans, and microloans to name a few.
While SBA provides grants and loans to help out people who have been rejected at traditional lending companies, the agency also manage an array of training programs and educational materials geared for starting home businesses. These training programs are designed to assist business startups about the various business functions. The agency also provides assistance on law-related and advocacy matters.
To be eligible for a SBA grant or loan, a small business must pass the necessary requirements. These requirements may consist of references, computation of average income and business revenue, and the type of business.
If you are looking to start or grow your small homebased business, you can browse through SBA’s website for listings of business grants and loans you can apply for. Banks and other lending companies can also provide you with SBA loans. You can start your search online for more information. While SBA does not offer the loans by itself, the agency does guarantee loans directed at small businesses by private and public institutions, which support these loans to qualify loan applicants for approval. Just make sure you review your options to score the best grant or loan for your small business.
Before applying for financial assistance from the SBA, here are questions you need to ask yourself to determine the financing needs of your homebased business:
- Capital: Do you require more or can you handle more effectively your current cash flow ?
- Defining your need: Do you really need more money to expand? Or do you seek more to act as a cushion against risk?
- Urgency: How urgent is your need for capital? Tip – Preparation for your business needs allow you to obtain the best terms instead of seeking money in desperation.
- Risks: How huge are your risks? While all businesses have risks, you must anticipate the degree of risk which affect cost and other financing options that are available.
- Development stage: In what state or stage of development is your business? During transitional stages, your business needs are most crucial.
- Purpose: What will the capital be used for? Lenders will require you to specify your needs and goals to successfully attain loans or funding.
- State of industry: In what present state your industry is in? Successful businesses that have other similar businesses in decline will obtain better funding terms. It depends on how stable or depressed your business is.
- Condition: Is your business condition cyclical or seasonal? Loans provided to cyclical businesses (like construction) are aimed to financially back up a business in times of depression and instability. Seasonal needs for businesses are usually short term.
- Management: How well-built is your management team? Having a good management team is an vital element that’s evaluated by lenders.
- Business plan: How does your need for more money interlock with your business plan? Prioritize in writing a detailed business plan. Financing sources will want to review your business plan for the growth of your business.