Whether you’re a manufacturer of copper pipes or a logistics provider, having enough capital is key to any company’s growth. For entrepreneurs, expansion typically means having to get a business loan. This is easier said than done. Give the number of entrepreneurs out there with dreams of making their idea the next big thing, banks are cautious when they give small business loans. So, if you don’t present your case right, you may get turned down for a loan. A little planning can go a long way in increasing your chances of getting the loan you need. Here are a few tips that could help.

Apply at the Right Time

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst- it’s every successful entrepreneurs mantra. If you think you might need a business loan in the future, apply for one when your business is doing well. It is easier to get a loan when the numbers are up rather than when you’re having a difficult time. Bear in mind that in most cases a business loan for new business takes up to 60 days for approval. So, apply for a loan long before you think you will actually need the money.

Present an Enticing Business Plan

No one will give you a loan if you cannot make them believe that you will be successful and they will get the money back in time. An idea isn’t enough, you need to have a clear plan of how you will bring that idea to life. Thus, when you apply for small business loans, you need a business plan. This should include an executive summary that lays out what your company is about, what it does and why it is a profitable investment. Then you need to talk about your business model, the market opportunity and what sets the company apart from the competition. To complete the plan you need to include all your financials- balance sheets, profit/loss statements, cash flow statements, etc. The way you present your plan may also influence the business loans interest rate.

Be Truthful with Documentation

There are a number of documents required to get loans for small business ventures. If the company has not had a chance to make a profit yet or is going through a rough time, it may be tempting to gloss over some of the ugly bits and varnish the trust. However, this can be very harmful to your application. The banks will check every point on your documents and if even one were found to be untrue, they would lose faith on the entire application. Be honest and transparent about everything. If your numbers are not complimentary, it is better to give a reasoning for them rather than give wrong numbers.

Fix your Credit Score

When applying for small business financing the lending agency will check both the company and your personal credit scores. Thus, before submitting the application, make sure you correct and mistakes in your credit score. There is no hard and fast rule on the minimum credit score required but you should know where you stand. If you have a low credit rating speak to the people concerned to try fixing it. Most credit bureaus take around 1 month to fix errors so don’t wait till the last minute to start this process. If the score is error free, you can improve it by paying outstanding credit bills and clearing old debts.

Memorize Figures

Despite having all the relevant figures in your business plan and application, you should be able to give out the key figures too. If the bank manager has questions about the company’s profits, turnover, cash flow, etc., he will be more likely to approve of the application if you know the numbers rather than if you have to check the documents. Be confident and concise with your answers.

Stay Persistent

Banks are not the only source to be considered for small business finance India has many banks so if one bank turns down your application, apply at another. Keep in mind that all banks offer a different business loan interest rate in India. Small banks are more likely to approve business loans for entrepreneurs as compared to large banks. If all else fails, consider crowdfunding or holding closed door fundraisers. Whatever you do, don’t give up!