Preparing for a loan checklist

Tick off all the things you’ll need to prepare when applying for a loan.

It will help step you through the most important aspects of getting your business ready to borrow.

You may want to reduce existing debt to better balance debt and equity, or re-finance short-term debt to reduce monthly repayments. Ideally you’ll be able to demonstrate a business that’s efficient, giving lenders confidence that the funding you’re asking for will be well used.

You may also want to review parts of your business that could be tightened, including how you process orders, the software you use, supply chain management, marketing, logistics and staffing levels.

Remember, first impressions count. Paint what needs to be painted, fix anything that’s broken and repair or replace damaged assets, get rid of old stock, check the website is up to date, and be active in social media. It’s the whole business including you, which the bank is investing in.

Financial accounts must be completed by a qualified Accountant (independent to the business) or Taxation advisor. It is important that the financial information you’re providing is accurate and checked or prepared by an independent third party.

Finally, create a cash flow forecast with a repayment schedule to help predict the impact of a loan on your business. Add the loan amount to cashflow in, then calculate the loan repayments going out. The new figures in your cash flow forecast will tell you whether the loan is likely to place your business in a stronger position. Include best, worst and most-likely-case sales scenarios to see how your business will fare if you suddenly hit tough times or better than expected trading conditions.

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