Trying to get a quick loan can be a nerve-wracking process. You want to present yourself in a manner that proves that you are exactly what your loan provider wants to see. So what do you do? How do you present yourself in the best light possible?
- Come Prepared
You will make a much better impression on your lender if you show up for your meeting prepared and ready to go. This means that you will have certain documents on hand and ready to be presented:
- Your application
- Your resume
- Your business plan
- Your business’s credit report (this is only applicable if your business is already up and running)
- Your business’s tax returns
- Your personal tax returns (seriously)
- Financial statements: bank records for your business, income statements, profit/loss, and cash flow statements
- Proof of your accounts receivable and accounts payable (this proves that money is coming into your business as well as going out of it)
- Any leases or franchise documents you might have
- Copies of third party contracts
Note: Not every website will require every single item on this list, but it is better to be over prepared than it is to be under prepared. So: if you think it is relevant and helps prove your financial solvency, bring it to the meeting. The worst that will happen is that the agent will tell you that she doesn’t need it.
- Demonstrate Your Ability to Repay
The financial documents you’ve brought in should take care of this, but it’s a good idea to bring in proof your personal ability to repay the loan as well. Loan lenders like to see that the owner is committed to and ready to take personal responsibility for the loan if she needs to.
- Quadruple-Check Your Application
The last thing you need is to find out, after you’ve turned in your application, that you’ve forgotten to sign something or missed a page. Have someone else look over your small business loan application just to make sure that you’ve initiated, signed, printed your name, etc., in all of the right places.
- Dress Professionally
You might take pride in the fact that your business is a thoroughly casual environment. Much like attracting new clients, however, you want to make sure that your lender sees you as the consummate professional. Dressing up shows respect for the person who is meeting you and proves that you are taking the process seriously. It’s shallow, but it’s true.
- Advice is Your Friend
If you are truly nervous, set up a meeting with your local citizens’ advice bureau before you start the application process. There is no charge for meeting with someone at the CAB and going over your documents, practicing the loan interview, etc. Better to be overly prepared than caught off-guard, right?
Is time an issue?
“I don’t have enough time. By the time I get home, help my daughter with homework, prepare dinner, take her to practice, and get back home, all I want to do is unwind.” As this mother of two and I are having this discussion, I can tell she was searching for answer. Answers that will help her alleviate some time and be more productive for her, not only others.
Time management is as important as financial management. Once you lose time, you’ll never get it back. You can’t even buy more time. What I find most intriguing about women is they entertain the idea of multitasking. Juggling as many balls as possible without dropping one is the goal. Why try to do everything? Why try to complete everything at once or as soon as possible?
Destroy your do-to list.
Time is infinite, but not for you. There are many things which may distract you. It’s important you organize and execute around your priorities. Time doesn’t wait for you and we all have the same 24 hours. What inspired me to manage my time more effectively was glancing at my to-do list and ripping it up! I couldn’t stand it anymore. Personally, it was never ending. Every time I checked one thing off, I added another, then another. It was a 1:2 ratio. Women minds work more than men. It has much to do with the speedy connections of our neurons. While it’s great your mind works faster as it helps you with language and communication, you need to slow down. Shred your to-do list and breathe. Inhale two deep breaths and slowly exhale and then breathe normally. Repeat two more times.
Prioritise and organise around deadlines.
While you are entertaining this idea, please don’t focus solely on deadline-driven projects. These will always call for your attention. You know they are there and you know when they are due. The way you prioritize and organize around deadlines is by planning ahead of time. With specific deadlines coming up is there a way for you to begin early on your upcoming project?
It’s alright to say no.
Part of planning ahead of time is saying “no.” You can’t do it all and you shouldn’t set that expectation. Avoid committing to too many things. Delegate the tasks whether it’s a household or business you are running. The idea is to manage your priorities. Just because you are asked to do something, it doesn’t mean you have to say “yes.” You know why people are asking you? It’s because they know you’ll never say “no.”
Know when you are most productive.
There are certain times of the day and week when you are performing at your best. I would strongly encourage you to do the activities that demand more of your effort and creativity during those specific times of the week. For example, answering emails in the morning is not productive or effective if the mornings are when you do your best work. Spend time on the activities that normally need more of your time. These are usually the activities that will yield your results but are not urgent. This could be planning or implementing prevention techniques to avoid crisis or potential urgent matters.
I know I’m guilty of entertaining myself with too much tasks. Trying to balance myself as I’m juggling the multitude of tasks. All I really want to do is soak in the glistening, calm Caribbean Sea and wash my worries away. However, I’ve learned to prioritize my tasks. I do not take on any more than I can handle. And I set time to work on the things that will yield me more result, yet it doesn’t require my immediate attention, like reading through and responding to the unread emails. I prefer to respond to emails towards the end of the day, when I’m not using my creativity.